Ocean View - Really?


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Oceania » Australia » Queensland » Beerwah
December 4th 2010
Published: December 10th 2010
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Friday 3rd December and it was finally time to drag ourselves away from Noosa. We had really enjoyed discovering the delights of the area and wouldn’t hesitate to come back given the opportunity. We managed to pack everything up in the dry and were waving goodbye to the CP staff at about 9.15. We were only intending to travel a relatively short distance which was just as well looking at the threatening clouds and we wondered, with poor weather forecast, whether it was wise to leave Tewantin as we had been so comfortable there. The coastal motorway is very good and it didn’t take long to get to the one caravan park near Beerwah we had in mind but it was right on the main road and we knew from experience how noisy that could be. So we turned off at the Landsborough exit and went through the town and up the hill towards Maleny. The hill got steeper and steeper and PIE was beginning to struggle a bit so we were pleased when, about half way up the worst section of the hill, we saw the Top Tourist caravan park sign and went in. Fair play – it was called ‘Ocean View’ and we could see that, on a clear day, the view would be fantastic. We agreed to stay for three nights and the couple in the office invited us to walk around the park and decide which site we preferred. We were disappointed to find that most of the park was filled with permanent caravans and cabins and there were, in reality, only about six tourist sites to choose from.

I think that if we could have changed our minds we would have – for a Top Tourist park it was poor. Unsurprisingly, only one other touring unit was using the park. But as we were here and had paid we felt obliged to make the best of it. So we plumped for a site on a block which had a fantastic view - the best of the whole Caravan Park. Also it was quite near the amenities block. As luck would have it, and time would prove just how lucky it was, there was a concrete path directly from the side of our site which went directly to the loos. Unlike at the previous fab site in Tewantin, there was no help with getting the van on the site but Graham did an amazing job in very tight circumstances although, of course, he had a little bit of help from me (a very little bit!). The only problem was, at the offside of the caravan where the power cable and water pipes go, because of all the rain they’d had, it was a quagmire. If I remember, I try to do my bit by attaching the power cable to the supply to get the fridge up and running early. But as I went to fix it to the caravan my feet disappeared into the mud - good thing I had just my ‘Holies’ on my feet and nothing else to ruin! Somehow Graham managed to “suspend” the electric cable so it didn’t touch the ground and then attach both incoming and out-going water hoses without getting muddy feet!! How did he do that? Graham fixed the awning up and for the first time pulled the supports right out into the “carport” position giving a bit more height than normal and slightly better access. We sat and ate our sandwiches admiring the view which, although not absolutely clear, was still pretty good.

After lunch we decided
We could just about make out the Glasshouse MountainsWe could just about make out the Glasshouse MountainsWe could just about make out the Glasshouse Mountains

At least some of the mountains were visible!
to explore the area, part of the Blackall Range of hills, so drove further up towards Maleny and before long came to the Information Centre. We chatted to the nice chap in charge who used to be a pilot flying for Emirates between Mauritius and London. His wife had dreams of doing the full circuit of Aus – “the big lap” - but because he’d had his fill of travelling he was content to stay in Maleny and look after the information centre occasionally. He recommended a few good viewing points but by now clouds were gathering and we wondered just what sort of views we might be able to see. One of the nearest was at a place called Mary Cairncross Scenic Reserve which offered fabulous views of The Glasshouse Mountains so we made that our first port of call. And yes, the view was fabulous but low cloud meant that some of it was obscured. It drizzled so we had a pot of tea and some enormous scones with jam and cream in the Cairncross Café and hoped that the weather would improve enough for us to complete a walk through the near-by rain forest. It didn’t improve much but I was determined to see what it was like while Graham sat in the car desperately trying to get a good enough radio reception to keep up with the Ashes test match which had reached an interesting stage. Maybe I should have joined him as I came back a bit soggy but it had been a fascinating stroll. Throughout the walk there were eerie bird noises including what seemed to be a baby crying but was in fact a Green Catbird and also the whip-cracking sound of the Eastern Whipbird – as I was on my own it was all very spooky! A lovely little Rufous Fantail landed on the path in front of me and didn’t seem in a hurry to move but sadly because of the dark conditions the photos I took were poor. I had almost come to the end of the walk when a Red Legged Pademelon ran across the path in front of me. These are a type of rainforest wallaby and are listed as ‘vulnerable’. I was a bit too slow to get a good photo but at least I had seen it. The Information Centre was full of photos and details about the local rainforest and I hoped that before we left the area Graham would get a chance to look around. We drove on into Maleny but by now the rain was quite heavy so apart from a quick drive round and a bit of shopping at Woolies we decided to make our way back to camp. We had spotted, though, that Maleny boasts a platypus viewing platform and a platypus walk by Obi Obi Creek so we would definitely be back.

It had rained throughout the night, sometimes torrentially. We were getting very concerned about the dampness in the one wardrobe but there was nothing we could do apart from keep a towel there to prevent the dampness from spreading. The rain eased a bit later in the morning (Saturday) so, not to waste a whole day, we drove back to the Glasshouse Mountain Lookout. Appropriately in the cool and very wet conditions we had a lamb hotpot for lunch in the café and sat near the fire which was lit although not burning too fiercely. After lunch we popped into Maleny and blow me we saw another Nissan Terrano – the one and only other Terrano we’ve seen on our whole trip. I should have taken a photo but was so shocked I forgot and then it was gone. So PIE isn’t the only Terrano in Australia after all!!

We wanted to find the Obi Obi Creek walk and with a bit of help from Sat Nav found the road where the boardwalk started. It was a very pleasant stroll and looked to be ideal platypus territory. But try as we might we couldn’t see one. Oh well maybe we’d come back again. We drove back towards the caravan park but deviated to Gardner Falls which is a popular picnic spot for locals. We met a few people coming back along the path wearing swim gear and we wondered what the attraction was. After we’d walked about a kilometer we came to the falls which weren’t particularly high or spectacular although the recent rainfall had made them very “full”. But just the other side, at the bottom of the falls, was a great natural swimming hole. There were three lads having a fantastic time swinging on and then leaping from a hanging rope suspended some way above the pool. It looked pretty dangerous to us as the timing of their “letting go” needed to be very precise and they landed quite close to some rocks. But we presumed they knew what they were doing and they obviously liked an audience as they repeated the feat numerous times! That amused us for a while but then it started to rain again so we walked back to the car. The journey back to the caravan park was grim with pouring rain and poor visibility. When we got back we had neighbours – a young German couple in a snazzy Jucy campervan had selected the site next to us. The girl was absolutely fed up because ever since they had arrived in Aus it hadn’t stopped raining. To make matters worse they had to climb up a ladder outside the van to get to their bed which was in a fixed ‘tent’ that elevated up from the roof which the Jucy people humorously called “The Penthouse”!! – not much fun in pouring rain! Sweetie wasn’t so bad after all!




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