The region of the southern Great Barrier Reef stretches from Rockhampton in the north to Bundaberg in the south and has a lot to offer. But first we had to days of longer drives in front of us.
Brandybottle Campground and Fardooleys Bush Camp
On the way we stopped at two very nice campgrounds. First we stayed one night at the Brandybottle Campground, which had a small bar and also a little golf course. The golf clubs could even be borrowed for free and they offered golf carts for rent. Overall there was a very relaxed atmosphere here.
The following afternoon we stopped at Fardooleys Bush Camp. This privately run campground is beautifully situated on a hill with a nice view of the surrounding valleys.
On the way from Rockhampton (which we left out) to Gladstone Mount Larcom invited us for a hike. We could see its quite striking shape already from a distance.
Until now there hasn’t really been much for us to hike in Queensland. This was mainly due to our itinerary, which led us almost exclusively along the coast. That’s why we did not want to miss Mount Larcom with its great view of the city of Gladstone and the coastline. As the danger sign said, the hike itself was something for “fit and experienced” people 😉
The two kilometres to the summit, as described on the sign, were more like three kilometres, but it was correct about the steep ascent.
And after 45 minutes through denser forest we were able to see our goal “up close” for the first time.
Not many people were on this track; we saw only four other couple during the 3,5 hour hike. And so we had the summit all to ourselves for a while 🙂
After the hike we drove for only half an hour and then reached the most beautiful free camping spot we had so far in Queensland. The campsite is called Calliope River South Rest Area, is located directly at the river of the same name and was already quite crowded when we arrived.
Horizons Kangaroo Sanctuary
Where are all the animals in Queensland? Well, ok, we saw plenty of crocodiles in the Daintree Rainforest. But during our trip through Queensland we missed the kangaroos, which are ubiquitous in Australia. So it was time to change something. And what could be more obvious than to drive to a kangaroo sanctuary? And the Horizons Kangaroo Sanctuary also offers camping spots. Awesome!
The owners have saved almost 300 kangaroos so far 🙂 Especially little joeys whose mothers were hit by a car. The little rascals need a bottle every three to four hours, day and night. The kangaroos can move freely and come and go as they please. There are always some for feeding in the afternoon where they enjoy raw sweet potatoes offered by tourists.
You can see female kangaroos carrying joeys in their pouch, some of which seem a bit too big by now. No wonder that a whole leg looks out of the bag.
And you can also watch mother practicing some kicking with the little ones – super sweet!
By the way, the camping fees and donations are used to raise the kangaroos 🙂
Agnes Water and the city “1770”
Close to the Horizon Kangaroo Sanctuary lies the town of Agnes Water. Here we took a long walk along the beach.
Next stop: 1770. This is the name of a town, named after the years Captain James Cook landed here. Here was a great viewpoint from where we could even see our first Queensland whales swimming in the bay. But it was too far away to take a picture with our smartphone camera.
The next day we drove on to Bundaberg, respectively to the small town Bargara, which lies directly at the sea in front of Bundaberg. Here we strolled along the beautiful promenade.
We spent the night at the Bargara Beach Caravan Park, but only got a (quite sandy) spot without power. In Victoria, in the south of Australia, the holidays have now begun and the campgrounds in warm Queensland are a very popular destination.
The end of our journey along the Southern Great Barrier Reef led us to Woodgate Beach. Here we were really lucky to get the last free camping spot behind the Woodgate Beach Hotel. The camping area was only opened one and a half years ago and so the amenities were quite new 🙂
There was also a pub associated with the hotel. After a very long beach walk, we ended the day here, having interesting talks with fellow campers.