Sunday 29 & Monday 30 April: Embracing the Woodgate serenity

Author: Mrs A

Location: Woodgate Beach, Queensland

Sunday – Distance walked: 7.5km

We are joined only by one other caravan here at the Woodgate Beach Hotel, making for a very serene campsite. The whole village is extremely quiet, especially now the weekenders have disappeared back to work.

Despite the beautiful blue sky days reaching into the mid 20s, the strong southerly wind has continued the blow, putting us off swimming and preventing exploration by Packraft. So Sunday morning saw us head off on foot to explore the beach, heading north from where we are staying.The tide goes out a long way, leaving mirror-like reflections across the sand, and a surreal feeling you are walking amongst the clouds. We walked barefoot, splashing through the warm waters at the edge. For the most part, there was not another person on the beach.There were many little blue swimmer crabs, most of which ran in their dozens for cover when they spotted us coming, burying themselves in the soft sand. And birds, huge flocks of cormorants, terns and gulls, resting on the sandbanks. In the distance we could see four whistling kites, two of which were constantly fighting and swooping – probably juveniles, jostling for top spot.We reached the mouth of Theodolite Creek, wishing we had our Packrafts to allow us to cross, but instead enjoyed the peaceful ambience a while, before ambling back to camp, into a headwind this time, a little harder going.

We had a relaxed afternoon, I did a little painting while Mr A read, before having a final explore on our bikes as the sun set.Mr A got talking to a local resident, an elderly man who had purchased his dream retirement home on an estate here. Our exploration of Woodgate had revealed there are no shops – just the pub where we are staying and a cafe and takeaway near the caravan park.

The nearest grocery shops are 45km south of here. There are also no hospitals or doctors nearby, no police or services – a very pretty yet isolated place to retire, particularly given this resident’s wife has since taken ill and is now receiving care elsewhere. I think he is now regretting his decision to stay. It’s a beautiful place to visit but we wouldn’t want to live here.

Monday – Distance paddled: 3km!

Another beautiful day dawned so we decided to head up to Theodolite Creek to see whether it was sheltered enough to do a little paddle in the Packrafts. We could see a couple of people fishing from kayaks, so decided to give it a try.We paddled upstream, feeling like we were on a treadmill, constantly battling the outgoing tide. Once we had reached a particularly shallow area full of stingrays speeding along just under the water’s surface, we decided to just roll with it, and put our feet up and let the current take us back. There’s not much more relaxing than that – an extremely meditative experience of just watching shapes in the clouds, drifting with the stream.

After all that exertion (ha ha) we returned to camp to commence packing up. We head off tomorrow, briefly to Bundaberg to complete some tasks, then start our move inland. This will be our last glimpse of the ocean for a couple of weeks.

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