Best Way to Spend a Weekend.


Greetings my friends. By golly it seems like the last time I wrote a blog post was just after Jesus Christ opened the batting for the Jerusalem Under 13s cricket team. But there’s a good reason behind it, I’ve been working on a video blog, or “vlog” as they’re known (I am soooo up with all this modern intergoogle web lingo stuff) about Australian History. But now that’s up and running (smoothly on occasion), I can hopefully devote some time to normal blogging as well.

So we just got back from taking Mighty Matilda the MU-X to Magnificent Moreton Milsland (yes the M is silent). Turns out that in Brisbane at least, the purchase of an Isuzu gets you a free return trip on the Micat ferry to the island, so that’s just too good an opportunity to pass up, even for a bloke like me who has always preferred bush camping to beach camping. So with an RDO on the Friday, a long weekend it was.

To say I was a bit keen would be an understatement. The barge was due to depart at 12:30 and due to an outburst of exuberance we arrived at 11:00, while our travel companions/tour guide arrived just before kick-off. While waiting in the queue to barge it up, the sound of air hissing out of a couple of dozen tyres convinced me that now would be a good time to take care of this important task. And this is where it pays to pay attention to what you’re doing good people. Sitting there letting air out of Matilda’s front tyre I got to talking to the bloke beside me, another MU-X owner. While distracted, and deciding the tyre was sufficiently deflated, I undid the tyre deflator only to have the tyre valve come out with it. While the tyre was quickly going flat, a mad search of said valve was conducted only to find out it was still in the gauge. No worries a quick reinsertion and a discreet 30 seconds on the air compressor and all was good. I don’t think anyone noticed………….


Anyhoo, an hour and a bit later, with the big smoke long far behind us and invisible to the naked, or even the fully clothed eye, the rumble of dozens of fourby engines signalled the charge off the HMAS Micat, onto the beach and Tony and Janita took us North to what is quite possibly one of the nicest camp grounds I’ve been to in a long time. A wide open clearing, ringed by tall trees which kept the whole thing nicely shaded, and a gruelling 10 metre walk to the beach. Pretty rough, hey.

The contrast in our camping set ups was a sight to behold. Me and my much better half have a standard swag/gazebo/table and milk carton kind of an arrangement. Our guides had the latest Patriot Camper trailer completed with hot and cold running water, dunny, kitchen and the list goes on. But to be fair, they also had two young’ns aged 5 and 2, so if I was camping with mini-humans I’d probably take whatever was needed to maintain sanity. With that said though, they are fantastic kids and we enjoyed every moment of their company (so stop apologising Janita..)


Camping on Moreton Island
                                  Nice and simple

The rest of that first day was dedicated to some intensive relaxation with a bit of fishing, a bit of sitting, a bit of eating, a bit of drinking and ending with a bit of sleeping. There was a little bit rain around but about the only real effect it had on us the entire weekend was heading to bed about half an hour earlier than we normally would have. It kept up for most of the night but the worst of it was done by the next morning.

After a lazy start to the next morning we headed off for a bit of an explore as our fearless leaders took us inland and then to the northern most point of the island where the historical Moreton Island Lighthouse hangs out. The view from up there is something to behold as you look back at the island disappearing off into the distance, with the waves crashing into the rocks behind and below. I’m reliably informed that at the right time of the year you can sit up there and watch the whales cruising by, but alas not in mid-May.


New Zealand, Lighthouse, Moreton Island
New Zealand as viewed from Moreton Island Lighthouse

In the same area are the Champagne pools, which taste nothing like champagne I can assure you (maybe the brochure could point this out??). It is so called due to the waves coming over the tops of the rocks, getting all bubbly and forming pools in the sand on the landward side. Sitting here with a couple of beers in summer wouldn’t be too hard to handle I reckon.

Now, on the way back we were planning on driving along the beach, rounding the point and heading south back to the campsite, but as is the norm on an island built entirely of shifting sand, things had changed a little since our guides were last here, and so a u-turn was required and an alternative route was needed. No worries, said our guides and quickly ploughed through some soft sand and were up and over. But unfortunately this is where it became apparent my tyres were not low enough. When I’d deflated them before hitting the barge, it became apparent that my gauge had been bouncing around in Rusty the old Landcruiser, for too long and was somewhat inaccurate. So I did a bit of a ‘rough guess’ based on how much the tyres were bagging out. So far it hadn’t been an issue, but this one little bit of soft sand caught it, and we got stuck. Nothing too serious though, Tony and Janita back the big Pootrol up, delivered the Max Trax and we were soon on our way. But do you think they just left it at that dear readers? Of course not – pictures were taken, facebook posts were made and disparaging comments were provided by all and sundry. All part of the fun really.

An un-requested deficiency in forward momentum. Also known as ‘stuck’.

So anyway a good roast up in the camp oven followed the day’s drive and after another wet night it was unfortunately time to pack up, have a last dip in the sea and head back down to the barge for the imminent re-entry to the big smoke. It was only a quick trip and although I maintain that bush camping is still my preferred option, I will definitely be heading back for a longer stay in the not too distant future and will have a more thorough exploration of the remaining 95% of the island which we didn’t get to this time around.

Life is indeed good.

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