So the pandemic and its associated restrictions has taught me to appreciate some things I took for granted: not the least of which is how beautiful and wonderful my own surrounds really are, how my environment provides me with so much luxury in terms of food, climate and nature to nurture my soul. I have always appreciated how beautiful my little corner of the world is but the recent restriction on movement has deepened my appreciation of simple pleasures and the joys of camping. Really there are much worse places to be locked down in than south east Queensland. I am pretty sure I am one of those people with a wanderlust gene, I am not particularly happy when stuck in one place. I am also the kind of person who desperately needs to recharge with a bit of solitude and quiet time, preferably in close contact with the natural world. So being trapped in town for the last couple of months has felt frustrating and claustrophobic, have you ever seen video of cows released to pasture after a winter in doors?
Well that is how I felt last weekend. Travel restrictions lifted, camping allowed and my first weekend camping for months. Normally it is just G and I that go on these camping excursions but our entire family felt the need for escape and even my city loving daughter joined us on an extended long weekend at Woodgate, lovely, peaceful Woodgate. I did not do much, did not do any long walks or take many photos, nor did I plan much in the way of blogging, mostly I just spent time on the beach, that lovely, long, lonely beach.
We did visit both the Walkers point and Theodolite Creek ends of the beach as they are the off leash ends of the beach. I watched Ada try and herd fish and discover that no, she can’t breath under water. I swam in the cold ocean, reveling in the exhilarating cold and feeling really alive for the first time in weeks. I let Ada’s sense of wonder at this new environment enrich my own sense of wonder and joy. Joy really is contagious and there is nothing like a dog to help you see the world with fresh, joyous eyes.
Both the Theodolite creek and the Walkers point ends of this particular piece of coastline provide excellent, estuary fishing, although using a hunting hound is not the recommended method. This was my dad’s idea of paradise and I spent a childhood living on mud crab and sand whiting, simple meals of local seafood and lettuce and tomatoes bought from local farmers, as a kid you never really appreciate just how lucky you are. I also spent a lot of time covered in sand fly and mosquito bites, calamine lotion was also a familiar part of that childhood. On this trip Bronte found herself providing the bug buffet and despite the fact she was covered in itchy bites and hives she also did not want to go home at the end of our short stay. It is a particularly magical location, surrounded on all sides by national park, the beach protected by the northern end of Fraser Island, a gentle sea for swimming that supports abundant life; turtles, dolphins and dugongs.
Wildlife is prevalent, although not as prevalent on this visit as previous, in the past I have practically tripped over echidnas and the local grey kangaroos roam the manicured lawns of the locals. The fires of last summer have left a scar on the landscape, with sections of the national park largely silent and skeletal after the decimation of the summer.
We stayed at NRMA Woodgate beach, a great place to stay, right on the beach, dog friendly and with an excellent cafe, the Serentity Cove cafe, although on this visit the cafe was still only operating as a takeaway due to pandemic restrictions but we had a perfect fish and chip dinner from the cafe one night and coffee and pancakes one morning. I missed sitting over a coffee on the cafe deck, a truly beautiful spot but next time hopefully.
On check in they also give you a complimentary doggie bag with a doggie biscuit for the canine member of the family and extra poo bags. It is real luxury to be able to visit such a pristine location with a dog, obviously the canine cannot enter the national park but the beach provides plenty of entertainment. The local roos are just as likely to join you on the beach, they are certainly prevalent on the manicured lawns, a very good reason to always keep dogs on leash, for the safety of both the wildlife and the hound.
It is the quiet nature of Woodgate that makes it so special, no real shops, just a small store and post office, a long esplanade of holiday houses, a caravan park, a bowls club and a pub. The pub meals are excellent by the way. It is a magical place to recharge and enjoy peace, just wish we could have stayed longer.