Ever since covid our escape routine has been disrupted and we have had very few getaways but last week I took a much-needed week off and we retreated to the peace and quiet of Woodgate to relax and recharge. To the best of my knowledge, Woodgate is Gubbi Gubbi country and as always we acknowledge traditional owners and pay our respects to the people who belong to this country and have cared for it.
As a child, for a blissful few months, I had the luxury of living at Woodgate, before my parents bought a house in Childers, (just up the road and inland a bit), and we moved there. And yet despite that positive childhood memory, it was many years before I introduced Gary to Woodgate and it became our, go-to coastal escape. Not sure why it took so long, a bit out of the way I guess, and my time in Childers was not a happy time. My dad passed away when we lived there and the past has always left me feeling haunted.
Woodgate is magical though, a place of cool, calm breezes, gentle waves, soft sand and shady casuarinas. It is a place that envelopes you in a healing embrace. There are no real shops on the esplanade, a post office and takeaway, they do very good calamari and chips by the way. A real estate agent and the wonderful Serendipity Cove Café at the caravan park. There is a bowls club and a pub located at opposite ends of the sixteen-kilometre beach. Not much else to distract from the sea and the bush, you are effectively surrounded by the Burrum coast national park, lots of melaleuca and banksia, a wallum bushland. Kangaroos come out of the national park to graze on the manicured lawns of the local retirees and holiday homes, rainbow bee-eaters perform aerobatics at the edge of the bushland. Echidnas are common, although didn’t see any on this trip. Sand flies can be prevalent during the warmer months.
The sea is usually very flat and calm, perfect for paddle boards, not great for surfers. One morning noticed a single dolphin fishing with the birds and one day came across an obviously unwell sea turtle. We called the local wildlife rescue about the turtle, who came, they told us it is not uncommon at the moment, with all the rainfall over the last year the seagrass has been negatively impacted and we now have starving turtles and dugongs, just further victims of extreme weather associated with climate change. (This story about the plight of turtles and dugongs just appeared on the conversation). The turtle was in very poor condition but not without hope I guess.
We stayed at the NRMA Woodgate Beach Holiday Park as always. Even though the park is almost always busy, it never feels crowded or noisy. We highly recommend the park, the facilities are always clean, the camp kitchen has its own kitchen garden for guests to use and it is dog friendly and always welcoming. The café is excellent, whiting and chips on the beach is a must and coffee on the deck or at the tables with a slice of banana and blueberry loaf is bliss. I can’t believe I went for years without visiting this place but grateful to have re-discovered it and to have the opportunity to visit occasionally to recharge. I love nothing more than the joyous feeling of a cool ocean swim at Woodgate.
3 thoughts on “Coastal calm”
Woodgate looks heavenly, just the sort of place we look for. I’ve added it to my long long list for when we visit Queensland, not exactly sure when that will be, but hopefully not in sand fly time! I’ve experienced them in the NT and suffered badly.
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They don’t seem as bad as when I was a kid but I have not been there in the summer months. They are little monsters of the first order. 😊
Ah, what a beautiful place for a retreat. The ocean is always a restive place for me too. The loss of a parent can be a difficult time, even more so during the formative years of growing up. Dan and Bec’s dad died when they were both quite young, when we lived out west, and so we have a complicated relationship with that place too. I think haunted is a good way to describe it, place, grief and memory intertwined, casting a long shadow. It’s been my observation, though, that those who experience early grief and trauma, often develop a deeper sense of compassion and empathy for others. It’s good that you can take some time away to care for your soul.
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