I was travelling from the gold Coast inland and saw Canungra on the map. I called the Showgrounds and booked in there for an overnight stay. I liked it so much I stayed a few days camping beside a tree just below the facilities which were an easy walk in the dark. There are powered sites above around the arena for $25 and unpowered sites along the river for $10. Great prices and great sites.
The river bed was edged in beautiful old, old trees, with huge trunks and leafy shaded areas where tents were erected as the busy weekend came up. Most camped right next to the water, where there were ducks and geese, and also a resident platypus that I never managed to see. Campers fished in the waters and also caught yabbies.
Camping sites are full of large trees offering shade on your tents during the day. The place is both a visual and an audible treat with songs of birds and sounds of water from the nearby creek. The sites are also very close to a swimming hole, so make sure you pack your swimmers if you’re coming up on a hot day.
The Canungra Showgrounds house entertainment for adults and children alike with plenty of space to ride bikes and swing from ropes. You can also build a camp fire and roast some treats, perfect for eerie nights with spooky stories around the fire.
Hot showers, toilets, and a common eating area are on offer at the Canungra Showgrounds. For all enquiries regarding hiring Canungra Showgrounds and Canungra Showgrounds camping sites phone 07 5543 5904.
The shopping centre is a few kms down the road, and at weekends it is a hive of activity as many people head to Canungra for the weekend. There is a bakery, grocery and coffee shops and restaurants. The Military Jungle training camp is in this area too as I drove past when going to the Showgrounds. We are right in the mountains and the scenery is beautiful and the roads excellent.
Camping is easy at Rainbow Beach. You make a booking at National Parks at the cost of $6.50 a night, and armed with your permit you head for Inskip and search for the area you have your permit for. I booked into Dorrigo as that was the only campsite available for 2WD. The other camp sites are for 4WD because of the sand. I could park at the first level and I chose a spot close to the toilet. I changed the next day to where the toilets were bigger and cleaner.
The weekend was busy with campers at a maximum but from Monday I was virtually the only camper there so it was quiet, peaceful and perfect. There were paths to the beach and also you could walk along the shore and down to the water. It was very windy this week and I chose to stay above on the shore mostly. The beach was deserted once the weekenders left and only the sea gulls chose to wander down on the sands.
Inskip Peninsula is a narrow, sandy finger of land built up by wind and waves. It forms a natural breakwater at the entrance to Tin Can Inlet. Camping in Inskip. Beach she-oaks, cypress pine and other coastal trees and shrubs shade Inskip Peninsula’s camping areas which are ringed by open ocean beaches and sheltered estuary shores—all within 15 minutes drive of Rainbow Beach
The sunrise was over the water and the sunset was on the other side. I walked to the sunrise and was always the only person on the beach. It was very beautiful in the morning.
So many times I walked along the Marina looking at the boats and the yachts and the reflections in the water. How I wished I knew somebody with a yacht who would let me sit on the yacht and watch the colors of the day change.
The fishing boats were amazing too. I walked the jetties and looked at the boats there with not a soul nearby. The whole Marina empty of visible human life…just me and the camera just walking along..
Tin Can Bay did not disappoint me. I got the most beautiful sunrise that covered the bay with color, that filled the water, and that reflected onto the shore and the surroundings. I ran from spot to spot taking photos and smiling to myself. I am so happy when I am surrounded by a sunrise.
Why do Sunsets and sunrises make us feel so happy? We feel this happiness because we are part of the vast and integral system called nature … and everything about nature causes positive feelings within us
Philosophically, each of these events signifies the end and the beginning of something that should reach its ultimate destination. A new day starts with the sunrise which signifies newer opportunities in life and a chance to do better. The end of a trying day tells you that there’s more to it; even if the day wasn’t as good, it is going to end ultimately. Both are satisfying for the eyes and the heart- in ways only the observer can tell.
I went to say Hello to a lady I met by the Marina as she was living at Russell Island before they moved to Tin Can Bay. When I told her my name was Maggi, they laughed as that is the name of their dog. She also told me that they met a man the day before who had the same name as their other dog. I am sure both he and I had our names long before the doggies were even born. Anyway… Here is Maggie….and as you can see, she is happy and friendly and loves meeting people.
It must have been my day for meeting dogs and their owners. I walked down to the Marina and there was a dog also looking at the sunrise. I took a photo and smiled at its owner and said I think your dog likes me. His reply…My dog likes anyone who would give her a pat….Smile!!
I went to Tin Can Bay Marina wanting to have dinner there, and looked at the Restaurant and loved it. The I decided to just go home to the Caravan Park after the sunset, and that is what I did. I walked around the Marina and the fishing boats and loved the evening.
The next morning the sunrise was beautiful. There were lots of people walking on the grass and the track all happy to say ‘Good morning’ and share a smile. A man called to his dog and the dog ignored him. I said something and the man grinned and said his dog was like a woman, she would sniff, lick, walk off and not listen to a thing he said. Another man I walked with for a while said, he came to Tin Can Bay five years ago for a visit and never left. I remembered speaking with him a few years ago. His face is very memorable. It sure is a small world.
I walked down the street to the boats to see the dolphins but they were not there. There was a generous crowd of excited children all waiting for the dolphins too. It was too busy to get a breakfast and the café was not open. I walked back along the marina and went back to the Caravan for toast and tea and talked to a few birds.
I booked into Kingfisher Caravan Park because I always stay there. I discovered the caravan Park was now run by the original owner’s sister and I missed the old faces. However, change was apparent. The grounds were beautifully maintained with colourful plants and the sites were carefully allocated in specific areas with cement blocks, and I was lucky enough to get a tree, and a friendly neighbor, who helped me set up my van and my annex, so I was very happy.
I went walking to see the sunset with my new friend and we walked down past the Tin Can Bay Marina following a bird walk track and discovered the best viewing for a sunset was the Marina itself.
The best view for the sunrise was the Bay opposite the Caravan Park, so that’s where I headed at Dawn and I was not disappointed. The sunset was as usual, magnificent and I walked the length of the walking track taking photos and saying good morning to other walkers with their dogs also doing the morning round.
Rainbow Beach is situated right on the edge of the Great Sandy National Park which includes Cooloola, Inskip and Fraser Island Recreation Areas. https://parks.des.qld.gov.au/ Camping is $6.50 a night and you need to get a camping permit from National Parks to stay overnight. Day trips are free. There are different camping areas at Inskip, and you need to make sure you are booked into the correct camping ground. I drive a 2WD so I needed a camp with 2WD access. There is one only…and that is at Dorrigo. There are toilet blocks every 50 meters or so with a sink and tap for washing hands, and huge industrial rubbish bins are at the exit for placing your rubbish and recyclables. The sand is very soft, and the paths are covered with bark for easy driving, but go off track and you get bogged in the soft sand.
Those with 4WD vehicles have access to camping on the dunes adjacent to the beach and water with views of the sunrise. 4Wd vehicles drive along the sand beside the water, and there were children, water craft and fishermen fishing along the surf or out at sea in their motor boats. Weekends had this area literally full of campers but came Sunday night and almost all vanished leaving me behind for a week of perfect peace and quiet with just a few other mostly older nomads in their caravans with little dogs and quiet wives who seemed to come out at night to sit by their campfire and cook the daily catch. There were birds but mostly in the trees or on the sand when a fisherman was around and the odd backpacker was frowned at by the older nomads who had no idea where they came from. The beach was mostly deserted as the older nomads tended to stay in their caravans under their little awnings to keep out the sun and complain about the weekend crowd who were noisy and lively.
I chose to move on when the weekend was due and booked into a caravan Park at Tin Can Bay. Much as I loved camping at Rainbow Beach, I missed having a shower and water to wash in, and my precious drinking water was now running low and the surf was a long walk away from the camping area with the low tides.