Paddling the Noosa River

On the day the world was ‘officially’ supposed to end, EB and I took off up the Noosa River on Australia’s Sunshine Coast for some paddling.

Copyright: Louise Ralph

Past paddling days along the upper reaches of the Noosa River

There’s nothing like camping and paddling along a gorgeous river, far from the silly-season crowds, to bring back a little perspective. That was the plan, anyway.

Our intention was to camp at Harry’s Hut on Noosa River’s upper reaches, which is only accessible by 4WD or on  foot. But height became our undoing.

We’ve been here many times, but this was the first time we’d negotiated the rough track in the Douglas Albert – and with our double kayak on top. We laughed at the distinct possibility that we’d almost get there, then not be able to get under or around a thick low-hanging branch.

Try a fallen tree, propped in the fork of a tree on the opposite side of the road, just low enough to shave the roof of our motorhome (and the kayak with it).

With shallow gullies either side and dusk settling around us, we had no choice but to shrug, do a 25-point turn (okay, slight exaggeration) and head back to the more accessible Boreen Point camping area, on the edge Lake Cootharaba.

We found some privacy beside a paperbark forest, far enough from the camping hordes settled in for the long holidays.

Copyright: Louise RalphWaking to a chorus of crickets the next morning, we set off to paddle across the lake towards the lower reaches of the Noosa River – and into a haze of smoke from bushfires on both river banks.

Along the sheltered edge of the lake, a sting ray nestled on the sandy bottom, its white-spotted brown body just visible.

Flashes of silver surrounded us as fish leapt out of the water. Now if we’d been fisher-folks…

Copyright: Louise RalphThe egrets we usually see here had evacuated, but a brahminy kite circled above us and darters extended their snake-like necks from safe perches to watch us passing.

The world didn’t end, and Christmas is upon us. Time to eat, drink, be merry – and plan our next trip or three.

Oh and to see if Santa will deliver a light-weight, waterproof, smashproof camera for our paddling, hiking and cycling adventures.

Cheers reindeers, and happy travels,

Lou and EB

Copyright: Louise Ralph

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