If you haven’t headed out to Inskip Point a few hours north of the Sunshine Coast yet, make sure its on your list. Brian was not convinced it would be worth the 1+ hour detour from the Bruce highway. But it most definitely is!! You do need to book on line with National Parks BEFORE you get there, but I did this parked in Gympie on the day we arrived. It is the usual cost for Nat Parks approx. $7 per adult, per night. You do not book individual sites; you can choose your own spot when you arrive, on a first in, best position basis.
One fact worth knowing – its perfectly good bitumen ALL the way.
We took the time to pop into Tin Can Bay. It is very pretty, we stopped for lunch right out on the point, but the other park along the waterfront is nice as well.
We then “short-cutted” through the Cooloola Cove estate check out this very posh sounding suburb. Oh dear, it was just another regular low cost housing estate really.
Onwards to Rainbow Beach, definitely worth a visit and a wander round, but it can be done very easily as day trip from Inskip Point. Make sure you climb the big sand blow, and then run as fast as you can back down….
Inskip is then a very easy 9 kms or so from Rainbow, but once there you have to make a decision about “where” to stay.
There are 6 camping areas, but if you have a caravan, you can only sensibly access 2 of them, Dorrigo and Sarawak.
At Dorrigo campsite we saw lots of caravans, so we pulled up along side the fence and went for a “walk around”. Brian was worried about the soft deep sand, despite the many other vans present. If you wanted to consider Dorrigo area, I would recommend a good walk around first, AND letting the tyres down all round before you attempt access. Many of the vans were parked near the road, the campsites nearer the beach are really only campervan/tent friendly. Most of the campground is lightly treed and open, good for the solar panels.
So we ventured further on, ignoring Beagle and Natone sites as we had been warned these are not suitable for caravans at all.
We drove to the Sarawak campground (the last of the campsites) and as the road looked quite solid we drove straight on in. We parked up and did our usual walk around. Just as we settled on a less than optimal site, I noticed a couple of campers taking down their tent on a site that was perfectly positioned. I brazenly approached them and “yes, they were moving” (at 4pm??) and if we wanted to wait 30mins we could have their “position A”.
For those considering camping at Sarawak, be aware it is fairly heavily treed, and most sites are quite shaded (not so good if you don’t have portable solar panels) but we lucked out a perfect spot in the open area, right on the beach. It did also happen to be right next to where the huge sink hole appeared last year!!
We did a few awesome walks along the beach, both south to Dorrigo camp (about 3.5 kms by beach) and north to the Fraser barge loading area (about 1.5 kms). It is also possible to hop onto the Fraser Is barge (for free) and spend some time wandering around on the southern tip of Fraser. Plenty of campers were fishing (not even going to count our short muck around as “fishing”) but we didn’t notice too much being caught.
A few other things to note: Beagle and Sarawak campground have “still water” beaches as they are on the south side of the channel between Fraser Is and the mainland. Dorrigo and Natone have “surf” beaches, very pretty, but not as suitable for swimming.
Also, if you miss the turn into Sarawak camp, don’t panic, there is a big turn around/parking area (still bitumen) before you come to the Fraser Is barge access. It was even suggested to us that we could park overnight on this bitumen area if we were too concerned about the access into the campgrounds with the caravan.
All the camps have perfectly good drop toilets, and large skip bins for rubbish, but otherwise there are no facilities, with drinking water only being available at Rainbow Beach.
There is good phone reception for both Telstra and Optus – good enough to hotspot onto the computer for accessing the rest of the world. This was one of the best spots we have ever camped, though I have heard it may lose it charm during busy times. We had a perfect 5 star stay.