Caravanning Inskip Point

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.

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The National Parks map of the area

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”.

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.

The local wildlife checking out some non locals

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.

Beach sunset, and social media – bliss!!!


Heading North


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At long last we hit the road again. Operations, rehab time and weddings done and dusted, we head north for better weather, more exploring, and our next job. The plan was to see some of the coastal areas we used to always miss on our speedy journeys to and from Cairns to the Sunshine Coast.

First stop, Inskip Point. So close to home, but we had never been there. We scored ourselves position A, on the beach at “Sarawak” campsite. For those who have also never been to this particular  part of Qld, add it to the list! I will write a review for those wanting more info on Inskip Point.

Qld winter weather turned unseasonably wet for the next few days – but we made our way to 1770/Agnes Water to revisit a favourite spot of ours. (Workmans Beach Bush Camp). Two days of beach walks in heavy rain, alternated with hunkering down in the caravan made us realise how precious we are. Wet weather camping is NOT fun, and best be avoided if we want to continue to cohabit peacefully.

But by our next destination the sun had come out, and our spirits calmed. For the first time we actually visited Yeppoon, and didn’t just scoot through Rocky.  We had a pleasant stay at the Yeppoon showgrounds, and caught up with some old friends, who toured us around their beautiful part of Qld.

After one night at Carmilla beach, we stopped at the Cape Hillsborough area north of Mackay. Another wonderful destination. Lots of lovely secluded beaches, abundant wildlife and some awesome walks.

After this we headed inland so Brian could revisit an old haunt of his “Greenvale”. (Think Slim Dusty song “Three Rivers Hotel”) Brian worked there in his early 20s helping build the railway and some of the town. We passed through Charters Towers on the way which was such a lovely surprise, fantastic history, and lovely restored buildings. As for the stop in Greenvale, unless you have a pressing reason to go there, don’t bother.

Our journey north ended with a weeks stopover in Malanda camped on my parents property. In true Malanda style, the rain came back and didn’t let up for the whole week but at least this time we could take refuge inside the house.

In the beginning…

Its hard to pinpoint the beginning of this grand adventure, its just something that has been part of Brian’s life plan for as long as I have known him! “One day I want to caravan around Australia”. Believe me, its way easier said than done. I can tell you now, there is NEVER a right time, never the “right” vehicle combination (you will always want more) and never enough money. So my advice to all is  “Do It Now” and the rest will look after itself.

Perhaps one of our main catalysts to getting ourselves on the road was when we were wandering through a Caravan and camping show one year (maybe 5/6 years ago). We stopped and watched a “Workabout Australia” seminar. We saw a glimmer of hope that we didn’t have to wait until the proverbial retirement to actually start the journey. and maybe we didn’t need a huge pot of money to back us up.

From then on a more serious strategy started to formulate. We made plans to sell Brian’s business, Brian became a mad keen internet shopper (as the budget didn’t stretch to brand new, we were determined to buy a good secondhand van) and I googled my way through every site I could find about working while travelling. Then fate stepped in – the exact van we wanted turned up about 15kms down the road! (the only other one comparable was in WA) So in May 2013 we bought our dream van, without any actual plans to leave! And we didn’t even had a vehicle that could tow it. So Brian then switched his searching to the perfect tow vehicle….

A few months later we had our set up. A 2011 New Age caravan, and a 2008 Nissan Patrol. We spent the next 12 months heading off to local van parks to figure out how things worked. By May 2014 it looked like Brian’s business would indeed sell, so I gave my boss 6 months notice and we had a tentative departure date!!!

One of the biggest decisions now was what to do with the family home!! Sell, rent or leave our youngest daughter in residence. We decided on the path of least resistance, leaving the youngest in situ. So much easier to just leave all our stuff there!! Shoved everything we “needed” to keep into the spare room, lucky Emma moved into our ensuited bedroom, and all the furniture/crockery just stayed in place. Easy! Emma and her flatmate pay a little board that covers household costs (rates/insurance etc)

We left home in February 2015. We had a wonderful year being “Newbie Nomads”.

I wrote about our adventures (and misadventures) on our blog 

But now I feel we are no longer Newbies, so I have progressed to this site, where I shall continue to chronicle all the good, the bad and the interesting encounters we have along the way.