Getting off the beaten track at Eurimbula National Park | Southern Great Barrier Reef

Getting off the beaten track at Eurimbula National Park

Hands up if you've heard of Agnes Water and 1770. I'm guessing most of you are now sitting at your desks looking rather silly. Let's just hope you're not reading this at work!

Now, keep your hands up if you've heard of Eurimbula National Park. By now I'm thinking that most of you have your hands back down by your sides. Not that long ago, I would've been with you, but now I'm the one with the smug look on my face and my hands still pointing to the sky. You see, I took the turn off 12k's out of Agnes Water and spent a couple of days within this stunning park.

If you looked up 'hidden gem' in the Oxford picture dictionary, I am quite positive that you would find several images of this 4WD only accessible region. A heavily corrugated dirt track leads in to the park through low lying paperbark swamps, wattle trees and bloodwood gums.

A 'Y' intersection offers the choice of two campgrounds within the park; left to Middle Creek or right to Eurimbula Creek. If you chose the blue pill, sorry, the right track, you'll soon find yourself at the only specified walking track in the National Park. So, for those that don't mind getting out of the 4WD and stretching the legs, there is a short walk (1.6km return) to Ganoonga Noonga Lookout. As with most walks to a lookout, the walk there is generally a bit tougher than the walk back, and so it is with this one. The good thing is though, the walk is on a maintained track up well formed steps and terminates on top of a large granite outcrop. Views across the low lying heathlands towards 1770 are a reward for your effort.

Back in your fourby and heading towards Eurimbula Creek camping ground, the track narrows and changes from corrugated dirt to soft sand.At this point it's a good idea to make sure those front hubs are engaged. Slow down on this section of track too. Not only for the fact that it is quite tight and twisty, and there may be oncoming traffic, but because the coastal rainforest that you are driving through is quite spectacular.

All too quickly, you have arrived at the campground and it's time to find your pre-booked campsite. The campsites cater for all types, from the solo traveller rolling out their swag to large groups of family and friends with camper trailers set amongst the shady trees just metres from the beach.

Now, I've just let the cat out of the bag. The Beach. In a word, it's stunning. A golden, sandy beach that at low tide, nearly stretches out as far as the eye can see into Bustard Bay. Time your visit just right, and you'll feel like Robinson Crusoe on your own tropical island amongst the palm trees. Being in the lee of the headland at 1770, the waters remain calm and small waves gently roll in to the shore. Take your time and walk for kilometres along the wide, open beach towards Round Hill Creek.

The only thing that you have to be on the lookout around here for, is the LARC that makes its way up the beach towards Bustard Head a couple of times a day. But don't worry too much. It's bright pink, so you can hardly miss it!

If you plan on trying to catch your dinner, the mouth of Eurimbula Creek is as good a place as any to try your luck. For the more hard core fishing enthusiast, the campground at Middle Creek will suit your style more, with direct access to the unspoilt estuary of Middle Creek from the boat ramp .There are 12 camp sites here tucked behind the headland.

So, if you're looking at exploring one of those places that the locals like to try and keep for themselves, spend a couple of days at Eurimbula National Park. Just don't tell anyone I told you, and remember the insect repellent!

This blog post was written by Matt Williams, who was a guest of the Southern Great Barrier Reef.

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