What would you say if I told you that you could camp on an unspoilt beach just 45 minutes from Bundaberg? What would you say if I also told you that you may even have the beach all to yourself if you time it just right? Let's say a sneaky little mid-week getaway...
Well, if you own a 4WD and that sounds like your idea of an awesome couple of days away from the rat race, then listen up....or keep reading as it may
So, you're in need of a getaway, but you haven't got a lot of time up your sleeve. Well, first things first, get yourself to Bundaberg. That's the starting point for this little adventure. Everyone's heard of Bundaberg. It's where the (in)famous Bundy Rum comes from, and the Bundy Rum Distillery is actually your first port of call. Seriously, did you think that you were going to visit Bundaberg without paying homage to the quintessential Aussie spirit? Apart from visiting the visitor centre, you can also join one of the many tours that are held throughout the course of the day, and learn some of the secrets that go in to making Bundy Rum. On special tours, you can even blend your own rum!
After your tour, and a little taste of the product, it's time to fill the fuel tanks and head south out of the city. You are now on your way to Burrum Coast National Park, and the Kinkuna Section to be specific. Just follow the signs and it's not too long before the bitumen gives way to a dirt track and then you get to see one of my favourite signs. The one that says '4WD Access Only'. You see, a lot of the tracks in the National Park are soft sand and also dry weather only tracks. The other thing that I forgot to mention earlier, is that you can drive your 4WD all the way down on to the beach! How good is that?
Not long after entering the park proper, a track on your left leads you to Coonarr. However, if fishing is your thing, you'll find some sidetracks that take you through the melaleuca forest to a great little creek, just waiting for you to flick a lure or two. If only I had bought my rod!
Back out on to the main track, it's just about time to drop your tyre pressures, as either the track behind the dunes, or the beach run itself can get pretty soft. Attention now turns to finding that perfect campsite. Believe you me, when I say that it isn't hard to do. Being a National Park, you just have to remember to book first. The great thing with that is, the QPWS actually cap the numbers in the park. That way, even in the busiest of times (I'm looking at you Easter!) the beach doesn't get too crowded. If you do happen to make it here during the week and out of school holidays, you might just have the whole beach to yourself. I wasn't so lucky when I visited. There were actually two other people there!
You can pretty much camp anywhere behind the dunes underneath the she-oaks, and be lulled to sleep by the gentle lapping of the waves on the shore. That's another great thing about this spot. Being protected by Fraser Island, the waters of Hervey Bay are generally calm and crystal clear. Another reason to pack the fishing rod.
Depending on how long you do manage to wrangle yourself away from the daily grind, there is plenty more to see and do in the area, and I for one would have loved to have spent a whole lot more time exploring. Just to the south of Kinkuna, you've got the township of Woodgate, which offers more beachfront camping at Burrum Point.
However, I chose to head a little further south and back inland through the fertile plains to Childers to finish my short stay in the region.
Kinkuna and Burrum Coast National Park at a glance:
This blog post was written by Matt Williams, who was a guest of the Southern Great Barrier Reef.