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Kanu Kapers - The Sandpatch, Great Sandy National Park - QLD

sunny 23 °C

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The most impressive natural scenery is that which involves a journey. Not a leisurely drive in the family car, but a journey that requires effort exertion and time.
After an hour's paddle from Harry's Hut camping ground, where we'd spent the night, we then had a 2 hour hike, all up hill
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The Sandpatch in the Cooloola section of the Great Sandy National Park is the one most impressive natural spectacles to be found in Australia, and it is the journey to it that makes it so. It is possible to walk in to the Sandpatch from Elanda Point, on the north western shores of Lake Cootharaba, but the canoeist gets to experience the full grandeur of the ingress route up the Noosa River.
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We passed this cormorant warming up in the morning sun
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The river is coloured deep red in the shallows, and is utterly black at depths over a metre. The first couple of kilometres up the river after the lake section is quite narrow and winding, with many dead logs and trees in the water. This can make paddling up by starlight at night a cautious affair, as we discovered on the way back down.
Campsite 3 is the start of the six kilometre walk up to the Sandpatch.
The walk is easy, climbs about 1,000ft in altitude, and in humid summer conditions, can be a sauna.
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The walking track is easy to find and follow. a pleasant walk on mostly firm sand.
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However, as always there were some interesting sights along the way, such as this skink
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a busy bee
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a tree burnt out by aboriginals
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a nobbly tree
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this scribble tree
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this rusting tree
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and this bleeding tree, called a pink blood wood which produced red sap
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The first glimpse was exciting
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It was good to finally arrive at the sand patch we'd been looking at from the day before, especially for Ann who'd carried all the gear
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The lake visible to the south west from the Sandpatch is Freshwater Lake, with Lake Cootharaba further south.
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There are many variations in the colours of the sand, in the sandblow .

It is possible to walk down to Teeawah Beach at the eastern end of the sandblow.
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We found a shady spot to sit and enjoy lunch
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before all havign a snooze in the afternoon sun
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When we woke, we took a walk around the strange moonscape - made even more surreal with a fuzzzy head from sleeping
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The wind has created some unqiue patterns in the sand with this stray tree branch
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and blowing away sand to reveal wood underneath
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The wind had created some beautiful patterns in the sand
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The sand in places looked as though it was made up of small stones,
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but these were infact pieces of coloured sand that crumbled when you touched them.
The colours int he sand were amazing
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again,l disguised as rock, but crumbled upon touch
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These thin pieces of sand showed the colour variation clearly
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A little further on Matt picked up and dropped a piece of drift wood, which echoed around giving the impression the sand we were standing on covered a huge cavern (see video above).
So, to find out just how thin the surface we standing on was, he decided to dig!
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Thankfully, we didn't get through! I can't find any explanation for this hollow sound, other than one theory suggesting there is an alien spaceship underneath!!

The plan for our trip up to the sand patch was to watch the sunse.t and with such magnificent views, it didn't dissapoint.
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However, the drawback, was that we still had 1.5hrs to walk down, and an hour's paddle back - in the dark!
We did meet this fella goign about his business
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and then set off to find camp
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so, about those tree branches...??
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a great little adventure
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Posted by charlystyles 13:23 Archived in Australia Tagged everglades kanu_kapers cooloola_sand_patch harrys_hut Comments (0)

Kanu Kapers up the Noosa Everglades - QLD

semi-overcast 20 °C

No visit to Noosa on the east coast would be complete without a trip up the Everglades.
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and as I'm not one for sitting on a boat being a day-tripping tourist, it seemed a great idea to canoe and camp for three days, with two good friends I'd met previously, Matt and Ann.
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First order of the day was sorting gear, reducing it and trying to figure out how to get three days worth of food, water, clothes and campign gear into rather small storage holes in the kayacks!
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Then, it was down to Eland Canoe Launch for a splash about,
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a briefing, a map and a point in the right direction
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before setting off with the help of Caroline
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and then we were on our own,
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that bit of sand in the distance was our target for the next day - Cooloola Sand Patch
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First part of the trip took us across the expansive Lake Cootharaba
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stopping to investigate some crab pots
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until we took a left turn to the mouth of the Noosa River
past some pelicans just hanging out
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and along to the Kinaba Hut
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for a spot of lunch
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Heading back out in the kayacks, we made sure to avoid the turning to Lake Como (wouldn't want to end up in Italy)
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From the mouth of Kin Kin Creek across Fig Tree Point towards the Upper Noosa River, travelling between an adjacent small vegetated island built of sand and silt into the area known as the Everglades
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a beautiful, peaceful and mirror like river
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having a bit of fun under the branches along the way
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although, some were maybe a little bit too low for Matt
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after a little messign about on the river, investigating side turns and dead ends, which can be seen in the full video here:

we eventually arrived at Harrys Hut camping ground
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to be met by one of our companions for the next couple of days - a Lace Monitor
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where we unloaded EVERYTHING and set up camp for the next two nights
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Despite having two tents, it was deemed much more fun to squeeze into one - and incidentaly, it was warmer too!
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The following morning, after feeling like we'd slept on concrete all night, we were up for breakfast
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before paddling an hour further north
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for a hike up to the Cooloola Sand Patch to watch the sunset to be featured in it's own blog!

After safely arriving back at camp in the dark, and cooking dinner, it was time for some cards, where we discovered playing with a red light is not helpful to the red suits!
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The following morning, as Matt cooked bacon, we had a few visitors to camp,
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first one Lace Monitor, then two, then up to five! at which point it became a bit competitive
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After another test of how much stuff can you fit in small spaces, we set off back to the canoe launch
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Matt in change of the single kayck, which was good timing as the rudder bolts fell out half way home!
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nothing a little red wine couldn't improve
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this was our route home
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as we neared the end of the trip, I noticed somethign in the water and couldn't believe it when I saw an Echidna (large hedgehog) swimming!
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their long nose seemed to make a perfect snorkel
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but he seemed very out of place and going nowhere fast in this large lake, so we decided to rescue him.
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Matt scooped him up with his paddle, onto the back of the kayck where he slumped in releif
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and we made our way to shore
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Despite all the little mishaps on the way back, we arrived back at the Elanda Canoe Launch on time
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Final stop, to toast to a great few days messing about on the river was my favourite place in Noosa, The Boat House, for cocktails and sunset!
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Posted by charlystyles 13:13 Archived in Australia Tagged everglades kanu_kapers Comments (0)

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