Saturday, July 29, 2017

Balgal Beach to Murray Falls Campground via Ingham & 5 Mile Creek. Frid. 28th July

For the first time this trip a down sleeping bag was overkill. The night was warm and balmy once the wind dropped, and just the sheet sleeping bag liner was sufficient. Until about 4 am when forced awake by a full bladder and enough of a chill to use the down bag opened out as a quilt.

What was an almost perfect camp site was spoilt by the presence of two bright street lights, right slap bang in the middle of the camping area. Useful only to attract insects for the night birds, but for those of us who like to sleep in total darkness a nuisance.

Dawned clear and without any sea breeze. An easy start as we only had a short distance to cover. 165km to our next campsite. Back on the Bruce Highway and on to Ingham for morning coffee, and buy lunch & dinner supplies.

5 Mile Creek is just a few km short of Cardwell. We'd stumbled upon it on our 2012 trip. A km off the highway, a shady grove with picnic tables and toilet block on the banks of a crystal clear creek with a fantastic swimming hole complete with easy access via stairs, platform and ladder. Totally deserted. A very welcome pre lunch swim.

Lunch was fresh sourdough bread, sun dried tomatoes, kalamata olives, avocado pear, rocket leaves and some fresh blue cheese we'd picked up at the deli in Ingham. Yum. The only thing missing was a bottle of chilled Pinot Grigio.

On thru Cardwell with its great ocean views to Hinchinbrook Island to our turn-off to Murray Falls. The last 20km was on an excellent recently re-sealed deserted country road that wound through cane fields and up a valley and into the National Park. The last 2km was on a reasonable gravel road into the park and the campground.

Back in 2012 - about a week later in August - we'd found the campground almost completely deserted. Perhaps 3 or 4 campervans/RV's/caravans scattered about the large open grassy area. Many more this time. Clearly it has been discovered by the Grey Nomads. We still managed to find a great spot to set up camp. Within earshot of the falls and tucked away from the main area. We were set up by 2pm and after a swim, watched as over the rest of the afternoon more campers continued to arrive - even after dark.

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