The plan this Easter had been to canoe up the Noosa River and go Bass fishing, we waited until the last minute on this plan. We had six of us going with Chris and Barb flying in from New Zealand and Kirsty and Jen coming with us also.
Easter started the 10th April and the rain started the 2nd April. We had more than the average rain for the whole month in a few hours on the 2nd April and then on 3rd April we had it all over again. Widespread flooding took place especially in the exact area we were planning to go paddling and fishing.
The flooding of the Kin Kin pub close to the place we entered the river did not encourage us and then on Tuesday the Parks and Wildlife people closed the park until Good Friday it was really looking bad. The rain kept coming and by Wednesday the park closed for Easter. We saw the man who ran the Elanda Point Camp grounds and was to supply our canoes, on television. He was showing his grounds, they were in a mess after all the rain and flooding.
That was it! It looked like we were stuck at home for the Easter break. Chris and Barb suggested that we just drive west for a while. Definitely it would be dryer the further west we went. We thought this was not too bad an idea; this plan would get Alison and I out of the house and gave Chris and Barb their holiday.
Alison talked to Kirsty and she suggested going to a place called Boondooma Dam some 260 kilometres North West of us. We looked it up on the net and they were listed as a fishermen’s paradise, it appeared a solid plan was developing. I rang the camp grounds at the dam and they seemed to have plenty of camping so Boondooma it was.
We developed a rapid change in strategy; suddenly instead of preserve the weight and volume of a canoe trip it was throw everything you could think of in the truck and boat. Within 24 hours we undid a couple of months planning and re organised for a different kind of camping and fishing trip. We now had a two burner gas stove, a fridge and freezer , tables and chairs, a huge tent, with beds and air mattresses, tarpaulins and poles to build a tent city and food and grog to last four days.
We headed west early on Good Friday morning with the plan to meet Kirsty and Jen on the way or at the Dam. Our only stop was at Yarraman was dead. There were a few people standing around close to the unopened “Driver Reviver” caravan and the toilet block, otherwise town was empty. Yarraman had not started Good Friday yet, no shops for coffee or some kind of breakfast goodies. We packed up and headed on to Kingaroy.
Kingaroy had a McDonalds and so we stopped for a coffee and a break before we completed the last hour of the trip. We synched with the girls to find they were about ten minutes in front of us.
The Boondooma Dam was extremely busy, I suspect people from all over the Gold and Sunshine coast were heading west for their Easter break to keep out of that nasty rain. We found a camp site no problem on a hill not far from a block of toilets. It looked like the in thing to do was camp by the lake edge. We camped a short distance from the lake edge but still not too far away, we were in a position we could watch the activity on the boat ramp and in the camps below us at the water’s edge. We had my small tinny and our two-man canoe with us so we had plenty of water transport. The lake was around 47% full which wasn’t too bad, plenty of water to play on.
After the tents were up and Chris and went fishing in the afternoon. We headed towards the dam face to fish and got absolutely nothing around the rocks. We were using lures and nothing was chasing them. Just as we were giving up we saw Kirsty and Jen in the canoe on the other side of the dam. A brief chat with the girls indicated they had seen fish and had bites in a little bay across the dam from where we had been. We towed Jen and Kirsty back to the boat ramp so they could finish for the day and crossed the dam face to the small bay they had told us about.
Chris caught a baby something which we through back. We drift fished into the bay a number of times before it got too dark and we had to leave for camp. Rain showers had been on and off all day but they were light and didn’t really get in the way of good fishing.
The planning for a canoe trip had been months, the planning for this trip had been hours, the result was a few things got over looked. Such as the gas bottle connection to the stove and light. On Saturday I headed back East with Kirsty and Jen in search of a gas fitting.
We ended up in Wondai, which was an extremely pleasant little town, on a Saturday in the middle of Easter with a market running on the village green and a country and western couple of singers. They were two older gentleman dressed in Black trousers, blue shirts and had black Akubra’s on. They sang hearty renditions of popular country and light rock music to everyone in the central business district. We replenished our beer, so much for four days worth, and other necessities, found our missing gas fitting, and headed out-of-town to the sounds of “The Gambler” emanating from the village band stand.
It would have only taken thirty minutes to get home, however immediately outside the Hivesville pub the car completely stopped. I am afraid the four-wheel drive has a habit of this, especially when Kirsty is in it. This little town had been empty the day before, but now the pub had opened it had signs of life. We went into a wonderfully kept country pub with a wonderful feeling and fresh décor. Here we decide the beer was good and the pub was worth a second visit, if only to have the Sunday Roast the next day. After finishing the traditional schooner of beer the car like a miracle started again.
It rained every day but not enough to dampen our spirits; we spent hours from our high perch on the bank holding court on our fellow campers, playing cards and drinking coffee or alcohol depending on the time of day.
The girls went out most days fishing and on the Sunday caught some good fish much further up the dam. They told us they had scored their best bites using just plain old worms and not the fancy lures we had purchased. After beating Chris and I in the fishing stakes, the girls headed into Hivesville for Sunday roast.
Chris purchased some bait prawns, the worms had run out and we headed in the same direction the girls had been successful in, to see if we could top the girl’s efforts. We failed to score and figured this fishing must be a girl thing. That night along with some Kangaroo steak we cooked a couple of fish the girls kept from their fishing. We wrapped the fish in foil with some lemon and they were very good.
Kirsty and Jen left on Monday for work on Tuesday but we four oldies stayed on until Tuesday. This was mainly to avoid the traffic. On Monday night we got a complete bucketing of rain and according the very official statistics from the gossip at the camp store we had approximately 55 millimetres in an hour or so.
Tuesday morning we woke to the rain still falling on and off, all our tents and tarps were absolutely saturated. We faced the classic task of packing up in the rain, but we had a great time and nobody really complained.
On the way home we decided to check out whether there were people actually living in Yarraman and where better place to look than the Royal Hotel Yarraman at lunch time. It’s with pleasure I announce apart from the new owners of the Royal and their cook there’s at least 4 other people in Yarraman.
We arrived home to find that Bribie Island road flooded and the previous night had been impassable. So it seems the rain had continued to fall, our rain gauge added fuel to this theory by registering 122 millimetres over the period giving us four times the average rainfall for April in just 14 days.