4 x 4 Australia



TOWARDS the end of last year, we spent a couple of months exploring the Queensland Central Coast from Airlie Beach and the Whitsunday­s down to Yeppoon. There are plenty of great camping spots and places to explore along this beautiful section of the Queensland coastline. It also hosts the southern end of the Great Barrier Reef, and we had plenty of opportunit­y to enjoy this natural wonder from both afar and plunging in to the deep blue.

Airlie Beach is a must-visit and quite often the gateway for travellers to the Whitsunday­s. It is such a bustling little town full of tourists, backpacker­s and the best party atmosphere.

While at Airlie we stayed at the Big4 Whitsunday­s, which is a great park for kids. Our girls had an awesome time on the 25 – yes, 25 – waterslide­s in the pool, playing minigolf and exploring the multiple playground­s. It’s definitely a family park and a great place to set up and explore the Whitsunday­s.

We went for a day trip to Whitehaven Beach, Hamilton and Daydream Islands for a great day out with just a little bit of everything the region has to offer. You could certainly spend weeks and plenty of money exploring these islands, but we opted to spend most of our time in Airlie.

After leaving Airlie Beach we headed not too far down the road to Cape Hillsborou­gh. This is a bit of a hidden treasure with a small tourist park set in the Cape Hillsborou­gh National Park. We parked here for a couple of nights and enjoyed the walk to the lookout early one morning, as well as the walk out along the cape at low tide. The highlight of our stay here, though, was getting to see a mother turtle returning to the ocean after laying her eggs early one morning. These creatures are simply amazing. We spotted her while on the beach at sunrise feeding the kangaroos. Once again, enjoying everything nature has to offer.

There are also some great camping spots inland of Mackay and we spent a night at Kinchant Dam, a fantastic spot for boaties and skiers, before a couple of nights on a farm stay at Finch Hatton Gorge. We did the walk in to Finch Hatton Gorge and enjoyed a refreshing swim at the end. This is another great little national park well-worth a visit.

We also pushed the 79 up the range to Broken River, which is a perfect camping spot for tent campers in dense rainforest complete with awesome walking tracks, views and the most adorable wild platypus. I think it is one of the few times we have kept the girls

quiet for a good 10 minutes, watching the platypus just doing its thing.

Our next stop down the Queensland coast was at the much-anticipate­d Notch Point. We had heard our travel mates talking about how this was a great free camp right on the water, and they weren’t wrong. Notch Point is set on private property an hour out of Mackay. You need to be fully self-sufficient and at least semi off road-capable to enjoy Notch Point. There is no power, water or facilities, but this didn’t worry us and the views and location definitely make up for it.

The trip in is mostly dirt road and requires a bit of negotiatin­g around trees, cowpats and mud holes. We had a great time with some mates getting through the mud after 20mm of rain the night before. We tested out the Bruder

Expedition’s tipping point when the 79 hit a mud pit and almost lay her on her side, making for a great shot and some fun in the mud! As expected the 79 gracefully pulled her out and back up on dry ground. We camped right on the water and spent a few days just relaxing with no phone service or hustle and bustle, for a good recharge before hitting Yeppoon.

We absolutely loved Yeppoon and spent a week exploring the area including Byfield National Park and Great Keppel Island, but we’ll let you know all about this another month. You could spend weeks exploring the Queensland Central Coast as there is something for everyone; white sand beaches, beautiful nature hikes and attraction­s, and some great four-wheel driving adventures.


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Daydream is one of 74 islands in the Whitsunday­s, with Whitehaven Beach, bush walks and more.
DREAMIN’ Daydream is one of 74 islands in the Whitsunday­s, with Whitehaven Beach, bush walks and more.
 ?? ?? YUMMO Feeding the ’roos at Cape Hillsborou­gh National Park.
YUMMO Feeding the ’roos at Cape Hillsborou­gh National Park.

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