Moreton Island Trip Report .. This is a pdf file


Paddle Coordinator – George

Swell less than 1.2m

Images by Dean.


Mooloolaba Launch

Smooth seas across to the Island

George rounding the Island

Pace 17 in Pursuit

Bob on the ‘Open Side’ of Old Woman Island

Submitted by Richard Sharpe
Not having done this trip before i thought it was worthy of a trip report demonstrating how the Bribie hump tide assisted us both ways.
Fourteen of us met at Donnybrook in very overcast conditions which turned into fine weather within a short time of leaving.
This time we had plenty of water on the launch beach with HT at Donnybrook at 9.31 Winds were very light SW with no appreciable sail assist.
Don was the trip leader and he was well versed in the track we were taking as he had done an exploratory a short time before.


Below is a chart of the trip.
It displays speed, on the vertical axis, versus time, on the horizontal axis.
You can clearly see the impact of the tidal flow on the trip.

A .. on the chart

With the HT at 9.31 we had an initial run in tide from Bribie for the first hour at least and were travelling at between 8-9km/hr. Somewhere between Tripcony Bite and Hussey Creek we arrived at the hump and now the tide was running out towards Caloundra, consequently our speed remained the same as we now had a runout tide.
We got to Roys Rd a distance of 12.5km in 1hr 41mins at an average speed of 7.5km/hr including the drink stops.
You can clearly see from the graph how our speed remained the same all the way to Roys.

B .. on the chart

For the first few km coming back we were pushing against the tide which was now running strongly with Don taking us on a route past Coochin and Hussey Creeks before we joined the main channel near Lime Pocket.

C .. on the chart

Again the hump was somewhere south of Hussey Creek and from then on we had a runout tide for an easy paddle home.
Again looking at the graph you can see how our speed gradually increased all the time after the hump.
Some of us stopped at Mission Pt for a break while the rest headed straight home.
Trip distance was 26.4km, but with the tidal assist for the majority of the trip it didn’t feel like we had covered that distance.
Those that made the effort to drive down to Donnybrook were rewarded with a most enjoyable paddle.Richard

Preparation Guidelines for an Extended Trip – George Reeman.

George heading for Sandy Cape, Fraser Island.After you have decided where you are going and where you will be camping, check if camping permits are required and if there is water available.
Tide times are very important. This may determine when you go. The further north you go the bigger the tides, and the harder it is to paddle against it.


Make sure the seat and back rest are comfortable.
All hatch covers should fit well, be water tight, and are tied on.
Deck lines must be in good condition.
A painter, attached to the bow, is excellent if required for mooring.
The most common problem on extended trips are rudders. Make sure the rudder is securely attached and the foot pedals operate freely; rudder cables are not worn or frayed. If so, replace them.
Check your paddle and leash.
Make sure your spray skirt fits the cockpit, it does not leak and can be removed easily in the case of a roll-over.


Personal Flotation Devices (PFD)
Make sure it is comfortable. Pockets are important to carry other safety items. A large pocket in the back of the PFD to carry a hydration pack is a good idea.
Personal Locating Beacon (PLB)
This should be carried in a PFD pocket and secured to the PFD. Check if your PLB floats upright when activated. Some do not. The aerial must be upright to send the signal to the satellite.
VHF Radio
Good for communicating with each other. Select a channel that is not common with local stations to contact each other, switch to dual watch so you can listen to Channel 16, the Emergency channel. On dual watch, Channel 16 will tell you which channel to change to for the weather report. You should also have a direct button to Channel 16 on your radio for emergencies. Notify the local VMR that you are in the area, and for how long, and what channel they use. Also, if you return to that area, don’t forget to cancel the watch with VMR. Hand held VHF radios are only good for about 3kms or line of sight, depending on the power of the set.

Remember to make it as easy as possible for a rescue boat or helicopter to find you.

Other safety devices that can be carried in the pockets of your PFD are:
A whistle, mirror, flare, day or night space blanket, and sea dye. Any of these are good for attracting attention.
A short tether line to secure yourself to the kayak is also a good idea, if you are offshore.
Plus, a survival knife.

The above items should be carried on you, not stored in a hatch. Many very experienced paddlers have lost or almost lost their lives because their safety equipment was stored in a hatch or cockpit.

Other equipment to be carried should include:- spare paddle, stored on the deck; emergency tow rope in the throw bag; electric bilge pump, backed up by a hand pump; sponge or bailing bucket. In case of minor damage, it is a good idea to carry a small dry bag containing bits & pieces, such as – small fibreglass repair kit, Dynasteel bog for plugging holes, duct tape, electrical ties, spare cord and a multi-tool.
You should always carry a map of the area. GPS is the common means of navigating these days, but a deck mounted compass is always an easy way of checking your heading. There is another device for informing people where you are, called SPOT. This small device acts like a satellite phone. It can be programmed into one or more home computers. If you press the transmit button it will show on the home computer exactly where you are. It also has a help button, if when pressed it will indicate on the home computer that you require help, and they can notify the authorities. There are many small power cells on the market these days that can be charged at home, and used to recharge radios, GPS, mobile phones, and other devices while on a trip. Also small Solar panels.


Most items i.e. food, clothing, camping gear, should be carried in dry bags. Always carry 2 days extra food in case you are held up by weather.
Other protective items are a hat or cap with back of the neck protection, sunscreen, insect repellant.


For carrying water I find a bag with carry strap, containing a 4lt wine bladder, can be hung in a tree for use. Depending on the length of the trip, additional 4lt wine bladders are ideal. They pack in better than 10l water bags. Always pack your water in the bottom of the kayak. A good place to carry water is in front of the rudder pedals. Don’t end up with your kayak bow -heavy when it is packed.
Carry straps:- For a loaded kayak, you require 2 carry straps. These can be made from seat belt webbing, with a loop sewn on each end approx 130cm. The straps should be threaded under the deck lines at each end, to prevent slipping off. If you have 6 people, you can use a third strap under the cockpit. This doesn’t need loops. This is useful if you need to carry any distance.

The above information is a guide only.

Cheers, George.

End of the Day – Fraser Island.

Dave Pass, in the company of five others, recently paddled from Urangan to Sandy Cape. All returned safely.

For those who would contemplate doing a similar trip, the following comments, from Dave, will be of interest.


August is a good time for the whale migration and the weather is generally agreeable.
The tides run strong into and out of Hervey Bay. Ebb tide to go north and Flood tide to go south.


We each carried around 15 litres.
We boiled all drinking water taken from the creeks.
We used creek water from Worilie Creek and at Awinya Creek.
We obtained tank water at Wathumba and at Sandy Cape Lighthouse.
We had info that water might be available from Bool Creek, 3.5 km before Sandy Cape Light.
However, the water we found was unusable. Investigating further along the stream might be worthwhile.
We did not land at ‘Carree’, the camp site at Sandy Cape. Water might be available there. (National Parks).


There are no toilet facilities at any site.


This site is shaded and beside the fresh water creek.
It has road access.

Awinya Creek.

This is the most popular camp. Fresh water creek, shade and the’ whale ‘ area begins from here north. Ranger Matt told us that Awinya is becoming so popular that that number restrictions may be introduced , especially at Easter.
It has road access.

Watumba Creek.

Popular with the boats.
Well sheltered, good shade. Water tank across the creek.
It has road access.

Rooney Point.

There is no camping between Watumba and Carree (Sandy Cape) and no beach driving, so no Rangers!
Sand hills predominate between Watumba and Rooney.
Inside (south) of Rooney , the hills are only 1 or 2 meters high, just an inconvenience. North side has good beaches but we found extreme weed for 10 km or so toward Sandy Cape.

Sandy Cape Lighthouse.

(Base of the track to the light).
Not an official camp site and the ranger checks!
A good site if needed and a walk up to the light will give views north over Sandy Cape. Ranger Matt told us of the tank at the right side of the track, adjacent to the lighthouse.

Carree, at Sandy Cape.

We did not beach there, but it looked good but popular.
It has road access.

Good Luck With The Weather!!

A 10 day paddle along the North West side of Fraser Island from the 18 th to 28 th August, 2016.

Expedition members. George Reeman, Bob Whiting, Garth Petersen, Albert Jansen, Graham Garrett and Dave Pass.
All are members of the SSRKC but the expedition was not a designated club activity.


George (Reeman) suggested it.
A paddle to sandy cape, 95km each way, with the probability of meeting whales as we journey.
NOTE from George. The objective is to reach Sandy Cape at the north tip of Fraser Island. This is not a whale watching trip. (Good luck, muttered Albert).

Day 1. Urangan boat harbour to Woralie creek – 28km.

7.30 found six club members at the harbor boat ramp, kayaks loaded with 12 days food and camping gear, 4 days water. We were keen to launch on this perfect winters day. A clear sky and light s/w breeze to help us on our way. 12 km past Big Woody Island as the wind stiffened and we were soon off moon point on Fraser and then to smoko at coongal point area.
Excitement as we saw considerable ‘whale’ activity so far south! This turned out to be white water at the sth end of coongal shoal.
Around mid day we hauled our heavy boats up the beach (low tide) to camp at Woralie Ck. (A 6 man lift, 3 straps, made carrying the boats reasonably easy). Lunch/set up camp and a welcome swim in the fresh water creek beside camp.

Day 2. Woralie Ck to Wathumba – 21km.

Friday dawned clear and calm.
We were launched by 8.30 and paddling north toward Awinya Ck, our intended smoko spot. Whales in the distance, wind and tide in our favour, happy campers! From Awinya some went wide to use the wind and some stayed close to shore to enjoy the coastal detail. We met at the creek entrance for a hard paddle/wade through shallow out running water (lowish tide) up the creek to Wathumba camp site.
Bob tried the fishing in the creek and Graham offered to top up water bottles at the Nat.Parks water tank across the creek. Others lazed/walked the beach untill happy hour.

Day 3. Watumba to Rooney Point – 24km.

Daylight brought a surprise! A large ‘tinnie’ had been deposited beside the camp on the high night tide. The moon was on the wane so tomorrows tide would not lift it off. With another boat towing and ten bodies pushing he was soon on his way.
Another perfect day as we paddled out across Platypus Bay. This north section of the bay is where the whales tend to gather, so we were hopeful of meeting some, especially Albert who had not ‘paddled with the whales’ previously. We were not disappointed. We soon had whales around, under and beside us while a DRONE hovered over us! Probably from some whale watching craft beyond our horizon. George tried to keep us on track, but Bob and Albert were all over the bay and Garth was way behind having a ‘close encounter with a whales tail’.
It is quite obvious when out there in our comparatively frail craft, that these huge creatures have no intention of ‘bumping’ into us.
And so it continued all morning, whales constantly in view, sometimes very close and the occasional huge turtle or pod of dolphins for variation.
With such great conditions, we decided to continue around Rooney Point to find a camp site. As we rounded the point, the crystal clear water of platypus bay suddenly changed to ‘soup’; brown thick pulverized sea weed. Bob the fisherman eloquently identified this as ‘snot weed’. Not only dirty and smelly but it sticks to anything it touches, including bodies, boats and sails!
We continued around the point in the vain hope it would at least thin out a bit, but eventually made a careful landing to camp on a pleasant beach under a good cover of casuarinas.

Day 4/Day 5. Rooney Point to Sandy Cape Lighthouse – 14km. (2 night camp).

Sunday morning weather continued in perfect style, virtually no wind. Dingo tracks around the kayaks as we packed to launch through the ‘soup’. Although no wind at this time of day, this section of coast is outside the protection of the bay and a moderate wave made for a cautious launch. Garth saw most of us away with a “knuckle’ launch; skirts on and quickly through the surf to minimize getting covered in muck. Not Albert, he launched himself, leg over each side and paddling hard! We spent 10 minutes scraping gunk off him, his boat and sail!
We were soon in the small bay below the lighthouse and continued on toward the cape a short way looking for an official camp site, found only a ‘no camping’ sign and returned to below the lighthouse.
Safely through the small surf to the open area at the base of the track up to the light, we checked the many national parks signs and found no “ no camping” sign, and so began the procedure of carrying the boats up. As we did so a 4×4 pulled up near the boats and ‘NORM’ stepped out. He must have been a Norm as his generous belly, wrapped in a broncos tee shirt proceeded him, and his big hand had a firm grip on a can of XXXX which he was inhaling through the gap where a front tooth used to be! A most friendly bloke who soon produced 6 coldies from the fridge and insisted on taking our group photo on everyones camera!
Lunch and camp organized we were about to set off for the walk up to the light when Ranger Matt and his apprentice turned up. He was quite astounded that we had appeared from nowhere and made it quite clear that we could not camp here. ‘Pack up and move to the official camp site 8km further on at Sandy Cape’ was his greeting. He had no chance! A compromise was reached, we would stay tonight and move on tomorrow. We parted company on good terms, but this gave the group a dilemma. Some considered the lighthouse to be a satisfactory terminus and had planned a rest day for tomorrow while others felt that anything less than the actual cape (8km further) was a cop out. Discussion resulted in the solution that Albert, Graham and Dave would take the easy option of a 16km paddle, wind and tide assisted, back around Rooney Point to find a camping site somewhere near the point. George Bob and Garth would take the tough option, a 32km paddle in which tide (and wind as it turned out) would turn against them and they would beach and launch through the soup for a break. Added to their difficulty was that Rooney point can get a bit rough with wind over tide conditions.
Not an ideal camp site as the sand hills extended well around the point into platypus bay. The second weary group arrived around 1.30 having made good time in some difficult conditions, but in the bay it was calm with whales often passing close in to our camp. This was just too much for the novice whale paddler Albert, who could not raise any enthusiasm for a group to paddle out to the whales. Off he went, dragging Bob across the beach to launch and spend a special time with just him and whales around and under him. ‘What a buzz’ was his comment.

Day 6 / Day 7. Rooney Point to Awinya Creek – 30km. (2 day).

Our intention was to paddle to Wathumba but conditions were ideal for a paddle straight across Platypus Bay to Awinya; slight sea and a light north wind to help us on our way. Once again the whales were around as we paddled along the coast toward Withumba for smoko in the shadow of the high sand hills, then south across the bay. By midday, tide and wind had turned against us so the final hour or so was a hard slog on tired arms. Relieved to finally reach Awinya and preparing to carry the boats across the beach (low tide) a family, mum/dad and 2 adult sons, came and insisted on helping carry the boats up. No argument from us! They were quite fascinated that we oldfellas could paddle all the way from ”that point” so far away it was almost out of sight.
The forecast was for strong winds, nth/w to S/W, for the next few days, so we pegged the tents down well and were grateful that it was a planned rest day tomorrow .At least we had shelter among the casuarinas and clean soft grass under foot, not to mention the fresh water ck behind camp.

Day 8. Awinya c k to Coongal Point. 15km.

Thursday dawned grey and cold but after the rest day we were impatient to be on our way ‘home’. A very heavy surf was rolling onto the beach, wind S/W 20knots gusting 25knots. We chose to wait as the forecast indicated it might ease around mid day and the tide run would also ease about then. We decided to launch at 11am as the surf was now down to 4 rows of breakers with the occasional ‘big’ one rolling in from far out. Bob was the last to launch , having helped the others to ‘knuckle’ their way off the beach. With the occasional ‘big one’ determined to lodge in the armpit, we made our cautious way south. The wind continued to ease and we beached north of Coongal point around 1pm.

Day 9. Coongal Creek to Uranban Harbour – 20km.

Clear sky, light S/W and no surf greeted us on this our final day. We waited impatiently until 9am when the tide would turn in our favor. Although we had the tide, once around Moon Point we had a stiff S/W in our face and wind over tide conditions. Quite ‘lumpy’ as we crossed the main channel off the point but then a great paddle/sail back past Big Woody Island and into the harbour.
George led us through the entrance as he ‘logged off’ with the Coast Guard.
‘GOOD ONE GEORGE’ I heard Albert mutter as we entered the harbour.

A collection of Richard’s paths travelled at GKI

The Lighthouse Walk Thursday 30 May 2013

With conditions still unfavourable to paddle around the point we  spent around 1.5hr practising bracing in the shore break and then headed back to camp.  By now it was 11am and we still had time for a decent walk across the island.
A small group of around 10 people headed up the bitumen track at the back of the camp with the aim of making the lighthouse at the other end of the island.
It started off as an easy walk on the flat, but after a few km the track was washed away by a stream and it required walking through long grass and clambering down a bank to get across.  This was enough to deter most of the group and only the diehard walkers continued determined to get to the lighthouse.
Don, Jan, Richard and Jane ventured across the stream and the others took another track to walk to Leeke’s Beach.  The track soon headed steeply uphill to reach a plateau with the group getting a good cardio workout.  Once on the plateau we had magnificent views across to Humpy Island, Masthead Island, Heron Island and the many small islands between us and the mainland.  We were now within striking distance of the lighthouse and the final few km were downhill across a windswept ridge devoid of much vegetation, before making our destination the lighthouse.  The wind was blowing strongly from the SE as we sheltered behind the lighthouse and ate our lunch.  It had taken us 2hr 40 to walk the 8.8km.  Don commented that we had better leave by 2pm to ensure we got home before dark.  So after a short lunch stop in which we took in the fantastic views we started on our return journey. It was a long hard slog uphill to reach the plateau and then it got easier with most of the walk downhill.  On the way home we got a wriggle on, ensuring that we made it before sunset and arrived at 5pm.  It was a challenging 17.2km walk, but well worth the effort and we were all glad to rest up after close to 5hrs on our feet.
View GPS Track here …GKI Lighthouse Trek 2013


Images submitted by Jane

The following are Google Earth images of the Murgon Dams with GPS pathways of the paddles undertaken by club members.

Look closely. You will notice that the tracks are shown on dry land.

No….they did not have wheels on their kayaks. The present dam levels are much higher than when the images were taken!

Thanks to Jim for the GPS images.

Click on the images for a larger view.

Lake Barambah – Northern Section.

Lake Barambah – Southern Section.

Lake Boondooma – Northern Section