With the outskirts of Wooli in sight we realised we had missed the turn off!
"I think it was just after the Minnie Water turn" someone volunteered. We backtracked keeping a close eye on our surrounds until we found the overlooked intersection. As we headed seaward off the sealed road we found ourselves on Diggers Camp Road, right beside Lake Hiawatha, less than a km past the Minnie Water turn off as you're heading towards Wooli.
As we followed the corrugated dirt road the vegetation changed several times and after five or six km we were at Boorkoom Campground, just before the tiny village of Diggers Camp. There is a self-pay station ($8 fee per vehicle) as Boorkoom Campground is part of Yuraygir National Park. From Boorkoom we strolled a short way along the Wilsons Headland Walk, a track Miss N had guided us nearly a year ago when she was involved in environmental work in the area.
Once more we enjoyed the rugged coastline views and boardwalks mingled with grassy headland viewing areas. This time we had our elder Miss E with us, still home on uni break, who had not been to this site before. It is an easy mostly flat walk, however young children would need close supervision as there are many grassed cliff edges without fences.
This time we didn't venture as far as last time so we saw no bull ants, but Master T did spot a large spider! In several grassy seaside areas the ground was dotted with pretty little pink flowers, like miniature morning glory mingle ing in with the grass. I had not seen this flower before but have since discovered it is a small native vine called Pink Bindweed or Polymeria calycina.
As it was a warm summer's day it was decided that a beach walk and possibly a swim was next on our agenda. Miss G suggested we go to Diggers Camp Beach, just up the road a few hundred metres, which she visited some months ago with. So off we drove....
I love this description of Diggers Camp -
If you thrive on “latte culture”, don’t go to Diggers Camp, 6km from Wooli down a gravel road. If however solitude and unparalleled peace and quiet are your bag, Diggers has just 15 houses, all of which supply their own electricity through solar power and use only rain water. To make up for a lack of sophisticated facilities, breathtaking nature is at your very door – best of all, you don’t have to share it with holiday crowds. "
None of us except Miss G had ever been to 'Diggers' and now we are all keen to return! Unfortunately the hoped for swim didn't last long as many small stinging blue bottles were seen in the water. The rock pools/platform weren't visible being high tide and it appears that there are mangroves in the beach shallows too, but again they were largely submerged when we visited. Would love to visit again on a cooler day at low tide!
We found ourselves looking for shade from the hot midday sun and found it under the large pandanus palms right near the beach access. As we snacked on our packed lunch some of our children wandered along the beach collecting funny round, clear jelly blobs, affectionately named by our family as 'blobbies'. I think these jelly blobs are remains of harmless jelly fish as they are disk shaped with spots which possibly once had tentacles attached. Some sources suggest they may be fish egg sacks but those jellies are usually crescent shaped. Either way, the blobbies are quite fascinating.
Others enjoyed playing in the sand, redirecting the fresh water runoff, beach combing (not allowed remove any finds) or climbing the pandanus. I took opportunity to photograph my recently completed 'summer' hand stitched fabric block. I'll share more about my current sewing endeavours soon.
There is a wonderfully cool spout of water coming from a pipe sticking out of the side of the land bank near the beach entry. Definitely not for drinking and sometimes contaminated, we found out later it's not recommended for bathing but I suspect most people rinse off in it's crystal clear, cool water after time at the salty, sandy beach, just as we did!
All too soon it was time to head home. However as I was driving past the coastal heath I couldn't resist pulling over to jump out of our family minibus and take some quick photos of this beautiful countryside and the stunning red-orange Australian native Christmas Bells (Blandfordia grandiflora - Northern Christmas Bells). To my surprise many of these Christmas Bells were pure yellow! So striking amongst the mixed heath with its tall black boy/grass tree spikes.
All in all, a wonderful short day out before heading home for music and a cricket game.....never a dull moment.