TRACKWATCH SEPTEMBER 2018 23 However we explored the Freshwater campsite and the first glimpse of the incredible coloured sands of Rainbow Beach. Our trip was bookended by character building amounts of rain, 46 mm our first night and 36 mm our last night. However the weather in between was perfect, glorious Queensland weather with blue skies and warm sunny days. After that first night the clouds parted and we were free to climb the Double Island Point, first named by Captain Cook, to the lighthouse. The steep walk up was worthwhile for the amazing views from the top. We then proceeded to Rainbow Beach via the inland track. There had been much debate and speculation about tackling the Mudlow rocks, but caution and safety prevailed and the safer and very pretty route through the glades was taken. After a quick stop to refuel in Rainbow Beach we headed for the ferry at Inskip Point. So the real adventure began. We took advantage of a favourable tide and drove all the way up the eastern beach to Waddy Point. A couple of the rocky outcrops required taking the bypasses but all were easy to negotiate as the heavy rain had damp- ened the sand. We set up camp in the sheltered top camp at Waddy Point. It was an easy walk to the beach and a great place to explore the northern area of Fraser. The first day took in the Indian Head area, and after a climb we were treated to a panoramic view. In the clear waters we spied manta rays, small sharks and a dolphin. Next stop was a fun session in the sparkling pools of Champagne rocks. A short board walk and a bit of rock hop- ping lands you in these amazing rock pools. They are replenished by fresh, foaming water crashing over the sea- ward rocks. The warm, bubbling water was irresistible and a highlight for many of us. Then we returned to the Waddy Point beach for a picnic lunch and several explored the rocks. Others ventured into the township to see what it had to offer. The next day we left the camp for the Sandy Cape, the most northerly point of the island. Interesting birds were seen including a white breasted sea eagle. We had been warned of negotiating the Ngala rocks. These were all negotiated really well by the group, firstly taking a bypass at the South Ngala, this included a narrowing water gully and sandy areas, but arriving at North Ngala Rocks was a bit more tricky. The by- pass was blocked by a car bogged in deep sand, so we attempted and succeeded in crossing the rocky out- crop. It needed some very precise driving at incredibly slow speed but those directing the drivers gave excellent advice. The rest of the drive was smooth and pleasurable with splendid views of aqua seas and huge sand dunes. There was a steep walk up to the lighthouse but with wonderful views and an interesting fact board including a number of stories of wrecks off the area and lives of the early inhabitants of the lighthouse. On the return trip we again negotiated the difficult areas with ease and stopped at Ocean Lake. The group were free to explore different parts of the area in the afternoon. Our last full day of exploring this north- ern area was to go over to the western side . We started by driving along the beach beside the lagoons. A Jabiru delighted us being very easy to spot. We then turned onto Wathumba Creek Track. This track took in an interesting forest drive of eucalyptus, banksia, palms, casuarinas, grass trees and ferns. One pool was so clear the reflec- tions looked like part of the forest floor. Once out onto the ocean side we left the cars and explored the inlet on foot. We needed to clamber over fallen trees but the result was the most pristine bay to spy for another day to explore. As the tide went out hundreds of Soldier crabs were scuttling about which were amusing to watch. Mother’s Day started with an excitement in the air. A move to our next camp and range of interesting places to explore. Our camp was to be close to the Maheno wreck on the beach strip nestled in the dunes. It was great to see the wreck in different tides and different light. Looking quite eerie at times. We visited the red Canyon together and then people were free to explore the wreck, the Pinnacles and Eli creek. Some even tried the delicacies of the Happy Valley Bistro. Some members of the group took the 15 min flight over the island. It was fascinating to see parts we had driven over from a different viewpoint and many other lakes that we would be unable to get to. We even had a close look at out tents from the air. After a fabulous sunrise from our fabu- lous seaside camping spot, we headed to the Northern circuit route. We visited the Knifeblade sand blow and a short walk to the perched Lake Allom with its many inquisitive turtles breaking the surface of the calm water. We then drove through remarkable forests with incredible tall trees and broke out to the