DOLPHINS, YES! BUT WHERE ARE THE TIN CANS?
Trip Start Oct 05, 2009
325Trip End Oct 31, 2013
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WEATHER: Sunny, high 20's. Perfect!
A small seaside town of 2000 people located on a deep narrow inlet and known for its fishing!
According to Wikipedia the name derives from an aboriginal name "Tuncanbar" and has nought to do with tin cans although there are plenty of empty ones in the recycling bins!!
Fraser Island is close by and Tin Can Bay seems to a popular holiday place. We had planned to stay at the Ace caravan park but when we did a drive-through we decided that a crowded suburban block packed like sardines in a tin, with permanent residents and shabby facilities was not an option; neither was the similar Kingfisher park so we headed a bit further out of town to the spacious and good looking Tin Can Bay Tourist Park and that's where we camped. Ian was friendly and helpful and offered us a few sites to choose from and we grabbed no 10C.
Really we were not more than 4kms away from the marina where we planned to experience the dolphins that swim into the beach each morning. The walk to town was very pleasant along a lovely walkway through the paper barks and beside the inlet.
Alarm set for 6am, we headed off for the dolphin viewing and joined about 20-30 other visitors to witness the spectacle; the volunteers led by Barry ensure that the feeding and interaction with the wild dolphins is managed. This Indo-Pacific breed are kind of pale and a bit blue in colour and Barry told us they spend most of the time in the deep estuary and head out to the ocean only for quick hunting sprees.
It is always such a awe inspiring event to watch these wild animals interact with people- coming in each morning since 1950 to receive a bucket full of fish each; as soon as the buckets are empty they just turn around and go home! Lovely to see the young kids lining up with enthusiasm to hand their fish to the dolphins!
We were starving by the time we got back to the park and decided on bacon and eggs for a late breakfast, prepared in the park's camp kitchen. Delicious!
The walk to Crab Creek filled the afternoon but when a local told us that this was the area most infested with midges we started scratching and left him to setting his crab cage! He had been coming to this spot for crabbing for 60 years!
IIn case you have never been attacked by midges/sandflies let me tell you it is an awful experience- the sting and itch are excruciating and often leave big red lumps; they are not too bad at the moment here but dawn and dusk are times to be wary- insect repellant, especially DEET based ones help repel them. Sheila has suffered some nasty reactions!
We also met a man with his faithful sheep dog who told us all about his grand parents who had been the first settlers in Augathella, a town in western Qld; odd coincidnce because Matt's grandmother also came from there! He explained he had had a stroke and that his memory was affected but we thought he did a good job with his story!
The tide was out in the inlet and many boats just sat on the sand, awaiting the next inflow of water; we noticed a few house boats of varying qualites amongst them.
We also checked out an attractive looking cafe along the way but noone spoke to us as we perused the menu and they seemed quite happy for us to leave!
Tuesday morning we completed the walking circuit which took us 80 minutes so we feel we have covered Tin Can Bay on foot. Chatted to a few fellow campers and hung around the park on this sunny warm day!
Wednesday we had to move sites as someone had booked 10C so we took the opportunity to drive to Rainbow Beach and Inskip point- the mainland access to Fraser Island and 4WD only!
There is a lot of camping at Inskip Point-4WD- but the area is infamous for midges and stories are told of campers abandoning their vacation in desperation. Today most camp grounds were hosting campers.
On such a gorgeous, calm day Rainbow Beach was magnificent so we took a stroll through the shallows to admire the coloured sand dunes, white sandy beach and blue sky! It was good to see so many people enjoying the beach.
Tin Can Bay is a prawn fishing area so we bought a kilo of local prawns and some fresh local whiting for dinner- yum!
Tin Can Bay has been a very pleasant place to stay- a boating and fishing paradise with a great Environmental Walking Track that leads you around the inlet. There are some good restaurants, a pub, RSL, supermarket bakery etc so you don't need to leave town for entertainment or supplies. And it's just an 70km round trip to Rainbow Beach.
The only place to camp is The Tin Can Bay Tourist park and at $25pn it's good value!
Next stop is Brisbane!