Upper Noosa River -Doctor Dog's Solo Adventure Sept 2017

Sept 15-18 2017    
         After a couple of false starts frustrating my long held desire to explore the upper Noosa River I finally set off  to my launch site at Harry's Hut on a solo adventure. My dear wife did not want to join me on this trip and no takers were available amongst Noosa Yakkers or wider social media land.
         In years past we used to drive the Cooloola Way when passable en-route to and from my family's farm at Maryborough and in doing so crossed the Upper Noosa River on a rickety log bridge which has long since been deemed unsuitable to traffic of any sort .
          From those trips past Wallum Plains of cryptic Ground parrots and seasonal Christmas Bells my curiosity was piqued as to how far one could access the Noosa River towards that old bridge.
          I was now about to find out some 25 years later.

My midday departure from Harry's was later than planned as I had to repack and rationalise some of my gear, too many clothes in too many bags.

I was anxious to get underway but curious as to how well the Stealth would be trimmed with such a load on board.

I need not have been concerned as the Stealth soaked up the added weight and paddled like a dream - cruising at a steady 6 kph with only moderate effort. I soon made my way to campsite 5 for the first night.

Backing as it does onto the track for the Cooloola Great Walk running parallel to the river in this section I took myself for an afternoon walk with the camera finding a variety of wild flowers , wild life and hippy craft work and interesting reflections along the way.

Next morning the mist was ethereal after the cold night. 
Paddling on to Campsite 15 I was surprised by the number of small creeks that lead east and west into the surrounding national parkland that had a significant fresh flow in spite of the dry season. 

Some of the creeks are nameless but others such as Teewah Creek are shown on most maps. 
Teewah Ck joins the Noosa River just opposite Camp 15 and is flowing shallow and clear although tannin stained and is navigable for only a short distance before logs block any further progress.

Five or more metres above river level the log demarcated camp is guarded by a stately Staghorn fern.

Paddling upstream from camp 15 for less than half an hour I came to this log jam impeding any further progress. My journey was monitored by a pair of Azure kingfishers and a pair of Australasian Darters each taking turns to take alarm at my intrusion in their fishing zone and flying ahead just a short distance before resuming their hunting.

Feisty Bass are one of the attractions up here and I found 2 eager takers for my crayfish pattern lure just on dusk right in front of the campsite.

Early morning reflections make rising with the dawn chorus of bird calls worthwhile. 

Paddling back to Harry's I paused for the evening at a favourite sandy spit with just enough room for my one man tent . I had planned to camp at site 9 but took advantage of good paddling conditions to get further downstream. With hind sight I probably should have stayed at 9 as the noise from the backpackers group site at 3 travelled through the still evening air somewhat reducing the "wilderness" feel of my sandy haven. 

A Yellow Robin posed near my lunch spot at the Harry's Day use area upon my return to the launch site.

                         Local bearded Dragon was caught sunning himself on the gravel climb out of the National Park                                          

This fat Red Bellied Black snake slid off into the forestry near the Doggerel trees.

A sensational 3 days away in the wilderness and so close to home- yes I will do it again - perhaps in autumn 2018 --- any takers ??

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