One of our four-day weekends took us to Booti Booti National Park, a two-hour drive from home and a perfect spot for anyone who enjoys the outdoors: rugged campers as well as those of us who plumb for the casual comfort of caravanning.
Finding a shaded spot with grass rather than dirt was difficult as the only trees left were those around the rim of the campground: why would a national park do that? While the MOTH (Man of The House) drove from site to site I walked to get a feel for distance between the amenities block and several beach access ways. Half an hour later and we found our home for the weekend, in a shady grove of trees we shared with a number of quiet campers.
Fringed by cabbage tree palms and paperbarks the park caters well for day visitors and those with a few days to stop and enjoy what the park has to offer. The park is on a narrow strip of land between the sea to the east and Wallis Lake on the west side. Whether your preference is for calm lake waters or the rugged swell and dump of the ocean, swimmers are spoiled for choice.
Summer camping means swimming, being outdoors, plenty of fresh air, rest and relaxation and where else but beside the sea to enjoy these elements of a healthy retreat. Our anticipation is always an ocean swim once camp has been set but this trip we were disappointed.
Recent heavy rains and stormy weather had washed in a harvest of red seaweed that left its evidence on the sand-dyed beaches of eight-mile beach, our beach. Not only were the waters coloured like a full-bodied merlot, clumps of microfibres made cooling off in the ocean look like an unpleasant and messy experience.
The healthy and healing properties of seaweed are well documented although I doubt this was helpful information to the surfing youngsters who spent more than half an hour under the showers trying to wash red microfibres from their seaweed dyed hair.
The staff at the parks’ office were familiar with the phenomenon and advised us to drive around to Elizabeth Beach that was clear of this particular type of seaweed. We did venture around the bays to swim but Sunday’s misadventure at Elizabeth Beach made us wish we’d opted for the red waters of Eight-Mile beach … a story for another day.