Monday, 3 December 2018

Enjoying the Magic of Camping - Evans Head

Be warned - photo overload!

19 - 23 November

Ellie Eagle gets to go camping all too infrequently. Her choice of week to finally head off once more was perfect. The previous week saw temperatures soaring in the mid 30's with high humidity. The following week, just gone, has seen a similar story along with high winds, smoke and extreme fire danger warnings. Today the mercury reached 40C.

During our five days at Evans Head, we suffered only one hot day, cool nights, two thunderstorms and wonderful beach weather.

Evans Head was chosen for this adventure as it has been on my 'to visit list', after a very brief encounter about five years, ago. It did not disappoint. The camping ground apparently has approx 800 sites, including permanent and rentable cabins, but there was no feeling of being in a crowd as the sites were spacious. Ours, nestled beside a grove of dense trees, was the habitat for many birds, who joyfully woke us early each morning and serenaded constantly during the day. The beach and river were just 100m away.

We were four - Jocelyn, my friend of 43 years and her two sisters, Leanne and Marlene. Jocelyn and Leanne hike regularly with me. It was lovely to be able to include Marlene on this occasion. 

It wasn't pleasant to be warned of the possibilty of snakes on the beach but we were grateful of the warning. We hammed it up a tad for our friend Laurel, who is paranoid re the possiblitity of their presence, wherever we hike.

It seems appropriate to include this shot that we sent her, of me saying hello to one. It was just a stick but as we approached with caution, from a distance it certainly looked like an angry snake.

Our beach welcome.

Very English looking cabins in the park.

The cross approx marks our caravan site.

Looking up to the headland we are standing on in the above pic, from our afternoon, surfside drinks location.

The sky that beckoned us to the beach to watch the sunset.

The sunset wasn't spectacular but the ambiance was rather special and the seagulls kept us entertained.

Dinner back at camp.

Day 2
Our first morning was unexpectedly very cold, [Queensland cold] so hot cups of tea and coffee were the order of the day, rather that an early beach walk.

Once we had warmed up, we headed for the hiking trail on the headland.

A narrow chasm between the rocks, regularly made powerful surges of water.

This view - pure bliss. A place to lie on the grass, relax and watch waves endlessly roll in.

Below is where we turned around and hiked back along the top of the dunes to the carpark.
Two days later, we drove to a point near here and hiked to the far point and back. The conditions were quite different.

We had chosen the headland lookout for our sunset view on this afternoon. That decision was quickly reversed when we were almost blown over in the northly gales as we got out of the car.
Below is the only sheltered spot we coud find. Very pleasant, with river and ocean views and it had the bonus of an unexpected visitor.

A 2m python or carpet snake had been sunning himself on the path out of the wind.

Day 3
6am saw us on the beach walking north of the surf club. 10 km and a swim in the river before breakfast.
East view
[Thanks Joc]


There were too many rips in the surf for safe swimming so we took our noodles to float in the river and enjoy its tranquilty.

This was our hot day. After our very late breakfast, we chose to relax in the shade of the riverbank, opposite the camping ground. Reading and bird watching were the order of the day. There may have been a bit of napping too.

As 4pm approach I noticed the sky darkening. We checked out the radar on our phones and then made  a dash back to camp. The storm was moving quickly but we had time to secure everything. 
Looking south and then north.

Although looking so menacing, the storm thankfully passed over without hail or damaging wind. Ellie didn't let any water in. It was too late to organise sunset drinks, so a visit to the Fish and Chip shop at the boat harbour provided us with dinner, which we took to the headland.

Day 4
Another hot day was forecast so 6 am saw us driving slowly along a dirt road, canopied by rainforest  and swamp paperbark trees. [Melaleucas] Every so often there were laybys for parking and a short walk to the banks of the Evans River. The stillness of the morning was beautiful to see in the reflections of the river.

Our destination - Gummigurrah walking track in the Bundjalung National Park. Thankfully a picturesque drive as there certainly wasn't going to be any hiking here, with the footbridge washed out. 

Plan B - Chinamans Beach to Goanna Headland return.

The boardwalk to the beach.

Banyan trees

The sky was darkening as we turned our footsteps towards Goanna Headland.

High tide had passed a good half hour earlier on our arrival at this cliff face, but the decison was made that an alternative track needed to be found over it.

Alas the trail only took us to this great viewing point.

Time was spent trying to bush bash, but to no avail.

Knowing that the tide was ebbing, we finally deemed it safe to make a dash between the incoming waves.

The sea mist was very thick, as the ocean churned from the approaching storm.

Safely through.

We hadn't been successful in keeping our shoes dry and we burst into laughter when we spotted this fisherman casually wading past us.

Within minutes of exiting the cliffs, the skies opened and we were quickly drenched anyway.

The Banyans did their best to keep us dry. Marlene was hoping that the brim of her hat would protect her phone and stood statue-like for the duration. 

A good twenty minutes later, the storm had passed out to sea.  These metal posts and rails near the base of the cliff, had us wondering about their history as we continued on.

Circumnavigating Goanna headland.

Retracing our steps towards the cliffs, with the storm clouds dramatically continuing north .

After the morning's adventures, we decided to take a leisurely drive through the lush farming countryside of this area. We discovered a wonderful cafe called 'The Pantry' nestled in a pecan grove and enjoyed a most delicious lunch.

Our final evening had arrived and coincided with the rise of a 99% full moon. The cloud bank on the horizon delayed its appearance, but we were soon ooh and aahing at its beauty amidst the sunset colours.

The evening was so perfect we were reluctant to leave. 9 pm saw us reluctantly heading back to camp under a sky filled with moonlight. A magical finale to our weeks camping.

I would love to read your comments.


  1. Wonderful beach photos! You and your friends know how to watch a sunset in style.

  2. Such magical and joyful shots! You guys really know how to live the good life.

  3. It must take you forever to put together these photographic essays. I like your Banyan trees shot best.

    1. Joan, I don't watch television and I wake up early, so an evening / or morning, will usually see a post completed. I'm hopeless at scaling down the number of photos, so the very easy to use 'Collage Factory Free' app comes in handy.

  4. Wonderful places to walk--- wonderful friends to walk with. Yes-- the good life, Helen.

  5. Wonderful trip and stunning photos especially those two storm shots, amazing cloud formations. You and your friends certainly know how to plan a week and pack it with interesting stuff, very impressed

  6. You really chose well the last photo(s), Helen, the view is magical.
    What a wonderful trip you had! Perhaps it's fortunately that there are snakes and other dangers in your neck of the woods. Otherwise everybody would like to move to live there, me included. :)
    Gorgeous rocks, trees and clouds. Indeed a wonderful post.
    Happy December! xx

  7. Thank you everyone for your lovely comments.