Saturday, 13 February 2021

Escape in the Van

Tuesday 2 February

It was well over 12 months since Ellie Eagle had been camping. I spotted a window of opportunity on the calendar, checked the weather forecast for the following week and asked two friends to join me.

When I woke, the day was overcast.  I wasn't concerned until Joc and Jan text me to say they were held up in traffic, because of a heavy downpour, as they made their way to join me.  Looking at the radar, I still thought the cloud mass wasn't a threat.

As we departed at 9.30am, the first sprinkles were falling at Mt Warren Park. We checked google maps to find the quickest, if not most direct route, and waved goodbye to my husband.   

Our normal 1 1/2 hour journey slowed to well over 2 hours and the closer we got to our destination Coolum, the more apprehensive we became about having to set the van up in the heavy rain.

The rain Gods were wonderful. Just 10 km from Coolum we drove out of the rain and except for a few night showers, it left us alone. However we did set up the van in rivulets of sweat because of the high temperature and humidity after the rain. We were not complaining. Yes we were, but it was the better alternative.

Almost done, but a cuppa was desperately needed.

Van in order, time to hit the beach for a refreshing swim. Well for me. My friends thought the water was too cold! I was dumbfounded.


A relaxing afternoon ensued and wine o'clock soon arrived. Our plan to continue relaxing on the beach was scarpered because the sea breeze had become a gale. This sheltered picnic area was perfect. 

As daylight waned, the surf club turned on their surf spotlights and we were able to continue watching the waves roll in. 

It was overcast as we set off on our early morning walk on Wednesday. The air was crisp and cool, even if the views were hazy from sea spray. 

Our walk was quite slow, as we were mesmerised by the sounds of the waves ebbing and flowing and watched the myriad of patterns made by them, as they slowly caressed the shoreline. The clouds were also having a lovely time chasing one another to the horizon.

A kilometre along the beach, Summer Creek entered the sea, brackish brown from the melaleuca and tea-tree bushland it passes through. On this morning the tide level convinced us not to try and cross. 

My pic.

 I love this one. Joc's pic.

Retracing our steps, the morning light changed.

Mt Coolum, 208m, is an impressive volcanic dome dominating the coastal landscape. I had first climbed it on a very rough track in 1972, and then several times more recently. The one time Joc went to hike it, it was closed for maintenance. 

Today was it was our destination. Just a steep kilometre to the top.

The views were specatacular. South to the Glasshouse Mts and east to the coastline.

15 kilometres of beach stretching from Coolum, north to Noosa.

Looking south west, Buderim and the Maleny Hinterland, were still receiving heavy downpours.


Someone managed to be a little quicker than us, spotted as we recovered in the surf.

Not too cold for Joc and Jan today.

Feeling good after our morning's exertions.

The afternoon breeze was still too strong for wine o'clock on the beach near our campsite. We found this sheltered cove, and as we set up, the rainbow appeared.

We may have found the pot of gold, but a shower of rain also found us, so we retreated to the previous evening's venue.

I think I may have mentioned before that I don't miss the sea when I am away from it, but it is most certainly incredibly relaxing and rejuvenating when one visits.

I would love to read your comment.


  1. Could that last shot be more perfect?

    It is unusual to see photos of rain in Australia but it is good to see. I hope the country avoids the fires this year. There have been some in the Perth area.

    You always have such a great time in nature and without masks these days. Well done Australia.

  2. I was thrilled with the 'perfect' shot, as it was taken in a rush as Jan and Joc packe up for our retreat.
    Thankfully eastern and much of central Australia have been having good summer rain and not with the flooding that often accompanies it. Western Australia [Perth] has had several dry years and their rain doesn't come until winter. It's a worry for them.
    Here in Queensland, we have only had to use masks for a very short period of time. Tough border closures have very much kept us Covid free.

  3. What a lovely outing and I love that long coast of beach! The last shot is magical.

    1. The last shot was a stroke of luck. We were rushing to pack up, but I couldn't resist just one more click!

  4. Wow, wow, wow! As a landlocked Kansan, those beach shots were phenomenal. (And, we've been below 10 degrees F for more than 10 days now, so that may have had something to do with it.) I think I would have hung out at the beach and watched the waves while the rest of you climbed. Those rainbow photos were great, too. Looks like a wonderful get-away!

    1. I hope your temperatures have improved Kim, but I think not. It was a lovely few days and we were so fortunate with the rain.

  5. I am so envious! What a fun adventure you ladies enjoyed! The scenery is beautiful!

    1. Talking of envy, Alexandra, your winter images have me green with envy. I'm not sure how I would go with your latest lows, though!

  6. Hello Helen: You obviously had a wonderful getaway, and the place looks idyllic. It is always good to be able to share such events with like-minded friends. I agree with your comment about the sea. I don't actively miss it but I am always glad to visit the coast. We had planned to spend a couple of weeks down east this year, including a few days on PEI, but of course COVID put an end to that. Maybe next year.....

    1. Next year seems an enormously long, long way away. I imagine you'll be able to head east before us.