After packing the sandwiches, treats, fruit, bottles, formula, baby food and grabing a coffee from Lure Living we are finally on our way.
Off we go from Yeppoon, past Pacific Heights and on to Byfield. Yes, so? "Not a problem", you say. "Ahh, no", I say. I am severely directionally challenged. It's no secret. Anyone who knows me will tell you that and laugh about it. So when I have to find Stony Creek and my best friend, Google Maps starts to go offline, I go into panic mode. Luckily for me I have one bar of mobile service and so I pump out a frantic text to Michelle who is already there. "Do I turn at the sign that says Upper Stony 11 klm or ??" An anxious 120 second wait, and "Yep, we are in the day area". Pheeeeew! Lucky, because I figure even if I was lost, I'd have to take these kids bouncing out of their skin in the back seat somewhere, anywhere, and call it Stony Creek.
Off we go down the bitumen road that quickly turns to dirt. Lucky I'm in the four wheel drive, not the city car. This road has character and quite a few potholes. We drive and we drive and we drive. Well, not really. It's only about ten minutes but it feels like an eternity of fallen trees and 'Stay out. Logging in the area' signs, and 'Am I really on the right road? signs', we finally arrive.
Now I can't really figure out where to park? In the two tiny spaces near the tents that have come up immediately in front of us? Or brave it, risk looking like a numpty newbie for taking a wrong road and take the concrete bridge over the water hole to the other side.
No numptie newbie here. We tumble out of our now dirt-brown 4WD and pack the one million things two small boys and a baby need to swim, survive and enjoy three hours in the wild. I look around. Not really. We walk across landscaped picnic lawns across to the amazing glacial, blue-green waterhole and to mums Michelle and Lee. Their boys are in already.
Things to do
Swimming and picnicking
The water is a glacial temperature and not many of the six boisterous boys we have with us spend long in the water until they're on the rope swing. Then the fall from the rope to the water is inevitable and swift and fun. The water in the middle is deep and so the noodles and kick boards come in handy for the boys. I ease myself in from the shallows, determined to say I've been in Stony Creek. It's very fresh! We eat our picnic and watch the boys be boys. Before you know it an hour or two has passed. Time for a little adventure.
Six boys, three adults and one baby in a baby bjorn, walk back across the bridge, along the edge of the camping sites to our right, down the tiny slope to walk and rock hop our way a little further along Stony Creek. The shallower water-holes, rock slides and great rocks for tossing and skipping provide another hour of entertainment.
We talk to the other kids who have come down to rock hop. They're camping and having a great time. There are 14 campsites. Some are okay for caravans and motorhomes but I doubt they'd like the drive. All the people camping on this school holiday day are in tents. Each of the 14 sites has its own fire pit.
There are also electric bbqs and drop toilets in the picnic area. The signs say there is 'non-potable water' but the websites say boil any water you use for at least ten minutes. It's about $22 a day per family and you need to book. Whether you're coming for the day or to camp make sure you bring rubbish bags. There are no bins anywhere and some less than diligent visitors have left their McDonalds bag, meat trays and beer bottles everywhere.
The wrap up
Before we know it, it's time to drive the 30 minutes back to civilisation. It's been an awesome day and before we hit the first bend all three boys are asleep in the back seat and remain that way till we get home. Ruben and Max are itching to go back and camp. I'm thinking even Hugo and I might survive an overnight stay, especially now my directionally-challenged self knows how to get here.