With the Patrol stacked to the gills with gear and food and the Dream Kayaks strapped to the racks, the real adventure started at 3.30am one Friday morning. Rolling out of my driveway and bombing up the highway, stopping for the obligatory truck-stop fuel and greasy food from the Kybong servo before turning off and finally rolling through Rainbow Bay and on to Inskip Point. Tyres dropped to 20psi and a quick run across the first bit of sand for the morning had us on the barge heading for the magnificent Fraser Island! Once across, the long haul up the beach began.
For more info on the kayaks used in this trip, click this image. Article continues below!
Wathumba is situated on the western side of Fraser Island and flows into the great Platypus Bay. Access is 4wd only and requires close to 150kms of sand driving, approximately 100kms on the surf beach, which can range from soft and powdery to near highway hardness, there are many “washouts” along the eastern beach that will need to be negotiated carefully. Once you make it up the east side there’s still about 50kms of soft, sometimes powdery dry, sand on the inland track that runs from Indian Head, via Orchid Beach, to Wathumba. Fuel is available at Orchid Beach if you start running low, as are some basic supplies. But in essence Wathumba is a self-sufficient style campsite, while there are toilets, there is no drinking water or showers.
We had a great long weekend up there recently and while the fishing was good for estuary species, some people may ask why travel for 6 hours from the Sunny Coast to catch whiting, bream, jacks, flatties and grunter? Well it’s not all about the fish the place is definitely something special. It’s a great place to explore in the yaks due to the shallow sandbanks that are prolific throughout the system. The wildlife is awesome with heaps of turtles, stingrays and the odd dingo. All in all it’s more about the adventure than the fish you catch. They are mainly for fun and dinner.
As far as the fishing goes Peach and myself fished 90% surface and had some awesome sessions using Atomic K9’s for the many whiting hunting the flats. Peachy also got destroyed by a jack, before managing to pop his surface jack cherry, we caught flathead from the channels and saw a monster 90cm model lazing in the shallow amongst the mangroves on the 2nd day. We had no problem catching a feed of fish each day and released what we didn’t need, this is definitely a fishery that needs to be looked after so as it’s there for generations to come.
So if you have a sense of adventure, love nature and camping without every facility known to man and have a 4wd, I highly recommend adding Wathumba Creek to your list of places to visit!