Driving out of work with the family and van in tow after 5pm on a Friday afternoon. That is how we like to finish the week at Power Curve Performance. We met up with Ryan and Masen at the new puma truck stop on the highway north of Power Curve Performance. The new puma truck stop is very easy to jump in and off the highway with a large van or motor home. Fuel up or a quick bite to eat is easy and painless and for us will be an easy meeting place when heading north with our travelling friends.
Back on the highway heading to Kinbombi falls. Our route takes us east to Kilkivan and at this time of year and and time of the evening the sunset and sprays of sunbeams through the pastel oranges, pinks, greys and the blankets and patterns of clouds made it hard to keep our eyes on the road. Around 6km out of Kilkivan we turn left onto the Kinbombi falls Rd not leaving the asphalt until a small sign took us to the Kinbombi falls. This Kinbombi falls sign is the correct location for the camping area to the falls. We now use the wiki camp app to give us what has been honest and up-to-date information on camp grounds. The Kinbombi falls reviews where exactly as described. What an amazing set up the Gympie council has provided, it is a credit to them in the age of some councils trying to close areas such as these. Thank you Gympie council. There are large sites for vans of all sizes to easily pull in and out of and set up for a night or two. The centre sections have clean picnic areas with new picnic tables and chairs on new concrete pads that you are actually happy to eat off. Lots of little campfire spots and communal campfire set up. Large bins are clean and plentiful. The toilet and ammenities are new and well stocked with toilet paper. For a free camp, this spot is amazing and better than most you pay for.
Unfortunately the only down side, as with any location is people who dont respect what have been offered to us. One very nice private site someone had built their own fire and left a TV and broken bottles behind, seems sensless when the Gympie council has left so many options for waste to be disposed. Wiki camps users pre warned of the stairs, this is 100% factual , without a word of a lie.
There are three lookouts in total with two entrances at Kinbombi Falls. At either end of the camp site there are signs indicating the walks but not a lot of information on what you will see etc. The Wiki camps app and this sign are the best information I have seen as to what you will experience on the walk. If you can not handle alot of stairs or high impact you can simply enter the walk at either end of the site and turn to the left or right. This will take you along the cliff face and you will visually see the scene into the cavern. The walk would take you five minutes at a guess if you just walked along casually. Very much the same as it would take you to walk from one end of the camp site to the other, and a similar walking experience. The two entrances personally worked well the way we took the walk, however unintentionally. Entering from the entrance closest to the park entrance , take the path straight down. You can see the falls from the top of the fenced area after about 50 steps after what wiki camps discribes as the old toilet block. If you just want to see the falls and that is enough for you, there is no need to go any further, especially if the stairs down look uninviting. The fall after rain on our adventure was just trickling over. From what I can gather based on reports of the falls and speaking with locals, probably only run when it is pouring with rain. This stream is said to gravity feed all the way down to Goomeri and feed the town. Even if I knew this or in a dryer time I would still adventure to this location. The stairs lead nearly to the bottom and adventuring with children, I advised to keep them close. This location is an adventure and while there are stairs, not alot of safety restrictions have been put in place. Be aware and venture with caution and respect what has been provided. Apart from that, the formations, water that has carved away at this hidden treasure for many years feels like everything Australia is. A hidden gem of adventure and magic where ever you turn. There is no way you would expect when driving along the road or even at the camp site that just meters away this amazing natural masterpiece could be. Sitting at the bottom of the stairs with the younger children watching Patrick and the older children adventure down to the water. they were climbing over boulders and streams when a loud noise alerted us all! Again the noise returned, stopping us all looking for a rock fall or something coming in our direction. To our delight and a sight the children had not seen. A rock wallaby of considerable size was jumping onto an invisible ledge watching over the gorge. Sights like these they don’t see every day, bringing a shine to their eyes with a spark of adrenalin and adventure as it jumped back away.
Heading back up the stairs is not a long walk probably 5-10min but hard work, straight up small little step. The stairs are steep and small and sure are a bit of a quick work out.
Walking along the cliff edge is a one person walk. Safe but in single file keeping to the path. If you don’t have a fear of height, cliffs and bridges then overlooking this view is stunning and breath taking. This walk takes you to the second look out. The one you can see most of the falls if you don’t wish to venture down too many stairs. This is a great location to fly a drone to explore around the bends and into the little areas that are not safe to walk. Such a beautiful outlook. Back on the track around 2 minutes to Smiths stairs. We took this walk with a 5, 9 and 11 year old with three adults in our 30s. The stairs are straight down and off the stairs the ground is shale gravel and slippery. The thought of getting back up if you think to much about it would nearly would make you turn back. Getting to the bottom, I would do the walk again, little pools and little water falls. The adults felt the adventure was worth it but the kids absolutely loved it , to them it was like a place out of an adventure you-tube video. Patrick found an echidna quill that had been dropped into a small rock pool. Another wallaby jumped onto a log and into the bush. Heading back up the walk was easier than we first thought. Little foot steps made the walk up easier than sliding down. Patrick found tree frogs hidden away in the uprights of each of the rails on the stairs. This meant an adventure for little Masen, as he was going spot a green tree frog and was keen to look into each pole for another frog. This meant we only had a few steps between each climb. The children’s excitement egged us all on and if you are to do the same with children this could be a great idea.
Having our van means we rarely no longer go camping on the weekend. We go touring. At this point sitting in the bush is great but we are moving about to visit sites and the ability to free camp, pull up for a cup of tea, our own toilet and everything we own in our van. We are at home on the road and can move freely through the country side. We don’t have to spend a fortune and we can spend our money on experiences not accommodation. We see more of this country as a family and support more locals in the way we move around. We packed up camp, checked we left only foot prints and wheel tracks and then back on the road. Brad from Burnside Motors recommended the Goomeri bakery. Brad had taken his wife Anne and daughter Jess on an adventure in their Ford ranger on Australia day and came across this little gem. The owner had always wanted to own a bakery. With no experience went to France and learnt the trade. What she bought back to Goomeri is a something special. Everything is reasonably priced however sure put a hole in our pocket as we didnt know when to stop!! Pies with authentic pastry made locally. Sweets, pastry and croissants. We bought two croissants for the four of us for afternoon tea. At $7.50 each with real ham just like Christmas and lots of cheese. We kept them for afternoon tea, cut them in half and shared them between our famy of four. Each half was the size of a normal serve and filled us not needing dinner after such an amazing mouthwatering treat. Brad has been to many countries and locations in his life and his recommendation was no slouch.
Looking at wiki camps we where keen to continue our PCPADV. The next free camp that sparked our interest was Broadwater camping retreat. Now read all of the information other pass on. Do NOT follow Google maps as you will never find your way. Look out for the signs turn into the Broadwater access road. Apparently you need to apply to campaign Nanango or some say online. We decided to look first prior to booking. We tightly fit through the little gate and around a few washed rutts. It is a very big site with long grass. If there was swimming water in the creek we would of stayed. The grass is long and not really an amazing place to stay for us with the kids, really more a big padock, being 12noon we kept on our adventure. We ventured back up to the Joe Beilke Petersen dam. The vans we own allow us to go off road and the dam has great access where skiing groups can set up , swim and ski on the side of the dam. Setting the van up for a few hrs by the water was amazing on such a warm day. The kids ran inside and jumped into their togs. For the next few hours we had afternoon tea, swam and soda water by the dam. The dam breeze through the windows saw me disappear for a nanna nap for an hour of pure uninterrupted tranquillity. I’m not sure if mud really is as amazing as they say for the skin but the girls played in the mud and enjoyed being kids. The water is clean so a quick shower in the van is all thats needed and away we go. You never would know we where there. Again leaving foot prints and wheel tracks.
While by the dam the clouds started to roll in. We headed back to Goomeri.. not sure if the calling was the bakery or that little Masen was keen for the skate Park. We pulled up at another free camp behind the skate park. As the boys checked out the viability of a wheel alignment and some upgrades to the austrack tanami van. Emma sat and watched the clouds roll in. The storm front was stunning and when it hit the caravan it also proved the it was the perfect spot for all 6 of us to bunker down for 15 minutes out of the storm. Like I said everything we need or could want is on board. The kids played Mario kart on the switches, laughed, played and with a round of ginger beer and a sneaky expreso shot for the adults the heart was warmed while the rain came down. In no time at all the rain had left and Masen looked out the windows “boy dad this has been the best day ever, then the worst day ever because I hate storms, but the best day ever because I’m going to ride my bike in the big puddles!!” We finished our evening watching the kids play in the puddles, slide down the skate park and with an amazing sunset and rainbows in the background. What a way to finish the day.