experience 01

10nov12 — d+k — peach trees
The idea was to ease the kids into camping. I didn’t want to freak them out with anything too extreme and we really couldn’t have got any luckier than with Peach Trees in Jimna State Forest for K’s first ever ‘real’ camping experience. Well, it might have been nice if it wasn’t raining most of the time but, hey, that’s just part of the adventure.The trip from Brisbane took far longer than necessary because we still didn’t have a full kit of gear — we needed to pick up a billy, fuel stove, hatchet and firewood. Lesson 01 — make sure you’ve got everything before you go — otherwise you and your child will go berko. Thankfully, K was very patient. We stopped off at Anaconda for the billy and fuel stove, but their hatchets were way too expensive for our humble requirements. After a few more stops we eventually picked up a cheap hatchet at Home Hardware in Woodford. This is a great little family business that I would come to call on again in the not too distant future.

Peach Trees is a couple of hours north of Brisbane, just the other side of Kilcoy. The last few kilometres of road are dirt, which K didn’t like too much. But her tension disappeared when we drove into the site and immediately saw a mob of kangaroos grazing and lounging around.
(click to get a larger slideshow)

Peach Trees is a beautiful, green, rolling site which was not at all crowded the weekend we went. There were quite a few people at the far end so we decided to camp nearer the entrance, where only two other campers were within sight. We quickly set up a tarp to give us shelter from the drizzle. Lesson 02 — make sure you know, before you leave home, how your equipment works and how to put things together. The plan was simple — attach one side of the tarp to the car and use poles and ropes on the other side — and the result was fine insofar as it achieved its main purpose — shelter. But it was loose and flappy — giving us a loose, flappy and noisy problem in the middle of the night when the rain and wind picked up. Oh well, another lesson learned.

This type of weekend is exactly why you should always make sure you have an alternative way of heating water or cooking — there’s just no way we could have got a fire going when we first arrived — and delaying a cup of tea and a hot milo was simply not an option. Our alternative is the hex stove – more commonly known these days as a solid fuel stove — cheap, light and compact.

We did two of the three walks. The Yabba Creek circuit starts at one end of the campsite and finishes at the other end. This is an easy twenty minute stroll along the far side of the creek. It would be a great walk to do early morning or at dusk – you’re just about guaranteed to get a good view of platypus from the high vantage point.

The Eugenia circuit is a little more challenging but still quite an easy one hour hike and well worth the effort – absolutely gorgeous. We started at the far end – out the entrance to Peach Trees and across the causeway. The first half of the walk is pretty much flat and meanders along the creek. K and I made up stories as we went along – this is where the fairies live, this bit is protected by a dragon, over there is called ‘gnomesville’, etc. – in other words, it’s quite enchanting. At the half-way mark you cross the creek and start the ascent to a spectacular lookout.

The walk would have been absolutely perfect … except … the leeches. K just freaked when she saw the first leech flilipping around on her leg. Fair enough too — they’re creepy little buggers, and this was a big one. Luckily, none of the leeches we got on that walk were attached, so we could flick them off pretty easily. Lesson 03 — if you go walking in wet conditions, there’s a pretty good chance you’ll get leeches. Leeches aren’t really that big a deal. If you’re not too squeamish, you can just let the leech get a gutful (about 20 minutes) and it will drop off by itself. If you prefer to get rid of it straight away you can use salt, vinegar or a flame. The jury’s out on whether or not you can just pull them off once attached — some say there’s a danger of jaw parts being left behind, others say this is rubbish. I prefer to just scrape my finger nail along my skin and nudge the jaw end (that’s the thin end) sideways until it’s away from the wound and then just pull it off. Best to whack a bit of antiseptic on the wound too.

K says : It was exciting. I didn’t like it when I lost my thong – I only lost one of the thongs in the creek. You could also swim in the creek, but only in one place. There was also a swing. It went very high. There was a swinging bridge that led to a long path. There was another long path and altogether me and D had fun.

To get to Peach Trees we drove through Woodford and Kilcoy. After Kilcoy you head towards Murgon and you’ll hit dirt before the Peach Tree Road turnoff. It’s all clearly signed and very easy to find. Take it easy once you hit the dirt, because there’s quite a bit of wildlife about.
Close-up showing Peach Trees campsite
click to view full Jimna State Forest map

camping around brisbane billy icon