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Pumicestone Passage North

 

Pumicestone Passage is the marine channel between the mainland and Bribie Island, just north of Brisbane. The Sunshine Coast is said to start at the northern end. A shallow narrowing channel limits the flow of tidal water to the extent that there is "dead" water in the middle, and the tide ebbs and floods into two separate north and south sections.

Northern access is from the suburb of Golden Beach, just south of Caloundra. There are several boat ramps to launch at on the Esplanade. From here you can explore south or cross over to the long sand spit at the top of Bribie Island.
Paddlers wanting the shortest paddle distance to get to Bribie, and walk two kilometres down the ocean beach to World War II gun emplacemnts and bunkers will be launching at Lamerough Parade next to the Caloundra Power Boat Club. There is a Lions park with a tiny beach about due east (a few degrees south) you can land at . Consider the security of your gear. I landed at high tide a little further down, but had a GPS to find my canoe later. A tour of Fort Bribie, there and back from the boat, should take 3 hours or so. Those underground concrete bunkers sure are a cool resting place. Stay clear of the wobbly ones.

Alternatively, put in at Coochin Creek, off Roy's Road, Glasshouse Mountains. If you have been zipping down the highway, make certain you slow to 40 KPH for the first 2 kilometres of Roy's Road, and 20 KPH for some wooden bridge creek crossings. Six kilometres off the highway is National Park's Coochin Creek camp ground, and launch steps another one kilometre further on down that dirt side road. From there it is a 5 kilometres paddle down to Pumicestone Passage, or you can paddle upstream.

Roy's Road runs right down to the main Pumicestone Passage, and there are several launch points just past the Coochin Creek confluence. The road is a metre away from the high water mark in several places. You will have Mt. Tibrogargan and Mt. Beerwah on the skyline to the west over the water. Highly recommended to the paddler in search of a scenic cruise is Westaways Creek on the Bribie Island side of the channel, just north of where Coochin Creek joins. No sandflies were felt on the upper reaches. About 4 kilometres upstream is a low log bridge which can be easily portaged if you want to go further. The time to go is at the top of the tide, and pick a high tide where the tide height is at least 2.0 metres.

Pumicestone Passage is tidal marine paddling in mangrove tree lined channels. There can be clouds of sandflies and biting midges, and for any overnight camping a mosquito proofed tent is recommended. Those long sleeved shirts and long pants keep the sun and the pests away. The main channel is still subject to wind, and if you are paddling a kayak, don't think you can leave your spraydeck at home and hope to remain dry if the wind is blowing. Some of the creeks really dry out at low water. It is worth remembering that the outside edge of a creek corner usually has the deeper channel close to the bank.

Anyone using their canoe, kayak, or sit on top, for fishing or crabbing, can put this location on their Must Visit list.

 

 
Click on thumbnails below photos to see larger images
 
 
end of Roy's Road  looking south down Pumicestone Passage Westaways Creek Westaways Creek runs into Pumicestone Passage ramp Roy's Road
end of Roy's Road
Westaways Creek
Westaway's Ck joins Pumicestone Passage
ramp Roy's Road