Every year my father, my brother and myself go on our annual weekend of fishing, adventure, a couple of ice-cold beers and plenty of rot, the kind only three lads get up to on a weekend away. While it’s incredibly important to disconnect from the constant white noise that is modern life, to get away and experience the natural world around us, it’s ever more increasingly important, to me at least, to reconnect with the people who helped shape who you are and mean the most to you, your family. It’s not the fishing that’s important, or the beer and rum, it’s the quality time spent with these two special people in my life that really matters. This year, we chose the legendary Fourty-Mile Beach, Teewah.
Teewah Beach as it’s formally known, is just south of Rainbow Beach, bordering the Great Sandy National Park. It’s a stunning stretch of sand and glistening water, edged with cliffs and vegetation of beautiful contrast, creating awe-inspiring backdrops to any fishing trip. Some of you acquainted with the 40-Mile Beach will know of The Cherry Venture wreck as a tourist attraction, unfortunately it has since been reclaimed, leaving not a trace on the sands, all that remains now is the propeller, now kept on display in the township of Rainbow Beach. Even without the Cherry on top, it still makes for a perfect Sunday.
There are plenty of camping sites sitting just off the beach amongst the trees to provide a buffer between wind and tent, a welcome sheltering, but the more daring are able to camp right on the beach for a fee. There are also four-wheel driving permits available for purchase for the more adventurous amongst you, we decided to leave the car behind and walk the sands ourselves, light banter and cheering between us as we decided on a fishing spot.
We’re by no means great fishermen, and the wind blowing for much of the weekend didn’t help our attempts, but we did manage to land a fish or two, one even big enough to not have to toss back! My brother was the only one to hook anything, and we didn’t hear the end of it for the rest of the trip. The battle of the man and the man-eater! The Captain and his whale! It was roughly two-kilo…
There isn’t much in the way of facilities at most of the sites, bar a few coin operated showers and bathrooms, but we made do with our two-burner stove as a fire ban was in place at the time. We ate simple, and drank plenty as we sat and chatted well into the night, staring up at the bliss of stars above us. This far from any over-burdening light source the night sky is absolutely stunning, ablaze with tiny pinpricks of burning gas, and with the soundtrack of crashing waves and the quiet skittering of insects and little beach creatures it was our own little sanctuary.
In the morning we un-zipped our tents to the chorus of birds chirping happily in the trees around us and after a quick breakfast we were headed back to the beach. We walked as far as we dared, marvelling at the landscape around us. Roughly half way along the stretch is a little place called The Red Canyon. Just as the name suggests it is infact, a rather red canyon of moulded sand and cliff. This little ruby in the mists of the beach and brush of the headland is a result of the mixing of mineral elements and the sand, staining it a glorious range of warm red, gold and orange hues. It honestly looks like something out of the set of some Australian outback adventure movie, seemingly out of place in the beach setting but never the less a beautiful and striking spectacle to behold.
We wandered our way back to camp and got together the rods for another crack at the fish before the sunset. Not a nibble was felt, although I did loose all my bait to a mystery monster of the deep… It didn’t matter though, standing ankle deep in the cool surf, beer and rod in hand as the sun began to sink below the horizon, I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else but right there, in my very own 40-mile stretch of paradise.