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Paddling the Creek
A quiet Tassie backwater offers respite for travellers and crayfish alike
Words and Images by: SUE AND JOHN TURNER T75656

After an early start to get the business side of life out of the way, we set off for Crayfish Creek and our long-awaited weekend away. We stopped at Wynyard for a break on the way. Wynyard, on Tasmania’s north-west coast has a small shopping centre and a great second-hand shop which needed another look. We had been there a couple of months before during the Australia Day Weekend on our way to camp at Boat Harbour Beach, which is another beautiful spot.

Crayfish Creek is about 20km east of Stanley on the far north-west coast. The name Crayfish Creek conjures up images of delicious seafood. Sorry, it’s the freshwater variety. The crayfish are protected and not for catching. We were told of how they come out of the water when washed downstream in a flood, walk on land and have been found and photographed around the cabins in the park.

We were to meet up with about 30 other members of the local Veteran Car Club, some taking their old cars and others their caravans or campers. In our case we opted to take the camper. It has a cosy double bed over the cab, panoramic windows around the table, a small but compact shower and toilet, all the comforts of home.

The forecast rain caught up with us just before we left Wynyard and kept up for the rest of the day. It didn’t bother us in the slightest. We were shown to a secluded site near the creek, so level we didn’t even need to get the ramps out and a good spot from where we could launch the inflatable, our latest addition to the camper. For the rest of the day though, while the rain bucketed down, we had a bit of socialising to do. One couple were celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary so we all gathered in the camp kitchen for a barbecue tea.

Saturday morning dawned with a clearing sky. First up, we joined the others for a relaxing walk to the main beach. The tide  was low, the beach and rocks interesting and the company great. We had another walk after lunch, this time through the park. The Crayfish Creek Van and Cabin Park covers an area of around 45 acres of native bush. Tracks run everywhere along the creek and through the trees, with accommodation that ranges from a luxury spa tree house to secluded cabins and campsites.

With several others of our group we followed the creek track, some turning back as the track got narrower and more overgrown. My only worry was the prospect of leeches following the rain, especially as I didn’t have socks on. I did get a leech on my leg. I’m not sure who moved faster, me or the leech. Someone told me later that salt on the skin and clothes is supposed to be a good deterrent. I will definitely try that next time.

Sue and John’s camper, Crayfish Creek

On returning from our walk we started talking to one of the owners of the park. He told us we had missed the best part of the bush and offered to take us there in his four-wheel drive.

What followed was an eye opener into the incredible tourist gold mine they are living on. He took us to an area that had never been logged. It contained the most twisted, gnarled tree trunks we have ever seen along with huge tree ferns and trees that were hundreds and possibly a thousand or more years old. We were amazed at the beauty of the area and the potential for long-term tourism.

Unusual rocks on the beach

By the time we got back to camp happy hour was well under way. The tide was also up and demanded a dip in the inflatable boat. There is nothing quite like the feeling of being out on the water. In this case it was within the confines of the creek at high tide but it was so peaceful. I only wish we’d had more time to spend in this beautiful place, but this was the only high tide in daylight hours that day and at low tide it is easier to just walk on the sand. With a tidal range of around 2.5 metres, the creek is a playground whether the water is up or down. We remembered Christmas there a couple of years ago with the family. The children loved it, playing in the sand or beach cricket, flying kites, exploring the rock pools at low tide, and swimming and boating.

It was a little cooler on Sunday morning when most were packing to leave. As we’re never in a hurry to leave a gorgeous spot, we opted to go home after lunch. Seven people fitted easily into our camper for morning tea, a fitting end to a great weekend in a beautiful place.

Crayfish Creek at low tide

Tags: Tasmania TAS Crayfish Travel Wynyard Boat Harbour Campervan Winter
Category: Destinations
Written: Wed 01 Oct 2014
Printed: October, 2014
Published By:

Article Photos
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Journey Details

Crayfish Creek, TAS
-40.865996, 145.397778



Far north-west coast of Tasmania




Any time is good – it’s a great place to base yourself and travel around the area, or just sit back, relax and stay put. Cabins are heated – see above website for details.