If you don’t believe in fairies, you need to spend a couple of nights with Wazza at the Platypus Bushcamp. Wander out of your bush hut just after dark and you’ll find the fairies weaving their way through the rainforest trees, with their little tails as bright as shining stars. If you’re lucky enough you might even be able to catch one and observe it a little more intimately. Upon closer inspection these magical little bush fairies may be mistaken for fire flies, but I’ve decided to stick with the bush fairy story – it suits this enchanted rainforest much more than fire flies ever would.
Warren Swadling aka Wazza was born in Sydney and spent 26 years in the building supply business in Mullumbimby where he witnessed the growth and destruction of beautiful places such as Byron Bay. Wazza had been visiting the Platypus Bushcamp for six years when he decided he’d had enough of the rat race and it was time to do his bit for our lucky country. And so in 1988 he purchased the 20 acres of rare lowland rainforest and the Platypus Bush Camp and hopes to enrich the lives of others by providing a unique Aussie bush experience.
When you arrive at the Platypus Bushcamp you are welcomed by “Dog”, the very well trained Dingo, Blue Heeler cross and two resident white cockatoos, Rocky who was found as a baby, featherless and fighting to survive and Roada, who was found wandering up & down the road with a broken wing. Both now call the Platypus Bushcamp home.
After a quick inspection of the accommodation available we decided to experience one of the rustic bush huts first hand. We booked and paid for three nights. The huts themselves are much the same as the rest of the camp, very basic. They are built off the ground, in amongst the rainforest trees, overlooking the crystal clear waters of the stream. There are waist height walls made of timber flitches, a timber lined iron roof and floor and three beds. An insect net hangs over the beds, but Wazza says you shouldn’t need it as there aren’t any bugs at the camp. He was right, we didn’t need it. There are roll up blinds hanging on the outside of the huts that you can use for protection if the weather gets bad. We bought our own linen, sleeping bags and pillows and were quite comfortable throughout our stay. We enjoyed going to sleep listening to the gurgling of the water racing over the rocks in the stream and being awoken in the morning by the chit chat of abundant birdlife.
We found the main advantage of staying in the huts was the ability to use the fully equipped camp kitchen. Although you won’t find any power at the Platypus Bushcamp, Wazza will strike up the generator in times of emergency or if you need to recharge your camera batteries. The platypus mosaic on the kitchen benchtop is a nice touch and was done by Tim, a Pommy traveler who stayed here a few years ago. The camp kitchen includes a two burner gas stove, sink with running water and lots of bench space. There are open fireplaces perfect for toasting marshmallows and a dining room with fireplace, dining table and chairs and food storage bins to keep your food stores safe from the hungry wildlife.
If you prefer to camp, the shady grassed sites are beautifully situated right beside the creek, with picnic shelter and campfires, just a short walk from the Platypus Viewing Pool. If you can’t fit all the camping gear in the car, you can hire a camp kit from Wazza which includes a tent, gas cooker, pans, pots, plates, knives & forks and an esky. All you have to do is ask.
The bush showers have to be one of the highlights of the Platypus Bushcamp, with stained glass front window and solid timber door with security latches, a dividing wall made of river rocks and the back of the cubicle open to a beautiful rainforest view. The shower water is heated by the original donkey method. The bush showers and flushing toilets are available to all visitors but the fully equipped camp kitchen is limited to hut residents only.
The Platypus Bush Camp is located on Gorge Road, Finch Hatton, 8km off Eungella Road just before the town of Finch Hatton.
For bookings or more information contact Wazza on [--] or check out the website [--]
The Finch Hatton Gorge kiosk 1klm further on for home made lemonade & mango ice cream (yum yum), snacks, toasties, tea, coffee, cool drinks & ice for your esky. Internet also available.
Walk to the beautiful Araluen & wheel of fire falls – only a couple of km’s up the track. Swim and have waterfall spas & admire the unique lowland rainforest.
Drive up to Eungella & visit the Eungella Chalet for spectacular views & a beer.
Visit the rangers office information centre at Broken River for an insight into the forest habitat before taking a walk on one of the many walking tracks.
See if you can spot all three frog, three lizard & the one endemic bird species.
We found this place by chance and I’m so glad we did! It’s the most magical place I think I’ve ever been!! The whole place just glows with beauty. We came for one night and we’ve been back countless times since then. We will always consider the bushcamp as our little piece of Australia. Thanks for the great hospitality and fun times!! Love Ciara and Shane. 5/1/05
Thank you for letting me share in your haven for the last few days. It is a pristine little space that I will return to in member and in person. Best of luck getting your birds to fly free, as I will be a fairy flitting through the ferns. All the best, Rachel (Victoria). 18/6/05
Thanks so much for the stay… We thoroughly enjoyed living in this sanctuary. We could feel the energy flow as soon as we entered this amazing place. Thanks for the fantastic friendly hospitality. Michal and Hana from Slovakia
“Author’s choice, Mackay-Whitsunday Region” – Lonely Planet East Coast Guide, 2006
“Best rainforest retreat in Qld” – Rough Guide
“Top 10 campsites, Qld; Top 10 Hostels, Qld” – Footprints
- Also Known As:
- Platypus Bush Camp Hotel Mackay