One simple thing you can do to help the vulnerable ecosystem of Double Island Point on your next day or camping trip.
Located south of Fraser Island and a stone’s throw from Noosa and Rainbow Beach, Double Island Point is a natural treasure cherished by locals and first timers alike. It’s an excellent spot for beach fishing, surfing, kayaking, hiking, spearfishing, diving, jet skiing and boating. It’s an outdoors lover’s dream destination.
Only accessible by 4WD, Double Island Point was once an isolated oasis. As a kid, our family would tow the caravan to the Cooloola Cove Recreation Area for two, three, even four weeks at a time. The camping area would be dotted with small groups of campers, usually other young families and friendly grey nomads.
A lot has changed as Double Island Point has gained in popularity over the years, particularly the quality and volume of visitors. A large portion of visitors are now younger in age, flogging it around in patrols lifted as high as their egos. They are less interested in the nature and beautiful serenity and more interested in one-upping each other in who can rip the best donut. Don’t get me wrong, there are still young groups there with respect for other people and the location, but these crews are a rare breed nowadays.
The drowning popularity of the beautiful spot has also attracted the masses. When the weather turns it on, on any given weekend, thousands of people make the voyage to the Point, from the Sunshine Coast, Brisbane and beyond. The vast number of people inevitably brings a few who leave their rubbish and don’t clean up on their way out.
The combination of inconsiderate visitors and relentless visitation has led to a decline in the environmental welfare of the Point and its surrounding areas.
However there is hope and there are people out there who are fighting to preserve this natural gem. Last weekend we were lucky enough to partner with the Surfrider Foundation Sunshine Coast in their bi-annual Clean Up Double Island Point Day. This event sees over 100 volunteers roll up their sleeves and pick up rubbish left by campers and waste washed ashore.
We were assigned to clean a 1km stretch near the Point and each given a big bag to fill. Within one hour, we had filled 7 bags. There was rubbish in every direction. We had to stop because we had picked up so much that the bags were getting too heavy to carry.
Seeing first-hand how much rubbish was plaguing this pristine environment was a real eye opener. It was shocking to look out at this beautiful postcard ocean scene, and then turn around to see the dunes and shoreline smothered with litter, from bottle caps to lightbulbs to ancient Chinese Pepsi cans.
The efforts of everyone involved in the cleanup saw over 1.5 tonnes of rubbish removed from the beach. We were stoked to play our part in removing litter, as well as quenching the thirst of the volunteers with a karma keg of Larry at day’s end.
While efforts like these are extremely beneficial to Double Island Point, they are a bandaid fix and involve massive organisation. We left the beach thinking of how simplistic maintaining the cleanliness of this environment could be.
It’s as easy as picking up after yourself and always leaving with more rubbish than you make. If everyone who visited spent half an hour filling a bag of other people’s rubbish, then mass cleanups would not be necessary.
This is something we will be doing every time we visit Double Island and we highly encourage you to do it too.
Of course we are not so naive as to think that all people will willingly do this. What if were mandatory with camping permits? Imagine the reduction in litter if each camping permit has to collect rubbish bags as they enter the beach access points, and offload these bags as they exit. Just the obligation for campers to pick up bin bags as they enter the beach would result in reduced rubbish on the beach.
It would be a small sacrifice to keep this incredible place healthy for future generations to enjoy just as we have.
We’d love to hear your thoughts on this topic, please get involved by heading to our Facebook discussion and leaving a comment.
Special thanks to the following organisations for the awesome trip:
Surfrider Foundation Sunshine Coast
Drop Bear Adventures
When you’re next off enjoying one of Australia’s beautiful natural treasures – tag us in your photos to show how you’re doing your part to protect what we all love.
Here’s to a healthy, clean future. Cheers!