I first came across Cooper Creek Wilderness while flying around the estates to the south and east of Blake Sea without any intent or purpose in mind. A part of the Sailors Cove South estate, the wilderness caught my attention due to its proximity to the Sailors Cove South (SCS) airfield, which has a fairly tight little runway for getting in and out of (unless you have a seaplane and can make use of the nearby open waters), making it an interesting place to practice short landings.
Also accessible by boat, the wilderness forms a part of the estate’s protected lands, and offers visitors trails to walk, wildlife to see and places to simply sit and ponder. My most recent visit came after taking my helicopter for a flight; the intention had been to head over to Second Norway, but somewhere along the way I decided to turn south to see if any land down that way might be up for sale, so I quite naturally found my way to the SCS airfield on Frasier Island.
As well as having a very small runway, the SCS airfield also offers a bit of a challenge for landing at the helipad, surrounded as it is on three sides by tall trees, with the airfield windsock located on the remaining side (see the picture above of me manoeuvring my MD900 for a landing).
If you opt to sail to the wilderness, the best way once you reach the Sailors Cover estates is to make your way to Sailors Cove South, cross Thorton Peak on the west side, and then head across Rio Plantano before turning north along the Cerrado coastal area and thus to the Cooper Creek Wilderness moorings.
As I’d flown down to SCS, I opted to make my way to the little quay on the west side of the airfield on the banks of the river behind the airfield. Here visitors can find a rezzing station for one or two person kayaks (with a tiny option available as well), which can then be used to head northwards through the river channels to the wilderness, making for a nice little journey in itself. There are also a couple of kayak rezzers up in the wilderness park as well, making getting back easy, should you hop out of your boat (causing it to de-rez after about 10 seconds).
The park offers a series of walks, as noted, which wind over trails, cross bridges (either with steps for those on foot or ramps for those on horseback). There are also clearings where you can sit and rest, a butterfly house, climbs with zip lines waiting at the top, and a wooden walk through a mangrove swamp (watch out for the alligator!) which has wicker chairs hanging over the waters for those wanting to simply sit and let time drift by. Travel far enough north and you’ll find a swan boat rezzer you can use to paddle your way back along the waterways if you have left your kayak behind,
While Cerrado to the south is largely given over to residential parcels (so do keep people’s privacy in mind if travelling in that direction), the waterways flowing through these regions – Cooper Creek Wilderness, Cerrado and Frasier Island do make for interesting and relaxing exploration via kayak, and there are numerous photo opportunities to be found along the way.
For those seeking somewhere a little different to explore, I can recommend Cooper Creek Wilderness; whether you hop there directly or make it a part of a longer outing by air or water, it makes for a pleasing destination. Just don’t be surprised if you come across me curled up in one of the hanging wicker chairs as you wander the trails and wooden walks!
- Cooper Creek Wilderness (Rated: Moderate)