Seafood galore at Clairview’s Barracrab Caravan Park
  |  First Published: December 2014

In this issue the spotlight shines on Clairview. You haven’t heard of Clairview? This small but picturesque coastal locality is situated between Marlborough and Sarina and the Barracrab Caravan Park is right on the water, so close that you could virtually fish from some sites!

Getting there involves travel on the Bruce Highway. Travelling south from Sarina around 90km of travel will see the Clairview turn off in view just as you notice the fabulous stretch of ocean on the left. If travelling north from Rockhampton, around 220km of travel should see the dreary roadside scrub replaced with some of the prettiest blue water you could hope to see as the car rounds a bend. Clairview’s just there on the right.

The caravan park, aptly named Barracrab, is in the hands of Mark and Kathryn these days, very experienced caravan and camp grounds proprietors with ample experience of making travellers feel very welcome and very much at home. Mind you, when surveying the view of the sea at high tide, looking at the pretty beaches and the off shore islands in the distance it certainly won’t take long to feel very comfortable at Clairview. Also, fishing at high tide along the Clairview beach can also make you feel very comfortable if a fat grunter, mangrove jack, flathead or salmon grabs a bait or lure.

On a personal note, I have a bit of a ‘thing’ about Clairview. Many times during our trips north each year in quest of barra and other big biters, I’d round the bend on the M1 at Clairview and be mesmerised by the vista of blue water with an island not far away in the background. I’d always vowed to one day drive in and see if there was a camping ground to possibly review so last November on our trip back from Proserpine’s Peter Faust dam I drove in, and there was! And what a beautiful caravan park it is.

A look at Barracrab

Over all the Clairview camping area takes in some 4ha. Located at No. 1 Colonial Drive, Clairview, there are ample directions to Barracrab from the turnoff on the M1. There’s a rail line to cross and once the vehicle’s in Colonial Drive the Park’s entrance cannot be missed.

There’s a long driveway leading to the main office with its general store, kiosk, bait and tackle outlet, which is at BCF prices. Also adjoining the office is a well set up and very large camp kitchen for visitor’s use, a licensed bar area, beer garden with an adjoining dining room and a great view of the sea. Outside the dining and beer garden there’s an interesting camp oven cooking area for winter months.

Fine dining a specialty

For those looking for more conventional tucker the kitchen servicing the dining area provides an excellent menu with really good tucker like tender steaks, choice cuts of meat, barra burgers, and other succulent dishes. Plus, who could forget, oodles of local sea food. Fresh fish, crab and tasty salad, just the ticket for a warm summer day while enjoying a stay in pleasant surrounds.

Features within the camping ground include both powered and unpowered sites along with air conditioned cabins. Cabin occupancy varies; some will sleep up to 4 while others, being set up for groups and the like, can cater for up to eight. The selection is widened even further by some cabins that are set up with queen sized beds plus en suites; in all there is a fair selection on hand.

There are also several rows of dongas on site to provide even more choice for visitors. Those among us that enjoy camping will find there’s plenty of shaded spots to set up camp in, a fair amount of grassed area as well and with ongoing expansion and improvements all round even more grassed areas should come on line once the wet season kicks in.

Other attractions

Visitors all have access to the barbecues on site, the camp kitchen, the very clean amenities, the chance to just relax and enjoy a cold drink or well turned out meal with that great ocean view pleasing the eye while relaxing.

Fishing is pretty laid back in this neck of the woods. There are several creeks in the area in which to catch a barra, crab, salmon (threadfin and blue) mangrove jack or grunter. Cattle Creek, Clairview Creek and Sandfly Creek are all handy with their high tide access for small craft and there is a boat ramp at the end of Colonial Drive at Sandfly Creek. It’s wise to plan fishing around full tide for ease of access to and from the fishing areas.

In all, Barracrab is more than a name, it’s a way of life up here and with the local creeks, plus Flock Pigeon Island just off the coast to the east, the keen angler should not have to work too hard to score either fish or crab while relaxing in a very pleasant environment.

Mark and Katherine can be contacted on 0(7) 4956 0190. If planning a visit in winter, it’s best to book early as the grey nomads love this place.

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