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Camping at ‘The Well’
  |  First Published: June 2003



‘THE WELL’ is the name locals affectionately give to the great holidaying and camping area of Jacobs Well. This top area is the gateway to the Jumpinpin and northern Broadwater areas so beloved by the boating fraternity.

A QUIET LOCATION

When I visited the area to research this article it was shortly after the Easter break and things were remarkably quiet. Granted, I was visiting mid-week on a very windy day, but the area is naturally quiet anyway, making it perfect for folk who like to get right away from the hustle and bustle of modern life.

One of the best features of the area is that there are no through roads at Jacobs Well, and the community is a small one. Infrastructure consists of a few stores, bakery, takeaway outlets, a professional centre, newsagent, hair dresser, chemist, bottle shop and the Jacobs Well Tavern (where I’ve enjoyed some great dinners).

Many visitors are happy to visit Jacobs Well just for the quiet seaside ambience. These folk like to just sit and enjoy the sun on a beachside table on a winter's morning or perhaps sit at the shaded rest area next to the boat ramp and watch the boating activity.

STAYING FOR A SPELL

If you’d like to stay for a while, the Gold Coast City Council runs the Jacobs Well Tourist Park, and it’s a great place to enjoy a holiday. New proprietors Robin and Tom will make you very welcome. Many anglers, especially visitors from the south with tinnies atop the van, find the Tourist Park's location right next to the boat ramp very convenient for forays into fish-filled waters. During peak holiday times, remember to book or you could miss out.

A great thing about the Tourist Park is that it's right next to the beach and boat ramp, with only the ramp's car Park separating the campground from the saltwater. The Park is also right next to the large community oval and district community hall, making the camping area a very attractive venue for junior fishing camps.

The photos show just how spacious and unrestricted the Park is. There are no high fences or restrictive signs, and the idea is for folk to just enjoy themselves. There is a camp kitchen for the residents, as well as a boat wash area, barbecues, covered tables, and a laundry area. In all there are 31 powered sites and another 70 un-powered sites.

If you want to bring a boat plus the tent that’s not a problem – there is plenty of room for all. Angling groups find this aspect of the Park particularly attractive, and during winter many clubs make the camping grounds their headquarters for weekend fishing trips for bream and tailor.

While there are no hire vans on site, there are five well set up resort villas right on the eastern verge of the Park. The view of the sun rising across the islands would be very easy to take on a winter's morning and, with the sink and barbecue set up on the front veranda, the sizzle of bream cooking on the hot plate would make a great start to the day.

GATEWAY TO THE 'PIN

The Jacobs Well boat ramp, jetty and associated bait and tackle outlets are all places anglers naturally gravitate to, yet when I was busy with the camera the boat ramp had a lot of spare Parking spaces and only a couple of folk were on the adjoining jetty.

The boat ramp at Jacobs Well allows easy boating access to the Jumpinpin estuary as well as the northern end of the Broadwater. Even in a hard southerly the ramp is relatively sheltered and an easy place to launch, in contrast to the ramp at Cabbage Tree Point a little further to the north. This ramp can be a real horror with a southerly kicking up surf against a run-out tide.

Also, while the Jacobs Well ramp has a decent gradient, it doesn't drop straight off into deep water like its counterpart. This makes moving a boat around onto the nearby sand by the first mate an easy job while you Park the car.

Well marked channels also make day or night travel to the fishing grounds of the 'Pin quite easy, even for boaters unfamiliar with the area.

My visit was in early May, so it was just a little too late for summer fish – although floods had certainly pushed some flathead out of their hidey holes – and still too early for the best of the winter fishing, although bream were starting to show up. By the time you read this though, things will have improved.

At this time of the year the main target species are bream, luderick and tailor. I'm tipping a good luderick season this year simply because of the excellent rains in autumn, for a change. These sweet tasting and feisty fish should be lining up all along the deeper drop-off banks within sight of the Jumpinpin bar from around mid-June onwards. The Jacobs Well jetty, incidentally, is also a good place to fish for the luderick which hang around the piles when tidal flow is strong. Remember to have a long-handled landing net available – luderick have very soft mouths and are notorious for dropping off the hook when lifted, kicking, from the water.

Bream are highly sought after during winter, and numbers should peak around the full moon. Boaties will find bream very widely dispersed around Jacobs Well, especially when fishing around the mud clumps and snaggy areas adjoining the mangrove banks. Deep channels produce their share of bream as well, and these fish are also taken along the foreshores at The Well, and from the jetty. Flesh baits or yabbies are good here.

Tailor are certainly around and should be very widespread throughout winter. As always, the best times are daylight and dusk. Looking for surface activity is a sure way of locating feeding tailor.

GETTING THERE

The entire Jacobs Well area is handy to both Brisbane and the Gold Coast, being located roughly south-east of Beenleigh and north-east of Pimpama. The best way to approach the area is to turn off the Pacific Highway at the Pimpama exit. Attenborough Road will lead to the Pimpama - Jacobs Well Road which, after twisting and turning through the cane fields and farm areas, will bring you out on The Esplanade at Jacobs Well. The few intersections you’ll encounter are well signed to indicate the way to Jacobs Well.

An alternative route is to leave the Pacific Highway at Yatala and head east towards Woongoolba and Jacobs Well. The turns are well sign posted and the Stapylton-Jacobs Well Road (with its own share of twists and turns) leads directly to your holiday destination.

1) Visitors to Jacobs Well will find the Tourist Park entry easy to find.

2) While there were plenty of vacant sites at the camping grounds it is wise to book for peak periods.

3) The Jacobs Well jetty is always a very popular fishing spot, especially for luderick during winter.

4) The Council have recently erected these neat tables on the Jacobs Well foreshores. Residents and visitors alike appreciate them.

5) Now that's a boat ramp! The Jacobs Well ramp is quite sheltered and offers a lot of sandy beach nearby for the boatie to pull up onto.

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