FRASER ISLAND ADVENTURES...whoop whop was nice driving a beastly 4X4 diesel campervan...
After all the recommendations of this trip and the gossip - it lived up to exspectations but in different ways than expected. The trip was 3 days and 2 nights (up at 6am every morning and with the trip ending at 6pm on the last day)... Firstly people are put in groups of 7-9 people... deposits are devised... insurance details written... safetly videos are watched and alot of information is read... forms are signed and people are told again and again about DINGO SAFETY lol.
So at the hostel we had a morning of doing that and meeting our group - me and Siobhan has 2 canadian lads in our group, an Israeli couple and an english girl (who was actually a nightmare...but I wont go into that now)... the group all in all was good and between us all we were left from when we left the PALACE hostel in Hervey Bay to pick up camping supplies and eqipment from a warehouse... get food from the local supermarket for all us and then pick up ferry tickets and maps - a LONG first morning together!! In the group it turned out that due to one reason or another only me and Kim were able to drive - whcih at first scared the s*** out of me but then the responsibilty of driving on the worlds largest sand island in this beast of a car was quite exciting!!!
On the first day we basically (me and the English girl) took it in terms to drive acorss the island for the camping to be set up - and after a morning of sorting out activities and safetly procedures we just about had time to set up camp before it got dark! The map was crap but luckily to scale... admittable none of us appreciated how big the island was or how long it took to be at places but the first night was spent camping on the beach under the stars - beautiful :) we could hear the sea, make ourselves a BBQ on the beach and havea much needed beer :D it was great!!
The negatives of Fraser Island:
**Took a while to drive everywhere and the terrain was hard/ fun. s*** scary at times.... an emotional adventure?
**You couldnt travel places on your own incase the dingos got you :P ... at first I thought these animals were gonna be scary but they are little wolf like dogs with the figure of foxes... admittabley while its dark they all come out and when you see them trying to get into people's vans or scattering round BBQ areas it can be a lil scary
**NO toilets (obvioulsy as ya camping on the beach...unless you drive an hour somewhere to one of the designate campsite toilets) so after a evening has passed it can be a bit smelly... you can see used bog roll here and there... and if its so sandy your flip flops are disappearing in the sand - ya gotta be careful where you step eeeewwww... that itself was my biggest figure (fortunately I was lucky!).
** Some groups dont get on - this one girl in our group thought being a driver meant she didnt have to help cook...clean....help put up tents... tidy up.... infact do anything but criticise everyone else (hey it could have been alot worse... putting 7-9 strangers together cant always be perfect - some groups were REALLY harmonous but there were a couple of really cliquie ones!)
...Everything else was COOL.... day 2 we went to Eli Creek - a good little stream of fresh water (there were loads of these fresh water vents on the island) was really pretty and a great time for everyone to have a wash - with no washing there it felt like a dirtier version of a music festival (dirtier because the sand gets EVERYWHERE and rubbing suntan lotion and bug spray over 2 day old sand is not fun) ... after the creek everyone got filfy again within the hour though it was lovely to relax in the strem... staring up into all the giant webs and huge spiders (whilst all travellers were wondering which one would actually kill you if you touched it! lol).... we then drove 70km up the beach to Indian head view point and to some rock pools....we saw sting ray and fish and a lot of nice views but for the drive and walk...well it was long... thank god we were one of the lucky ones - our 4X4 had vboth a working radio and air conditioning... which was a novelty for most the other cars!!
After much more driving we set up camp and made more BBQ items and a luxuary spag bol - living the high life!! We tried to find another lake but after 30 mins of walking gave up and went along the beach... the lakes here are pretty famous...and pretty important to the whole eco system of this island (of which half of it is national park - very pretty!!) unfortunately you CANNOT swin in the sea... deadly jelly fish are everywhere (they are quite fun to swish driving along in the car too) and there is dangerous algae... tiger sharks breeding... and they are just the first reasons...so lakes were important if you wanted to wash away the sand!!
The second night was soooo fun as SOOO many of the other travel companies also have these self drive packages so there must have been about 50 vehicles all parked along the southern western beach.... with some randoms bringing lights and sound systems a beqach party arose from no where and so the night was spent partying away into the sun set - dingos on the side... it was so cool, definitely a worthy kodak moment! Most the drinks were finished that night and every other person was sayig that infamous saying "slap the goon" ewwww (the goon bag - being the cheap wine made with dairy and fish products... though it does say on the side "contains grape" phew)...
It was a bit more of a stuggle to get up in the 3rd day but as before Kim drove in the morning and I tool the afternoon... it was good being the driver as you felt less turbulence but it was DANGEROUS... 2 of the 5 PALACE vehicles broke down...another company van got caught in the sand dunes and rolled over (whilst driving on the seafront we saw the vehicle being tow trucked down the beach) - and later founf out that there were several casualties and a death too!!! (Makes me wonder how long these 4 wheel self drive programs will be running with news like that!) ... we spent the WHOLE day at lake mckenzie - google it its soooo beautiful! the lake looked like the sea as white sand surrounded it... you would think you were at the beach if you didnt drive 2 hours through the national park to see it (through pile valley and a famous chunk of land with some of the biggest trees EVER!!!) the water was so clear you could see your toes wiggling underwater.... a perfect way to end the trip in the sun and relaxing!
On route back several cars got stuck in the sand - so a lot of team work was involved helping other groups... this self drive was very much do it yourself and if you have a problem the phones dont work so connect to a satellite and someone will come out and rescue you the next day (DID NOT want to be in that situation lol).... we made it in time for the ferry back and after dropping off our vehicles and cleaning the equipment sorting s*** out we went back to the hostel for about 6pm -
The whole trip was fun, it was nice meeting so many people (felt qa bit like an 18-30 European camping road trip - mmm an experience!?) but it did depend on the group you had to how much fun you had... we had a good time and had 2 hours when we got back to the hostel to shower...eat and pack for the next tri p(starting tomorrow) before boarding our next greyhound at about 8.30 pm for 13 hours of fun on the bus arrrrgggg!!!!