OK, so now that I have a bit more time I will update you properly on the last few days. Mainly because I feel that Fraser Island deserves it's own blog - as it's such a beautiful place.
But before that I will just go back a few days more to when we left the Zoo. The next morning we headed in our caravan up to the Glass Mountains. As per all the other mountains we've been on the view was amazing and the drive up (and down) was even more scenic. Some parts of the road were so narrow that we only just managed to negotiate our way through, but in the end we made it safely back on to the Pacific Hwy.
We were on our way to Rainbow Beach a tiny little town which acts as the jump point to Fraser Island. The town itself is charming and is worth a visit itself, but for us we were excited as on Tuesday we were off for a day trip to Fraser Island.
Our day started very early and by 6.45am we were standing at our pick up spot waiting to be whisked away aboard a bus to Inskip Point, from which we were to get on a barge to Fraser Island. This all sounds very nice but for the fact that it was raining like there was no tomorrow. I mean this rain made the rain showers we get in London look pathetic. However, despite this I was still optimistic that it would brighten up and so had my sunglasses on my head ready to by utilised as soon as there was any form of sunlight. I looked rather silly in my raincoat, shorts and sunglasses but then so did everyone else on the bus so I didn't care.
Fraser Island is the largest sand island in the world and can be reached in around 10 mins from Inskip Point. This island was for years used by the logging industry but is now a national park.
Now, like most people there were a couple of things that we didn't know about this island 1) there are no paved roads on the island 2) you can only access or drive on the island with a 4WD vehicle. So I was immensely relieved that we were in a 4WD bus and not in our caravan when we reached the beach at Inskip and realised that you literally drive to the barge through the beach! I think our caravan would have got stuck as soon as we left the paved road.
The journey on the barge was short and in no time our bus was on the beach of Fraser Island. The first thing that hit me was how empty the 75 mile beach was - in fact there was no one on it. I know it was raining but this seemed strange. That is until I realised that the 75 mile beach also acts as the highway to the north of the island. As we raced at high speed on the beach it was surreal to see the waves on one side and the sand dunes on the other!!!
We were on our way to the only resort on the island for morning tea and managed to see a few dingos roaming on the beach and more excitingly a White Bellied Eagle sitting and a STOP sign. Suddenly our bus came to a halt as we realised that path on the beach was blocked by some trees and as it was high tide there was no way around on the water side. Just for a second I thought that the bus driver was going to attempt to go through the sea and I was contemplating my exit when he turned around to take a gravel road inland. The road to the resort was bumpy but we made it and enjoyed our tea and muffin before going off to the Moheno shipwreck.
The Moheno was a ship that was built in Scotland for Australia in 1905 to act as a luxury cruise ship to New Zealand. It served it's purpose well until during WWI it was recalled to act as a floating hospital for the troops. By the time the war had ended the ship was too old and expensive to run and so was sold to the Japanese in 1935. As the ship was being towed to Japan it hit a cyclone and subsequently ended up on the island ever since. It is an amazing site to see a ship washed up on the shore, but what's even more astonishing is that 2 floors of the ship is buried under sand - so you only get to see a small part of the ship.
From here we went up to Eli Creek which is fresh water stream that runs through the forest and into the sea. At first I wasn't too impressed but as soon as I stepped in the water and started to head down it that I realised why it draws so many visitors. The water is so refreshing and clear that you just don't want to get out (even though it was still raining).
After lunch we headed to the the rain forest part of the island for a spot of walking. And I think the ride itself was even more exciting that the walk. Our huge bus was weaving in and out past huge trees on a path which in parts was just about large enough to get through. It really looked like something out of an Indiana Jones film. The only thing that kept everyone in their seats was the seatbelt.
But we made it to central station for our walk which was more of a gentle 20 mins stroll through the forest and back on the bus to Lake McKenzie - the highlight, the money shot or what ever you want to call it.
This is a fresh water lake in the middle of the island and it is stunning. To be honest I don't think anyone can describe it, you have to see it for yourself. And when you step into the water it is even more special. The water is crystal clear (even more clear than a swimming pool) and all you can see is this beautiful blue lake which is surrounded in forest and white sand. And because of the rain it gave the whole place a slight mist which made it even more exotic. The water is also really warm and is slightly acidic (roughly the same value as human skin) and because of this acidity acts a an cleanser. When you come out of the water your skin feels unbelievable and your hair feels so soft - you come out of the water 10 years younger. I think Lake McKenzie is one of the most stunning places that I have ever been to.
From Lake McKenzie we headed back to Rainbow Beach on our bus and managed to spot a few more dingos along the way and our trip to Fraser Island was over.
What an amazing day - in the rain!!!