Just to let you know we have posted two blogs and photos (Whitsundays and Fraser Island) at the same time as we've had trouble downloading photos onto our blog - just don't want you guys missing anything!!!
Since we last left you we'd been on a sailing trip round the Whitsunday Islands and then made our way by bus down to Hervey Bay which was our hopping off point for our 2 day, 1 night Fraser Island trip. Our bus arrived at 5.55 in the morning and looking at the map thought we could manage the walk to the hostel - that wasn't one of our brilliant ideas! It took us around 40 mins to walk to the hostel with all our backpacks and extra bags, we nearly died of exhaustion! However our efforts were rewarded with an upgrade to a deluxe double room (deluxe meaning you get a t.v. and a d.v.d. player - but we weren't complaining!).
The following day we were picked up by our nutty tour guide Jason and his monster 4WD truck!!! We headed down to Rainbow Beach to pick up some more people and then catch the ferry across to Fraser Island. The ferry across only took 10 mins and we soon realised why your only allowed to take 4WD onto the island. There are no roads as such and the beach around the island is used as the main road. Unfortunately we arrived at high tide, so we couldn't go round the south east point of the beach and had to go inland. This is where we absolutely s*** our pants - Jason decided to show exactly what his beast of a truck could do and at full speed we were zooming along hitting every bump and pothole along the way and leaving the other 4WD's standing. We soon got into enjoying being chucked around in the back though. Our next bit of fun was when we got back on the beach, the tide was still high so there wasn't much beach between the sea and sand dunes, so we were left to Jason's 4WD rally driving to get us to Lake Wabby.
When we arrived we still had a 2.4 km walk to Lake Wabby where we could jump in for a dip. It seemed like forever to get there but as soon as we got there we forgot all that. The lake was completely green and there was a giant sand dune to the side of it. We took a climb up the sand dune and looked out over the the other giant white sand dunes broken up by bits of vegetation that makes up Fraser Island. It was quite amazing.
After the walk back, we stopped for lunch on the beach and then Jason drove us to Eli Creek, which is small, cold freshwater river that you walk up for about 60m then you let the current float you back down to the beach, which was great fun!
Our next stop was the amazing Maheno wreck, the ship itself has a really colourful history as a first class steam ship but was sadly ship wrecked here in 1935, what you can actually see is only a small proportion and the rest is under the sand. It was a really eerie site but made for some quality photos as you can see.
It was then only a short drive to 'The Pinnacles' which is an exposed sand dune where you can see all the different layers of coloured sand, then we headed further north to Indian head and climbed up the the top of the cliff to do some tiger shark spotting. We also had an amazing view of the 75 mile beach we had come along to get here. When we then climed back down and Jason had put the kettle on and as we finished our cups of tea we saw a wild dingo!
As it been a long day we headed to Eurong Beach Resort to check into our rooms, tuck into some food and wash it down with a few beers. This is when some of the guys in our group though it would be excellent idea to get up for sunrise the following morning. So Gavin set the alarm for 4 O'clock, needless to say I wasn't getting up, so Gavin went down with the others but when they got to the beach it became light really quickly so they thought they had missed it, so he came back with some of the others only to realise at 7 o'clock when we got up again and were shown the pictures of sunrise that he'd should have stayed as it come up only 10 mins later!. Ha ha ha! I'm so glad I stayed in bed.
After breakfast we headed off again this time to Central Station where the main logging industry on the island used to take place. We also went for a beautiful rainforest walk along Wanggolba Creek which looks invisible beacause the water is so clear.
Our last stop for the day was what everyone knows Fraser Island for - Lake McKenzie. The sand here is very similar to that at Whitehaven beach in the Whitsundays Islands. It's so fine and 98% silica that you can polish you jewellery and even exfoliate with it. I've never seen so many men rubbing sand over themselves! It was absolutly beautiful, the sand was so white and the lake was freshwater and completely clear. In the photos you can see the sand going into the water and then about a metre in it becomes really dark, at this point the beach drops off by 6- 10 m. Some of us decided it would be fun to swim across the lake to the sandbar in the middle - we've never swum so far in our lives, it was alot further than any of us thought. We walked out along the sand bar right into the middle of the lake, then decided it would be easier to walk around the lake back to our towels rather than swim the distance back. After a couple of hours and some lunch Jason took us though the forest back the beach. You would not believe how bumpy it was and we were being thrown around in the back, Gavin also couldn't believe how I managed to actually fall asleep during this!!! It's such a gift being able to fall asleep anywhere ;o) It was then a race along the beach to get back to the ferry and then onto the mainland and back in time for dinner.
We thought this trip was fantastic and almost as good as our trip to Ayers Rock. So if anyone is planning to come to Oz you definalty have to put Fraser Island on your list.
We caught the bus this morning and arrived in Brisbane around lunchtime. So we'll leave it there for now.
Bet everyones counting down the days to xmas!
Lots of love
Helen and Gavin