We arrived at rainbow beach ready for our Fraser Island adventure the next day. Rainbow beach is the base for the tour and is very tiny, there isn't a lot there just a couple of shops and a beach. We had to get prepared for the tour on our first day, packing 3 days worth of stuff into our tiny day bags again like we had to for the outback! We had a briefing about safety and how to drive the 4x4 cars, then got put into our groups who we would be sharing a car with. We got put into a group with 5 Germans who were already friends and a Dutch girl plus me and Oddy. We got assigned our car in the morning and off we went! We had to get a barge across the water to reach Fraser Island, but it only took 10 minutes then the off road driving began! It was so bumpy and driving on soft sand feels similar to driving on ice or snow - we were skidding all over the place but it is definitely part of the fun! Our first stop for the day was at Lake Mackenzie where we were able to sunbathe and go for a swim, we then headed to our campsite - it was VERY basic! I don't mind camping, but this wasn't my cup of tea! We were supposed to have 3 people in every tent which literally could only just fit 3 people in like sardines so you'd all be touching each other - me and oddy selfishly pretended that our tent was full so luckily got one for just the two of us! It still wasn't comfortable, we had a yoga mat as a mattress and just a thin sleeping bag liner to sleep in and no pillow! The 2 toilets and showers (for over 60 people!) were also pretty grim! But the worst for me was the hygiene of the kitchen area - yuck!! Each group had to cook their own meals and got given a box of ingredients and a box of utensils - we got our chopping board out on the first day and it was covered in ants! We took it to the only available sink which ran cold brown water to 'clean' it then had to carry on using it!!! I'm so proud of myself for actually eating while I was there, I definitely think I'm cured of my over the top food hygiene obsession! Anyway as the evening progressed, it's basically just a big p*ss up. Everyone was drinking goon (cheap boxed wine) and getting very very drunk! The next day we drove to another beautiful spot which is a lazy river, you get in at the start of the river and the current pulls you all the way down, it was really beautiful and good fun to swim along. We then drove to a shipwreck which was abandoned many years ago and has been a bit of a tourist attraction ever since. We then went to the champagne pools which were really cool to swim in, it's right on the edge of the sea but is protected by a layer of big rocks so it just traps some of the sea water but every now and again a massive wave hits and gets everyone soaked! Finally we did a walk up to the edge of a big cliff where you can see down into the water and on a clear day you can apparently see turtles, whales and sharks! We didn't see any of them unfortunately.
Evening two was much the same as evening one, everyone got very very drunk but I did prefer the second night because we had made friends with a group of Irish boys and girls who were really good fun! On our third and final day we did a long walk out to the sand blow which was quite amazing - it's a massive area of sand, it just looks like a dessert but it's a big hole so it feels like you just want to slide down the sides into the middle, but you're not allowed! We also went to swim in lake wabby which is right next to the sand blow. It was really boiling hot that day so the long walk back was pretty tough! Plus we were told to look out for snakes which always freaks me out!
Then that was the end of the trip so we headed back to rainbow beach! Overall, I really loved the Fraser Island trip during the day times but I really didn't rate the camping, eating or drinking side of it in the evenings! After doing the outback tour, it just didn't compare in terms of being well organised and the leader really didn't lead us on Fraser. But I'm so glad I did it and the things we saw in the day were amazing!
Me and Oddy had 2 nights booked at Rainbow beach when we got back so we just totally chilled out and spent our days lying by the pool drinking cocktails and getting excited about our next stop - Mackay for Christmas! :-)