In Mid-September we had the opportunity to experience the largest sand island in the world, the Fraser Island. Measuring over 120 km long and averaging 15 km wide, this island was magnificient. After a short, rain-filled ferry over to this island, we experienced 4x4 on a tour bus. Times were questionable on narrow single-lane paths with traffic going both ways. We saw Mackenzie beach, a warm, fresh water lake with Silica sands which we exfoliated our skin with. Eli creek was as beautiful as it was rich with vast aboriginal history. The females used to give birth across this fresh drinking water haven. We drove along a rugged coast line, stopping at Maheno shipwreck. This vessel was bought by asians, but to afford to tow it back to their country they had to sell the props. Unfortunately, chains gave way during towing and the sandy and rocky coastline has claimed this rusting ship for 70 years. The trip was exciting and full of history.
After viewing the largest sand island in the world, we set sail to view the worlds largest coral reef. The Whitsundays are full of coral, turtles, reef sharks, uncountable types of fish to the untrained eye, and most importantly, beautiful scenery. The captain of this ship was a self-proclaimed Aussie. He was short, to the point, spoke his mind, and loved small talking with the ladies often calling them "sweet-heart". The captain's pro's outweighed his con's while driving the boat and giving life-saving information in case of an emergency. During our snorkelling we saw many sea creatures, most notably three large blue fish which were unafraid of foreigners in their home. Turtles were seen from the catamaran along with jumping fish at night. With this said, snorkelling around Hawaii was better and we were disappointed with the lack of turtles, dolphins, sharks and other large animals we wished to see while in the water.
We approached Whithaven beack just after sunrise the second day on the catamaran. This beach is composed of 98% pure silica. People were seen brushing their teeth with the sand. As tide came in through the winding waterway, many timid stingrays swam past us with was quite exciting. We hiked up to the viewpoint twice, once at low tide and once at high tide. Both views were magnificient and this was by far the nicest beach we have ever been to.
The last night consisted of socializing with everybody on the boat, not as individuals, but as 'countries' as chosen by a friendly English man. Many friends were made this night and hopefully we will meet up with them in New Zealand.