First night at Hervey Bay Helen managed to acquire 90 mosquito bites - How lucky??
We booked a trip to Fraser Island where we will be sharing a 4x4 vehicle with a group of up to 11 people. Met a couple, Jo and Pete from Leeds who were sharing our dorm and on the same Fraser trip as us. Had our first lie in in ages the next day, before our 3pm briefing about camping on the island. We were in a group of 8 including Jo and Pete, Cindy (Dutch), Emily (Canadian), Oliver (German), Andy (English). Jo and Helen volunteered to do the shopping for the trip, as we were afraid of what the foreigners might call normal food. Paul and Pete did the alcohol shopping - We didn't trust the Johnny Foreigners with the beer choices!
With the left over money from the food-shopping budget we had a team building session on the beer.
Up at 5.45am to get ready for the trip. Helen was the only one who had my driving license on her at the time so was nominated driver whilst on the mainland - so off we drove in the "Beast" to the ferry terminal and managed to get lost along the way, but made it in time! Engaging 4WD we set off on Fraser Island, which is a sand island measuring 120 km by 15 km created by thousands of years of long shore drift. Fraser Island has a variety of landscapes from vast sand dunes known as sand blows to dense tropical rainforest and deep freshwater lakes. The purest strain of dingoes (another dangerous animal) inhabit the island.
The sand was really deep and difficult to drive in at first but the conditions eased to a bumpy road. We stopped to gawp at a 4x4 that had got stuck in the sand and was inches away from hitting a tree - unlucky!! After the boys pushed it out we arrived at Lake Wabby a fresh water lake with eucalypt forest on 3 sides and a massive sand blow on the fourth that is encroaching on the lake at a rate of 3 km a year. Everyone ran down the sand dune and plunged into the water - Fantastic! Paul swam across to the other side but it was too deep for Helen's liking, instead she just watched the giant catfish swimming in the lake.
Pete drove from there onto Eli Creek lets just call him kangaroo Pete from now on!
Eli Creek was again freshwater like all of the lakes on the island; it was bloody freezing but refreshing. Onto the Maheno wreck from there - a former passenger liner that was blown ashore by a cyclone in 1935 as it was being towed to Japan, then was used as target practise for bombs basically a poor excuse of a tourist attraction but we were glad to arrive there as Cindy drove, her first question being "which is the accelerator?" then "and which is the brake?"!! Paul had to take the handbrake off for her as she set off with it still on.
Next with Oliver at the wheel which was conducted with the usual German military style we came to The Pinnacles (an erode section of coloured sand cliffs)- not worth it either but the aboriginals had created a literally unbelievable story about it?
Arrived at base camp and put up our tents before tucking into our BBQ and booze.
Up at 5am!! Thought we were on holiday? Had to set off early so that we can drive along the 75-mile long beach to reach our intended destinations without getting stuck. First stop to see the freshwater turtles at Lake Allom - soooo cute (Helen wants one). Off to Indian Heads, the best vantage point of the island where we saw loggerhead turtles, manta rays, and 2 pods of dolphins from the top of the headland. The champagne pools were next, a rocky inlet where the waves broke over the rocks to create bubbles, it is the only safe saltwater swimming on the island, elsewhere there is a high chance you'll get eaten by a shark. Had to stay there until the tide had gone out again. My turn to drive again - got the beast stuck on a dune - whoops! Dare I say it but Paul got it out (that's right baby! P). Off back to Eli creek before going to Rainbow Gorge, which didn't have a gorge, it was just a sand blow. Back to camp for pasta, beers and bed.
Up again at 5am! Boys took the tent down while girlies made lunch and brekky. Stopped off at another resort to report that our wing mirror had been broken but the most reliable phone on the island was out of order.
In the morning we spent time at Lake Boomanjin which is a tea tree lake so consequently a clear brown colour, it didn't smell of tea tree and wasn't particularly beautiful - we quickly moved on!
Cindy drove again and was shocking, set off with the handbrake on again, nearly crashed twice - she didn't drive again.
Next up was Lake Birrabeen, this was stunning. A smaller lesser-known version of the famous Lake McKenzie with bright white sand and stunning blue lake. We were the only one's there - Paul fell asleep and snored his head off much to the amusement of everyone else!
Lake McKenzie was last and it is obvious why it is in the top ten beaches in the world. We had a great time there and got our wild dingo piccie.
Good drinking sesh on the night with everyone when we got back to the hostel for our last night with everyone before going our separate ways.