Published: November 6th 2008November 6th 2008
So we last updated you from Hervey Bay when we were about to leave for Frazer Island, the largest sand island in the world. We got together with 8 other random backpackers and hired a 4x4 between us complete with all the camping gear. The Island has no tarmac roads and it didn’t matter who was driving, we got stuck in the sand and often had to get out and push. That was all part of the fun and we spent 3 days there, driving around, camping on the beach and having a laugh. The island is truly beautiful, particularly the stunning Lake McKenzie where the water takes 30 years to filter through the sand and so is incredibly pure.
We made a few friends on the Fraser Island trip and we all stayed together travelling further up the east coast in their camper vans. There were 3 Frenchies (Jerome, Sylvie & Aurelie) an Irish couple (Brian & Amy) plus us 2. Having the vans and camping gear meant we could get off the beaten track and stay in secluded and picturesque places and deserted forests. Consequently, we got closer to the wildlife and had breakfast with kangaroos
and dinner with hungry possums.
We took nearly a week to get to Airlie Beach where we did a 3 day cruise on a catamaran around the stunning Whitsunday Islands. We sailed and snorkelled the reefs in the day and partied the nights on South Molle Island. Once again, the beaches were absolutely stunning and the views speak for themselves.
Back on dry land, we made our way even further up the coast to Cairns and Port Douglas. Jen went scuba diving on the Great Barrier Reef and hired an underwater camera to test out her photography skills. Port Douglas was probably the nicest resort we stayed on our 3000km journey up the east coast and, if we were compiling top 10 lists, Dougies Backpackers would be top of hostels (hope that satisfies you Woodsy)
Despite our previous time with Farmer Robert we also tried another week of voluntary work, this time it was on a flower farm with Farmer Peter. We did 2 hours work a day picking and processing flowers and stayed on the farm for free. Peter was relatively normal and agreed that Chinese people didn’t come from
Mars. The work was light and interesting and as there was more to do in the day our time there was enjoyable. The only downside were the large cane beetles who, attracted to the light, would dive bomb us in the night and were real pests, especially when they were on the bed clothes!
After this we flew to Melbourne and stayed with Simon and Joanna. After so much camping and so many bugs it was lovely that they have the worlds most comfortable bed in their spare room. We also got spruced up and went to Australia’s biggest horse racing event, the Melbourne Cup. We took a picnic and had a proper strawberries and champagne day on the grass. It’s a really big event, ‘the race that stops the nation‘, but we didn’t have much luck. It was really nice to spend the week with Simon & Jo, having delicious BBQs and enjoying their spa and we’re now also qualified garden stone movers.
However, the luxury accommodation is over for now and we’ve just arrive in Alice Springs. We’ve met up with our French and Irish friends and will spend the next couple
of weeks seeing the sights, camping and travelling the outback.
Hope you're all enjoying the English weather, it's 34 degrees here!
There are more photos below