Published: December 21st 2007December 21st 2007
The main road across the island.
We set off down the coast again arriving in Hervey Bay with intentions of travelling over to Fraser Island ( the world's largest sand island where they don't let you on without a 4 wheel drive), for Andy's 30th birthday. Unfortunately we arrived too late to arrange this so Andy spent his birthday getting the air con in the van fixed (for the 2nd time), watching the safety video explaining how not to get your 4x4 washed away into shark infested waters on Fraser Island, and spent the night in a caravan park in Torquay, having had a slap up meal of fish and chips. The next day though we set off bright and early to pick up our 4x4 (a Hilux, naturally) and caught the first ferry over to Fraser Island. We commenced our ve-ry bu-mpy journey over the islands' roads of incredibly soft sand interspersed with tree roots, and arrived at Lake McKensie with its crystal clear waters and white sand beaches. We then drove to the other lakes before making it to the southern end of the Eastern Beach just in time. The Eastern Beach (Seventy Five Mile Beach) stretches the length of the island and forms the
A very overcast Lake McKensie
main highway (and runway!) and you therefore have to time your journey not to coincide with high tide otherwise you'd end up a bit too friendly with the Tiger Sharks.
The next morning we headed north up the beach to the lookout, and, having not seen the sharks, dolphins or rays supposedly visible from the lookout, we spotted a dingo on the beach below, so we scurried back down the hill and caught a quick glimpse as he retreated into the dunes. We then headed back down the beach stopping off en route to see the rather eerie shipwreck of 'The Maheno' which came ashore in the 1930's and was then used as target practice by the Aussie Air Force! We then made our way back across to the port taking time to have another swim at Lake McKensie. Having been quite pleased with our dingo spotting earlier, we realised they weren't as rare or timid as suspected when we discovered several of them stalking the main car park looking for scraps!
Back on the mainland, now with minor whiplash, we continued our journey down the coast via the rather posh Noosa, 'Steve Irwin Way', and the Glasshouse
Spot the Dingo!
Mountains to Brisbane. Here we spent a heavenly few days in a room, with a bed, electricity and its own toilet, what luxury! We spent a day wandering around the gardens and the south bank area in the scorching heat and met up with Malcolm, one of Andy's ex work colleagues. A grinning Malcolm announced news of a mini-Malcolm due to arrive in the spring.
From Brisbane we headed back inland, along the worlds most windy road, and up into Lamington National Park, where we found our campsite was abound with pademelons. Now they may have a silly name, but they now top the cuteness rankings (all wallablies and bats now forgotten) and don't be surprised if you see one in our back garden next time you visit us. Anyway, once we managed to get the van out of the hole that Andy got it stuck in, it being stopped from falling down the hill by a fortuitously positioned tree, we went for a quick walk before sunset. We were unaware that the hotel next to our campsite held feeding sessions for the parrots that live in the surrounding rainforest, so as we took a stroll we were quite
The Maheno shipwreck.
surprised to be accosted by numerous parrots landing on our shoulders and heads!
Leaving Lamington and Queensland behind we arrived in New South Wales and Byron Bay, spending a relaxing day on a very hot and white beach. Unfortunately, the school holidays and a full caravan park meant that we had to continue our journey down the coast the next day. It was then that the weather changed for the worse and the wind and rain set in just in time for our arrival on the coast - we have since decided that Australia has been falsely advertised for years as being hot and sunny and full of kangaroos!. We passed through a number of places before arriving at Seal Rocks in the Myall Lakes, which was fairly dull except for the two dingo pups who seemed to think that the campsite was there purely for their amusement, and kept us entertained most of the day and night.
Our last stop on the coast before giving up on sunning ourselves on a beach and heading inland again was Nelson Bay. We arrived and went for a paddle along the beach until we realised that there were hundreds of
Watch out for oncoming planes!
jellyfish washed up, and even a dead sea snake! We stopped paddling pretty quick. Before leaving we paid a visit to Red Neds Pies as recommended by the Lonely Planet - Red Ned is famous for his gourmet pies and Andy wasn't disappointed with his lobster, barramundi and prawn in coconut cream sauce. Laura decided not to go for the kangaroo teriyaki, instead opting for an old favourite, the sausage roll (just for the RGS girlies Laura would like to note that it was a gourmet sausage roll with mashed potato, bacon and cheese on top and that she ate more than just the pastry).
There are more photos below