Published: February 16th 2012February 2nd 2012
Sam chilling after stressful drive on first day.
Sam & Eva arrived in Oz 22nd
Jan staying with us for first week then off to Tasmania. I was meeting up with them in Brisbane for trip to Fraser Island- a very beautiful world heritage area with access only by beach and very rough inland tracks by Four wheel drives. Famed for Dingos. No swimming in the sea due to the sharks so the crystal clear freshwater lakes a pretty good alternative (and if the size of the fish we were to see jumping were anything to go by, we had no problem keeping out of the sea).
Pretty impressed with myself for fitting everything for the trip into a rucksack as hand luggage and doing public transport (combo of bus & train) to Sydney airport. Lucky me got to sit next to very chatty drunk Ozzie widow more nervous of flying than me on his way to his regular holiday destination, The Phillipines – I asked no more and prayed to god he’d spare me the details. Very bumpy landing!!!
Afternoon exploring Brisbane- did the free city bus loop, large portion of the north and south river walk and a quick visit to the GOMA (Gallery of Mod
Eva, he's behind you!!!!
Our first Dingo sighting. Very close!!
Art). Observation from lunch - UK have a problem with starlings at restaurant tables – Oz has Ibis which are about 20x bigger and wont take NO! Sweet little city what I got to see.
All met up fine in evening, night stopover in Gympie then on the road early Friday. Followed advice re Island prices high and provisions limited so quick stock up in Woolworths (main supermarket here alongside Coles) for our 3 days brekky and lunch supplies but soon driving through Great Sandy National Park and along beautiful Rainbow Beach to the ferry, armed with island permit, knowledge that tyres needed deflating for loose sand plus low tide timetable for negotiation of beach driving. We were off! Car slipping a bit on the loose, deep sand, but we made it to the ferry. Ha, no worries. With an island paradise of white sandy beaches all around, wow, what could go wrong. Ummm!
A short trip across and we were disembarking onto southern Hook Point. Eva had our itinerary sorted for a full daily excursion ending today at our Kingfisher Bay resort on the West. After a short wait for the tide, we had a wonderful half
Me on the Jetty
Not a lot more I can add.
hour drive north on beautiful compact sand the first leg of 75 mile beach to a route inland at Eurong. However, this involved passing a deep area of soft, dry sand which the tyres dug into. We dug this away with our hands and reversed. Successful. Another go-unsuccessful at which point we realised the difference between our hired ‘all wheel drive’ Rav4 (which Hertz told us would be uninsured whilst on FI) and a ‘four wheel drive’ must be significant. S***. We managed to get on a track much further up the beach, but this was a nightmare and now had re-affirmed that All wheel drives not suitable. With no choice but to go forward we made very slow progress but after a very refreshing swim in Lake McKenzie (and first Dingo sighting) thought we had done well until saw track to resort – discovered later affectionately called the ‘roller coaster’. OMG again. How we got to the resort in one piece was a miracle and thanks to a by now very stressed Sam combined with the recent heavy rains compacting the loose sand just enough. The resort looked amazing and food, beer and cocktails greatly improved things! The day
Pretty large but apparently only half full grown size!
ended on a high when we joined the resorts free, guided night walk and saw sting rays, pipe fish, squid and….Cane Toads – introduced to OZ to kill the native sugar cane beetle. Didn’t kill these beetles, but rapidly reproduced and killed the local toads etc; had large detrimental impact on the environment and carry poison glands on their shoulder blades that they are happy to shed when threatened!
Saturday - After a healing sleep, we decided on a plan. Hire a proper 4wheeler Sunday to explore. Catch return ferry from resort that lands a lot further north but well worth the reduced stress! Stay in resort today.
Sam did a fishing clinic, we swam in the pool and generally chilled. We also joined other talks, walks about the Island and learnt lots about local habitat etc including how well adapted the plants have become with many needing fire to regenerate. Weather – hot!!!
Sunday- began early with an Azure Kingfisher falling at my feet (flewn into a window). One of those Wow moments when I held it in my hand - stunningly beautiful, shook itself off and flew away unharmed.
Picked up our beast of
75 mile beach
With our real four Wheel Drive
a Land Cruiser and all very happy as it made mincemeat of the Roller Coaster. Ha! First stop, Lake Wabby. Scream from loo. Sam emerged, head in hands - keys dropped down Dunny!!! No one around, miles from anywhere and car locked with water, phone numbers etc etc inside, but we all managed to stay amazingly calm. After all trying in turns to fish the keys out, we soon realised they were gone for good in a bottomless pit of things we never, ever want to see again. Luckily - I had my bag with phone but no signal on most of island. Emergency 000 didn’t work but finally got through to extra emergency satelite number 112 for just enough time to get message through to emergency services before line went dead for good. Rescued by very chilled out guy who got spare set of keys from our chassis. Apparently that went down as a first in key losses as usually lost in the lakes from boardies but we think we are just the first to admit how they were lost. Hilarious and yes, every day was and still is an adventure.
With only about 1hr lost it was
a fun, successful day seeing loads again including Sea Eagles, Dingo’s, geckos, green tree frogs, Monitors, Goannas. Swam in lakes, creeks, loved the 4x4 and how lucky am I to be experiencing this. Had Lake McKenzie to ourselves for final swim.
Monday – sad farewell but a VERY EASY trip back to the mainland with pod of Dolphins to greet us. Then had last 2 nights in Noosa Heads, an area frequented by the rich and famous so a big contrast. Another lovely area though with swimming in the sea again, yay. Think the highlight for us all here was the Koala sighting whilst walking in Noosa Head National Park. You can’t beat a Koala for the ahhhh factor, especially in the wild.
Thanks guys for having me tag along. Had a great driver and fab company throughout.
Loved every bit including the ickle glitches that were all surmountable! FI was amazing! NB Extra photos below.
There are more photos below