With this blog we are all caught up. The YHA hostel in Hervey Beach is really great...better than a lot of hotels we've stayed at. Tennis courts, swimming pool, really nice community space, good hot showers, great staff and most important at this point is fast Internet with USB ports. We are staying here the two nights either side of the two days and night on Fraser Island.
Got up to have breakfast and be picked up for our tour of Fraser Island. It is a world heritage area set aside because of it uniqueness. Approximate 475,000 acres of sand...largets sand island in the world. Supposedly 600 feet deep and as high as 600 feet above sea level. We had thought of renting a 4WD drive, but the people at YHA suggested against it...they should have just said I would have been an idiot. The sand tracks are remnents of the logging tracks. The 24 passenger 4WD trucks made for these tours often had a hard time in the soft sand and steep grade. And the tour guide was a really good guy, providing a lot of local color and information about the island and it plants and wildlife.
The first portion was to travel from the west side of the island to the east coast. You quickly get into a swampy area, then into forest. then rainforest, then back to the coastal region. The entire island is like a sponge, holding an enormous amount of water so you have these fresh water creeks running out at many locations. They estimate the water you see is approximately from 70 years ago...it takes that long for it to filter thru the system.
The east coast is crazy...it's no exaggeration to call it an expressway. Some 75 miles long. It the worlds longest runway as it also serves as a runway for airplanes transporting guests and tourists wanting a better view of the island. There is some remaining private land with resorts and homes, these people zip up and down the shoreline at crazy speeds, add the fisherman and the tour buses and you wonder why they allow this to go on. We drove to the north end and had a trmendous view from the only rock on the island, supposedly what all the original sand started collecting around in the various storms. We successfully watched a number of
grey whales heading north for their August birthings. The water was amazingly clear and we saw rays and sharks below the steep cliffs.
Then we headed to the permanent tent campsites for dinner and a great night's sleep. The tour company really has their act together. I got up early to walk the beach and catch the sunrise before getting back on the sand highway.
The second day gave us a chance to see the various lakes that have developed on the island. I am not exactly clear on the differences, but the first was a window lake that developed when one of the freshwater creeks got stopped up by developing sand dunes. They are basically at the water table and full of plant and wildlife. it was really cold, but it was midday and pretty warm, so what the heck. The second lake was referred to as a perched lake, meaning it was above the water table and had developed over a "waterproof" layer of ancient decomposed plantlife the call coffee stone. Not really a stone but hard and the color of coffee. The plantlife was abundant and the sundews and winter wild flowers caught my attention.
We then got back on the sand track to head back to Moon Point for the trip home. We had perfect weather, and anotherr beautiful sunset. it gave Ruth and I a chance to stroll down the beach while we waited for the ferry. A couple of Dingos came out as if to say good bye.
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