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Published: March 2nd 2010
I left Brisbane behind and drove north via the "Steve Irwin Road", named after the famous wildlife expert who hosted the tv show "The Crocodile Hunter". Unfortunately, his love for animals also became his end, as he was fatally stung in the chest by a stingray, while filming on the Great Barrier Reef near Port Douglas (where I am right now as I'm writing this).
I drove on to Noosa, one of Australias hippest beach town, and a pretty one! I met up with a German friend whom I met in Laos in 2005 and again in Bangkok on that same trip. She had moved to Australia a few years ago, and visited me in The Hague for a day, because it was closer to an Australian Embassy for her than elsewhere. So now it was time for me to visit her in Australia. Unfortunately, we only had an hour or so to chat, because she was busy starting up her own business besides her current job, and things were going well. However, it was nice to meet up again, for the 4th time after Laos, Bangkok and The Hague!
After leaving some temporary initials in the Noosa sand,
I hit the road again, this time to Hervey Bay. This would be my base to visit Fraser Island on a 2-day trip, a huge island full of sandbanks, rainforest and wildlife.
I was picked up from my B&B and driven to the ferry terminal where we would cross the canal to Fraser Island. I was in a tour group with a big four wheel drive bus and a classic Australian driver and storyteller who informed us on the history, creartion and state of the island. There are not a lot of roads on the island and they are all made out of sand, so the only way to go is 4WD. The main "highway" is the long stretch of about 90km of beach. The speed limit here is still 80km/h! It is one big national park, so hardly any people are living there.
Unfortunately, the weather was not on our side, especially on the first day, when it was raining most of the time. On the first day we spent a lot of time driving on the beach and we went way up north to Indian Heads, a beautiful lookout point and saw some interesting rock formations.
On the beach, we visited the Maheno wreck, a former luxury passenger ship that, in 1935, was being towed from Melbourne to Japan for scrap metal when it was caught in a strong cyclone. On the beach, we also had several encounters with some of the inhabitants of the island, the Dingo, basically a wild dog.
On the second day, we were more lucky with the weather and visited two lakes. The first lake was Lake McKenzie, which has beautiful white sandy beaches and a pleasant temperature, perfect for a swim. The other, Lake Wabby, was much smaller, but had a beautiful location amidst enormous sand dunes that we had to cross on foot to get there.
After the lakes, it was time to go back to the mainland with a beautiful ferry ride and a sun slowly setting, offering some nice views of the island and the birds (terns?) that were on the prey for some fresh fish.
Back on the mainland and on the bus to be dropped off at my B&B again, we were lucky to spot a HERD of kangaroos in the wild. A great closure of a special 2-day trip!
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