Rainbow Beach and Fantastic Fraser Island

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Oceania » Australia » Queensland » Fraser Island
December 7th 2011
Published: December 7th 2011EDIT THIS ENTRY

Hi All!

As we're staying with relatives, we are using the opportunity to catch up with some blogs and photos!!

After the town of 1770 (named after Captain Cook discovered Australia), we headed for a place called Rainbow Beach which was the starting point for our trip to Fraser Island. We arrived on the greyhound to find that our hostel, aptly named Dingos, was directly across the road so we didn't have to lug our heavy bags too far. Dingos only offered dorm accommodation, so we were put in a dorm of 7 beds (3 bunks and a single) and Anton and I bagged ourselves a little bunk bed (me on top and Anton on bottom). In our room, there were 4 boys going to Fraser Island the next day and a girl called Jenny, who was going to Fraser Island the day after (like us). We got chatting to Jenny and really got on well with her; she was from London and made us laugh so much. That afternoon we went for our usual walk and located the beach - it was beautiful and we decided that we would spend some time there the next day. On the way back to our hostel we stopped to buy me some new flip flops, as mine were just about to break, and the lady in the shop told us to visit 'Carlo Sandblow' at sunset, which was soon! We quickly went back to the hostel and grabbed our camera, a drink, towel etc and made our way up an extremely steep hill to 'Carlo Sandblow'. Neither of us knew what to expect but when we got there, it took our breath away. It was like a huge sand dune and had occured from years and years of sand being blown from the coast up the mountain and covering all the trees. It was amazing to think that there were fully grown, massive trees under all that sand! We sat on our towel and watched the sunset; it was beautiful. That evening, we went to the kitchen to cook dinner but it was so small and so packed that we couldn't get in; so we ended up walking down to a public BBQ and cooking our dinner on them.

The next morning our whole dorm was up early as the boys were off to Fraser and Jenny, Anton and I were off to see the wild dolphins at Tin Cann Bay. As we were leaving for the bus, we noticed that our hostel were making free pancakes for everyone. Our bus was right outside, so we quickly put boiling hot pancakes on our hands, smothered them in topping and ran out to the bus playing 'hot potato' with our pancakes! We were taken on a boat ride over to Tin Cann Bay and when we arrived, we saw two wild dolphins in the shallow waters of the boat harbour. We were allowed to enter the water and the dolphins just swam around us, waiting to be fed. If you wanted to feed the dolphins you had to pay $5 for a fish, so Anton bought a fish and fed a Dolphin called Mystique; it was really weird to think that they were completely wild and taking food from Anton's hand. We were told the story of how the feeding all began...Mystique's grandfather was hurt by one of the fishing vessels in the harbour, so the fishermen nursed him back to health in the shallow waters and fed him everyday. When he was well, he swam away but kept returning everyday, so they fed him a small amount of fish. He then started to bring members of his pod in to bay and people started coming from all around to see the dolphins of Tin Cann Bay. Mystique is now the head of his pod and he usually only brings one or two members of his pod for feeding; and he had brought Patch (female) with him this day. We were told that they aren't dependent on being fed and do hunt for themselves. They certainly looked different to how I imagined as they were both quite scarred; I imagined them looking like the dolphins you see in Sea World! We were told that Mystique had been involved in a couple of shark attacks and had to be nursed back to health.

That afternoon we went to the beach (it is called Rainbow beach as the cliffs around it are compacted with loads of different colour sands from over the years) but it was so windy that, by the time we left, we looked like sand yettis and had sand everywhere! We tried body boarding with the hostels boards but they were a bit flimsy and we didn't catch many waves! We got back to our hostel we showered the sand off and started to pack for Fraser as we were only allowed a small bag. Before dinner we had a meeting to let us know our groups and to tell us the dos and don'ts. Our group was made up of three English (Laura, Martin and Natalie), two Norwegians (Jonas and Jergan) and an Italian (Angela); they all seemed really nice and we had a good chat with them over dinner (which we bought for $6 at the hostel as we couldn't be bothered to fight our way through the kitchen).

Up early the next morning for our trip! We met in the hostel carpark by 8 big 4x4 vans and were told which van was for which group. It was a hectic morning having to count all our equipment into the van, pack up our food and drink and check the car over for damage. We were in the lead vehicle with the guide, so didn't have to worry too much. One of the vehicles was faulty, so they had to bring in a 6 person van, which meant that 2 people from that group had to join the two lead vehicle groups. We ended up with an Irish man called Robert. We were given another talk about the dos and don'ts and then they spoke to the people wanting to drive the vehicles and read the riot act about driving carefully. We were told if one person damaged the car, then the whole group would be liable. After the moped incident, I opted out of driving but Anton put his name down. When we were ready we went off in two groups of 4 cars, with two of those cars being lead vehicles with a guide. We got down to the sand to get the ferry over to Fraser and the other lead vehicle got stuck and had to be pushed out; we wondered if this was going to happen for the whole trip! The ferry ride over was quick and then we were straight onto a 75mile stretch of sand; it was brilliant speeding along the sand. There were some patches of dry sand that we had to really accelerate through and we were bounced around in the back. Our first stop was Eurong, which was a small area with some shops and picnic area, for lunch. By now it had started to rain, so we had to run all our food and cooking utensils over to a covered picnic area. We found a table for our group and got out our food itinerary (which told us what food we had and what to eat for each meal). Our group didn't seem too forthcoming, so Anton and I organised them into preparing sandwiches, conveyor belt style!! We ended up being the most organised group (who would have guessed it!!) and had eaten our lunch and packed up whilst other groups still had stuff everywhere when it was time to leave. After lunch we drove to a place called Lake Wabby. It took about 45mins to get there and whilst we were all there, our group leaders went off to set up camp! Lake Wabby was lovely but didn't have clear water, so I swam a little way out and then got scared about what was beneath me! Anton swam further but said he still got the willys as we were told that there were some pretty big catfish in the lake. After swimming we had to walk back to the vehicles and it then we discovered all the massive march flys wanting to bite us! Everyone couldn't wait to get back to the vehicle to put insect repellant on! By the time we walked back to the cars, we were all hot and sweaty again! We drove to camp which was just behind the sand dunes on the beach and was made up of a large tarpolined area for cooking and congregating and then two smaller tarpolined area for tents. We were given a dome tent between three of us (me, Anton and Angela) to put up and then told to set up our table to cook dinner. Again Anton and I took the lead and organised dinner; everyone was really good at helping, apart from Martin who sat and did absolutely nothing. We had a delicious steak and potato salad for dinner and then washed our plates in a big pot with cold water (from our water container) and no washing-up liquid! We had to not think about the hygiene and just get on with it. We weren't allowed to tip the dirty water out near camp, as it would have attracted the dingos, so the boys had to take it down to the sea in the dark! There were no showers or running water on camp and we had one small portaloo, which was only for the girls; the boys had to go down to the sea and dig a hole!! That night, everyone sat around drinking and chatting. Anton had 6 cans of beer and then was offered 'goon' (a very cheap, disgusting wine) by Jenny and Robert. I couldn't stomach it, so stayed on the soft drink, but after a few glasses, Anton seemed to be getting a taste for it! We were told that we weren't allowed to walk around on our own because of the dingos, so I made Anton promise me that he wouldn't get too drunk that he wouldn't be able to take me to the toilet in the night; he slurred that he would be fine!! I went to be after Angela and then Anton stumbled in a little while later. A little later I woke up needing the toilet so nudged Anton...no reply...I whispered (so as not to wake Angela)...no reply....I shook him and whispered...no reply....I pleaded....no reply....I thumped him....he stirred!! He looked like he was getting up to take me so I got out of the tent and when I looked behind he was asleep again! Bloody useless!! I then decided I would go to the toilet by myself, so I took a torch and headed out and when I turned the corner, I was met by some shining eyes of a dingo!! I absolutley s**t myself! We had been told not to run but to show dominance; however, I was not able to show dominance and turned and quickly got back to the tent. I don't think the dingo was interested in me in hindsight but at the time it was pretty scary! When I got back to comatosed Anton, I burst into tears and luckily that woke him up! He then took me to the toilet but I'm unsure who was looking after who!

The next morning Anton was feeling pretty rough and could not recall the previous night at all...he couldn't even remember taking me to the toilet!! We all headed to a place called Eli Creek (aka hangover creek), which was a fresh water stream that ran into the sea and we all walked to the top and swam down stream. The water was cold but beautifully clear and very refreshing. It helped to make us feel a bit cleaner after no showers! After Eli, we stopped for lunch and bought some more ice for our eski to keep our food cold and then we headed to a place called Indian Head. Indian Head is a lookout over the sea, where we saw turtles, rays and a reef shark; it quite spectacular. We then headed to a place called 'Champagne Pools' which were rock pools that were meant to look like champagne when the water crashed over the rock and bubbled into the pools. They were nice to just chill out. Next it was back to camp for dinner (chicken stirfry) and a much more subdued night than the previous night, as everyone had had pretty bad hangovers! We slept much better that night and I didn't even wake up for the toilet!!

The next morning we packed up camp - again Martin didn't help - and headed to Lake McKenzie! It was stunning and so clear, we stayed in for ages! Our guide went snorkelling by the edge and came back with two turtles (a baby long neck and a larger short neck) and let me hold the baby one; it was so cute! After the lake, we headed back to a picnic area for lunch and then back to Rainbow Beach. Anton didn't drive in the end as lots of people got stuck when they were driving and lots had moments where they nearly lost control! We stopped at the yard and cleaned all of our equipment and swept out the van and finally we got back to our hostel for a well earned shower and a lovely long sleep!!!

Love to all xxxxx

Kisses for Thomas, Lauren, Erin, George, Niah, Evie, Matilda, Isaac and our little Jonnie!! xxxxxxxxx

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