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Published: November 22nd 2018
Day 6: Gladstone/1770/Agnes Water/Hervey Bay (380kms)
We left our hostel in Gladstone early in the morning - although it wasn’t as early as we had planned. We wanted to make the most of the free breakfast starting at 7am, thinking we would leave soon after but the hostel staff had been heavily drinking the day before and did not wake up in time. We arrived in Seventeen Seventy in the morning where we met Douwe and the three of us went for a nice coastal walk. We were hot and fancied an ice cream so we stopped in a restaurant in Agnes Water to get an ice cream. We went back on the road, intending to stop in Noosa Heads. After researching accommodation there, we realized most of it was booked and the rest had bad reviews and high prices. So we changed our minds and found a nice and cheap hostel in Hervey Bay.
The hostel, called Flashpackers, was very nice, Douwe, Shaun and I stayed in the same 4-beds dorm. We drove to a fish and chips shop for a late lunch. Shaun and I had barramundi, but the chips, once again, were not of English quality (according to
Shaun). If there’s one thing the English know how to do, it’s the fish and chips!! Apparently, these special skills have not crossed the sea and landed in Australia yet!
In the afternoon, we went for a walk on the beach and made dinner at the hostel in the evening. Shaun had decided to make potatoes and it took him an hour and a half to cook them as he didn’t realize the hob wasn’t working... And the potatoes were not even properly cooked! We had a so called French style cheesecake for dessert, which we shared with a German girl and one of the staff (she was English!).
Day 7: Fraser Island
The next day, we had decided to have a relaxing day. The main reason why people stay in Hervey Bay is to take a tour of Fraser Island but considering now is the busiest season, booking in advance is better! So we went to tourist office to see the options for the tours. The nicest options were booked up and we only wanted to do a day tour. Hiring a 4x4 and driving on the island was a bit risky so we decided to take the
only option available: Fraser Explore, in a bus with 40 other people. We spent the rest of the day relaxing as the past days had been pretty intense and we were tired. On the next day, at 7.20, we were on the bus on our way to the barge!
The barge takes about 30 minutes between Hervey Bay and Fraser Island. Once we arrived on the island, we got into a 4x4 bus.
Fraser Island it the largest sand island in the world and driving a 2WD is pretty impossible. We actually did witness that when, after a couple of minutes of rough driving, our bus stopped and the driver swore. Two tourists had decided to take their 2WD on the island, ignoring the safety information. Well, after two minutes, they got stuck in the sand!
We continued our bumpy journey to 75-mile beach, named by James Cook (hence the “mile” even though the Australians use kilometers). It is a very nice beach, but very dangerous to swim in because of the many sharks, sea snakes, stingers and the rip currents. We went to Eli Creek, where we walked in the cold stream through the forest. The waters are wonderfully
clear, and it is a lovely walk. The guys had fun climbing trees. We took the walk twice as we really enjoyed it! The guys actually did it a third time while I was heading back to the bus to make sure they weren’t going to leave without us! After that, we stopped to see the Pinnacles, or coloured sands, which were nice but not particularly impressive, and later to see the Maheno shipwreck. After that, we walked in the rainforest at Central Station - one of the rare forests growing off sand. We had a buffet lunch at Eugong resort and went to beautiful Lake MacKenzie for a swim. We drank beers while sitting in the lake, walked on the white sand beach and the guys had fun jumping in and out the lake. It was then time to go back to the barge, and to the mainland. There was a cat in the barge, a “ferry cat” as he got on the vessel when he was young and never left it! Overall, we weren’t too impressed with the tour. They told us it was a 40 people tour but there were two 40 people busses - which meant 80 of us were at the same places at the same time. On top of that, the guide, David, was probably the worst guide I have ever been on a tour with. He told us about his health issues and his recently broken ribs for half an hour. He would start talking about something, then something else without finishing the first story; he would pause for minutes between the start and the end of a sentence and he talked far too much about children dying. We were treated with stories of children being killed by dingoes, stung by jellyfish, losing legs to sharks, or their lives to rip currents... Not the kind of stories tourists want to hear. We didn’t actually see any dingoes although the island is apparently full of them. The places we visited on the island were beautiful - Lake MacKenzie on its own is worth the tour!
We were pretty tired after an 11 hours tour so we booked Dominos pizza and had dinner at the hostel.
Day 8: Hervey Bay/ Glasshouse Mountains (230kms)
On the next day, Douwe, Shaun and I took off for the Glasshouse Mountains. We arrived there around lunch time, Douwe had arrived a bit earlier, and we had lunch near the tourist information centre and drove to the Scenic Lookout before climbing Mount Ngungun. We sweat a lot during the climb but it was a very nice view at the top. We got back to the carpark and Douwe went his separate way to his camp site while we stayed at a nice guesthouse called Jen’s getaway. Shaun and Douwe had planned to do a challenging hike the next morning!
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