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Published: January 25th 2008
Hi everyone, sorry about the delay in doing our blog... we've not had chance!
We hopped on the overnight bus from Airlie Beach down to Hervey Bay, and it seems like it was just in time! I think our greyhound was the last one to get out of Airlie before the roads were cut off due to flooding! And this country is suffering from major drought??? The rain is keeping the farmers and government happy anyway! Makes things a little tricky for us tourists sometimes though! Anyway, it wasn't a bad journey actually - we had 4 seats each so spread out a little - we slept stretched out over the aisle!
V's grandparents put us in touch with their friends John and Janice who very kindly let us stay at very short notice! They were so welcoming - providing us with our own rooms, nice hot showers and meals!! Luxury! It was great to get to see what its like to actually live in Australia rather than see just what the rest of the tourists see! John and Janice took us out for a meal on our first night in Hervey Bay and on the way back John
drove us round the paddock to see if the damn was full (it was still torrential rain at this point and had been all day!) and yes it was pretty full to overflowing! The wet weather was just too much temptation for John who took us skidding round the paddock in the car, practicing his handbrake turns and covering the car in mud in the process!
The following we day we went raincoat hunting because we'd managed to leave ours on the greyhound - major error! This was not very successful - you just don't seem to be able to buy them because it hasn't rained properly for years! The weather was better in the afternoon so Janice dropped us off on the esplanade and we walked along the beach - saw a massive pelican!
On the Wednesday we went over to Bruce's house to meet Jess and their 5 daughters! We were immediately given a tour of the house, in particular everyone's bedrooms, and introduced to various teddy bears etc! We were then taken on a tour of ther garden to meet the guinea pigs and chickens!
On Thursday we joined Janice for her early morning
walk to go Kangaroo spotting! We got up at 4.45 when the sun was still rising and set off on our walk. We actually saw quite a few wild Kangaroos - they always spotted us first before we saw them!
After a lot of leaflet reading we booked our trip over to Fraser Island! On the Friday morning we were up early to catch our 4 wheel drive bus! The ferry across to the island took about half an hour - and the sun was shining! woooooooooo! We soon realised why a 4WD was needed! Apparently Fraser is the largest sand island in the world, there are no proper roads - just sandy tracks, which were quite cut up because it'd been wet recently! Our first stop was Central Forestry Station. The main base for where logging used to happen - its not allowed anymore though. We walked along a track through the rainforest close to a creek - the water was so clear! Saw a massive lizard on a tree and plenty of spiders! We then went to Eurong where we had lunch. After lunch we set off in the bus, straight out onto 75 mile beach -
I wonder why its called that?! The beach is an official highway and landing strip, but i don't think speed limits applied and it didn't matter too much whereabouts you drove! So, we raced along, dodging the dips cut out by freshwater running out onto the beach, up to Eli's Creek, which we waded up - the water was a little chilly and there was quite a current! Which meant you could float your way back down to the beach! We were carrying cameras so opted out of that one!
We were given the option of getting back in the bus to our next destination or for $Aus 70 we could take the plane! So obviously we took the plane! It was a tiny aircraft with only 7 seats - we jumped in, fastened our seatbelts and the pilot turned the plane round, all of a sudden we were off, bombimg along the beach - hoping the jeeps/buses would get out of the way and we were up really quickly! We took an immediate right out over the sea - the view of 75 mile beach was amazing! We flew along the beach for a while then headed inland.
The pilot pointed out a few of the main landmarks that we were going to visit - there were so many lakes and sandblows and a lot of rainforest! We then flew back along part of the coast and started to head down towards the beach - must've been quite a sight for the people on the ground too! There were quite afew people out of their cars waving at us as we came into land - and a pretty good landing it was too! Surprising smooth for such a tiny plane and a bumpy beach! Definitely another highlight of our trip so far!
So, we joined the rest of the group and walked across a sandblow to Lake Wabby - it was so hot! I imagine like a desert would be! Eventually we reached Lake Wabby, a bizarre green lake at the edge of the sandblow, with an almost vertical side to it! We had a bit of a swim which was very refreshing after our desert hike! At the end of the afternoon we went back to Eurong where we were staying, had our meal and beer by the pool and then went to the bar for
a few more drinks with some of the others on our tour.
We were up early again on the saturday, jumped on the bus and drove straight up 75 mile beach towards the Maheno Shipwreck, took a few photos and then we were off to 'Coloured Sands'/'The Pinnacles' which were a little further up the beach - amazing sand dunes carved by the wind consisting of lots of different colours of sand. Next stop was Indian Head. We climbed up the top - the view of the beach was very impressive! (more massive spiders hanging in their webs in the trees!) And then we went to Champagne Pools - big rock pools with warm water - perfect for a swim or a paddle! It was mesmerising watching the ocean waves crash into the rock and cause mini waves in the pools! Then it was back to Eurong for lunch. In the afternoon we drove to Lake McKenzie - the most famous lake on the island - famous for its clear blue water and white sands - absolutely stunning as you'll see from the photos! We didn't want to leave! Before we arrived, the bus driver warned us to watch
our bags if we were in the lake as Dingoes like to steal bags they like the smell of! We weren't really sure how likely this was but kept an eye anyway - and sure enough we saw a couple of dingoes attempt to steal bags - one actually managed to pick up a bag and run with it before being chased by the bag's owner! Difficult to believe these apparently friendly looking dogs can be savage!
Finally we went back to the mainland on the ferry, having had a fantastic 2 days on Fraser Island! We met up with Janice and John and their daughter and her family for fish n chips on the esplanade followed by ice cream! A friendly possom came down for a nosey and hung upside down in the tree by his tail whilst eating a piece of lettuce! Very entertaining!
On Sunday morning we got the bus to Brisbane....! Only a short trip this time...
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