Australian Adventure (Monday, June 24, 2013)

40 Days Down Under (Day 11)

Monday, June 24, 2013

Today was Kris's planning. He researched the various tours to the UNESCO World Heritage sand island called Fraser Island and told me which one to book.

We booked the Fraser Island One Day Adventure Tour with Fraser Explorer Tours departing from Rainbow Beach. I never ever expected this ordinary looking bus that picked us in front of the BP Station of our holiday park to be an all terrain vehicle, but it was. After briefing Kris, me, and the other 22 people on the safety features of the vehicle, we were off.

It is very strange to be in a vehicle driving on sand. Blew my mind the entire day. I never quite got used to it. I also never expected the ferry we were taking to not have an official dock of any kind. Our bus just drove to the end of the island at this little slip of sand and right up onto the awaiting ferry. It was insane to me.

Our bus started with only 24 people. We wound up losing a few people along the way to other tours (some people did two or three day tours) - so we dropped down to 16 at one point. The same tour from Hervey Bay had 40 people on their bus.

Our tour guide and bus driver was Cameron. He was awesome. He got us there faster than other tours and had heaps of information to give us without making it overbearing. I loved that he would give us the information before we got to a place and then set us free allowing us to enjoy the moment.

After the ferry ride, we had a quick drive along 75-mile beach (so strange to drive on sand with the ocean waves lapping the bus) then hopped over to the Eurong Beach Resort for muffins and coffee/tea. This is where a few people on our bus bid us adieu and joined up with their two day tour.

Our next stop was a nature walk in the world's only subtropical rainforest growing on sand. I kind of expected Fraser Island (which I didn't research before our vacation) to be a big pile of sand. I never expected so much lush vegetation. I also never expected a rainforest to be able to grow in sand. Our nature walk took us next to Wanggoolba Creek. The water looked clean enough to drink.

Our next stop was Lake McKenzie. It's a perched lake on the island. Some members of our group, Kris included, went for a swim. I stayed onshore huddled in my big jacket. Too darn cold. I did put my hand in and had a conversation with a nice lollypop lady from England.

After the swim, it was time to feed our gullets. We had a buffet lunch at the Eurong Beach Resort and chatted it up with a recently retired couple from England who'd purchased a campervan of their own and planned to tour Australia for nine months. Kris thought the lunch was perfect for an excursion. The veggie soup and rolls were delicious.

After lunch, we went for a drive along 75-mile beach to the Maheno Shipwreck. The shipwreck was a highlight for me. I am fascinated by rust and disrepair for some morbid reason. This ship has a long history, but the short story is that it served as a military vessel during WWI but actually became a shipwreck after later owners sold the propellor then tried to relocated the boat by tugging it. A terrible storm pushed it ashore, and, as it had no propellor, it couldn't be moved. Later, for whatever reason, it was used for and damaged during target practice. Now it's just a mighty cool sight to see.

A short jaunt later, and we were at the Pinnacles (colored sands). We also got a great look at some coffee rock.

Our last island stop was at Eli Creek. I took my shoes off and pulled up my pants to wade in the shallow, sunny part of the creek. Kris decided to wade through the entire creek. It was a shame he forgot to give me his shirt. He could have gone for a nice swim. Eli Creek was chilled, but not as cold as Lake McKenzie. It was really a peaceful place.

While back in the bus and on 75-mile beach, Cameron spotted one of the wild island dingos and stopped for a photo opportunity until the dingo ran away to take a pee on some coffee rocks.

It might not sound like it, but we had a great full day on the island. Just being on the bus watching the waves, sand, and beach pass by was an experience. I loved the drive back to the ferry. It was beyond beautiful how the sky reflected in the semi-wet sand. It was like part of the beach was blue.

There are many reasons why Fraser Island has been declared a treasure. Dingo and sand aside, I can understand why Fraser Island is considered an UNESCO World Heritage location. Just don't go swimming in the ocean there. Heaploads of the world's most dangerous sharks reside a mere 3 meters from the shore.

After being dropped back in town, Kris and I decided to dine at Cafe Jilarty at Rainbow. I had a pumpkin, brie, rosemary pizza while Kris indulged in some fish and chips.

We stayed overnight at the Rainbow Beach Holiday Village again and did another load of laundry and saw another beautiful sunset sky. I think the sky was having a Bob Ross moment. I finished book number three of the trip completing The Stork trilogy.

1 Response
  1. Anonymous Says:

    The photos keep getting better and better, and they already WERE amazing to start with! Loving the blog, Kristy, keep it up. Sounds like you might have had a glimpse into your future meeting the retired couple who are on a 9 month tour.

    See ya,
    Love, Marlene