Fraser Island 4WD Adventure!

Trip Start Aug 20, 2008
Trip End Ongoing

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The Beach!
Inskip Point

Flag of Australia  , Queensland,
Monday, September 29, 2008

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Fraser Island, the world's largest sand island and the setting of our latest adventure! (

After leaving Hervey Bay, we headed just a few hours south to beautiful Rainbow Beach. Rainbow Beach is a much smaller town than Hervey but had everything that we needed - a beach, a bar and a hostel! We spent Monday the 29th lounging at the beach and then parked Rex at Inskip Point, the northern most part of Rainbow. We OF COURSE managed to get Rex stuck in deep, soft sand while trying to find where to park and sleep for the night. Luckily, after trying unsuccessfully to push, a few cries of "HELP HELP!!" from Stacy brought over 2 guys in their 4WD truck to pull us out. Thank God for nice Australlians!!

Just like the Whitsundays, we booked our 3 day/2 night Fraser Island adventure in Cairns. With the package, we also received 2 nights in Frasers on Rainbow Beach Hostel. YES!! REAL BEDS!! We decided to spend Tuesday and Friday nights in the hostel and Wednesday-Friday on Fraser Island.

Basically, this is how the Fraser Island self-guided tour works: 2-4WD vehicles for 22 people - 11 people in a car. You meet at the hostel the afternoon before the trip, watch boring videos, sign release forms, then the 2 groups of 11 go grocery shopping for their car for the next 3 days. Then, you wake early in the morning, pack all your camping gear and food (and booze) on top of the car at the hostel, then head over to the 4x4 Safari place for yet another briefing and receive your itinerary since it's a self-guided tour of Fraser (yes, they give 22 twenty-somethings 2 large trucks and just say "GO! Don't kill yourselves!!"). They check over the vehicles and talk to the drivers to explain how the 4WD works and how to drive in sand. Then, that's it! You drive to the ferry, take the 10-minute ferry over to Frasers, then explore! Sounds easy, right???

Well, yes and no. Our car/group somehow consisted of 11 girls: the 3 of us, 3 Swiss girls, and 5 Canadian girls studying in Surfers Paradise to receive their Masters in teaching. Obviously, only 2 know how to drive stick (not us!!) so they had to drive the whole time. The other car pretty much consisted of more Canadians in the same teaching program - 8 girls and 3 lucky (or not so) guys. Yes, 19 girls in total expected to navigate a sand island full of dingoes and camp out on the beach for 2 nights! HA!!! Needless to say, lots of fun, but lots of getting stuck, pushing, screaming at dingos, sore butts from the bumping "roads," getting lost and destroying the transmissions! Oops!

ALSO, our car was appropriately named "The Bitch" and the other car was named "Priscilla." The Bitch's name was all too perfecrt as the 11 of us girls managed to get a flat and bend the rim on day 1 and nearly run out of gas twice.

We spent day 1 (Wednesday) setting up our campsite, playing in Eli Creek (one of the many fresh water creeks on the island) and checking out the SS Maheno shipwreck ( We were hoping to make it up to Indian Head Point to check out the feeding tiger sharks and humpback whales, but we ran out of time :( Yes, needless to say, there is strictly NO SWIMMING off of Fraser Island since all the waters are shark infested. Our trip was entirely controlled by the tides... we weren't allowed to drive 3 hours before or after high-tide since the "road" on Fraser Island is just the beach! Since we had spent so much time setting up our camp, we had to turn around before making it the Indian Head. On the ride home, we FLEW over Eli Creek way too fast and killed our front tire and rim. Thankfully, 11 screaming girls in a car brought over plenty of nice and laughing Aussies to change the destroyed tire for us! After that though, no more driving 80kph on the beach! Oh yea, and it cost us $150... greatttttt.

Day 2 was spent at the mechanics to make sure "The Bitch" was OK, swimming and hanging out at beautiful Lake McKenzie, eating lunch at Central Station and exploring Rainbow Gorge. Lake McKenzie is one of the cleanest fresh water lakes in the world and its beach sand is made up almost entirely of silica - great for ex-foliating! Rainbow Gorge is appropriately named as it has hundreds of different shades of sand. Very cool.

Day 3 was supposed to be the best... however, due to lack of communication between the 19 girls and 3 poor guys, we missed out on seeing Lake Wobby entirely. Oh well, what to do!?

All in all, it was a great trip. Both nights were spent camping on the beach with other 4WD cars doing the same as us. We'd have dinner, drink lots of beer and goon, scream at dingoes and make new friends. We're definitely seeing the Canadian girls when we make it down to Surfers Paradise soon!

While it was fun, it was great to get back on Friday, too, and spend another night in the hostel's clean (and sand-free) bed. We spent Saturday morning at Rainbow Beach then continued south for Noosa and the Sunshine Coast!
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