Fraser Island -- Wild 4WD and Dingo hunt

Trip Start Sep 20, 2004
Trip End Mar 30, 2005

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Saturday, January 29, 2005

Had a day chilling in Hervey bay (and sleeping) and then met the Fraser Island crew the next day. Fraser Island is the biggest sand island in the world. It has around 40 freshwater lakes, extensive sand dunes, forest and even some pockets of rain forest. The roads on the island are unsealed, sand tracks and the only way to see the island is by 4WD. Suddenly we seemed to shift a gear into military type organisation, shopping and schedules (well apart from the beer drinking). The A team (well actually officially the c group) consisted of Cat, Dom, Lee, Ko, Doogu, Joe, Bob and myself. A heady mix of English and Korean ready for adventure. Cat, Dom, Bob and myslef signed up for driving the 4WD, so the next morning at 5am we were bombarded with information about the vehicle - a beast of a car although pretty old it still did the job. Clearly that information went in one ear and out the next but B volunteered for first stint driving so everyone else settled back into their hangovers and held on.

Although we thought we had gone into hiding with our bus night manouveres, the rain found us and preceeded to total soak us for the next 8 hours, however B seemed to enjoy the experience of flying through huge mud puddles. Not suprisingly no one volunteered to wade the puddles to check for depth but the car infront acted as a good test !

Our walk at Central station was a bit of a wash out so we made our way to Lake Mackenzie which is truly stunning and brilliant blue against the white sand. The weather wasn't going to stop uas from having a good time so we donned the swimsuits in the rain and piled in. Fantastic ! Warmer in the water than out !

We decided to sleep in a proper campsite that night to try and seek some shelter from the rain so off we went and set up the tents in record speed (well not tooo bad). The Korean boys set up a fantastic cover with the ground sheet that was designed and constructed with masterlike prescion and skill and a bit of head scratching. Then we cooked up a feast on the barbie, the rain stopped and we cracked open some rather good cold beers. Too easy mate !

Communication skills improved dramatically after a few beers and we soon got into the important task of discussing cross cultural references otherwise known as drinking songs.
Always a great way of breaking down inhibitions we were soon doing chicken wing dancing and singing tin tin tin tin ten ten t ten...sorry boys I'm sure you can correct me but you get the general idea. Dom took to it like a duck to water and spent most of his time clapping in the wrong places and generally drinking (some would say good tactics !) After much amusement we all crashed out and prayed for the sun to come out the next day.

The praying worked, hooray ! After a seriously rainy night the clouds cleared and we had a beautiful morning. We saw some cars heading off that morning which we thought was strange as we weer under strcit intructions to stay in camp till after high tide. After a quick recky onto the beach we aborted our mission and parked up and headed off on a awlk to the sandblow. One km through the woods and we popped out on the edge of a sand blow - otherwise known in my vocabulary as a bloody great desert with great big hills. Cool !

Never having been in a quasi desert before obviously I had to take full advantage by rolling down the hills and taking group pictures of us leaping over the brow of the hill into the sand. Yep it really is a giant sandpit for adults. The view out to the sea was tantalising with crystal clear waters which are as dangerous as they get. Killer sharks and rips. We made our way up the beach in the 4WD as fast as we could when the sea had dropped down the beach although it was still pretty precarious in places. I nearly got us stuck in a big sand track as we pulled off the beach. I put it down more to poor navigation (ahem B never told me to drop into 4 low as shown on the map !). We visted the champagne pools which are as you would imagine, large rock pools which get refilled with cascading fizzy sea water every time a wave comes in. Very pleasant dip after the long walk down the beach and over the rocks.

That night we camped on the beach and said hello to the dingos. No serious dingo incident, I'm pleased to report. In fact they looked more docile than most pet dogs but then I didn't try and get very close. The night came down and the stars went up and the sky was full. Truely incredible night sky which we sat underneath supping our beers and tucking into dinner. Dom (strangely another Ashford with an equal sense of mischeif)and I then decided to go on a night assualt into the next camp along the beach. Armed with our water pistols we managed to make it to the next camp in commando style crawling through the undergrowth. Unfortunatly the next camp had already gone to bed, which was rather unfortunate as Dom already had a target in mind due to an earlier pre assault reconnainsance mission. Not put off by our lack of target we continued our crawl to the next camp and spotted some likely victims who had strayed away from the main group and were smoking on the dune looking out to sea. After having to withdraw to cover behind a 4WD after near discovery from a stray search light and a fit of laughter from us we slowly made our way up behind the targets and opened fire. The victims got up screaming as we let both pistols do their work. Someone switched on a spot light and Ashford and Ashford were rumbled. We quickly retreated in hysterics down the beach to safety. No retaliation attacks were made, and we considered a second assualt but the beer was too alluring and we settled back to star gazing.

Another beautiful day so we went up to Lake Wabby - a lake on the side of a sandblow with huge catfish and green water and hung out in the cool waters. We also went back to Lake Mackenzie for another shot, this time in the sun ! Stunning !!! Will get the pictures up there. Then back to the Ferry, home, more beer (Yes Dom you did fall asleep at the table) and a big shower !!! Great times.

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