The largest sand island in the world...

Trip Start Sep 28, 2003
Trip End Sep 29, 2004

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Flag of Australia  ,
Sunday, November 2, 2003

The next stage of our trip, was to go to Fraser island. This is an Island madeof sand. Apart from walking long distances, the only way of getting around on the island, is by four wheel drive tracks. Luckily James' car is a Jeep Cherokee, so we managed to squeeze five people and all of our kit into that (only just!).

*** Big Update ***
Big Pinapples (*2) and Big Ned Kelly. Pineapples - OK, Ned - not all that big.

Our Trip to the island was pretty long, not helped by some heavy traffic when heading out of the city. After setting off at 9 we only just managed to get the 2.30 Ferry by minutes. The ramp went up and the Ferry was moving, before James had pulled on the handbrake.

Due to the good weather and just managing to catch the ferry, we had a celebratory beer on the upper deck. The captain informed us that they do not normally allow "Stubbies" (beer bottles) on the deck, but said "don't worry, just finish them off and dump them in the bin". I don't think a captain in a similar situation in the UK would have been quite as relaxed.

UPon arrival on the island we drove to the central station on the island, which has some basic facilities. I had a look for some firewood (it is normally possible to collect bundles which which to have open fires on the beach) however was advised when I asked the ranger thatthere was a total fire ban (this is something that they often do when bush fires may start easily) on at the moment, for open fires. I retired from the office slightly sheepishly - feeling a bit silly - and returned to the car.

The tracks that we drove on, were really rough and the car got a bit of a bashing. You are told to allow upto 1 hour for every 10 KM's.

We carried driving to one of the beachside resorts (basic facilities available - you camp on the beach). However, we were not able to camp in that area due to problems with rabid dingoes - Crikey (dodgy Steve Irwin reference)- this is wild!

We drove up the beach (the east beach is 57 miles long and you can more or less drive the entire length ) for 20KM's and made camp close to another resort area.

On the way up the beach we saw a dingoe. They are a bit of a problem and can attack people - they often tear apart camps if they can smell any food. All food has to be kept in cars.

That night some of the guys tried fishing on the beach after dark, and a dingoe did visit to see what was going on. This was a bit hairy in the dark, but they knew not to approacha group of people too closely. While cooking and eating, a dingoe also came around again a couple of times, but again decided he was no match for the group of us. The main pest were the hoards of horseflies that seemed to follow us everywhere.

The driving around the island was quite intensive and James did a great job of taking us around the island, and only got stuck in the sand once.

The main highlights of the trip, included going to a coupl eof the lakes that were all croc free and safe to swim in. I cannot begin to describe how picturesque and peaceful they were. I look forward to getting some photo's online soon.

On one of our nighttime walks back from the bar, we were walking along the beach when someone noticed how when you stand the sand, it made it glow a phosphoressence (spelling?) for a short time. This also happened with the sand in the sea. We all spent 5 minutes running about randomly in the sand and sea!

However the big one was a visit to Indian Head, where Tony and myself spent 30 mins watching whales. It was amazing to see them jumping out of the water. At one point, we clocked three at once! The sound they made was also amazing.

On the last night we wanted to be a bit closer to the ferry as we had an early crossing booked for 8am. We decided that we would pack up camp and we managed to get an apartment for the night in a resort fairly cheaply. However we made the decision fairly late in the day and it involved some pretty hairy driving along the beach at nighttime, however we got there safely and had a relaxing night with some home comforts. I even managed to grab my first bath for a while.

On the final morning we packed and returned to the ferry landing, pretty quickly, before heading back to Brisbane.

We stopped at Gingerworld on the way back - Queenslands most popular free admission Theme park! More ginger than you will see in your lives!

When we got back to Brisbane, we could only get a mote room as the accomodation was taken up for the rugby, but Tony and Stef kindly let us use thier flat to cook.

Well that is all for now, in reality we have been to Hervey bay and Rockhampton for a night since, we are in Airlie beach now and heading on a boat trip round the whitsundays, for three nights tommorrow. I am a bit behind with the entries.

However I hope everyone is well and will write again when I get bak from our sailing trip.

Bye for now!
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