The Amazing Fraser Island

Trip Start Jul 01, 2016
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Trip End Jul 14, 2016


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Flag of Australia  , Queensland,
Monday, March 20, 2017

What a day mate! We were picked up at our camp ground at 7:45 am. It was a bus that drove us out of Hervey Bay to our ferry. It took about 20 minutes to get to the island. Our guide was Davy and he directed us to our 4wd bus. It holds about 30 people.
Davy was the most passionate and informed person. You can tell he really loves the island and his job. As he took us to our first stop he talked about the ferns, the scratch gum tree( a narcotic to the animals), the water proof trees( that were exported to England to rebuild the docks in London England's port), the cane pine tree( that is not a coniferous tree but grows straight and makes good boat masts), the black coffee rock along the beach, the history of the island ( with the indigenous people and Cook and the Frasers) and about the speed and driving conditions on the beach. We learned that there are 7 types of forest on this 115km by 23 km island.
When we exited the forest area. We made a quick stop at Eurong resort for a bathroom break. There was a bakery here and we all got a small meat pie for a lovely morning snack. We then went on 75 mile beach. Since it was a rainy day, to start, the waves were tumbling in and the beach wet. The wet conditioned helped the driving on the island since the entire thing is made of sand. Most trees don't grow on sand but after 1000s of years of plant life decaying on the ground floor and organisms that are symbiotic, it had an incredible result.
The Butchella indigenous people were on the island first. Then the Mackenzie brothers from Scotland set up a logging company in roughly 1883. It lasted until 1991. Protestors and naturalists fought to have the logging stopped. Within two years it was declared a world heritage site and a National park.
Our first stop was at Pinnacle Point. Here there were pink, tan and yellowish sand cliffs. Even though they were hard material you could see that time had eroded some and the soil was a variety of colours. The regular Beach sand was almost white. While waiting for others we saw planes leaving the beach for island tours. We even saw some man of war jelly fish on the sand.
Our next stop was the S.S.Maheno Shipwreck. It use to be a cruise ship, then it was used in the war as a floating hospital. Then during the depression it was sold to Japan. They had removed the propellers( since they ran out of money and sold them for scrap). They were towing it back and the cables broke during a storm. The ship ended up on Fraser Island. What a cool tourist spot. However, with salt water rusting it, storms pounding it, and sand burying it; I feel it will not exist for many more years.
Our next stop was my favourite. It was Eli Creek. He explained that when it rains on the island the water will soak into the sand ground and then it could take up to 60 years for that same water to drain its way out to the sea. Very interesting. So we parked and walked to the end of the board walk. Here you entered the water. This Crystal clear water was shallow on the inner side of the curves and deeper on the outside curve. We explained to the kids why this happens. Some areas were vey shallow. In addition, this water was very cool. Some people had brought tubes to go down. We had to body surf. I wish our day would have been a bit nicer. However, the rain did seem to stop at everyone of our little destinations. Very lucky.
Just before we stopped for our nice buffet lunch we saw a Dingo on the beach. These are wild dogs that will attack people for food. Of course, there were people eating on the beach and being nonchalant about an approaching Dingo. Our guide tried to advice them to put their food away but they seemed unconcerned.
After lunch we walked around the little town area. Back on the road Davy explained about the Butchella's people that a God and K'gari who created this island. It was a wonderful "dream" story, as they call it.
Our next stop was at Central Station. This is the area that the loggers use to live in. They did not cut any trees in this spot so some of the trees are very old. They had even replanted elephant ear ferns in many of the trees. These were so very large. Davy took us down a boardwalk and explained vines(filled with water, trees (that loss their bark, or have camouflage ), the stream and even birds. The most beautiful bird was the Kingfisher purple bird that he says is rare. Sterling got a leech on her but it was quickly brushed off.
The final destination was Lake Mackenzie. The silicon sand was so beautifully white and had such a refreshing effect on any skin that was caressed with it. The sand had a distinct shelf and then dropped very quickly. We spent some time playing with the GoPro and swimming at the edge. Murray even saw a small turtle swimming here. There are some small fish and nothing else.
Davy took us to the ferry and it felt like we didn't wait long until we left. I was able to take a spectacular picture of a Wing Tail Kite bird. It looks like a bald eagle. Just sitting in a tree near the dock. We really enjoyed our day.
Davy drove the big bus back to our site. On the drive he pointed out some large grey Ian garoos in meadows. In total we probably saw 40 on the drive home. So exciting.
On returning to our campsite we jumped into our camper and took off again. We drove an hour and a half North to Bungaburg. We went to the Mon Repos Turtle Center. We read that it is open from 7pm- midnight from Nov. until the end of March. You can come and see turtles hatch and go to the ocean. Sadly, last night had been the final night. So disappointing. It was a long ride home. I worked on the blog so I apologize for any errors. It is not easy to type while driving on twisty, wet, kangaroo roads.
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Comments

Nancy on

Amazing story! Love and hugs, Nanc

Leslie and Rain on

I've been waiting for this post. I have great memories of Fraser Island. So glad you'll have some too! I look forward to 'hearing' from you every morning. Thanks for taking the time to write. Enjoy the journey.

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