When I got to the Dingo hostel in Fraser it was funny to see so many known faces from previous places. After check-in, I went to the beach with two Swedish girls and a British guy and peer pressure made us all go jump into the crazy waves. It was very windy but once you were in the water it was actually better than being outside 🙂
Then, we had to head back to the hostel to go to the information briefing for our Fraser Island tour. If I had known that it would be three hours of torture I’d have at least brought snacks. We had to watch a HORRIBLE 50min safety video that almost made me want to walk out and not do the tour just that I could stop watching that video. Finally, it was over but then we had to listen to a guy talking about the same things again, and how big the spiders would be on the island and many other unpleasant things. It really didn’t sound very inviting. We got divided into our groups and I ended up with two Irish girls, two British girls and a British Couple. We didn’t know it then but that would turn out to be the best group from that tour 😀
However, first, they wanted more money from us to rent sleeping bags and pay 10$ that we could drive the car or be in a car that wasn’t driven by a guide. What a joke!!! The tour already is expensive enough, what do they want more money for?! At least, I already had a sleeping bag.
The next morning, I got up to have two delicious free pancakes (they were real American pancakes, not crêpes :)) but we all had to hurry to eat and check out in time. Until we all had our 4WD and supplies it took over an hour, but finally, we were ready to leave. Each car had a walkie-talkie and so we could communicate with the other cars from Brendan’s group. We had to stop at the gas station to check whether one of the cars really was fueled up. It only took one minute and so when we wanted to move on, the last car said that they were missing a person. Therefore, we all had to wait for her until she came back with her coffee. She’d have had so much time before that to get a coffee but she had to hop out of the car now…That’s why car four then became the “Coffee Car” and over the walkie-talkies we were coming up with all kinds of jokes like “coffee that” instead of “copy that”, “cool beans” and my favorite was “see you latté”.
Luckily, we made the ferry and 20min later, we were driving on the sand of Fraser Island. Driving on all the awesome sand and forest tracks already was fun and adventurous on its own and on top of that, we got to see so many cool places too. Every group had supply boxes and a cooking box. We had heard from other groups before that there was not enough food for the trip, so we had brought all kinds of snacks. However, we received loads of food and since “Rebecca” never showed up, we only had to share it between 7 people and not 8. For lunch, we always had wraps or sandwiches with a slice of cheese, lettuce, tomato or cucumber and cold cuts. It was fun to be camping again, where we had to figure out every step because we weren’t in a convenient kitchen, where you can find everything.
In the first afternoon, we did a 40min hike through a pretty forest and at the end, we were suddenly walking on a sand dune. Behind the sand dune, there was a beautiful, green lake. It could have been a quarry lake in Austria, except for the sand around it J. It was a nice refreshment after the walk. We dried off for a little and then headed back to the cars.
At the camp, we choose a tent for two or three people and then we started cooking right away, although it was only quarter to 5. Good idea, since there weren’t many cooking spaces and my group was able to eat at a normal time, while others were still cooking at 8pm in the dark. The first evening, we had stir fry chicken with rice and fruit cake for dessert. It was funny, how even after dinner, most people always stayed in their groups pretty much (except that we adopted two really cool girls from Manchester and Liverpool J). I couldn’t believe how different everybody’s English accent was. It was actually quite confusing. I could understand them all but it proofed that English isn’t = English.
At some point, we went to “bed”. Supposedly there were foam mats under the tent and it was soft enough when I first lie down but to sleep the whole night on the naked tent floor surely wasn’t the most comfortable place I had ever slept on. At least it was pretty warm. I only used my silk sleeping bag.
For breakfast we had eggs, toast and coffee/tea. We really couldn’t complain! There was cereal, peanut butter, jam and toast for the next day. We had a manual for what food we were allowed to use when :).
After breakfast, we all drove to Eli Creek. The guides call it hangover creek because the clear fresh water has magical powers of healing headaches. We all marched along a wooden board walk to get to the beginning of the stream. I felt like in a water park, walking to the top of the slide. Then, like penguins, we jumped into the (at first) quite chilly water. It was wonderful floating down the stream and then ending up at the beach of the ocean.
Then, we wanted to stop at the ship wreck. Brendon told us its story and then the people who were quick managed to get a few pictures. However, it started pouring and so everybody was jumping back into the cars. Our car was always having a party, listening and singing along to music :).
Since the weather wasn’t great in the afternoon, we didn’t walk up to Indian Head. Instead, Brendan took us to a huge sand dune past the champagne pools, where normal tour groups with better weather wouldn’t go. The dune was massive and extremely steep but it wasn’t that much different of walking up a steep hill with a lot of snow. The view on the top was beautiful but the most fun part was going back down! We all did kangaroo jumps, which means, you just jump out into the air and then land a few meters lower, where you would end up sticking in the sand. It was so much fun! I didn’t really think about it and just did it but once I was down at the bottom and looked back up I realized that it looked like a vertical wall.
On the way back to the camp, we did stop at the Champagne Pools. They looked really nice, like infinity pools carved into the rocks, which would shelter them from the ocean.
The second night, we had delicious steaks, potatoes and salad for dinner. Again, our team work was great and so while most other groups were still fighting for space on the bbq, we were already roasting marshmallows around the camp fire :). Finally, after three months of being in Australia, I get my marshmallows.
We went down to the beach for a while but since it was pitch black, we didn’t want to stay there for too long and end up as dingo food (after all these stories we heard…).
The next morning, we already had to pack up. I really was looking forward to a normal bed and shower but the time on the island has just been really great! We had a long, bumpy but awesome ride to Lake McKenzie ahead of us. Brendon saved this highlight for the last day and luckily, the weather finally played along. When we got to the crystal blue freshwater lake with extremely white sand, the sun was out and the sky was clear. Everybody jumped into the water. It was wonderful!
Then, the drive back to the boat followed, which was the most exciting one because the tide came up pretty high and so our jeeps were splashing through water, our drivers doing their best, not to get stuck or washed into the ocean. It was exciting and in the end, no problem. We drove back onto the boat, which brought us back to Rainbow Beach, where we just had to unload our cars and then finally could enjoy a real shower and clean clothes :).
Then, I went out for dinner with my group. There was a good deal for pizza or fish and chips with a soft drink for 10$ and the food was really good too. A good way to end our adventure!
Some of them, I will surely see along the way, since everybody follows the tourist stream. So, when I got onto the greyhound bus to Agnes Water the next day, I knew 90% of the people on the bus. It’s a nice change after that lonely stretch from Coffs Harbor to Surfers Paradise. I had such an amazing time in Noosa and Fraser and I know it’s above all due to these awesome people I met along the way.