An early start for our two day Fraser Island tour, with a pick at 7.30am from our very chirppy (4×4) bus driver Wazza! A 60 year old typical Australian gentleman who was pure entertainment for two days and a beacon of knowledge.
Fraser Island is the largest sand island in the world (hence the 4×4), about 80km long and on average 15km across – a UNESCO world heritage site like no other. The largest ever industry on the island was the timber industry as the trees somehow managed to gain a purchase in the sand and spread all the way across the island creating a sub-tropical rainforest. Some areas were untouched by the now discontinued timber industry and our second little tour of the day was a walk through the forest which was serenely beautiful, walking through a sandy rainforest along a crystal clear stream with nothing but white sand at the bottom.
Our first stop off had been at the most famous site on the island, Lake MacKenzie. The sands were so fine that most people were cleansing their faces, or in some cases their whole bodies. The lake was chilly and at the time in the morning I thought a paddle would suffice, yet Hannah jumped in with no hesitation! The water again was crystal clear.
A quick stop for a buffet lunch, one of the best lunches we had had in a while! Then another walk, this one a little further than the last, but gave us an opportunity to marvel at the enormity of the perfectly vertical trees reaching for sunlight. This time we kept up a good pace to get away from the main group – when we found a quiet spot the birdsong was genuinely quite something to behold.
Our last stop of the day was a walk up to Lake Wabby, this one was a slightly longer walk and gave us an opportunity to chat with the others our age on the tour and make plans for a few drinks in the evening. The lake itself was at the bottom of a vast sandbelt. Apparently, it was one all lake, but the aboriginals had used the land so much the the sand started falling away and draining the lake to the sea. The lake itself was green and murky but was still a fairly pleasant swim after all that walking!
Sunrise: a very early start on day two. We walked to the beach on the east side of the island (next to our resort) and grabbed ourselves a Dingo Stick. Dingoes being the wild dogs on the island that tend not to bother humans but we were advised to be cautious nonetheless. Zero dingoes and one sunrise later we headed for an all you can eat full English breakfast and back on to our bus for another day of touring.
This time we had a 50km drive along the beach which included a lot of commentary from Wazza about the conservation efforts on the island, the renaming to K’Gari in an attempt return to the island’s original Buchella (aboriginal) name. Our first stop was the wreck, marooned on the island for decades.
We passed, however a few people on our bus opted for the plane ride up the beach and a spot of whale watching – apparently we didn’t miss too much! Especially as we saw whales shortly after lunch from the lookout point called Indian Head, that juts out into the sea. We spent a good 30 minutes watching the pod swim by, a lucky sighting!
The first event of the day was to visit the Champagne Pools, a place to bathe and enjoy the bubbles and spray from the sea in the large rock pools formed by the sea. The pools were big enough that there was plenty of wildife in them. Several fish and sea snails included.
Our last adventure of the day was to swim/float down Ely Creek, just like a lazy river. It was a picturesque walk up to the top of the creek and a very relaxing float down, a great way to end our activities for the two days.