Wednesday, 4 November 2009

Fraser Island Day Trip

I have booked myself in for a day trip to Fraser Island.  The bus arrives right on time at 7.20 am as arranged to pick us (myself and a couple from Munich whom I met the evening before plus a few others I do not know to be part of this motly crew).

After several pickups the bus is full and we proceed to the ferry terminal where we arrive about an hour later.  After the ferry has docked all the vehicles that are coming to the island have driven onto the ferry, we are allowed on board as well.  The trip across takes about half an hour and when we arrive our 4-wheel drive bus is already waiting to take us on board.  The driver and tour guide promises a rough ride across the island.  He was not exaggerating, part of the trip felt a lot like being on a small craft riding a rough sea.  What passes for roads on the island are only sand tracks, sometimes with quite deep sand ruts that need to be navigated at speed, sometimes the track is badly corroded, shaking the vehicle violently from side to side, all good fun actually but the going is quite slow in places.

Needless to say, we encounter several people (inexperienced on such terrain) that have gotten stuck, so our driver has to get out and show them how to get out of those sand bogs.  Naturally, our driver knows all roads like the back of his hand, knows just where to stop, where to travel at speed, where to go slow.

 Small birds by the creek on Fraser Island

After spending time in the rain forest we go for a long drive along the beach.  Several kilometres up the beach we can see two single engine aircraft that offer flights across the island, taking off from the beach.

Coming in for a landing on the beach

Naturally, I also climb on board for a short flight, always great to view the landscape underneath from a greater altitude.  The pilot drops us at the next scheduled stopping point of the bus next to a freshwater creek flowing down toward the beach.

Just after the flight across the island

We the visit the "Coloured Sands" and what is left of the "Maheno Wreck", a ship that has been washed up on the beach in 1935.  Not that much left of it either, as most of what was there has slowly rusted away over the years since.

What's left of the "Maheno" today

Water flowing from the island to the shore contains Tannin, a tea-colourd that has created interesting shapes of stain in the sand, quite interesting to look at.

Tea-coloured stains on the beach

When we turn around to drive back for lunch, the driver stops because we have a flat tyre on the front right.  Another bus arrives and together with the other driver the tyre is changed so we can continue our journey toward a (now late) lunch.

After lunch we drive to Lake Mack Kenzie for a one hour stop and a swim in its crystal clear water.  Very nice indeed.

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