All good things must come to an end :(

IMG_5257

Unfortunately it all must come to an end at some point, no matter how long we spend on Fraser Island, it’s never enough!

This time we managed to reach the Western Beach and spent an amazing day over there, meaning that we have now driven every section of beach possible on Fraser Island.  We had some great weather, and some not so great!, as shown in the photos below, but it didn’t spoil our holiday one bit.

IMG_5274 IMG_5247

We cannot tell you how badly you all need to visit Fraser Island!  It’s one of the most beautiful places we’ve been to and the track conditions change daily, the scenery changes, it’s just amazing.  One minute you are driving along the beach and the next through a rainforest.

     IMG_5096 IMG_5216 IMG_5223

Anyway, after we packed up and said our goodbye’s to our good friends, we headed off around 9.30am towards the barge.  By the time we hit hook point, the tide was still a little high so we had to wait a while before we could head around to the barge (would rather do that than take the unbelievably rough inland track!).

IMG_5124 IMG_5321

Goodbye Fraser Island, you’ve been great as always…. until next time.

IMG_5275

Those annoying tourists!

IMG_5285

So yesterday our good friends, Stewy & Kristy arrived with the kids.  Unfortunately this year we were unable to time our visits to spend our holiday together, but at least we get a day and a bit with them! Today we decided to leave early and head up to Sandy Cape for the day ….. things didn’t go quite as planned!  All seemed fine until just after Orchid Beach.  The cops pulled us over for RBT and advised that there were about 60 cars sitting up at Ngkala Rocks waiting to cross over!  Annoying Easter break tourists! Haha

George and I had been up there a few days ago and saw how chopped up the track was – we drove over the Ngkala Rocks bypass and turned around and came straight back as it was getting on in the afternoon and we knew we could get stuck there a while. That was a good move as the car behind us got stuck …. as did the next and the next!!  We parked on the beach and walked up to the rocks and watched people attempting to drive through for about 2 hours.  I now get the excitement and why there is always a crowd of people up there watching!!

IMG_5232 IMG_5234

This was the track a few days ago and today it was worse! We reached Ngkala Rocks and the copper was right!  We have never, ever seen so many cars up that end of the beach.  With only one track (the same track to head north and south) to get to Sandy Cape, if anyone gets bogged (which is a regular occurrence) you can be stuck for hours – as we experienced last year when one of our friends got stuck!

11024169_740474652736693_1278135696_n

Given the amount of people, we thought that it would be best to give Sandy Cape a miss and headed back down to Ocean Lake.  It was so nice sitting in the sun and lounging in the water, Stewy had a fish, the kids went swimming and we drank beer!  After lunch we headed down to Waddy Point for another swim and a fish.  We’d had a little on/off rain which had lasted no more than 5 min at a time, but the temperature had still been up around 30 degrees all day.

11078789_365147647009999_288320963_n

Waddy Point

 The kids wanted to go swimming in Eli Creek on the way home (do kids not feel the cold!) so we stopped in there for a while.  This truly has to be one of the coldest places to swim (it’s right up there with Mossman Gorge!).

Just after we arrived we heard someone screaming that there was a snake swimming through the water and we didn’t think much of it, thinking it was just a sea snake.  It swam across the water and up on to the beach, someone then identified it as a Death Adder (we later had a snake catch identify it by photos aswell).  Now we have seen these in NT and heard the stories and know all too well how deadly these little guys are.  You can be dead in as little as 45 min after a bite from one of these guys, so it’s not the snake you want biting you on Fraser Island! IMG_5311 IMG_5312  

He attracted quite a crowd and didn’t seem fussed by us at all, he certainly wasn’t scared of us (although he’d just swum through ice cold water, so he would have been pretty docile anyway!).  We all took photos and watched as he slithered from car to car, just hoping that he wasn’t going to make a home under some ones car or in their wheels!  We watched him until he made his way back over and into the bushland, we didn’t want him being hurt or run over, and certainly didn’t want anyone standing on him.

Lake Allom / Maheno Shipwreck / Eli Creek

IMG_5147

 Lake Allom (known to us as Turtle Lake) is one of our favourite places to visit on Fraser Island.  You never have a visit there without seeing turtles, they come right up to the viewing platform.  I love turtles and these little guys are so cute, it’s awesome to be able to see them this close up.

IMG_5154IMG_5142

Lake Allom is one of the inland freshwater lakes and it’s surrounded completely by Mellaluca trees.  The water of Lake Allom is black, which is as a result of the tannin from the trees surrounding the lake.

IMG_0641IMG_5159

The pic above is just one of the examples of amazing trees you will see on Fraser Island.  This tree was down at Lake Allom and was so dead straight and so tall, amazing!  And this little boy was waiting at our car when we got back to the carpark.  There is a picnic area just up from the lake so I’m sure that’s why these guys are always hanging out there!

IMG_5076

SS Maheno shipwreck

This is another ‘must visit’ place on Fraser Island. The Maheno was built in Scotland in 1905 and was the world’s first ever triple screw steamer.  She was built as a luxury passenger ship. During World War 1 she served as a hospital ship and later was used by a shipping company for journeys between Sydney and New Zealand.

By 1935 the ship had been declared outdated and taken out of service and was sold to a scrapping company in Japan.

On 8 July 1935, while under tow to Japan, the Maheno became caught in a cyclone and the towline broke.  After drifting in rough seas overnight, the Maheno beached on the east coast of Fraser Island.

The Maheno was unable to be re-floated and no buyers wanted her, so she was abandoned on the beach and remains there today.

11084662_534775466660273_2077112048_n 11143001_1434536740175914_1954003601_n IMG_5066 IMG_5069 IMG_5072  IMG_5078 IMG_5208 IMG_5211

2953855_orig

The Maheno when she first beached on Fraser Island

On the way back to camp we called in to Eli Creek.  As usual, the water was freezing and being later in the afternoon there was no way we were swimming!  Eli Creek is the largest creek on the eastern beach and up to 4 million litres of fresh water pour into the ocean each hour.

IMG_0614

What a beautiful way to end the day.

Wow, couldn’t have asked for a better day ….

In all our visits to Fraser Island, we had never been over to the beach on the western side of the island.  We had heard from friends how amazing and unspoiled it was, so we decided to head over and check it our ourselves.  Wow, what a day!

IMG_5085

This is the first sign you see when you hit the western beach!

The beach was truly amazing.  The sand was so white and the water was the bluest blue.  There was no-one around.  I think we passed 2 cars the whole day we were out there.  There were numerous water crossings to navigate and the sand was soft in certain areas so you certainly need to be experienced and know what you are doing, because there is no-one around at all if something were to happen to you.

 IMG_5121IMG_5099

This whole beach was ours for a day!  How cool is that!

IMG_5100

If you ever get the chance, you need to head over here to experience it, it’s a relatively untouched part of Fraser Island which we are glad we found.  We can now say that we have driven every inch of the Eastern and Western beaches on Fraser Island possible (some areas are designated no-drive areas).

Even the worst day on Fraser Island is still amazing!

Today we woke up to pouring rain.  It had rained nearly all night and didn’t look like easing.  Luckily we had the gazebo so we had somewhere to sit undercover out of the rain, but the whole area was flooded.  We were sitting in a few inches of water!  But what can you do!  We sat there for a while, checking the radar and hoping it might ease off, but things weren’t looking great.

We decided to head out for the day anyway and head across the island to Kingfisher Bay Resort.  It’s a fairly long drive so we’d be out of the weather and once there we could have a nice meal in the bistro …. and being ‘date night’, we had an excuse to treat ourselves!

Along the way we stopped quickly at Lake McKenzie, the photos below don’t show it’s true beauty, but even on a rainy, overcast day, it’s still a magic place.

IMG_5167 IMG_5168

We arrived at Kingfisher Bay Resort just in time for lunch.  The food and service at the bistro is always great.  The whole area, including the pool is open to day visitors, so it’s a great area to visit.

IMG_0575

After lunch, the rain had eased off a little so we took a walk out along the jetty and up to the shops.

IMG_5175

Looking towards the Kingfisher Bay barge

IMG_0636

Looking back towards Kingfisher Bay Resort

IMG_5179Just shows that even the worst day on Fraser Island can still be rewarding.  We could have sat at camp all day because it was raining, but we decided to get out and about regardless and ended up having a great day.  Life’s what you make of it.

Exploring the lakes

On Monday we had an early start and headed south to have a look at some of the inland lakes that we hadn’t been to for years.  The first was Lake Boomanjin, pictured below.  The colours of this lake were amazing, the red was a blood-red colour so it was a little freaky, but awesome at the same time!  This photo really does not show the true colours, but it gives you an idea.

Lake Boomanjin is the largest perched lake in the world.  Fraser Island also claims the worlds highest perched dune lake, Boomerang Lake.  Perched lakes are the most frequently occurring type on the island.  Perched lakes are separate from the influence of groundwater.  Their water levels can reduce due to evaporation during long dry periods, but then fill again during the wetter periods.

We drove over to the western side of the island to Ungowa to see the old jetty.  There is a nice little campground there with toilets, but nothing else except this amazing view!  The old wooden jetty and the boat ramp are both closed off due to deterioration, but you can still clearly see both.
 
Next on our list was Tobys Gap Airstrip, surprisingly this was fairly flat, although it didn’t look it at all, very overgrown with grass, rocky and sandy!  And yes, we may have drove down the runway, pretending to be a plane!!


We went to Lake Birrabeen for a swim, beautiful spot and no-one there.  To be honest, this lake is just a nice as Lake McKenzie, but without the millions of people there.  The sand is so white and the water crystal clear and warm, such a nice lake.

After lunch on the beach we took a drive down to Eli Creek for a while.  As usual, the water was freezing so there was no swimming there!
 
We then took the car for a photoshoot on the rocks!  Just a bit of fun for the arvo!

Ahh, Fraser Island, we are back!

So our journey began early on Saturday morning with us getting off while it was still dark.  We had a pretty good run with no traffic / roadwork hold ups which was a nice change! 

dread the Sydney – Brisbane drive, we do it so often and I’m just over it (think we need to move to Qld as we spend so much time there!).  
 
After 11 1/2 hours on the road we finally arrived at Danny & Cat’s house in Margate, QLD.  It’s been a few months since we’ve seen them and it’s always great to catch up. And of course, baby cuddles with Steph are great too!  
 
We left Margate around 9am Sunday morning to drive to Rainbow Beach, about a 2 1/2 hour drive.  Once there we topped up fuel (yes first fill for the trip, little bit different to the old Prado!) and filled the water bottles and headed down to Inskip Point to the barge.  We were one of only 2 cars on the barge so that was our first sign of how few people might be around.
 

 
A short drive later we arrived at the place we intended to camp and drove around looking for a nice campsite and set about setting up our home for the next week.  About 40 min later we had this!  Just behind the dune is the beach so we have an amazing view, yet are a little sheltered from the wind.

One more sleep!

After a busy night of packing we are now ready to leave tomorrow morning for Fraser Island, cannot wait! 

 
The car is packed and all ready to go, we were so used to packing the old car, but we are still experimenting and working things out in the new one.  It’s actually bigger, but somehow things don’t fit as well!! 
 
Ready for a good night sleep and an early start tomorrow morning. We will head to Brisbane and spend the night with friends, before finishing our trip to Fraser Island on Sunday.
 
Fraser Island here we come!!