Travel Blog Awards 2017 ….. we’ve been nominated!

Travel Blog Awards 2017

So, here’s some exciting news …… we’ve been nominated in the Travel Blog Awards 2017 held by Mr Promocode.

We enjoy writing this blog, it gives us a record and memories of our trips and it also allows us to share our adventures with family, friends and our many blog and social media followers. It’s rewarding to know that people enjoy reading our stories.

But now is when we ask you for something.  We need your help and ask that you vote for us if you think we are worthy of this award. Simply click on the link to see who we are up against, search for “George & Shelly” (you’ll see our logo) and click to vote for us!

Travel Blog Awards 2017

Advertisements

Western beach of Fraser Island

Fraser Island is so diverse in its landscape, from the long white sandy beaches and dunes, coloured sand cliffs, swamps and freshwater lakes to bush and rainforests, there is so much to offer.

Take a drive over to the Western Beach and you’ll feel like you are in another world, it’s the complete opposite to the Eastern Beach ….. remote, unspoilt, very few people and very flat water, compared to the rough waves on the eastern beach.

One of the reasons it’s so unspoilt is that it doesn’t get the same amount of  tourists as other areas of the island do. It’s relatively remote, the sand is very soft and there are numerous creek crossings. Time your visit wrongly by not checking the tides and you could easily find yourself bogged, submerged or stranded until the tide goes down.

Well that’s exactly what we did on Friday. Tides times were good on both sides of the island for a day trip to the western beach.

Our friends, Leah and Brendan were camping on the western beach so we called in to check out their campsite, wow! Right on the water, surrounded by a clear creek perfect for swimming or floating down. They certainly had a great spot.

You are unable to drive the whole length of the western beach, but we drove as far north as you can and stopped for an early lunch on our own section of beach without another person in sight.

Dinner Friday night was Beer and pizza night!  Homemade pizza made in the Webber, yum!  Sometimes you just need to compromise when camping and if that means using a tin of canned capsicum as a rolling pin, then you just go with it!

A day of adventure and friends 

On Wednesday we caught up with some other friends, Leah and Brendan, who are also currently staying on the island. They are camped on the western side of the island so we met them in a central location and set out for a day of exploring some more of the inland tracks.

We had planned to meet at Black Lagoon so we set out early for the drive to our starting point.

The track we drove on wasn’t exactly the smoothest of tracks, it was a little overgrown and had quite a few trees down, but little did we know things were going to get a whole lot worse the further the day progressed!

We decided to find ‘Old Bellert’s Hut’ and used our trusty HEMA maps app to guide us there. You know how I said the tracks in the morning were bad, well the ones to the hut were atrocious!  To say these were overgrown would be an understatement.  If you like the paint work on your 4WD, do not even attempt these tracks!  It felt like we were the first cars down this track in years!

We finally made it though and were greeted by a few thousand mosquitoes, not the place you want to spend too much time at!

Old Bellerts Hut ruins used to be owned by Hans Bellerts, a linesman who maintained the telegraph line to Sandy Cape in the 1930’s. We are lead to believe that Bellert used to run along the old telegraph line in an old T Model Ford to see that the line was properly serviced.

The weather started to turn again so we headed back to our camp to eat lunch under the gazebo and Mr Dingo came for a visit just as we arrived back.

Speaking of weather though, check out the video below of what we drove in earlier in the morning! Fraser Island sure puts on the weather at times!​

Exploring the lakes 

Day started off with two dingo sightings. It doesn’t matter how many times we see dingoes during our travels, it’s still exciting to see one, they are such beautiful animals.

Again on the inland tracks we made our way first to Lake Boomanjin.  This is a pretty special lake ….. at 200 hectares it’s the largest perched lake in the world, AND it sits on the largest sand island in the world! How cool is that!

Perched lakes form when a build up of organic matter raises the lake floor to above sea level.  Lake Boomanjin’s water is stained a tea colour and at times appears in shades of red, purple, blue and brown.  This staining is due to the tannin from surrounding trees.

Next lake to visit was Lake Birrabeen.  This is another of Fraser Island’s perched lakes and its crystal clear water and pure white sand makes for another spectacular view.

This would have to be the little brother of  Lake McKenzie and we love it for that reason.  The view is very similar, but hardly anyone goes here so quite often you will have the beach to yourself.

While at the lake we found this adorable little turtle.  He was struggling in the small waves and floating on his back, every time he managed to flip over a wave came and pushed him on his back again.

So we picked him up and moved him in to the shallow water and reeds. He had a little rest on the sand and then took off through the reeds.

Next stop for us was Central Station.  This now beautiful rainforest area was originally established as a forestry camp when tree logging was allowed on the island.  Back in the day this logging village was home to about 30 houses and a school.

Central Station now houses displays explaining the history of the area.   There is also a large array of staghorns and some of these are huge.

Central Station is a great picnic area and also the point for many walks. One small walk is along the boardwalk around Wanggoolba Creek and through the beautiful rainforest.

The water in this creek is crystal clear, at a quick glance you will think it’s sand only, but there is actually clear water flowing through.  This creek was a sacred area for the traditional owners of the land, the Butchulla people.

Arrived back at camp in time for a beautiful rainbow over the ocean!

Exploring the inland tracks 

Tuesday morning saw us say goodbye to Lauren, Liam, Tas and Ash as they started their journey back to Sydney.  We had a great couple of days with them playing tour guides for their first visit to Fraser Island!

After saying our goodbyes we decided to explore a few of the inland tracks at the southern end of the island and first stop was Tobys Gap Airstrip.  We aren’t sure if this Airstrip is ever used anymore, but we certainty wouldn’t want to be landing on it! It’s certainly a lot more overgrown than it was last time we visited.

The track then lead us around to Deep Creek and Ungowa. Deep Creek has great views over the western side of the island and you can also see another shipwreck from here.

The tracks weren’t very popular and we didn’t see another car in 2 1/2 hours driving, which is just how we like it!  The boat ramp and jetty at Ungowa aren’t exactly in good condition!

Walking down the jetty to take photographs was a balancing act of trying not to fall through the wooden planks!  Oh and if you ever visit this area, lather up in insect spray beforehand, they are fierce around here!

After a day of driving the tracks we were glad to get back to the eastern beach. The inland tracks are very bumpy and slow going, and on this day it involved dodging many trees and branches on the track as well, at times you are lucky to even reach the inland track speed limit of 30km / hour.

Once we reached the beach we stopped for lunch and found this little guy sitting in the sand.  ​​First time we’d seen one outside of an aquarium.

Later in the afternoon we took a drive down to the shipwreck to take some photos in the days fading light. We got some great photos, but of course this mean driving back to camp in the dark, not really fun at all!  The video below shows just a short section of the drive back to camp.​

The ‘must visit’ place on the island …. Lake McKenzie

Ask anyone visiting Fraser Island where they want to go and you will hear the same answer …. Lake McKenzie.

This lake is truely beautiful, from the bright white sand to the various shades of blue and green of the water, it really is breathtaking.

Lake McKenzie is a ‘perched’ lake, which means it contains only rainwater and doesn’t flow into the ocean.

The sand is pure white silica and is so soft and it actually acts as filter to give the water clarity and keep it pure.

After our early morning swim at Lake McKenzie we made our way over to Kingfisher Bay.  It is like a whole other world over there, the resort is beautiful, there are tarred roads, there is a lovely outdoor bar and restaurant and the views are unbelievable.

Kingfisher Bay is on the western side of Fraser Island and the water is very calm and flat, a stark contrast to the angry surf on the eastern beach.

The long boardwalk is great for a stroll along or to do some fishing off.  The Kingfisher Bay barge arrives at the end of this boardwalk and the cars actually drive along the boardwalk and in to the resort.

Champagne Pools and Sandy Cape

Easter Sunday commenced with another beautiful sunrise, who couldn’t be happy after starting your day like this.

Of course the day started off with chocolate as well, the Easter Bunny didn’t forget about us all! 🐰

It was an early start as we raced the tide up to Indian Head to spend our day exploring the tip of the island.

First stop of the day was at Champagne Pools. Champagne Pools would have to be one of our favourite places on the island. In fact the whole top end and western beach are amazing.

Champagne Pools is made up of numerous swimming holes which form amongst the rocks.  As the waves crash over the rocks, the foam rolls down and into the water, forming a champagne-like effect.

After a swim at Champagne Pools we were all back in the 4WD’s for a drive along the sandy inland track to Orchid Beach.

From Orchid Beach we then continued on towards the infamous Ngkala Rocks.  These rocks display one of the island’s largest exposures of coffee rock.

Ngkala Rocks are a well known area of Fraser Island and one that should only be attempted by experienced and capable 4WDers and vehicles.  The conditions constantly change depending on weather and the amount of 4WDs that have gone through, and many people get stuck here. It is basically a one lane track so you really don’t want to be meeting people halfway along.  But it’s a great place to sit and watch people attempting to drive through!

We have crossed Ngkala Rocks many, many times over the years and never had a problem, but this year it got us! A short amount of digging, airing down and using the Maxtrax and we were out.  Not so enjoyable for Shelly was the walk back down the track to the beach carrying the Maxtrax, while trying to dodge the next 4WD flying down the track!

After arriving at Sandy Cape we all had lunch and a beer, while the kids had a swim.  We then started the long journey back to camp, including being stuck on the north side of Ngkala Rocks for another 45min or so as there were new 4WD’s bogged!