Coffin Bay was a place we had definitely wanted to visit, all the photos you see are stunning. We managed to incorporate a 2 night stay here on this trip and so glad we did. Would have loved to have more time to explore a little more of the coastline, but there is always next time!
After a long drive from Mildura to Coffin Bay …. with the temperature slowly rising the further we travelled (48 degrees when we stopped in Port Augusta for fuel!) we were wondering what we were in for!
Luckily the temperature at Coffin Bay was much more bearable … in fact it was quite cool at times. We camped overlooking Yangie Bay which was great. The local kangaroos visited and grazed right in front of our camp. Driving around the park you’ll see plenty of kangaroos and emus.
We spent the day exploring the whole national park and it was absolutely beautiful. Such a stunning area, the colour of the water is something you need to see to believe. If you have been to Western Australia, it’s very similar to the waters around the Coral Bay area of WA.
Getting up early to watch the sun rise over the beach would have to be the best way to start your day. Living in the city you don’t tend to this experience this very often, but for us (well Shelly in particular) this is one of the highlights of camping.
So peaceful this morning sitting on top of the dune watching the sunrise over the water with only the sound of the waves crashing on the beach. Most campsites are still asleep at this time of the morning so it’s the perfect time to be up and taking in the tranquil surroundings.
Keeping a watchful eye over my shoulder for any dingos that may be loitering around, I sat on the dune and watched as the sun rose up through the clouds and a new day began.
A few weeks back we headed off on a tag-a-long trip with our mates at Great Divide Tours. We do a lot of travel by ourselves, so sometimes it’s nice to get out and meet some new people.
This tour took us up to Barrington Tops for some great 4WDing and amazing scenery and then to Myall Lakes for some beach driving. The best thing about this trip was that it was accommodated, camping in Barrington in winter is not our idea of fun! It was 7 degrees up on the mountain during the day!
Saturday morning was an early start for us to drive from Sydney to meet up with everyone at 9am at Singleton. We then headed off towards Barrington Tops National Park. It was very foggy in the morning as you can see from the photo above and with rain on and off, combined with the recent rainfall in the area, we knew this was going to make for an interesting day on the tracks! It was a good test for the new car to get out and play in some mud!
Majority of people on our tour had not done a lot of, if any, 4WDing offroad, so with the muddy tracks, it was quite an adventure! As you can imagine, they were a little intimidated with the situation and their car’s ability, but we all need to learn somewhere right! As we are mates with the tour leader, we were put at the back as ‘tail end Charlie’, George and I joked that we needed to be put on payroll because of all the help and recoveries we undertook! It did make for an interesting day and in a way, it was great for everyone else to experience it all in a safe environment, rather than being caught out there on their own.
One of our stops was to visit ‘The Rock’ / ‘Cock Rock’ / Dick Rock’! Whatever you call it, it’s a funny sight to walk through the bush and be confronted with this! A few funny photos were taken here, as you can imagine, boys will be boys!!
Rumour has it that any couple who are having trouble falling pregnant should visit this rock. If they manage to have sex on the rock, they will be rewarded with a pregnancy!
After a great day of 4WDing, we arrived at Gloucester, our home for the night. We stayed at the Gloucester Country Lodge, a great hotel, rooms were great, service was great and the view …. WOW!
View from outside our room
Saturday night we all went to the golf club for dinner. We had a few drinks and laughs and of course, birthday cake for Shelly! Sunday was Shelly’s birthday, the last year of her 30’s. We were surprised to find that the club was completely empty at about 8.30pm and when the staff started leaving to go home we got the hint that maybe we were about to be kicked out! At that moment we realised that we certainly weren’t in the city!
Sunday morning kicked off with breakfast in our room and then to meet up with everyone for the day’s briefing. We headed off towards Myall Lakes via the back roads, such beautiful scenery, so lush and green. The day was sunny and warm compared to the day before. Morning tea was spent visiting The Grandis, the tallest known tree in NSW. The tree and picnic area is located just off the Pacific Highway, north of Bulahdelah.
We then headed down to Bombah Point for a coffee and to catch the barge/car ferry across the river. From there it wasn’t too long before we hit the beach for some beach driving and lunch. Again, no-one else had done sand driving before, so we had a quick lesson and what to do and what not to do before heading down on to the sand.
Our lunch spot was great, we had a huge pod of dolphins entertaining us while we ate lunch and went for a walk up on to the headland.
We all said our goodbyes around 4pm and headed back home after a great weekend away. Couldn’t have asked for a better way to welcome in the last year of your 30’s!
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.
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.
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!).
Goodbye Fraser Island, you’ve been great as always…. until next time.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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!
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.
This whole beach was ours for a day! How cool is that!
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).
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!
I 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.