I really want to go straight ahead and tell you all about Fraser Island, but I’m determined not to miss out a single bit of this trip. Mainly because I use my blog to remember what I did so I can write it in my journal.
Noosa was a pretty little town. My hostel, Backpackers Resort, offered a free shuttle to the beach/national park. Since I was only really there for one day, I planned to walk through part of the National Park, then head down to the beach. The park was beautiful, but eerily quiet. I thought more people would want to visit this place, but it was like a forest of isolation. At one point, when I was in the centre of the park, I heard a massive creak, like a door opening, looked around and had that feeling someone was watching me, got scared and ran back the other way. Half way back I realised the massive creak was just a tree in the wind, but you can never be too careful.
So after the long walk back, I headed to the beach for a few hours to top up my tan/sunburn/freckles before Fraser. Unless you’re really into your surfing or kayaking, there isn’t a great deal to do in Noosa. I had a sunset walk along the lake next to my hostel, which turned out to be truly stunning, but I was definitely ready to move on the next day.
Hervey Bay was the place to go to get to Fraser Island, so after spending literally a whole day reorganising my backpack and sorting my life out whilst also avoiding a guy in my hostel who was determined I baked him a cake, I was ready for my 7am bus pick up on Sunday morning. I booked my tour with Cool Dingo through STA travel, it was a 3 day, 2 night tour, but you could opt to do just 2 days and 1 night. I’m so happy I booked this one; there are a lot of travel desks near the hostels in Aus, and they rope you in and try and convince you that spending over $1000 on a Fraser Island tour is cheap. This one cost me £300 and I believe we got the maximum experience out of it.
Whilst waiting for the ferry ride over to the island, I made friends with some of the other girls on the tour, who I actually ended up sharing a dorm with. A happy coincidence. We got to the island by half 10 and found our tour leader, Davy. Davy was instantly such a big character who was so passionate about the island. I think he is the first proper Aussie I have met on this trip and I definitely won’t be forgetting him! He made the tour as brilliant as it was. We had a good mix of people as well; more English, Canadian, German, Italian, Irish and Israeli.
In case you didn’t know, Fraser Island (K’gari -it’s original name), is the biggest sand island in the world. It is essentially a rainforest on sand, which is supposedly impossible as sand does not have any nutrients. We drove around Fraser in a massive yellow, 4WD bus, which was… interesting… As soon as we got on the bus, we were being thrown around with the bumps of the sand and started wondering at what point our bus would be overturned. Davy had been driving on the island since he was, apparently, nine years old and his grandad taught him, so I think we were in safe hands.
The first stop we did was at Lake McKenzie. Davy told us we were able to use the sand to exfoliate our skin, making it feel smooth and fresh and we could also use it in our hair, getting rid of split ends, brush our teeth with it and clean our jewellery. I did each one of these, except clean my teeth, because… who really wants sand in their mouth? Apparently Maya did as I took photos of her scrubbing away. According to her, it wasn’t too bad! The group I was with wanted to swim over to another edge of the lake. I can’t remember if I’ve mentioned this yet, but I’m not the most confident swimmer. And by that I mean, I can’t swim. Or at least, I can’t keep myself afloat in deep water unless I’m lying on my back.
I made it over in my own time with a mixture of back stroke, walking on the sand where it was shallow enough and then a small doggy paddle at the end. When it was time to go back, thankfully there was a shortcut to the main beach through the water, so I only had to misdirect my backstroke for 2 minutes. The water was so fresh and blue whilst the sand was whiter than my skin. It was the kind of place you would see on an advert for a holiday. So glorious and beautiful.
After about 2 hours of getting burnt here, Davy had set up a picnic lunch for us consisting of a sandwich and salad which was pretty tasty, especially considering I had been living off pot noodles for the past few days. After lunch, it was back to the bus and we were dropped off at the start of this walk through the rainforest. Davy taught us about the Butchulla people who were originally on the island, telling us how the creak we were waking adjacent to was a sacred creak only the Butchulla women were allowed to bathe in.
Along the walk, wishing I hadn’t worn flip flops, we came across a snake on the path. We think it might have been a python. It was pretty cool, but the snake looked coiled, ready to spring. Luckily we all managed to get past it without being attacked. I don’t think any of us expected how long that walk was going to be. I think it totalled to 4/5km in the end. We were glad to be treated with tea and biscuits before driving to beach next to the resort where we watched the sunset.
The next day, we had to get up, breakfast and be ready to leave again at 7:45am. We ended up leaving at 7:57 which Davy said wasn’t too bad. We drove along the seventh five mile beach where people had the opportunity to go on a plane ride over the Island. We also drove past where a tag along tour car had rolled over. There were 8 in the car, but luckily no one was killed, but the driver, a 22 year old girl from Britain was seriously injured.* We arrived at Indian Head; a massive rock made out of volcanic activity and is the most easterly point on Fraser Island. It was such a hot day and the burning heat from the rock made it more difficult to climb. But it’s worth it when you get to the top and you can see so far down seventy five mile beach. Note to self, don’t wear white adidas whilst climbing a volcanic rock.
After this we went to the champagne pools. These were little pocket holes in rock formations where sea water could get in and fill them up, making a nice chilled area to swim around. There was absolutely no shade however, so myself and a couple of others were forced to hide in the wall of the rocks so we didn’t get too burnt. I ended up using my towel as shade by holding it over my head… I wasn’t going to risk looking like a lobster again.
We returned to the bus where Davy had set up lunch again and the only shade was sitting on these sloping rocks, so we all congregated there. We queued up for our wraps and this is where I got the nickname ‘bananas’ from Davy who seemed to be obsessed with my bikini… which is covered in bananas.
We drove back down seventy five mile beach and stopped at the SS Maheno shipwreck to take pictures. It’s a lot smaller than in looks in other pictures I have seen; I thought it was going to be about 12 feet high, but it was about 7 foot. The ship was so beautiful in the way it was rusting away and sinking into the sand, I wish we could have gone inside it, but it’s definitely too dangerous to do that.
We spent the rest of the afternoon at Eli Creek. This is a long stream that starts in the rainforest and ends in a pool type area along the edge of the beach. It was a stunning place and the water was freezing cold, but nice and refreshing. It did take Laura and I a few minutes to actually fully get in the water. When we did we just floated and let the current take us down to the pool. It was the most relaxing and lovely thing.
We had tea and biscuits again next to the creek where Davy continued to make jokes about my bananas. Some of the others in the group were playing frisbee or making things in the sand. The sun had started to go in, so really it was the perfect way to end the day. They definitely pack a load in during the tour, so it can be tiring, especially with the heat, but I think it’s all timed nicely.
That night, half the group went back to the mainland as they had booked the 2 day 1 night tour. This meant saying goodbye to Alyshea, Laura and Maya. But fortunately I had booked the same hostel as Laura and Alyshea in Agnes Water, so it wasn’t really a goodbye.
On Tuesday we first went to another lake, I’m going to have to look up what it was called. It was really cute here because nearly the whole group started playing in the water where we stood in a circle and hit the ball to each other and he had to try and keep it up as long as possible. I was rubbish of course and accidentally hit someone in balls with the ball. Well done Wozza. We then had lunch at one of the hotel resorts on the island. It was pretty decent and I was quite excited to have a semi normal tasting sausage with gravy. God I miss gravy.
I got to ride in the front of the bus!!!! We did the ‘Walk Of Death’ early afternoon, not knowing what we would find at the end. So after about a half hour of walking through the rainforest, where Davy scared us with spiders, we came out at the beautiful sand dunes which literally covered part of the rainforest. After running down and over these dunes, we came to this lake where the sand did a near vertical drop into it. It started to rain, making the moment a lot more special. We all ended up rolling down into the lake… I didn’t swim too far in as apparently it was 14 metres deep and I’ve already mentioned I can’t really swim. The fish in the lake were the ones which surround you and start eating your skin. It was such an odd sensation, but relaxing at the same time. Realising this was the last place we were going on the island, we all got a bit sad.
The walk back felt a lot longer than the walk to the sand dunes; the rain had edged off and the midday heat was back out. I spent most of it talking to Fraser (yes, like the island) who basically had the same story as me, except he worked at Tesco instead of Waitrose. We had our last bumpy journey in the bus… gonna miss that bus, and we were dropped off at the bay where we were to catch our ferry back to the mainland. Davy said his goodbyes to us. He gave me a big hug and kiss on the cheek and told me to never stop being beautiful.
I would totally recommend Cool Dingo Tours for Fraser Island. Everything was so chilled and fun but also perfectly organised.
Stay safe x
*I met a couple of girls at my current hostel who were on the same tour as the girl who got injured. Apparently she’s ok, but just couldn’t remember a lot of things for a while.
** Usually I never get bitten by bugs, but they absolutely loved me on Fraser. So now I’m cover in lovely red bites.