I’m back with the next installment of my travels down the east coast of Oz. Of course I’m currently in NYC and there’s lots of different things happening but I’ll fill you in on everything in my next NY post (it’s coming up very soon I promise!). So for now it’s back to the land down under…
So in my last Oz post (you can see it here) I shared our trip to Airlie Beach and around the The Whitsundays. After a 14 hour night bus from Airlie Beach, we arrived in Rainbow Beach bright an early one Monday morning last December (Dec 9th to be exact – my memory scares my friends and family sometimes). Apart from an amazing beach (as you’d kinda expect), there is absolutely nothing in Rainbow Beach!! I mean NOTHING! You really just come here to go out to Fraser Island, which is ridiculously beautiful and also just happens to be the largest sand island in the world.
So just to explain a little about traveling out to Fraser. First of all, we did a two night camping trip. I honestly can’t believe I did this and survived. Not because I’m a princess or anything (I can slum it with it the best of them), but because both my sister and I have an extreme phobia of snakes (ewwwwww – even typing the word makes me shudder). So camping in Oz where practical everything is poisonous and can kill you, and where “S’s” roam free (there was one on our camp – sadface) definitely terrified me a little… okay a lot!!!
We travelled to and around Fraser in groups of four cars with 8 people per car. The first car was our Lead Car and, as I am sure you guessed, the driver led the way, giving advice on what to do and how to drive on sand (any one in the other 3 cars with a driving license could drive – and most of us did). Driving on sand is kinda like driving on snow/ice – dangerous and tricky! Since I’ve been here in NY I’ve been swapping Australia stories with my uncle and aunt who travel Oz a few years ago. Their time on Fraser was completely different because they were allowed to drive themselves without any guidance. I think there had been some fatalities in the last few years, so now you go in these groups. I think I prefer it this way though because it’s a great way to get to know people, you already have a group of people before you leave and, if you’re lucky like we were, they’ll all be easy to get on with.
On day 1 we drove up to Lake McKenzie, a beautiful lake with silca sand almost as pure at the sand at Whitehaven Beach (so you can brush your teeth and polish your jewels again) and water that is apparently so pure it is unsuitable for many species. It was such a sorcher of a day, so we were only delighted to have a chance to go for a dip when we finally reached the lake. After the lake we did some Dingo spotting and then it was back to camp to set up for the night.
Our camp was an aboriginal camp, with outdoor camp-style kitchens, showers, toilets, tents and even a nightclub (I didn’t get any snaps – we were all about the food/drink). Our tour group was Dingo’s, and Dingo’s shared the camp with Fraser’s, so everyone we had met in Airlie Beach were there too. We had a (good) few well deserved drinks, headed down to the beach for a while (trying to avoid Dingo’s – they can eat you!) and then went back to the club – it’s funny thinking back. The next morning we weren’t in such great spirits when we got a 6am wake up call, but we struggled through and set off for day 2…
Day 2 was overcast and misty. It wasn’t great for pics but it really cleared the sticky heat and was really kind to our hangovers. It also made camping so much more comfortable because you weren’t waking up in a sauna of a tent. 🙂 One of the funniest things from Day 2 was definitely taking these perspective shots. It was also Aaron’s birthday (as you can see) so we all serenaded him over the radio to the Simpson’s version of the birthday song… too funny!
It’s was a pretty jam-packed day, but the probably the most famous thing we did was visit the wreck of the Maheno. It’s a pretty iconic shipwreck on the island and I was so sad to hear it’s sinking rapidly and in a few years it will be completely underground. After the wreck it was back to camp for a second (and a hell of a lot quieter) night. All of the early starts catch up with you eventually… but we did go to the beach to do some fire spinning. Again, I’ve no pics as they were all blurry but it was pretty amazing.
The sun was back on Day 3 and we set off to explore Lake Wabby. It is a bit of a trek (probably 20-30 minutes) and we had to go through woods, in the sorching heat, so you can imagine how feared up I was over what I could possibly see. It was all good though – there was no surprise visitors and it was definitely worth it. After Lake Wabby it was back to Rainbow Beach after an truly amazing 3 days to prepare for the next stage of the adventure…
Just a little FYI for you guys… Most of the hostels in Oz have their own bar and they don’t allow you to BYOB because, of course, they want you to spend money in their bars. It’s pretty pricey though.
Also, we did our trip with Dingo’s/Peter Pans, and for some reason we had to stay in Rainbow Beach for three nights. There’s really no need for the third night (like I said, there’s is NOTHING here), so if you are short on time be sure to check out if you can get two night stay. 🙂
I hope you guys are having a good week and have been enjoying my Oz posts, as much as I’ve been enjoying writing them? They’re bringing back such great memories for me.
There’ll be another one soon and my first outfit post from NYC too… excited!!!