A dingo’s dream
21.11.2010 - 24.11.2010 25 °C
We arrived in Rockhampton (the beef capital of Oz) on Sunday evening after a long 7 hour bus ride (which felt more like a rollercoaster ride). There wasn’t much to do as most of the town was closed. We did however grab some steaks at a local place where it was a serve yourself style . The steaks were alright but they didn’t compare to good ‘ol Alberta beef!
We called it an early night because we had to get up and catch a 6:30 am bus the next morning.
HERVEY BAY (Big Pimpin)
We arrived in Hervey bay in the afternoon after another long 7 hour bus ride. When we got to the hostel, we were pleasantly surprised when we were told they ran out of dorm rooms and we would have to “settle” for a private villa!! Big pimping!! After two straight nights in 8-bedroom share hostels and 2 long 7 hour bus rides, we were so happy to have our own villa to lay out our stuff, take a nice shower, and relax. We spent the afternoon and evening playing ping pong and beach volleyball. We even picked up a few oysters from a local fish market and paired it with some wine to complete the evening. However, the oysters we had “chilled” in the fridge ended up being frozen because the fridge was so cold! Impatiently we held them in our hands long enough to warm them up so we could eat them.
We were picked up at our hostel at 7:45 am to embark on our two day, one night adventure to Fraser Island! Fraser is the world’s largest Island made entirely of sand and is about 30 minutes away by Ferry. After getting to the Island, we boarded a large bus – but this wasn’t a regular bus. It was a 4X4 coach equipped with massive tires to trek through “roads” which were really just mounds of sand and tree roots. The ride got pretty rocky and seatbelts were a must – sometimes it even felt like we were getting back massages in our seats!
Our first stop – a 1.5 km rainforest walk was so amazing that Jesse took 63 pictures of in a matter of 30 mins! We can’t fit them all here, but here is a taste!
Next, we headed along 75 mile beach, which is also the Island’s major highway! The waves along this beach are so rough and shark infested that you can’t swim in it. There are 6 varieties of sharks in the area including great whites, bull sharks, tiger sharks and hammerheads. There are only certain times of the day that this highway is driveable as its under water during high tide.
Along the beach, we came across Maheno, an amazing shipwreck. It’s been through both World Wars, has even been the target practice for bombing tests and stubbornly it has remained on the shore for many years.
Next we went on a hike up to Indian Head, which was an amazing lookout point at the Northern tip of the Island.
Then we cooled off in the Champagne Pools (we were 3 of the 5 people who went in – most of our group decided not to!) It was amazing, the bottoms were sandy and they even had a few fish swimming in them. Every now and then, waves from the ocean beside the pools would splash over the side. The only thing missing was real champagne to toast in the pools!
Finally, we waded through Eli creek – a cold fresh water stream.
The next day, we headed out to the famous Lake MacKenzie. We got there first thing in the morning and it was perfect timing – we were the first group on the beach and the sun decided to come out (we’ve been missing it for quite some time now!)
As we walked onto the beach and turned the corner to check out the view, Jacq yelped as she was caught by surprise when she saw a huge “goanna” eating breakfast on the beach - a couple of turtle eggs that he had dug up in the sand!
We spent the next two hours lounging around on the beach and even walked around the lake to a more secluded beach.
On our way to our next destination, we ran into some Dingos, which are wild dogs, Asian wolves in fact. While they look cute, they can actually be quite aggressive. In 2001 a small child was killed by one on the Island. We are pretty sure this is where the Seinfeld phrase “a dingo ate my baby” came from.
To end off our trip, we went on a 5 km hike to Lake Wabby, which isn’t likely to exist in a 100 years, as its surrounded by “Sand Blows.”
Basically these are huge sand dunes that keep moving 1 – 2 meters per year towards the lake. The dunes were spectacular and we had some fun doing some sand jumping!
Fraser was amazing – and definitely one of our favourites so far.
We are spending the night back in Hervey Bay (back in big pimpin’ accommodations as they ran out of the dorm style rooms again! Then to finish off our stint down the east coast, tomorrow we are off to Surfer’s Paradise, then we’ll be heading to Byron Bay and Brisbane to learn how to surf and meet up with our friend Jamal.