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Hervey Bay and Fraser Island 12th - 15th April

AUSTRALIA | Friday, 15 April 2016 | Views [493]

We arrived into Hervey Bay at about 11am and checked in to Palace Hostel. It wasn't exactly a palace but it wasn't bad either. We went out to a cafe for lunch and then wandered around the town. There isn't much here to be honest as its mainly used a base point to go to Fraser Island from or for whale watching, but sadly it isn't the season for that. 
At 4 o clock we had a safety briefing with our tour group. He told us about driving the 4 wheeled drives on sand and about the native wildlife (mainly dingos talk but also some snakes and spiders to worry about). 
After that we cooked dinner and re packed our bags ready for fraser island. Since we were camping there was no room for our big bags so we each took a food bag and our small backpacks. 
We were up at 5 ready for another safety briefing and ready to drive off to the ferry. The four of us were all drivers in one car with 4 boys (2 from sweden and 2 dutch). Becki drove over to the ferry from the hostel and then I took over once we arrived on the island. Since its been a while since I've driven a manual and I've never driven off road or a 4 wheeled drive I was a bit nervous but it was fine. Other than the fact I forgot you have to change out of first it was easy. I really enjoyed the drive, it was fun to bump around all over the place. There were five drivers in our car and we each took a turn driving around. The first day we visited two of the islands lakes (lake birrabeen and lake wabby), one of which (wabby) was a weird orange colour which was quite cool. We then visited central station and heard about the native culture and heard some more horror stories about the wildlife. After that it was to one of the resort towns for a quick stop and then to the camp. The camp was basic with 9 four man tents, a covered eating area and a bbq but it was all we needed. Our tour guide was called Sid and he was unintentionally hilarious. We cooked dinner - burgers - and spent the rest of the evening getting to know our campmates. The group was generally really nice and good fun which was nice. 
The next day we were up at 6.45 ready for a big day. Our first stop was on the 75 mile beach where we thought we were just watching some of the planes land onto the beach but we actually ended up going on a sky tour of the island in a tiny little 6 seater plane. It was amazing and the best start to the day. We got to see the lakes from above and some of the biggest sand blows which are like temporary sand dunes. The tour went for 80km and it took about 15 minutes and it was just the four of us in one plane which made it perfect. 
Next up was the quick town stop for toilets and the shop. After that it was a beach driver to Eli Creek which is a river that people float down. Unfortunately as none of us had rubber rings or any inflatables it wasn't so much of a relaxing float down the river as an amy crawl down it but it was fun - and refreshing - all the same. Apparently regardless of the weather the lakes and rivers on the island remain at 18 degrees so it felt quite refreshing. It was raining and grey the first day so we were quite lucky that the weather (for the most part) on our second day was lovely, it only rained on the way back to the camp and for about half an hour after we arrived back at camp in the evening.  
After Eli Creek we drove up to the second most photographed spot in Australia, the Maheno shipwreck. The story behind it wasn't as exciting as we were expecting, but it was quite a sight. It had been a hospital ship in the war and then afterwards no one wanted it so they were towing it to Sydney. At some point on the journey it was cast off by accident and landed on Fraser so they decided to leave it there. 
Next up was the pinnacles which are land formations made of sand. They were a bit underwhelming and looked a bit like the formations in Wooky hole. 
Again we had been taking turns with the drives and today they were all beach drives rather than off road drives which was pretty cool and a completely different experience than any other drive I've done. The speed limit on the beach is 80km and its just so weird seeing road signs along a beach. After the pinnacles it was my turn and I drove us to a campsite where we had a lunch stop. 
After lunch we headed to Indian Head which is the most easterly point of the island and has a great view. Whilst we were there we also saw a brown snake which are apparently quite dangerous so that was exciting. It was very long, skinny and brown. 
Next up was the champagne pools which are basically massive rock pools but when the waves come over the water fizzes because of the rocks so it feels like your sitting in a champagne glass. I really liked them and it was good fun. The drive between indian head and the champagne pools was really loose sand so it was more difficult and a couple of cars got stuck but luckily we didn't. 
On the way back it started tipping it down so when we stopped back at eli creek to wash off the salt water it was freezing and we didn't really fancy it. The last stop was at the town again for the shop and for the toilets. 
After that we headed back to camp, cooked dinner (burgers again) and spent the evening chatting with everyone. 
Early the next morning we headed out for the town and then to Lake Mackenzie, the most famous lake on the island. We arrived at about 10am and thankfully the sun was shining an the lake was absolutely beautiful. Bright blue with white sand and the clearest water. The water is so pure you aren't allowed to go in if you have suncream on and you can drink it straight from the lake. The sand is also apparently good for brushing your teeth with so we gave it a go, but to be honest it just gave me a mouthful of sand. We were there for about an hour and a half and then we drove over to the ferry terminal where we waited for an hour or so to cross back over. 
We arrived back at the hostel at about half past three where we did some laundry, had very necessary showers and repacked. In the evening we went for dinner with the whole tour group and said our goodbyes ready to leave early in the morning the next day. 
Fraser island was brilliant and we had the best time. It was such fun and it was also beautiful and completely different to anywhere else. We made some good friends and we're a bit sad to leave but we are on our way down to Brisbane now and looking forward to going to Steve Irwin's Australia zoo. 


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