Friday, 13 June 2008

Noosa and First Half of Fraser Island

I am impressed with Fraser Island, where I am currently in bed in the tent typing this blog entry from....its a world heritage national park - which is in fact the largest sand island in the world as well - about 4 hrs north of Brisbane.  We are back in the tent again and so far, fingers crossed, the rain has held off. 

Now I've just been moaning about them over dinner tonight (fried rice and stewed apples + custard - thanks Em!), and I do love Fraser Island for its beauty and its remoteness, but the backpackers are like a plague here.  They have exactly 4 minutes before 9pm to turn their music (all they play is indie, that we love, of course) off, otherwise I may wander over and tell them to get to bed like the little kids they are!  Anyway....

We stayed in Noosa for one night which was a cool place, nice beach, although there wasnt much left of it after the floods (Em was here about 2 years ago and said it looked totally different).  We did a little bike ride into town and had a swim at the beach.  Emily has come down with a virus so rested up back at camp.  After that we headed onto Rainbow Beach which is one of the gateways to Fraser Island via 10 minutes on a barge.  One quick camp near the beach there and then we were on the barge by 8am Wednesday morning!  We were all pretty excited as this is one of the highlights of our East coast tour.  P1060628





Once off the ferry it was a 45 minute drive straight up the beach.  Nice easy driving compared to Stockton beach, the sand was very hard and compacted and the tide was at its lowest (well planned by Paul).  For Fraser Is. camping you need to bring all your own drinking water, have enough fuel (diesel is $2.26 per litre!) and all your food supplies for the stay as there are only about 3 shops on the island and they are quite limited.  No doctor or hospital either.  We headed inland for our first camp site Central Station which is all sandy 4wd tracks, some of it quite rough.  On the way we met up with a couple that Emily and and Paul had befriended back in Byron Bay - a Swiss German Felix and German Nicole.    P1060677They are driving around Australia at roughly the same time as us in their Land Rover Series 3 from 1978 on the left below, he has to crank-start it as the starter motor/electric ignition has failed!


They joined us at Central Station campsite for the next couple of nights.  We've basically been 4wding, a bit of (unsuccessful) fishing, swimming (in the lush clear water inland lakes), walking and and sightseeing since we got here and both really like it.  Em says there is less traffic than when she was here before with her dad, which I am glad about.P1060678  This is Lake Wabby below, it's being slowly engulfed by the sandblow to the left of the picture, but remains the island's deepest lake:


On our first night whilst setting up camp Em got bitten or stung by something when we were putting up our tarp.  I was worried so put my shoes on and walked over to where she was bitten (her toe was going red by now) and in the process got bitten/stung myself on the ankle!  I swore and jumped back to safety and when I looked back realised we had both been stood on a nest of half-inch long red ants with nasty looking jaws on them!  We arent sure what they were, but they stung real bad, like you had been burnt by a match-head or similar:  P1060666

On the animal front we have finally seen a goanna (Jan I hope you are reading this - it's only taken me 2.5 years to see one!):  P1060733    These are about 1.5 metre long monitor lizards.  It was frozen to the side of the tree after running across the sandy track in front of Paul and Emily and praying we would drive on and leave it in peace I think.

The backpackers switched their music off precisely after the 4 minutes I mentioned was up - there is some justice in the world and I won't have to walk over there in my pyjamas.  Now we only have 5 more nights on Fraser Island to enjoy....


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