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When the world's largest sand island turned into mud - PART I

Sunday, June 20, 2010

When the world's largest sand island turned into mud - PART I

The world's largest sand island, Fraser Island, was the place I had been looking forward to the most. It is one of the world's greatest natural wonders and a world heritage listed area together with places such as Uluru (Ayers Rock) and Kakadu National Park. It is 4WD only, so we booked a self-drive tour. We were going to stay on the island for two nights. We got the trip cheap together with a sailing trip to the Whitsundays, both for the price of one, including also two nights at a hostel and lots of freebies. 

We left our Jucy to Hervey Bay, where our Fraser adventure would start. There we had a briefing, where we met one Irish girl, two British guys and one Aussie, who we would be sharing the car with. We were given instructions on sand driving and other essential information about the island. There has been a lot of accidents on Fraser because of self-driving backpackers such as us speeding on the beach and ending up upside down. Therefore they are planning to prohibit self-drive tours in the future.

We spent the night before the trip in the luxury of a hostel and woke up fresh and excited. A short ferry ride took us to the island. The weather was sunny and perfect. First we drove through the world's only rainforests growing on sand dunes. A bumpy ride, with heads going up and down, side to side and banging on the ceiling, took us to 75-Mile Beach highway. Yes, there is actually a highway on the beach. 

First stop was Lake Wabby, one of the hundred freshwater dune lakes on Fraser. Deep, green water, lots of catfish, surrounded by high sand dunes. When we got there, a group of guys in the water were yelling at us: 'Jucy! It's the Jucy girls! How are you?' At first we didn't recognize them, but it was the guys from Byron Bay, who wouldn't move in front of the supermarket. Small world. Anyway, we had fun fooling around in the water with a log that we found. 

The next stop was Eli Creek. 

The most famous shipwreck on Fraser, Maheno, was the biggest ship before the Titanic. Looks like its journey didn't end much better.

The last stop was the Pinnacles, multicoloured cliffs and sand formations. 

It was time to set up camp, cook dinner and play drinking games, what else. I kept myself busy getting acquainted with the cute Aussie guy...

In the evening it started to rain.


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