Fraser Island Travel Blog› entry 12 of 13 › view all entries
We returned from Fraser Island yesterday afternoon after 3 days and 2 nights of camping on the beach. It was incredible...by far the best thing we have done in Australia so far.
We began our journey in Hervey Bay getting divided into groups of ten to travel with to Fraser. Our group included: Jules, Jenny, and I...our sharemate, Ana from Germany, Hedda, Marie, Eric, and Johan from Sweden, and Matteo and Stefano from Italy. Upon meeting, I was a little unsure about our group. The Swedes spoke in their own language, the Italians in their own language, and that left us and Ana...It seemed like we were not going to "mesh" very well.
However, that all changed when we were given a shopping list and headed to the grocery store to pick out of camping necessities. At the top of our list? And one thing we could all agree on? Goon (cheap boxed wine) and Tim Tams (see previous blog). Obviously, ten backpackers grocery shopping resposibly was a bit of a challenge. I was thinking...hot dogs and peanut butter sandwiches...What were the Italians thinking? Roma tomatoes, olive oil, garlic, and pasta, of course! Our cart was full before we knew it, and after some last minute grabs (balloons and party whistles...why not?)...we were out the door and stocked up for our trip.
The next morning we took a ferry over to Fraser Island...at this point we were all still getting to know each other...After the 20 minute ferry ride...I would say we were all friends and ready to have the times of our lives on this camping trip.
Fraser Island is the largest sand island in the world and home to over 200 fresh water lakes. It is also ranked the most beautiful beach in the world. I have read several times that the majority of people have described Fraser as their own definition of Paradise. I would have to agree. The island is completely pure and untouched. There are few paved roads, making our 4WD Land Cruisers crucial, as we drove along the coast on sand most of the time. The fresh water lakes are so clear that you can see straight to the bottom, and the sand is so fine that it is recommended to clean your jewelry with (makes it all sparkly and new!)...We also took time to exfoliate with it on our last day (definitely dirty and needing some scrubbing!)...we washed our faces and arms and legs with the sand, and it felt amazing!
During our stay in Fraser we did some hiking, swimming, and plenty of driving...there's too much to say about 4 wheeling! It is the bumpiest, most terrifying ride I've ever had! The sand is so unpredictable and unstable at some points that the Cruiser felt as if it would tip and roll...at times we were literally thrown into the air off our seats--grabbing on to each other and screaming. I think we did most of our bonding the back of the 4 wheeler...all scared for our lives together.
We spent day time driving around and exploring, and we spent night time eating delicious Italian food, drinking wine, and playing card games and "Never have I ever" until we were too tired to stay up any later. One night we saw dingoes (wild dogs) running on the beach. We had been warned to slowly back away if we saw them, but, of course, most of us went running after them with flashlights and camera. I, however, caught a quick glance and jumped into the safety of my tent...being the chicken that I am.
Each day we woke up around 7am so we wouldn't miss anything. We may sound ambitious, but really...we were the slacker group...we definitely did not cover as much territory as other groups, but I think that we got to spend more time at each place of interest.
We first went to Lake Birrabeen, then we went to Indian's Head to watch for Tiger sharks and whales (though we saw none--it was an amazing view), then we saw the shipwreck of the Maheno (which washed ashore in 1935, I believe...), then we hit Lake McKenzie.
Everyone was very sad to leave on our last day...
Sidenote: Each group was sent off on their own with their own disposable camera. We were told to take funny photos throughout our trip, and then the photos would be developed and there would be a contest to see which group would win. OF COURSE...Group B won. We won t-shirts and three free nights in a hostel and discounted drinks all night at a bar. Photos to come!
Random Things I have learned:
-Italians can say anything...I mean ANYTHING in Italian, and it sounds beautiful.
-When English is a second language, people may have an accent depending on who they learn it from. (Matteo learned his accent from an Austrian, so he has an Austrian accent when he speaks English...he sounds just like Arnold Schwartzeneger (sp?).
-Swedes call Chip 'n Dale..."Piff 'n Poof".
-Someone may be referred to as "shy" or "quiet" only because they don't know your own native language...However...this DOES NOT mean that they are incapable of being "loud" or "obnoxious" in their own native language.