4x4 fraser island

Emu Park Travel Blog

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"never drive in sea water, it will cost you $40,000 if you do" were the 4x4 rental guys last words before handing over the keys of a huge twin tank toyota landcruiser.

40 minutes later - sploosh, 80kmh along the beach and a the sea came up faster than expected, Tom had managed to not only drench the outside of the veichle in salt water but soak the inside through the open windows! We didnt worry too much, whats the point? it had already happened (infact it happened three more time - under toms supervision i may add - before we handed the monster back). God was however on our side as i shall explain later.

so there we are, three days two nights, camping and driving around the island with no roads that only a 4x4 can navigate. the beaches were long e.g. stretches of beach lasted 150km, the inland tracks to the crystal clear lakes were long and bumpy, the camping areas were right on the beach under a beatuful starlit sky. the first night we drove along the beach and eventualy saw a group of 6 other 4x4's setting up camp, we stop and do the same. within 20 second some guy comes over with a drinking challenge, imediatly you understand what kind of night laid ahead. after acheiving legendary status amongst the other groups (for reasons i wont go into but may have involed drinking) I decided that it would be best not to sleep in the tent but to sleep on the beach. let me tell you all now, there is something worse that waking up with a hangover - try having a mouthfull of sand at the same time!

the next day it was declared i should take 24hours off of driving, so tome drove the thre of us around for the day. the day was boiling hot and your not alowed to swim in the sea due to sharks, jellys fish and stingers, so the lakes were the only refuge. unfortunatly we didnt make it to a lake on this day, we did find a safe guarded beach which no1 else seemed to know about. sparkling white sand and droppy palm trees adorned the crystal waters, finaly we had found a place to cool down! a dingo watched us from a distance as we swam and ate lunch, these things are everywhere on the island and just look like cute dogs, unfortunatly they can get nasty if humans interfere with them and encourage the animals to eat left over food.

that night we camped up near Eli Creek, this was a short river, around 4ft deep that allows you to drift down to the beach through the jungle. as i wasnt drinking i decided to play a little trick on my friend tom. after dark i got another few friends and moved our tent across the campsite. later on one of the guys came up to us and said "i just saw the funniest thing, a little tent came blowing along the beach" - tom and i laughed for a few seconds before his face dropped and i asked if it could be our tent "i dunno mate we better go check" obviously the tent wasnt where he left it "by the gods whats happened!" i shouted (just to add some drama). "tom you go that way up the beach and I'll search this way, quick, go!" off he runs along the beach and i head into camp for a cold beer. half an hour later he comes back out of breath and looking worried "dont worry mate i found our tent" i said "i dragged it up the beach and set it back up for us" - Ive yet to tell him what actually happened. the rest of the campsite were in on the joke but poor tom still went around and told everyone the story.

The gods soon got their revenge - at 3 in the morning a storm had blown up from nowhere, torrential rain, gale force winds, blinding lightning and deathening thunder - the night was going to be interesting. at 4am our tent was the first to calapse, water flooded in for everywhere and i made the pitch back run for the van (if only i hadnt moved the tent i would have been next door to the thing!). when i reach the van im soaking wet and not too happy, this is the way i have to sleep all night - unfortunatly my friends had already taken up the comfy spots so i slept up right in the passenger seat - that'll teach me!

i would love to tell you all it got better after this - however hannah lost the car key during the night. two hours we spent searching i nthe rain for the key before i was sent off towards the nearest phone to get help. an hour later of walking along the beach they drive up behind me "we got the key, it was in hannahs pocket" atleast we had the key, all was well. at 4pm we handed the 4x4 back to the renatl company and the rain seemed to have washed any salt off the veichle - we were lucky!
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Emu Park
photo by: sweettangerine