This is pretty exciting, my first ever blog post of our travels as voted by you! I know I know, it has been a long time coming but trust me hotspotting my phone in remote areas of Australia hasn’t been easy!
Where do I even begin?! After 8 months farm work, due to COVID-19, we were in desperate need for an adventure. We started farm work only 3 weeks after arriving in Australia – this was not what we travelled 9,450 miles for. There are so many incredible must see spots in Australia that we have heard about over the years, with Fraser Island being up there as one of the best.
With so many options to choose from we decided on a dreaming tour with Drop Bear Adventures.
The excitement was just beaming out us. Our bags packed, ready to go. We had a relaxing evening in Vandalf the white (I will tell you all about our noble steed soon!) with a glass of wine, adventure is coming!
6am alarms went off and we sprung out of bed ready to go – a short drive over to DropBear HQ and this is where our adventure began. We met our new friends for the next few days and we all couldn’t contain our excitement. This was the first time leaving Vandalf, our trusty home on wheels, but we knew he would be safe – unfortunately one of the few adventures he couldn’t make.
The rest of our group were ready and waiting at Rainbow beach, we split into 2 4x4s and hit the road, or should I say sand! The tide was in our favour and we were able to drive the whole way along rainbow beach, it was absolutely stunning and felt like driving straight onto a postcard. Everyone else had the same idea so it was a bit of a queue to get on, but perfect time to get to know our amazing tour guide Jaden a bit better.
A short ferry ride over and we landed on the worlds largest sand island – Fraser Island!
First things first … did we get to see a Dingo?! We went in October and this is a known time of year for when dingo pups start to venture further away from the pack. I was so excited, have you ever seen a picture of a dingo pup? SO CUTE.
Within minutes of arriving on the island we came across a dingo who scored an impressive lunch. He had found a washed up turtle on the beach – I adore turtles so this was very hard to see but like Mufasa says It’s the circle of life. (Yes I also love the lion king <3)
Dingoes have lived on Fraser Island for thousands of years and they are one of the protected species on the island. It is so spectacular to see them in the wild as they are known to be the purest breed on the eastern seaboard – pretty cool right?! As cool as this is, always be dingo safe, we are visitors to their island and should respect these animals. They may look like adorable doggos but they might be looking at you for their next meal!
Head over to the National Parks website for further information on how you too can be dingo safe.
Next stop was Lake MacKenzie (Lake Boorangoora) one of the most famous locations on Fraser for its stunning blue water and white sand. The reason the lake is so blue is that it is perched, so water is not fed through running streams and rivers but rather rainwater! The sand along the lake floor stops the water from draining away and filters the water which gives it the insane blue colour, don’t you just love nature.
Even though the lake had brought in some pretty big crowds, Jaden had a favourite spot that was away from hustle and bustle. All our shoes and valuables were put on top of the paddle board and we waded through the water to get to a second much smaller beach just around the corner.
It was heaven, floating in the cold waters getting to know more about the island was truely relaxing. It all felt like a dream – I am actually on Fraser Island. We had hardly done any travelling by this point, it felt so surreal.
On the way back we stopped off at Central station, this was once the centre of the forestry industry when there was logging on the island. It was located right in the centre of gorgeous rain forests.
The highlight for me was the Wanggoolba creek board walk. A sacred area for the Butchulla women as this was once a birthing place. Jaden explained how the men used to wait at the top of the bank while the ladies walked down into the creek. Due to the history of this site Jaden waited for us at the entrance and played the diggeridoo while we walked down. Hearing the stories and culture of such a sacred area, along with the music playing, George felt that he shouldn’t go down to the area either. It is hard not to feel part of the culture and the true importance of this area when you’re immersed in it!
When we reached the creek there was a lot of confusion, where is the water? Has it dried out? All we could see at first glance was sand! When we looked closer and more attentively to the creek it wasn’t just sand, it was some of the clearest water we had ever seen. It was hard to look away. Truely beautiful, so clear you couldn’t even see it.
Beware of the funnel web spiders!
What an insane first day, such a perfect mixture of culture and adventure. We spent the evening sitting around the camp eating dinner with a few cheeky beers wondering what exciting adventures tomorrow would bring! We even spent an hour or two on the beach playing around with the long exposure on Georges camera and just watching the stars.
When going out at night always remember your dingo stick!
Slightly sore heads from the beers last night when our alarms went off at 4:55am. Our campsite was in a perfect ‘roll out of bed and you are on the beach‘ location so we needed to get up to see that beautiful sunrise. The only two sitting on the long sandy beach just listening to the waves and watching the sun start another beautiful day. Bliss!
I am definitely a sunrise person what about you?!
Hitting the sand again and our first stop was Eli Creek, this is one of the most popular spots on K’Gari so Jaden took us for a quick look at the start of the day before the cars started to line up along the beach. Would you believe it, we were the only ones there to enjoy a lovely swim down the creek. It was FREEZING but so refreshing to help shake off our hangovers. A quick pitstop with no other tourists and off we went to Champagne Pools.
Champagne pools are gorgeous natural rock pools that provide the closest place to the sea that you can swim. The sea surrounding the pools has a reputation of being one of the most dangerous in Australia, with insane rip tides and home to families of great white sharks – scary!!
On our way back over to 75 mile beach (Australians are so creative with their names aren’t they?) we spotted some more dingoes, this time eating cuts of local fishermans catch that weren’t buried deep enough in the sand.
Just before we arrived on Fraser Island we heard on the news that there was a small bush fire. It had been accidentally started by some tourists who had an illegal campfire. This then slowly started to spread and as the hours ticked away on our trip we could see the changes in the environment. The smoke started to increase in size and intensity, which were visible from along the beach and Champagne pools.
This was our first experience of a bush fire, after all the coverage in the UK on the fires of 2019 we had no idea what to expect, it was a bit daunting.
We then arrived at The Pinnacles, this is another sacred area for the Butchulla women where they would get together and share stories. To honour this we all sat in a circle at the entrance and Jaden shared with us the story of the rainbow serpent.
The story of the site’s creation tells of a young woman named Wuru who was promised to marry an older man, Winyer, but fell in love with Wiberigan, the Rainbow serpent. Wuru went to visit the beach each day to be with Wiberigan, but one day Winyer followed her and saw her on the beach with Wiberigan. In a jealous rage, he threw his boomerang at Wuru but Wiberigan protected her and took the blow. The Rainbow Serpent shattered into thousands of pieces which fell to earth colouring the cliffs. Wuru escaped and was unharmed, and from then on, The Pinnacles Coloured sands became a place of good luck for the Butchulla women.DropBear Adventures
Finally it is time to see the Maheno Shipwreck, one of the most iconic shipwrecks to be found on the island, yep there is more than one!
The Maheno was one of the first turbine steamers built in 1905 and in 1935 was sold to Japan for scrap. As the Maheno was being towed to Japan they were hit by a cyclonic storm just off the coast of Fraser Island. The wrecked ship then drifted in to the sands of K’Gari
The sand on Fraser is constantly moving making it an ever changing landscape, claiming more and more of the ship each year. Soon it will be taken by the island and no longer visible above ground, I feel very honoured to be able to see a wreck with such history to it!
Eli Creek was SO busy when we went back that we decided to explore somewhere new. Jaden took us to Lake Garawongera, a lesser known spot further inland. George had a go at driving along the 4WD tracks which he LOVED, I think one of our future adventures might involve a 4WD of our own, watch this space.
We spent the afternoon practicing our boomerang skills, George and I are so competitive no-one could drag us away, who was going to catch one first? Safe to say there were no success’s but you can see some of the bloopers in our video below, trust me its a good laugh, he nearly took me out with one too.
We all had so much fun on our first night taking long exposure shots that we went out again, but this time with sparklers. We spent the night under the stars dancing on the sand.
Waking up to the sound of the waves with lush orange skies is probably the best if not the only way we should all start our days.
Our last stop on the trip was Lake Wabby, another beautiful tea tree lake. We parked up at the entrance to the walk on 75 mile beach and set off on our way with dingo sticks in hand, you just never know when one might cross your path! An incredible 2.4km walk through the amazing forest of K’Gari, from sandy beaches to luscious rainforests, an adventurers dream. The walk then opens up onto a vast sand dune, where Jaden explained that parts of this area are used for Butchulla males ceremonies still to this day!
Lake Wabby is a Barrage lake which means that one day, just like the Maheno, the sand dunes that surround it will move and slowly take over the deep emerald waters. So go enjoy Lake Wabby while you can! We spent the afternoon swimming and making the most of some of our last hours on the island.
The final part of our day we spent back at the K’Gari glamping hostel relaxing before our journey back home. Jaden played the diggeridoo for us which was fantastic – you can see some of the shots in the video below, amazing. Can you guess which part is the much loved Kookaburra?
As we were leaving, the bad weather that was due to arrive at the beginning of our trip started the second we drove back onto the ferry, how lucky are we!
Not long after our trip the Bush Fire really started to take hold of the island and had devastating consequences. In total it burned for 2 months and took over 50% of the land. Everyone was asked to evacuate as it moved closer and closer to some of the townships. It is such an important message that everyone needs to be fire safe. Only have fires where you are allowed to do so and put them out correctly, covering the ashes with sand just isn’t enough.
Any advice or tips of what you would like to hear more about please get in touch I would love to hear any feedback! This is so new to me and I am working on it Little by Little 🙂
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