Brisbane - The second time, and Fraser Island

August 20 - August 27

After leaving Mum at the airport I was hoping to hear from Kelly Services with some temping work but in three days there was no word. Unfortunately when Mum had left she had taken the weather with her leaving us with miserable rain and nothing to do but wait for the phone to ring in our lovely seventies style apartment. The only thing that made us laugh in those few days was a trip to the Sit Down Comedy Club where we saw The Regurgitator. I was expecting it to be gross and wasn't looking forward to it at all but he turned out to be really good - and not at all sick - well not really. He swallowed, and brought back up, ping pong balls, fish (not sure if these were real), rings, butane gas (which he lit as it came back up). Top fun, I'd recommend it (observing, not participating that is).

Hervey Bay

By Saturday, after four days of rain and no work, the weather seemed to be clearing so we jumped in the car and drove up to Hervey Bay where we hoped to go on a tour to a sand island called Fraser. Unfortunately the improvement in the weather didn't last and before we knew it there was torrential rain but since we were there we thought we should still go on the trip but we picked the two day option instead of three. Overnight a gale blew!

Fraser Island

When we woke up in the morning the sky was partially clear but once again it didn't last and by the time we reached the harbour it was raining again and it didn't really stop for the two days we were on Fraser Island. This was the worst weather we'd had since Thailand when we had three or four days of rain, over eight months before. Fraser Island is the world's largest sand island (120km long by 15km wide) and regular cars are no use as they would sink into the sand so our bus was 4WD. It has long beaches, two hundred beautiful lakes some surrounded by sand, picturesque creeks and dense rainforest and is reckoned to be (like the Whitsundays) one of the most enjoyable and beautiful places that most people visit in Australia - if it isn't throwing it down with rain in which case you spend most of your time moaning on the bus, cold, wet and generally wishing you were in a nice pub with a log fire.

Being an island has also meant that Fraser has retained some unique flora and fauna. For example, the dingoes that live on the island are thought to be the purest in Australia, those on the mainland regularly mate with domestic dogs. Dingoes are beautiful but so far we've only seen pictures or seen them in zoos. We did catch a glimse of one on Fraser Island but it was running in the opposite direction. The dingoes on the island have been getting a bad reputation because they seem to be becoming more and more aggressive. This is thought to be because they are regularly fed by humans who think they are cute. They aren't so cute when they think that a small child looks like fair game and earlier this year a boy was attacked and killed by some dingos. There are also a number of trees and plants which are only found on the island.

Seventy Five Mile Beach, Fraser Island The Maheno, Fraser Island The Cathedrals, Fraser Island

Day One - We had a bit of a look at the rainforest, in the rain. Then drove down to the beach in the afternoon which I imagine is 75 miles long because it is called Seventy Five Mile Beach. The 4WD's were racing down the sand which looked like top fun. It was raining but we managed to drag ourselves into the rain to look at some magnificant multicoloured sand cliffs called the Cathedrals. We also got out to have a look at a ship wreck on the sand. There are a few shipwrecks in the area but the one we saw was the wreck of the Maheno, a luxury linear that was blown ashore in a cyclone in 1935. Pretty interesting but our driver warned us to be careful walking about inside it because if we slipped there were lots of sharp bits. Five minutes later there was a scream and a little German boy who had been running about in the wreck has fallen over and gashed his head open. Is anyone on board a doctor? Yes, in fact there was a doctor and his family on board from Manchester - I don't know what he was a doctor of mind you but he looked at the boy's head and said it was nasty but he'd live. After that we went to a very picturesque creek and we went for a walk with about half the group while the other nutters went for a swim. I know we couldn't have got much wetter if we'd been swimming but it was the middle of winter and was actually quite cold. That evening the only thing to do was to get drunk so we went to the bar and met a couple from Streatham! We had dinner with them and proceeded to get plastered.

Lake McKenzie, Fraser IslandDay Two - No we didn't make it to breakfast. For some reason we got out of bed and went to sit on the bus in the pouring rain with hangovers rather than doing what Dougie and Sarah had sensibly done which was to stay in bed and then go to the bakery for breakfast and sit in the warm lounge until we got back at lunchtime. The morning trip was to Lake Wabby which meant driving down the beach and then walking for a couple of hours to see the lake but it was tipping it down so we sat on the bus with another girl who had also wimped out. We were slightly recovered in the afternoon and the sun came out briefly when we visited Lake Mackenzie and I must admit it was beautiful but then it started raining again.

Even through the rain you could get an idea of how beautiful Fraser Island would be on a nice day but we were only to glad to get off the island. It's not a place to go in bad weather and I wish we could go again when the weather is better but it's always time to move on when you are travelling so I don't suppose we'll make it back. Still, there's lots of other beautiful places to go.

We stayed another night in Hervey Bay and the next day I got a call from Kelly Services with some possible work to we rushed back to Brisbane.


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