Thursday, November 15, 2018

Fraser Island

Fraser Island, or K’gari as it is now known, forms the northern part of the Great Sandy National Park, named with typical Aussie literalness. This stretches from Noosa to Rainbow Beach, then on to Fraser Island, which is the world’s largest sand island, and features rain forests, creeks, and freshwater lakes. Due to the nature of the sand, it retains water like a sponge, and is said to be able to survive a 20-year drought. Many of the lakes on the island are “mirror lakes” caused by the surrounding sand being below the level of the water table, so water simply seeps to the surface.

It’s a bit of a trip from Noosa, so we were picked up at the ungodly hour of 6:05, and again took a tour of the various accommodations of Noosa to collect other passengers. This took longer than usual due to detours and road closures in place for the triathlon. Nevertheless, we finally hit the road and set forth to Boreen Point again, to board a purpose-built battlewagon four-wheel drive transport. This then drove us up to a petrol station, where they let some of the air out of the tyres (all the better to drive on sand), then onto the ferry to cross over to Fraser Island.

Finally on the island, we stopped for morning tea before continuing along the beach, then into the interior. Our destination was Lake McKenzie, the largest of the freshwater lakes on the island and a popular tourist venue. It took us a couple of hours to get there, as the track was an extremely bumpy and pitted sand track, which made me feel a bit seasick at times. We were exhorted to look out for dingoes, as Fraser Island is one of the few places which still have pure-bred dingoes in Australia. We were given instructions on how to behave in the event of seeing a dingo (don’t run, don’t feed them (instant $400 fine), don’t show fear, be assertive). We didn’t see any.

On arrival at Lake McKenzie we went for a swim in the lake and photographed the picturesqueness, before having a lunch of a chicken and salad roll. Beer and soft drinks were available to buy for cash, but as we were on a completely cashless trip, these were unavailable to us. After lunch we went for a 2km walk through the rainforest where we again saw no wildlife other than a goanna.

The rest of the trip was the reverse of our journey out – bumpy ride, ferry, put air back into the tyres, drive back to Boreen Point. At Boreen Point we had a short stop – just long enough to get some pictures of the kangaroos, but not long enough to get a beer – before reboarding the bus and getting back to our hotel, this time managing to be the second-to-last drop-off.

In summary then: a 12 hour bus ride to swim in a lake, have a chicken roll, go for a walk, not see any of the famed dingoes. The rest of the time spent in a bus. Won’t be doing this trip again.

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