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Flying visit - Fraser Island
Talk about stress. We had decided to whip across to Fraser Island as we had been doing a Rep run up the East coast and spend the weekend doing absolutely nothing! The phone calls were made and the ferry booked. Of course we were running late and had to hit road works on the way to the ferry. In my haste I took it a bit quick and Bang!, the old 100 series bottomed out and sheered the back torsion bar adjuster bracket off. Terrific! and we were only 500 meters from the ferry. We limped to the ferry and we were lucky they were great about it and held us a spot for the next morning.
All I had to do now was fix it! We limped back into Hervey Bay and of course no one had one and it would 3-4 days until we could get one.We went straight to an exhaust centre (who were amazing) secured a hoist, a welder and some metal off cuts and in 4 hours we were patched up,wound up level and back in business. It cost me a 100 bucks and a slab ( which I helped drink!).
It was just a hiccup that we put behind us. Next morning we were on the ferry on time and heading across beautiful clear waters for Fraser Island. The ferry is great and noisy. There are some decent diesels pushing this boat along. I have never seen so many life Jackets in my life in one spot. There was every bit of a 100 of them hanging from the ceiling. The trip over was pleasant not to crowded and up on the top deck you get to chat to the Captain and learn a bit more.
The unit we had was terrific and just what was required after nearly a month on the road. They had all the mod cons and were very comfortable. There was even a spa on the deck. After a walk around the resort entertainment areas such as the pools and bars it was decided to head bush and find our own relaxing area.
Fraser Island appears to be a mecca for youngsters. Everywhere we turned there were young people having a ball. There was a huge contingent of backpackers and Japanese.
We nearly got wiped out before we left the car park by a Japanese tourist at the helm of a Troop carrier. She could barely see over the dash and the way the Land cruiser was rabbit hopping in the car park I really felt for her passengers. We made a dash for it so we were up ahead and not stuck behind them.
As it turns out a couple of Km's from the resort we got landed behind three Troopies full of party goers.
We soon ran into the monsters of the island and literally bolted out of the way. These massive 4WD buses full of tourists go at a pretty quick pace and the tracks are not that wide so its get out of the way or else!
Lake McKenzie was on our list to see and Karen wanted a swim. After we turned off to the lake we never saw another soul until we got there. We pulled into the car park and it was standing room only. Its all down hill to the lake and when we came out of the bush onto the lake perimeter it was like St Kilda beach on a summers weekend. There were people everywhere. So much for finding a quite spot. We later found out that there is definite times that don't coincide with the bus visits that are the times to go.
The water was crystal clear. So much so that Karen went for a swim with her sunny's on her head and came out of the water without them. Upon realizing this she went back in to find them. She saw them on the bottom almost immediately as clear as day. Amazing.
Lake McKenzie is over 100 meters above sea level.
We broke out onto the beach and for a short time had it to ourselves. It wasn't long before convoy after convoy went pass. It is like a big sand highway. We had a swim, headed a fair way up and down and went back to Eurong for afternoon tea.
The shop is good and had plenty of supplies including bait, souvenirs etc. It was starting to get on and we started our trek back to home base. About one Km out of Eurong we came across a tour operator stuck half way up a sandy hill with a burnt out clutch. He was dug in pretty deep and it took a couple of stern snatches to free him. Later that day we saw him back at Kingfisher so he obviously made it back OK.
Over the next day we checked out most of the southern end lakes and features including Lake Wabby and Birrabeen. We wanted to go up to Indian Head and Champagne pools but didn't have the time unfortunately.
The island is named after Eliza Fraser from the ship Sterling Castle that was wrecked there in 1836. She was the wife of Captain James Fraser.
Fraser Island is now a protected World heritage area and is managed by the National Parks and Wildlife service. This is a good thing as history shows there was logging and sand mining which wound up in the early 1990's. Imagine how magnificent it would be to see all the big trees as they were before logging.
The place is a great escape venue and we have mates that get away right up to the North of the island and have a ball.They camp and fish up there for a couple of weeks each year. We were only here for a couple of days and I'm sure didn't scratch the surface. Even for a weekend getaway it is a great place particularly if you are younger as there are lots of other young people everywhere. Us oldies had a good time too.
If you are up this way there is a lot to see and do in the Maryborough,Hervey Bay and Bundeburg area. We had a good look around and as you can see we visited the Bundy Factory and said gidday to the Bundy Bear. We had to buy one and take it home for Karen! Don't mind the occasional Bundy either.
See you on the Road
Mark and Karen