After hugging Stine and Bella goodbye I set out for a four hour drive to Hervey Bay.
I arrived at my motel just in time to catch a bit of sun by the pool before it was time to hit the local crossfit box. Or at least so I thought.. Their webpage said one address, Google Maps and instagram another address and in reality I never managed to find the place. And suddenly it was past the time the class was supposed to begin so it didn’t even make sense to give them a call. I was quite frustrated after I’d been driving around searching like a maniac so just to use some of that energy I found a regular gym – not quite the social workout I’d hoped for but it was better than sitting in my motel room being angry with the entire city of Hervey Bay (because yes, it was the entire city’s fault?).
Although my only reason for visiting Hervey Bay was to go see Fraser Island it turns out that there is one other thing you really should do while you’re there: go on a whale watching tour. It’s pretty much the capital of whale watching in Australia and the whales actually come up close to the boats by themselves. Unfortunately there was no way I could squeeze that into my plans but consider yourselves warned now if you ever visit this part of Australia!
Anyway, that was a bit of a detour. The next morning I was picked up at 7.15am for my Fraser Island tour.
Fraser Island is the largest sand island in the world and the only place where tall rainforest grow on sand. It is 123 km long and 22 km wide. The main road across the island goes through no less than five different eco systems! If I heard correctly then the amount of sand that Fraser Island is made of is equal to one quarter of Sahara.
Our first stop was Lake McKenzie which is one of the more than 100 freshwater lakes on the island. This lake is a perched lake so it consists only of rainwater coming from above. It was very beautiful and I can only imagine that it’s even prettier when the sun is shining.
After Lake McKenzie we followed the main road across to the other side of the island. It is a really rough drive in the soft sand and I think I now might know how clothes must feel when it’s being tumble-dried. The only bitumen roads on the island are right around the resorts, all the other roads are soft sand so a 4WD is required.
On the eastern coast runs the 75 mile beach which is also a highway. It’s an official designated road with speed limits which I tried to snap a photo of but the thing is when you’re going 80 km/h in sand it’s really difficult to get a good photo! Oh and by the way the beach also doubles as a landing strip for the airport!
The first stop on the beach was the wreck of SS Maheno. It beached in 1935 when it was being towed to Japan but the tow rope snapped during a cyclone. It had been sold to Japan for scrap and by law the rudders had to be removed before so with the rope snapping there wasn’t to do.
Then it was on to the Champagne Pools. It is the only place on the island where it’s safe to take a swim in the ocean. The rocks form two small pools that are protected from the rough waves and because of those rocks the pools are filled with bubbly foamy water.
After a lunch buffet on the back of the cars it was time for a little climb to the top of Indian Head where there’s a pretty good view.
On our way back to the ferry along the highway slash beach we made a stop at Eli Creek. It is the largest creek on the island and 80 million litres of water flows through the creek and into the ocean every single day. So the flow is actually strong enough to float along on a floatie in case you brought one with you.
Unfortunately we didn’t see any dingoes but we did actually see a snake on the side of the road! I think I’d preferred the dingoes..
I was back at my hotel around 6pm, absolutely knackered after a long and sandy day but now able to tick off one more UNESCO Heritage site.