We were awake early for the 7:20 pick-up from our hotel for our day trip to Fraser Island with Fraser Explorer Tours and eager to get the day started. It was a slightly chilly and cloudy morning but beautiful nonetheless, and I took a few pictures while we waited. We got picked up after a minor panic
when a Fraser Explorer Tours bus drove straight past us without even looking like stopping – but it turned out there were 2 buses doing the rounds and picking up customers!
The ferry trip was windy and chilly but at only 45 minutes long it wasn’t too bad and we spent the time people watching and drinking coffee. The clouds were spectacular and made for nice enough pictures and kept me snapping away happily.
When we got to Fraser Island cars were let off first (only 4×4 vehicles allowed on the island) before we walked off and boarded the bus for our premium tour. I couldn’t quite figure out what the difference was between a ‘normal’ and premium tour but I think it just meant a smaller group with a smaller bus and a glass of (awful) wine with lunch! Our tour guide for the day was Murray, and he was outstanding – driving the insane sandy roads, that at times felt like a roller-coaster, while providing non-stop information and commentary. First stop on the tour was Central Station, that used to be the hub of the forestry industry when they were still logging on Fraser Island. We were almost there and just about getting used to being flung about the cement mixer when Murray got a call from one of his colleagues, saying that he had a flat tyre. Fortunately he made it to Central Station and Murray let us off the bus to walk around while they changed the tyre. We walked around Central Station and Wanggoolba Creek, where the water is so clear you can’t even see it!
By the time we got back to the bus at the agreed time the tyre was changed and we were ready to roll again – until the road was blocked by someone stuck in the sand just a few hundred meters on! Murray decided the best idea would be to help the guy by pushing his vehicle out of the sand, so rallied the guys and they had him unstuck very quickly!
We then had quite a long drive across the island, with Murray explaining lots of things on the way, until we made it to 75 Mile Beach where we drove up it towards Eli Creek and the Maheno Shipwreck. It was on 75 Mile Beach that we saw how busy the island actually is and in some areas the beach looked like a highway with the amount of vehicles driving up and down it. Murray certainly knew how to drive on a beach, and even though it freaked me out driving so close to the surf, never got us stuck or in any dangerous situations! The drive was good and we spotted a whale off the coast before we got to Eli Creek where it looked like a car boot sale with the amount of cars and people about. The creek itself wasn’t that dramatic and we soon moved on to the wreck of the Maheno where we got out for some more pictures.
Our last stop before turning back and making our way down the beach to Eurong again was The Pinnacles Coloured Sands, which again, wasn’t that amazing but something you have to see.
Back at Eurong we had lunch and met some interesting people sitting at our table (and had that glass of crap wine!) before making our way to what most people consider to be the highlight of the trip – Lake McKenzie. Lake McKenzie is every bit as stunning as expected and we spent a while there and had some coffee before starting the trek back to the ferry.
I think everyone was getting a bit tired by then as it is a long day of being rattled about in a 4×4 bus, so the trip back was much quieter than the morning’s trip! Back on the mainland we still had to be dropped off and we were the last drop-off point so it took a while to get back to our destination. We requested to be dropped off round the Beach House Hotel to watch the final of the Rugby League final, but the game was so rubbish that we left at half time! Fraser Island is a great trip and a definite must do if you go to Australia!