The Largest Sand Island
Fraser Island was one of the top three things I was looking forward to on this East Coast road trip. Fraser Island is a perfect mixture of crystal clear beaches and rainforest. The only way to get around here is a 4WD that a ferry must bring across. I was so excited to spend a couple days here!
The ladies and I rented a four wheel drive from a company near by and set off for the ferry. Once the ferry dumps you on the island, you pretty much have to deflate your tires and go into 4WD within a matter of five minutes. This was pretty entertaining considering none of us had much experience driving in sand. I have a few times, but nothing like this. We got bogged within five minutes of the road. Luckily a bunch of people helped us out and we deflated our tires more. From there, we didn’t have a single problem.
Our first main stop is Eli Creek, the only part of the island you can really swim. Why? Well, the ocean surrounding Fraser is full of sharks! What is special about Eli is it’s so clean of a river, you can drink the water straight. The water comes from Papua New Guinea. The water then travels underground where it reaches Fraser Island and emerges again! Most people go to a certain point and just float down the river in a float to the ocean. After Eli, we went to the wreck of Maheno. The remains of the boat sit on the shore of the Eastern shore of Fraser. We spent the rest of the day going to lookouts and checking out sharks and sea turtles.
As dusk cam approaching, we had to find somewhere to set camp before the ride got too high. Our friends we couch surfer with last told us of an Aboriginal guy who owned a bunch of land and turned half of it into a private campsite. We went up to him, his name is “The King”. He has lived on the island his entire life and the land has been passed on to the generation of his family. He is the King of Fraser Island. Come to find out it was his birthday and we celebrating that night. I also didn’t realize that every night, he has a few backpacker tours come and stay on his land. He basically set up a party resort for backpackers on half of his land. The evening started off me talking to the King and his sisters as they gave me a lot of Aboriginal history of the island and their tribes. This was the first time I have ever had a conversation with any of the indigenous people of Australia. I was extremely fascinated. After hours of talking the back, packer showed up. From there, Amanda and I, went to go party the night with them. Sandra fell asleep for the night. I ended up meet a bunch of really awesome people, one guy, in particular, I stayed in contact with. Of course, he was German named Martin. He was a computer programmer so it was interesting talking nerdy to him. A group of about 20 of us spent the night getting drunk by the beach and kicking sand. Why kicking sand? Because the plankton in the sand was blue when you kicked the top layer off! it looked like the sand was sparkling in the pitch black. Out of all the backpackers, 98% of them were all Europeans. 2 of us from North America (the other guy was Canadian) and Amanda from Argentina. It was insane. The night was a blast and I would have to say that is the most fun I have ever had drinking on a beach in my life. Until we got rained on at like 4 in the morning….
We spent the day driving to all the fresh water lakes in the island to go swimming. Sandra drove most of the day (I’m pretty sure I was still drunk several hours after waking up). The lakes were pretty cool and I enjoyed hiking on the trails to get to them. Most of the lakes, you can’t fish in so you just see huge catfish swimming by.
Over all, Fraser Island was a really good experience. I’m really glad we took the time to make a trip to the island. I met a lot of really cool people and learned a lot about the aboriginal people of Australia.