The reason we stayed in such a random little place like Maryborough was so we could be close to Hervey Bay, where the ferry goes to the famous Fraser Island, the home of the dingo. We had booked ourselves on a tour, as you can only go onto Island with permits or via tours! We woke up at the crack of dawn to drive to the ferry where we would meet with the rest of the tour company for a day of discovery of this highly anticipated island. We got there with plenty of time and met with the bus, got signed in and went onto the ferry. On the ferry it was packed with people. Amongst the mass of humans we realized a cat lay peacefully and undisturbed. You know it’s a good ferry when there is a captains cat!
When we arrived on Fraser Island we were immidietly put into massive, bad-ass four-wheeled drive buses. These were built to take a blow or two, and it didn’t take long to figure out why! Most of the Island’s roads are dirt tracks made of sand and so the rides were ridiculously hilarious as we were speeded along the dirt track, flying off our seats from the bumps in the road. It was like a rollercoaster, and we laughed so much from the thrill of it! A mix of both dry and tropical forests flew past the window, and we intensely scouted for dingos as we listened to our guide tell us about the island’s history, wildlife and importance. We drove across the island to the east coast and followed the endless 75 mile beach to the pinnacles. On the beach we drove past sports fishermen and families spending time on the beach. The pinnacles were beautiful coloured sandcliffs which we could admire right on the beach front.
Shortly afterwards we headed back down the back again to see an old shipwreck, before having a paddle at Eli Creek. To be honest, already by this point I was getting very fed up of this day. The Island wasn’t at all what I expected it to be. I was hoping for wild and untouched beauty, but instead it was commercial and touristy. I am sure if I had gone privately or with a more expensive tour it would have maybe felt different, but I was really not enjoying the island like I thought and hoped I would. I thought the tour company were pushy, time obsessed and overloaded, and as a result we got barely any time at any site, and we couldn’t appreciate anything when two hundred tourists were trampling all over it.
We had lunch at the resort on the Island, where I was determined to make up my money again (I felt pretty ripped off at this point). We stole butter and ate everything the buffet had to offer. No regrets, haha! After lunch we went for a quick rainforest walk in the rain as the weather had decided it didn’t want to help make this day any better. Or so I thought. It turned out walking through the rainforest in the rain was incredibly beautiful. The forest really came into it’s element in a whole new way, and it all looked even lusher and greener. The atmosphere of the forest changed, suddenly the way leaves were shaped and growing, or how epiphytes were located in the forest made sense for capturing the water droplets and humidity. My favourite part of the day! We gazed at the clearest streambeds I had ever seen in my life, water so clear it didn’t even look like it was there. I thought it was a sandy path through the forest before I realized the clear water was running over the white sand in large amounts.
Lastly we went to Lake Mckenzie, a beautiful clear lake with the purest, whitest sand I had ever seen. The tour guide told us the pure-silica sand is so clean and pure that it is excellent for exfoliation and skin reviving, and so our true lake spirit we gave this theory also a go and slathered it all over or faces and bodies. We also had a sand fight and laughed a lot! The sand strangely sank as soon as you lifted it off the sand bed, so we could throw it as much as we wanted and the water around us still remained clearer than ever. Such a strange thing to see! After a a good hour at the lake (finally they gave us some time to appreciate the place) we headed back to the bus and set off towards the ferry again. I had mixed emotions from that day. On one side I hated the rushed experience, but then I did appreciate the rainforest and lake. In summary, the place was very beautiful, but disgustingly commercial. I was also disappointed I hadn’t seen any dingos on that day, but wasn’t too upset as it was still really cool to be in and see their habitat.