After arriving late the previous night, we didn’t have time to sleep in or explore Hervey Bay as we were being picked up at 7:30am for our transfer to Fraser Island. This excursion was part of the Oz Experience package we bought before flying out so we weren’t sure what to expect but safe to say I had a blast for three days on the largest sand island in the world.
We got picked up in a minibus and taken to a check in point where we offloaded our bags onto a trailer for the ferry crossing to the island, before being taken down in another bus to the port. The ferry crossing wasn’t long at all; and we spent most of it up on the deck in the sun looking out for dolphins. Sadly we didn’t see any!
Our tour didn’t start until the following day, but we had been recommended to arrive as early as possible to make the most of the resort facilities: we spent our day lounging by the pool, swimming and dipping in and out of the hot tub. It was luxury! We had a lunch of pizza and chips shared between us and made friends with a very unafraid Kookaburra looking for crumbs to eat. Here’s a photo:
After eating we wandered down to the beach to be greeted with a scary sign warning you about the wild dingos and instructing you to carry a ‘dingo stick’. Conveniently for us, someone had left a big wooden staff near the gate (Gandalf would have been impressed) so we picked that up to take with us as we walked along the sand. Here’s Rhianna modelling said stick in the style of Gandalf himself:
The sand was very light in colour and super soft between your toes – heavenly. Luckily our beach trip was dingo-free too. After a lovely walk and quick paddle in the sea we ambled back to the resort to catch the shuttle bus up to our accommodation. Funnily enough the backpacker accommodation was out the way of the rest of the resort guests. Getting our big rucksacks out of the luggage storage room, we found our lodge which had a few different rooms, a kitchen with seating and a veranda. Not bad at all. The three of us were in a four bed room with bunks, but the other person supposed to be sharing with us didn’t turn up so we essentially had a private room to ourselves which is always appreciated.
We settled in and met some of the other people in our lodge and played some card games until it was time to go down to the bar area for dinner. All meals were included in our tour package, which meant a buffet for every single meal of the day. Considering we had been scrimping on meals out and always cooking for ourselves, it was a treat to be catered for. We filled up on noodles and spring rolls, with fruit and ice-cream for dessert. Safe to say we took full advantage of the amount of food available.
Waddling back to the lodge, we met everyone else staying in our lodge and sat round the kitchen table with the goon we had brought from the mainland. A friend had warned me that Fraser Island was one huge party and so we should buy goon before we got there as it would be expensive on the island. Whilst we had a fun evening playing cards with the boys in the lodge, we decided to head back down to the Dingo bar where we’d had dinner but it wasn’t exactly busy…. it was empty! We were slightly confused as we thought there would be loads of people there; essentially it wasn’t exactly the crazy night we had been told about.
We had an early start for the first day of our Fraser Island tour. We had a buffet brekkie – cereal, toast, fruit, cooked breakfast – delicious! We met our tour guide Jared and get onto the bright yellow 4×4 bus (photo below). Our tour didn’t start straight away as we had to go and meet the rest of the group who were coming off the ferry. This did mean that we got first pick of the seats on the bus which was nice considering the bumpy ride we had in-store.
After everyone else arrived we were ready to set off to our first destination, Lake Mackenzie. Leaving the resort we turned off onto a sand track and now we realised why the bus needed to be 4×4! It was super bumpy and we were all lifted right out of our seats at some points! I was glad I’d taken my travel sickness tablet just in case. We drove along the island’s beach highway and were lucky enough to see a dingo walking along the shore.
When we arrived at Lake Mackenzie there were a lot more people than I expected to see but it was the Easter holidays so there were lots of families. Anyway, the lake was breathtaking. The sand is silica sand so it was super white and soft and the water so clear. It was a little colder than perhaps I would have liked to be getting in the water but we decided it just had to be done anyway so braved it. There was a quick rain shower but then the sun came out so we seized the moment. There I am braving the water in the picture below. Once I had my whole body in the temperature got better for sure. Also where the water goes from a pale blue to dark blue is a big drop in the depth of the lake. It’s so deep there’s no way you can see the bottom anymore. Strangely enough, considering that Fraser Island is surrounded by the sea, the water is actually freshwater and was really nice to swim in. Apparently turtles live in most of the lakes on the island but as there were lots of people about we didn’t see any.
After swimming in the lake it was time for lunch so we dried off and walked back towards the bus to the picnic area where we were given sandwiches and salads – we were certainly being well fed as there was plenty for the whole bus. When we’d all finished feeding our faces, we headed back onto the bus and into the rainforest – fun fact: Fraser Island has a massive rainforest that survives despite the whole island being made of sand. This place is pretty special and definitely worth a visit.
We did a short walk through the rainforest to another, smaller freshwater lake but you couldn’t swim in this one, before continuing through the rainforest on a longer walk. It was a super pretty walk and the water in the creeks was crystal clear – it’s bizarre that the whole forest is growing in sand.
Our tour guide Jared even showed us how to spot some funnel web spiders hiding in their burrows by shining our phone torches in at the right angle. Considering they’re very deadly spiders I didn’t want to hang about too long! We then walked back to the bus that Jared had driven round to meet us and had an afternoon coffee and cookie stop which was nice but I was still full from lunch! I swear my stomach had shrunk to accommodate for our travelling budget but being catered for on Fraser just stretched it right back again as we were constantly eating!
We also visited a clearing in the forest called ‘Central Station’ which used to be the centre of a logging camp on the island and read all the information boards about its history. As it was nearing sunset, we then headed to the beach to watch the sun go down. How lush is this view:
It was also a lovely way to round off the day. Heading back to the lodge we showered and walked down to the bar for dinner. This evening was a Mexican theme which was delicious. They had a decent provision for veggies and vegans so I was loving the Mexican beans in wraps with salad and salsa – yum. That evening my eyes were definitely bigger than my stomach everything was so tasty. I even managed to squeeze in some ice-cream and fruit for dessert.
After dinner we decided to stay in the bar for the pub quiz and this time there were more people about. We joined these three Irish girls that we met on our tour that day and although we didn’t win it was a laugh and we stayed in the bar for a while before collapsing into bed as we had another jam-packed day ahead of us.