This morning we had an earlier start and after such a packed day yesterday it was a bit of a struggle getting out of bed but of course it was so worth it being in such an incredible place. Rushing down to for some breakfast before getting on the bus, we headed off towards the beach to spend the day along the east coast of the island. Although we experienced driving on the beach in a huge 4×4 bus the day before, the novelty hadn’t worn off. We sped along the shore to the north of the island for our first stop – Champagne Pools. The weather was cooler and windier than the day before so the thought of wading into the sea isn’t the most appealing but we remind ourselves of where we are and brave it. As you can see from the photo of Katie and Rhianna below, it was pretty grey! When the waves crashed into the rocks on the outskirts of the pools, they shot up and created lots of spray, like champagne. You had to be careful not to get too soaked!
When it was time to go, we walked back up to reconvene in the bus. Our next port of call was a stop to look at the multicoloured sand cliffs The Pinnacles. They looked just like those jars that you fill with layers of sand when on holiday. For some reason hardly anyone wanted to get out and see them as it was raining, but as Brits the three of us put on our waterproofs and went out with the tour guide Jared and one other girl. We didn’t stay too long but at least we got out off the bus!
Our next stop further along the beach was a walk up to Indian Head. The view from the top of the headland is shown in the photo above to the far left. It had also stopped raining at this point which was great. Apparently it’s common to spot whales and dolphins at that point but unfortunately there was no sea life to be seen. After taking in the views and trying as hard as we could to conjure up a pod of dolphins, we walked back down towards the beach for lunch in a campsite behind the dunes out of the wind. Just like the day before, it was a picnic help yourself affair with rolls and salads. Next we headed towards the famous Maheno Shipwreck (pictured above) which has been wrecked on the beach since 1935. You can tell it’s been there for a long time as it’s so embedded in the sand and covered in barnacles.
Perhaps my favourite thing that we did that day was visiting a place called Eli Creek and floating down it in rubber rings. It was fairly busy and we were a large group so we had to wait for a while to get three rings for us but once we got them we had quite a few trips down the creek. Other people seemed to have had enough and sit on the sand instead but we kept going so we were almost the last people back on the bus! After that we had a coffee and cookie stop before heading back to the resort. Dinner that evening was BBQ themed ans as yummy as ever.
I have to say this was my favourite day of the Fraser tour; it was the most relaxed and the sunshine came out for us too. We had a smaller bus today as quite a few people only did a two day tour so that could also have been part of it.
Firstly, we drove to Lake Birrabeen (a beautiful lake similar to Lake Mackenzie but less busy) where we played volleyball and tried stand-up paddle boarding which was loads of fun. Today’s weather was so much nicer and by 10 o’clock it was already pretty hot so we were slapping on the sun cream as much as possible. As we were there first thing we had the beach to ourselves which was awesome. We relaxed on the beach for a few hours until it was time to go for an early lunch.
For lunch, instead of a picnic buffet we went to a resort near the beach for a proper hot buffet lunch – delicious. As I mentioned in my last post, whilst on Fraser we ate soo much food! After we had eaten as much as we could handle, we drove back along the beach to then walk through forest to the emerald Lake Wabby. The walk through the forest was hard in the heat, especially as it was mostly uphill. When we emerged out of the trees, all you could see was sand. The dunes are so expansive and they look endless. The lake is really amazing as over time the sand dune moved to cut off the water from reaching the sea, creating a lake with rainforest on one side and sand dunes on the other.
We had a dip in the water and chatted to the three Irish girls we’d met. Some of the fish that you used to see in tanks to nibble on the skin of your feet were in the lake so if you kept still enough they’d come and have a go on your feet – so strange. We lounged in the glorious sun with out feet in the water and I could’ve stayed longer but we had to get back to the bus to then get the ferry back over to Hervey Bay. Funnily enough it takes longer to get back through the trees to when you don’t have the right shoes on – I didn’t want to put my trainers back on as my feet were wet so started off bare foot but the sand was too hot so I changed into flip flops. This time we were the last back to the bus but it was okay as everyone was having tea, coffee and cookies so we didn’t feel as bad for being late.After one last energy burst we headed back over to jump on the ferry. There was a beautiful sunset on the way back to the mainland.
On the way from the port to our hostel we saw kangaroos just in the field which was pretty cool. We stayed in Flashpackers hostel for the night and did a shop run to get pasta and pesto for dinner (and chocolate for dessert). We went to the shop whilst the receptionist was on a run to pick up people from the Greyhound bus – in fact, she was the one who kindly gave us a lift to our accommodation a few days before. The Flashpackers was a really nice hostel with lots of sofas to relax on, a decently stocked and clean kitchen, and free wifi. The rooms were clean and most importantly had an amazing waterfall shower was lush after being continuously covered in sand for the past few days!
We had a night bus booked for the following evening so we had a day to get ourselves together and have a bit of an explore. We went to the shopping centre to get some essentials – active shorts for me, walking shoes and some long sleeve tops for Rhi and a water bottle for Katie. We got a delicious spinach and feta ‘tear and share’ loaf from a bakery for our lunch and walked down from the shopping centre to the seafront in the heat to eat it.
We regretted not having our swimming stuff as there was a very tempting public water park that all the kids were loving. Being very hot at this point the three of us were so jealous! After some chilling out taking in the view, we walked all the way back to the hostel via the supermarket to get some supplies. We had some dinner and chilled out in the hostel until it was time to get the bus. Next stop Airlie Beach!