Where are we now?

Where are we now?
Where are we now? Tahmoor, NSW. Updated 7th December 2011

Monday, November 21, 2011

Day 288. Fraser Island

A true sandy paradise....

Maheno Wreck

Dingo on the eastern beach of Fraser Island
We all got up early today excited to go exploring this amazing island again. Today we have promised Scarlett we would travel to the eastern side of the island to try and find the Barkla's (Dave, Andrea and their three beautiful girls Sara, Lucy and Isabel). They have no phone reception over that side and as soon as we move out of the resort we don't either. We had a fair idea where they were so we decided (wanting to see that side of the island anyway) we would head over anyway.

The Pinnacles

Eli Creek
The track accross the island is called a major 4X4 track, but it is pretty rugged. We got stuck behind one of those huge 4X4 tourist coaches that was unable to get through one section so after 3 attempts he backed up till there was a spot to pull aside to let us pass. The tracks are also only one lane, so you need to take notice as you drive along where the good spots are to pull over for a pass; in case you need to back down the track to let some one through.

It took about an hour to get the 18km's accross to the Eastern Beach. You can only travel up and down here two hours either side of the low tide. It is quite a quicker way to travel at 80km's along the sand compared to the 30km's (most time even slower) in the islands interior. No sooner had we hit the beach and we saw our first dingo on the beach. This has been a photo I have been on a mission to get since I arrived, it's so "Fraser Island iconic". I never imagined I would get it on my first drive on the sand. We haven't seen any dingo's at the resort, but we are taking all precautions anyway, as they sometimes show up there.

Eli Creek

About 30min up the beach we came to 'Frasers At Cathedral Beach' where the Barkla's were staying, but unfortuantly we had missed them. Although when we did hit a certain spot on the beach some signal hit my phone and the txt messages came through. We had missed them by only minutes, and they were down the beach a little (we must have passed them) at 'Eli Creek'. So we went back to "Eli', and it was great to see them again. The kids all ran up the creek's boardwalk, and jumped in the crystal cool clear water to float back down. This place was so beautiful, and the creek was lined with ferns and pandanas palms.

From here we were back up the beach a couple of km's to 'SS Maheno Wreck'. The S.S. Maheno was originally built in 1905 in Scotland as a luxury passenger ship for trans-Tasman crossings. During the First World War the ship served as a hospital ship in the English Channel, before returning as a luxury liner. In 1935, the ship was declared outdated and on 25 June 1935, the ship was being towed from Melbourne when it was caught in a strong cyclone. On 9 July 1935 she drifted ashore and was beached on Fraser Island. During the Second World War the Maheno served as target bombing practice for the RAAF and was used as an explosives demolition target by special forces from the Fraser Commando School. The ship has since become severely rusted, with almost three and a half storeys buried under the sand.

Lunch was at 'The Pinnacles'; a natural sandstone attraction which captures most of the different sand colours from the island in these wonderful cliff formations. Fraser Island is the largest sand island in the world, and the sands here have been accululating for over 750,000 years on volcanic bedrock.

'The photo' that captures the essence of Fraser Island - a dingo on the beach

We had to part ways after lunch as the tide was coming in, and if we didn't want to take hours travelling back via the inland tracks our faster beach track was fast dissapearing. When we got back to the villa, we all had a restful afternoon, except poor Shane who had to clean the car out and wash all the salt water and sand off. We had a peaceful dinner out on the deck, after which Shane and Scarlett went down to the resort for a swim. They had the whole pool to themselves, it was great....

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