Last weekend was Easter break so I decided to travel with some friends to Fraser Island.The trip was a lot of fun and was a good break from school. I went with my housemate John and two German girls from school, Kim and Antonia.
Where is Fraser Island?
Fraser Island is the largest sand island in the world and is located along the southern coast of Queensland, about 125 miles north of Brisbane. It’s 75 miles long and 15 miles wide and is known for its beautiful lakes, sandy beaches, dingoes, hiking and 4WD trails.
What’s a dingo?
Dingoes are wild dogs that live on the island. The dogs on Fraser are reputedly some of the last remaining pure dingoes in Eastern Australia, which make them a tourist attraction. Up until 1995, there were no reported attacks by dingoes on Fraser, but in 2001 a young boy wandered from his family and was later discovered dead. A dingo would not normally attack a person unless that person was nearly dead, disabled, or very small and alone. These dogs are opportunists and look for situations where they could overtake a person. It is sad to say this, but the day we were leaving, a three year old girl was bitten by two dingoes. The girl is all right, but she could have been a lot worse had some adults not been there to rescue her (click here for story).
Keep reading for my dingo encounter….
Keep reading for my dingo encounter….
We loaded up in John’s truck early Saturday morning and headed three hours North of Brisbane to Rainbow beach (the beach closest to Fraser Island). We originally planned to spend the night in Rainbow beach at a backpacker hostel on Saturday and Sunday, but were told it would be much easier to spend Saturday night at the backpackers and Sunday night on the island. This made sense for both time and money, as we discovered it wasn’t an easy trek to get on Fraser and cost 100 dollars to go over and back on the barge. This would also give us more time on the island. Our only problem was that we were not prepared for camping. After some discussion, we decided we would go for it.
We spent most of the day Saturday afternoon on Rainbow beach and before dark decided to prepare for camping. We bought food, water, and sleeping bags and planned to sleep on the beach since we didn’t have a tent. (A ShelterBox would have been nice to have at this time).
|Australian lifeguards dress like this.|
The next morning we woke up around 7 AM, loaded our gear in the truck, and headed towards the island. We drove the truck on the barge and journeyed across. After landing we were free to cruise the island at our own leisure. It was awesome!
|John's 4WD (named Suzie) may lack some size but she makes up for that with pure strength.|
|Suzie, on the far right, compared with some other 4WD.|
Our first destination we checked out was Lake Mackenzie. This is a large lake on the island and is a popular tourist attraction. The lake was beautiful and felt so refreshing.
|“the sands around the lake are composed of pure, white silica and the water in the lake is so pure it is unsuitable for many species.”|
After spending the day at Lake Mackenzie, we decided to find a place on the beach to set up camp. I say set up camp but for us this only meant getting out of the car and into our sleeping bags. We found a nice place, ate some of our food and were in our sleeping bags around 8 PM. The stars in the sky were unbelievable as there were no city lights close by. I saw four shooting stars.
Sleeping through the night was difficult with the wind and sand but there was also something else. Around 9PM I felt a tap on my leg. I thought maybe John’s foot just brushed mine so I didn’t think anything of it. Then four seconds later, another soft tap on my leg. I figured if he wanted me he would say my name so I sort of ignored it again. On his third attempt I turned to say, “What is tapping my leg?” As I rose up I saw John, jaw dropped and pointing. I looked where he was looking and to my amazement there were two dingoes about eight feet away. This was quite scary to wake up too (I guess it would be similar to seeing a wolf or coyote). We didn’t wake the girls up as we didn’t want to scare them so John and I just had a silent stare down with them. If our stares could talk they would say, “Hey were bigger than you. Don’t mess with us.” I got my I-phone out to use as a light and believe this is what scared them off (either that or me and John’s stare.) The whole experience lasted only about one minute. After that sleeping was a little more difficult but we made it through the night with no other problems. We woke up to a beautiful Easter sunrise and spent the rest of the day at another lake.
|"I believe in Christianity as I believe that the sun has risen: not only because I see it, but because by it I see everything else." - C.S.Lewis|
On our way back, we thought it was odd no one else appeared to be heading toward the barge. We thought this was strange as there are normally lots of cars heading up and down the island to and from the barges. When we got to a certain point we realized why. It was high tide time and the water made the beach impassable. We ended up having to wait another two hours for the tides to go down. After the tide went down, we made our way back home. Overall the trip was a lot of fun. I was very tired when I got back to Brisbane but sleeping in my bed never felt more comfortable.
|The coasts are treated just like highways with speed limits and law enforcement, so be sure to wear your seat belt.|
This is going to be a crazy month with Rotary and school. I am scheduled to give four talks this month but also have a marketing project, accounting project, and managerial communication presentation to work on. Wish me luck!