Fraser Island – Day 1
4:50am wake-up call. Shoot me now.
2.5-3 hours were spent organizing and checking our equipment, packing, getting oriented, watching another video, learning about our car, and going over our map. It was definitely too much to think about at that hour. We were given a van that fits 2-3 in the front, and 8 in the back facing each other, and then our supplies and such were to be stored in a compartment on top of the van. Talk about tight squeeze. Unfortunately the tide won’t be on our side, as we only have a few hours each day where the tide is low enough for us to drive on the beach.
After about 50 warnings and threats of paying for damage, we set off to catch the ferry. We had to stop at the garage to pick up something so we were almost late. Buuuuuuuuut thankfully we made it, and at 9:00 we officially set off for Fraser Island. The ferry ride was only 30 minutes long and there was a resident cat on the boat! Aw.
So we all took off from the ferry landing to Central Station, an area in the middle of the island where several hiking trails start and wind through rainforest. We only stopped here to meet up with the other group (of 11: 5 Canadians, 6 Germans) and didn’t do any hiking. But the rainforest looked alluring, with long thin trees and lots of green leaves.
We drove through the forest first to Lake Birrabeen, a pretty dark blue lake with light blue water on the edges and white sand, and green forest surrounding it. Very pretty, but cold. We didn’t stay here too long though. We *finally* decided to head up to the ever-popular Lake McKenzie, renowned for its amazing clear blue water and white sand. It was much like the other lake, but bigger and more crowded. Both were gorgeous! We stayed here for most of the afternoon, where the guys played football and swam around, and the girls layed on the beach. It was so relaxing.
And then we crammed back into the Death Van and drove down a one-way sand road through the forest, en route to the beach. It took for-freaking-EVER and was The Most Bumpy Ride Ever. HORRIBLE. I felt sick because we kept shaking back and forth over bumps and slamming against the seat backs plus there were 7-8 of us squished in the back with no legroom. It was pretty much a nightmare. Much respect for our drivers though. But ugh… I was beyond miserable and the ride just would not end! And a few times it felt like we could have toppled over. I have no idea how the other cars would pass us at double our speed. Ridiculous.
F I N A L L Y we caught sight of the beach! And we ended up camping just off the road, behind sand dunes. It was a really nice little spot behind some trees and dunes. We setup camp (Melvin and I setup our tent in record time!) and started our BBQ dinner, which was finished in the dark. I was trying to recover from the ride and lack of sleep but still felt icky. I went to bed before 8:00 but woke up 50 times because of the hard ground and because the Canadian (would-be frat) boys were obnoxiously loud. Sigh.