Ciarán & Elaine's Travelog

Monday, September 25, 2006

Fraser Island - Day 1

We all met at 5.45am (so early!) and had to spend the next few hours at another briefing (more info on what not to do in the 4 wheel drive), getting instruction on how to drive the van and finally packing up all our tents, equipment, food, drink and belongings for the next three days. By the time all 11 of us were in the van it was fairly crowded.

I was the first to drive and was glad I'd had the experience of driving our own van for the past 4 weeks 'cause this was another beast to drive! We got to the ferry on time and once we reversed off on the other side we put the van into 4wd and headed to Lake McKenzie.

It was so much fun to drive on the inland tracks although we had to go so slow because some of the pot holes in the sand could only be described as craters. At one point, just before we reached Lake McKenzie I went over a crest and the van was at such a bad angle I couldn't even see the ground in front of me - great craic! Not so much fun for those sitting at the very back of the van. Every time we went over a big bump (every 2 minutes) things were falling from the overhead storage on top of them and they were being bumped right off their seats.

Lake McKenzie was really really stunning. Soft, white sandy beach and crystal clear warm water. I think everyone was blown away by how beautiful it was it looked like a beach from a desert island. We spent a few hours there, enjoying the sunshine and swimming in the lake.

From Lake McKenzie, Ina drove us to the beach and we headed north to Eli Creek & the Maheno ship wreck. At Eli Creek it was back into the water to walk up the creek and then float back down on the current - very cool. The Maheno shipwreck was also very cool, it was washed up onto the beach in 1935. We spent some time here exploring the wreck then headed off to find somewhere to camp for the night.

As you can imagine with 11 people in the van, 11 different opinions on where to camp I don't know how Chris (who was driving) didn't freak out with everyone telling him where to go! Eventually we decided on a spot and drove the van up into the dunes. At this stage it was beginning to get dark so we set up the tents as quickly as possible and the guys started cooking (men love to BBQ!). Unfortunately the ranger appeared just as we were getting settled in and told us that we were camping in a no-camping zone and we had to move! Apparantly we were camping in a spot where turtles lay their eggs and we'd possibly driven over hundreds of eggs - woops!

By now it was dark so we took down the tents and started packing everything up. I volunteered to drive the gear (along the soft sand, in the dark - eeek) to the nearest camping area. It was actually great fun as everyone rushed around to get us moved before the tide came in any further.
After a huge bbq dinner (I'm going to turn into a piece of meat we're eating so much of it) the fun started. The Germans showed us a new drinking game called slaps and Chris seemed to lose everytime which gave us all something to laugh at!


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