We have been a little quite over the last couple of weeks enjoying ourselves too much. We arrived in Queensland and made our way up towards Noosa catching a car ferry to the north shore of noosa where we stayed on the beach. After a week or two on the road it was nice to setup for a week and finally do some washing and create our own seaside shanty town. Visitors at breakfast were frequent including the local steroid pumped kangaroo.We walked the expansive beach, dan with the usual fishing rod in hand and were surprised to watch sea eagles picking up the remains of hundreds of washed up mutton birds.
We continued our journey to Fraser Island the world’s biggest sand island and let our tyres down for some sand driving. We caught the morning ferry over from inskip point at low tide to take the advantage of driving on the hard sand along the beach for about 80km north to Waddy Point.
North Waddy is a delightful camping area in a shady nook under Casurinas and Paperbarks. We made friends with our smiling neighbour Henry who made our stay very special. I liked him as soon as I noticed he had a hammock set up. We shared many dinners, delicious mud crabs we caughty, wines and laughs together.
During our stay we made friends with Tony and Jan who Henry had helped as they had car problems and were waiting for the local mechanic to source a spare part for them. Tony was great on the guitar and serenaded us in the evening under the stary sky with Johny Cash songs and Jan was an amazing cook serving up pumpkin,bacon and cheese damper & banana bread for breakfast which we had with chai tea.
We were fully fueled after Jan’s delicious camp oven creations and we followed Henry for some coconut hunting/wrangling. The coconuts were plentiful although far up amongst the fronds of the tall palm trees. We came with a system of using a very large fishing sinker on the end of a rope and then throwing it up to try and lasso the bunches of coconuts and then try and shake them down. After taking turns of lassoing we were successful in getting the rope around the biggest coconut bunch and shaking the rope ‘thud, thud’ COCONUTS and screams of excitement yahooing and laughter!!!
Henry, who is Fijian, showed us his coconut processing skills – very impressive! He removed the husk to reveal the nut, then punctured 3 holes at the top of the coconut (coconut eyes) to drain the juice. Then expertly used the back of the machete to crack the coconut in half and reveal beautifully thick coconut flesh inside. At dusk while the tentative dingos scampered around our campsite Tony serenaded again us while we ate the fresh coconut flesh and sipped on our Bacardi/Brandy and coconut juice cocktails- heaven on earth!
We explored many amazing areas on the Island. Our trip to Eli Creek which is spring fed was a highlight. We snorkled through the crisp crystal clear waters and floated down with the strong current. The creek was lined with lush pandanus and beautiful jungle perch swam along the underside of the creek bank, florescent yellow eel lay in wait sticking their heads our of their homes. We also found many pairs of sunglasses which tourists had lost along the way and to top it off dan found a gold ring- treasure! After Eli Creek we explored Indian Head an amazing vantage point to spot turtles and huge sharks from the top of the headland. A short drive north towards base camp at Waddy point are the Champagne Pools. These huge rock pools are an amazing swimming spot without the fear of the huge sharks that can be seen from nearby Indian head.
After days camping on the beach when you feel like a salted snack that lives in a sandpit the only thing to do is head to some of Fraser’s Freshwater lakes. Lake Mckenzie is the most well known but our favourite was lake Wobby. A large sand dune is slowly filling the lake and it may be gone within a decade so if you need an excuse to go now you have one.
After a week we had seen most of the island except for the rugged northern tip, Sandy Cape, which is only reached by tackling the rugged Ngkala Rocks track. Fortuitously Henry had a few friends coming and we all drove north – our first 4wd convoy! In the end the MAKO truck had no dramas at all getting through the super soft and steep track but it was great to be in convoy incase. Camping on the northern tip was the first truly remote camping of the trip. We had our own beachside spot and while the tide was middle – high nobody could get there…nude beach time :-). We watched huge green turtles in a couple of feet of water as they prepared to nest. Dan nearly had a heart attack watching large Spanish Mackerel patrol the crystal clear sand flats. Unfortunately he couldn’t seem to get things right on the fishing front and proceeded to take out his frustrations on an innocent bucket – RIP little bucket.
Sandy Cape was the highlight but only lives etched in our memories because our camera card decided to malfunction. From here we head to Hervey Bay to visit some of the wonderful folks from our 4wd convoy and enjoy a de-salinating hot shower.