28.02. - 02.03.07 - Rainbow Beach
28.02.2007 - 02.03.2007 33 °C
I got to Rainbow Beach with the overnight bus around lunch time, checked into Dingo's which is quite a nice hostel and had around in Rainbow Beach. There is not much to it, very tiny place but they have an amazing huge beach. It's the first beach were it is okay to swim in the sea without a sexy stinger suit. Went for a long walk and had the briefing meeting for Fraser Island at 4pm. Got into Team B with Callum and Simon who I am sharing already the room with and they seem nice, so a good start. After sorting out our alcohol (basically beer in cans and wine in a 4 Liter goon are the only things you can bring! Very classy, not that it would bother me...:-)
I had a good group. We are 11 in one team, 4 tents and one jeep with 3 people sitting in the front and 8 on two benches accross each other in the back. All the gear and food (most important are the eskies) are on the top. Aussies call their cool boxes eskies (God knows why... I personally think it comes from Eskimo :-) ) we decided to keep one of the 2 eskies for food and the other one for the booze, as you might get away with rotton meat but certainly not with a warm beer :-)
Apart from one exception, the group was brilliant! There always has to be the one, and have a good guess where she was from... Bloody Germans!!!
The group: Callum and Neil from England, Katja and Anna from Germany, Jenny and Rachel from Scotland, Gil and Avana from Israel, Simon from Ireland and AJ from the US.
We started off having a few drinks in the bar and got then convinced to take part in the cross- dressing party. Good start! We had a brilliant night. Very funny.
Sore heads and a very early start the next morning. Second briefing meeting was already at 7.45 to learn how to drive the car and how to pack everything. One intersting bit is the toilet situation, as you are camping in the middle of nowhere. There are some toilets on the island but mostly just have to go in the bush and always take someone with you so you won't get get bitten in the bum by a dingo while having a wee. Great!
Thank God Michelle gave me that little torch, which was a life saver for all the girls on the trip! Thanks Michelle :-)
Once we were ready to go, we got a ferry to the islands and started our adventure.
Really coold to drive on the beach, it's so strange... As soon as we got off the ferry we had our first stop, as I spotted 3 massive mantarays. Next stop was shortly afterwards for our first dingo. Hard to imagine that they would do any harm, as they are so cute.
We then went to the ship wreck Maheno, which was great. Quite impressive. The island, which allegedly has more sand than the sahara (I very much doubt that!!!) is really beautiful. White sand everywhere and turquois water and rainforest in the middle. It is the biggest sand island in the world though. Again, you can't swim in the sea, as either sharks, jelly fish or the current would get you. I wish I would have remembered that....
After the wreck we stopped for a lunch break and after debating forever of whether to leave the jeep on the beach we moved on the champagne pools. You are only allowed at certain times on the beach depending on the tight. Apparently 100 cars a year a wahsed away by the tight... Our driving times were really good though, pretty much from 9am to 3/4pm every day.
The champagne pools were absolutely amazing. They are the only pools on the island with salt water, all others are fresh wather pools. They are naturally formed pools, that fill up with sea water they sprays over from the waves. The sea is just right behind them and only some rocks separate them from the ocean. They are not very deep and therefore really warm, like a bath tub. It was brilliant just to lie in them and float around in the really flat warm water but listen to the big waves and look over the ocean. I did not want to leave that beautiful place but the tight was on it's way and we were already pushing it.... We had some spectacular views on our way to the pools, but no luck to see any sharks, dolphins or turtles. On our way we stopped at the Pinnecles some really nice cliffs/ rocks and then looked for a nice spot for our first camp site. We stopped just by the beach with a great view over the sea. We set up our tents and started cooking and drinking. Had a really great night. Neil was playing the guitar and it was really cool. 2 other jeeps joined us as well, and after a few drinks, Hanan and myself decided it would be a great idea to go for a midnight swim. Seemed like a great idea at the time. We didn't go in deep, but it was enough to throw us around. Very silly but great fun! Had water in my ears for 2 days after that.... serves me right!
The next morning was great fun! At 7am it was so hot in the tents that you had to get up, completely stiff, as you were basically sleeping on the floor and sand everywhere. Half the group had the fantastic idea to get ice to re-fill the eskies but got blocked by the tight and didn't come back until 9.30 leaving us right in the sun. Have a guess who was a little grumpy?? After finally having breakfast we went to Eli Creek. A creek flowing through the rainforest going all the way down to the beach. You would start in the rainforest in the really clear cold refreshing water and then just float down all the way to the beach. Amazing! So nice! Leave your ears under water, so you couldn't here anything, just look up into the rainforest and float along. How much more relaxing can it get? The only thing that made me jump was the sea snake passing me.... Arghh... was a small one though....
We then went to Lake Wabby. After what felt like hours of tracking right in the middle of the day where the heat is worst. First we were walking through rainforest which was okay, but then we hit the sand dunes. It looked as if we were in the desert. There wer parts where the sand was so white, that it looked like snow and it actually hurt in your eyes. It was so boiling hot, that I wasn't sure we would make it. Even with flip flops the sand was burning on your feet. It wasn't very encouraging that all the signs kept saying that it is another 1 km, but but although we kept walking and walking the signs still said 1km. We finally got our reward: Lake Wabby. It just looked amazing. The green water surrounded by the beige sand dunes. The water was really clear and it was so refreshing to swim in it. There were huge catfish in there but despite AJ's desparate attempts to catch them for dinner we ended empty-handed.
It was then time to find our next camp site which was a bit further inland this time. Anna, Hanan and myself went to the beach for the sunset, which was amazing. The sky was divided by a clear line into pink and blue. Really strange, but very beautiful. Team B had another good night, but by 11pm everyone was just knackered and in "bed". I woke up feeling absolutely shit, with a really sore throat and ears and I just felt the next tonsilitis coming up again. How you can get sick in that heat, I don't know, but of course I managed. So, my last day wasn't the best as I was feeling really rough, was absolutely knackered and have to say I was quite glad it was the last day. 2 days camping with no shower and toilet, the boiling heat, sand everywhere is great fun but enough! :-)
Our final stop was the wonderful Lake McKenzie. It started off being overcast but then cleared up and it was just wonderful. It's basically the nicest or definitely one of the nicest white sand beach you can imagine around that crystal clear fresh water lake. Incredible. Again, I didn't want to leave.
Back in the hostel, I just enjoyed my shower and had a rest hoping to avoid getting a proper tonsilitis, but not luck.
The night and next were just dreadful. My throat was so swallen that I could feel it from the outside and that I could hardly move my neck. Swalling was impossible, whenever I did it, I woke up at night from the pain or from Hanan's snoring so I wasn't a happy bunny. Being sick when you travel and sleep in a dorm and all that really isn't great. So, I just couldn't wait ot get on my next 11 hour bus journey! NOT!! Once the drugs were kicking in a bit, I had a good gossip with AJ, but that was the only highlight of the day, the rest just passed by in a blurr. I couldn't even change my dorm in Byron Bay to a single room, so another dorm to look forward to....