Fraser Island Stargazer Self Drive

Ship wreak Mahone (?) - no idea what the story is here... google it?

Shipwreck Mahone (?) - no idea what the story is here... google it?

The Backpacker Special – Fraser Island Self Drive 4×4 tour. Three days and two nights of 4×4 fun with eight of your favorite (and entirely random) friends on an island made only of sand – spectacular fresh water lakes, jungle, and highway beaches included. It was certainly a random collection of folks – me, a British couple, a Finnish fellow, a tall guy from Holland, three drunk 19-year old British boys, and a nutty German. Fraser Island 4×4 trips should be on the top of those lists for corporate team building exercises…. it was definitely an experiment in group dynamics if nothing else! HA! Maybe I’m exaggerating. It wasn’t that bad! Our drivers were safe, we got to see a lot of the island, and no one was killed by rouge dingos.

Our camp site and the gang happily eating breakie

Our camp site and the gang happily eating breakie

Driving along the beach

Driving along the beach

As for wildlife, we did spot a few dingos on the beach. The official protocol for dealing with Dingos is to:
1) Stop
2) Cross your arms over your chest (like a mummy)
3) Look at the ground (not in the eyes of the Dingo)
4) Back away slowly shuffling your feet (like a duck)
5) Make noise
I’ll leave it to your imagination to see a group of backpackers wandering the beaches, suddenly stop at the sight of a Dingo, and immediately enact the “official protocol”. It’s a sight, and Step 5 is usually uncontrollable giggles at how ridiculous you look doing it as a big group.

The view from Indian Head... not to bad, eh?

The view from Indian Head... not to bad, eh?

Fraser Island has more sand than the Sahara desert, and it gets into EVERYTHING! Despite how annoying sand can become when you eat, sleep, and drink it, the island is really beautiful. I’ve never seen jungle growing out of sand dunes! The lakes on the island are amazing – Lake Waddy was my favourite. We walking through the forest for a while and then came up to this sand dune, climbed to the top of it and could see sand dunes in every direction surrounded by rain forest, and an emerald lake settled off to the side. Very pretty. Lake Mackenzie is a classic – white fine sand and turquoise water.

Lake Waddy. Photo credit: peterjoel1 on flickr

Lake Waddy. Photo credit: peterjoel1 on flickr

One big happy family at Lake Mackenzie

One big happy family at Lake Mackenzie

One of the best parts about Fraser Island are the stars! The island is so far away from any big cities that you can actually see the glow of light pollution on the horizon around Brisbane. We were lucky to be moon-less, which made the stars that much more spectacular. I even learnt a new constellation – the Southern Cross!


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One response to “Fraser Island Stargazer Self Drive

  1. urbanwren

    My Auntie Kim found this on Wikipedia:

    The S.S. Maheno was an Edwardian liner on the Tasman Sea crossing between New Zealand and Australia, and was used as a hospital ship by the New Zealand division of the Royal Navy during World War I.

    A landmark on 75 Mile Beach in Fraser Island is the shipwreck of the S.S. Maheno. The S.S. Maheno was originally built in 1905[citation needed] in Scotland as a luxury passenger ship for trans-Tasman crossings. During the First World War the ship served as a hospital ship in the Mediterranean[1], Gallipoli[2], and the English Channel, before returning to a luxury liner. In 1935, the ship was declared outdated and on June 25, 1935 the ship was being towed from Melbourne to Japan for scrap metal when it was caught in a strong cyclone. A few days later, on July 9 1935[citation needed] she drifted ashore and was beached on Fraser Island. During the Second World War the Maheno served as target bombing practice[citation needed] for the RAAF. The ship has since become severely rusted.


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