No, I haven’t mastered the art of time travel yet. All I had to do was get off the bus – they dropped me right at the steps of a town called 1770. After surviving Fraser Island, it provided some much needed relaxation time. The hostel I stayed at is one of the best I’ve seen – Cool Bananas. A very relaxed place with a beautiful tropical garden, fire pit, outdoor dining area, hammocks, and it goes on and on.
1770 has a population of 34 full time residents. It’s not a very happenin’ place, but it does off backpackers a good chance to get out on the reef and do other water sports for a lot cheaper then further up the coast.
I went for a sunset kayak one evening. Out of all the travelers I’ve met, I’ve noticed that Australia attracts Irish, Germans, and Dutch on mass. Case in point – my entire kayak group was Irish! We had good fun, and made the best of the free goon* included in the trip. On the way back to the beach we were followed by three dolphins! It was great to watch them play around us. Then just as we got back to shore, a stingray flipped up out of the water trying to get away from our boat – Leam, the other person in my double kayak, screamed louder then I did.
On my last day in 1770 I decided to do a day trip out to Lady Musgrave Island, which is on the outer Great Barrier Reef. The ride out to the island was rough, and I was one of three people who didn’t spew. Things calmed down once we got out to the reef, and it was a great day of snorkeling. The best parts were the blue stag horn coral (so vibrant!!) and the turtle den. Three big sea turtles had made a home in a dent on the top of a big brain coral, and they were happy to come out and swim with us.
When we explored the Lady Musgrave Island I found a dead sea snake – scary!! We also spotted reef sharks off the shore that were hunting for fish in the shallow water… not where we were snorkeling though.
Geek Note: There is a type of bird that migrates through these islands annually, and it likes to stop in a particular type of tree. This tree secretes a very sticky goo around it’s seeds, so when the bird’s land on the branches the seeds get stuck to the birds. Sometimes the birds get so weighed down by these sticky seed balls that they actually cannot fly anymore. It’s partly sad, but also fascinating from an evolutionary adaptation point of view because these birds then provide vital nutrients and organic matter for the seeds they’re carrying. Nutrients and organic matter are really hard to come by on an island made only from coral!
*Goon – otherwise known as “doom”, goon is the cheapest alcohol available in Australia. It’s “wine” that comes in 4L boxes and costs about $9….doom.