Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Sand and more sand

(Female dingo on the beach at Fraser Island)
Have you ever driven a car on a beach before? I don't think it's something most people get a chance to do because most beaches frown on that kind of thing. I still haven't driven myself across a beach, but the driver of the tour that Will and I joined did a lot of beach driving particularly since Fraser Island is the world's largest sand island.
And there was definitely a lot of it. We saw soft sand, hard sand, yellow sand, orange sand, red sand, black sand, and sand that was so fine and mineral laden that could use it to polish your skin AND your jewelry. For two days we were driven around the island, stopping at different spots along the way for pictures or a walk through a rainforest or a break by a lake. There were only six of us in our group, plus the driver, and that was kind of nice because in the peak season there could have been as many as 28. Rather than being in a huge bus, we were in a Land Cruiser and we were able to tailor the trip to the things we wanted to see and do.

The first night we stayed at a place called Happy Valley which is also where we had all of our meals. After dinner we played Scrabble with some of the others in our group and then called it an early night because we wanted to get up to see the sunrise. Come time for actually getting up, though, and I decided that my bed was warm and it was cold outside and I'd rather sleep in. Besides, I'd seen the sunrise during our overnight trip from Airlie Beach to Hervey Bay. I guess I never mentioned that, but then again, I also never mentioned that I finally crossed the equator into the southern hemisphere back during my overnight trip from Lake Toba to Bukittinggi, either. Details.

Highlights of the trip: We saw a handful of dingoes and that was pretty cool. They can be dangerous and there's signs all over the island about dingo safety, but the ones we saw just kind of glanced at us, saw that we weren't going to feed them, and moved on. Indian Head, in the north of the island, was one of my favorite spots. You had to walk up a 60m hill and from there you could look out and see for quite a distance, or you could look down into the ocean and see what kind of marine life you could spot. We saw dolphins and another woman in our group saw a stingray. Walking back down from Indian Head, we saw our driver pointing out to the ocean and we realized he'd spotted whales. Humpback whales have started their migration, so we stood watching for awhile to see if we'd spot them, too. We did, but to be honest, it was mostly blowhole splashes and a flicker of a whale tail. They were pretty far out so it wasn't as exciting as you might expect. But at least I can say I saw a humpback whale!

(The view from Indian Head)
We spent another night in Hervey Bay when we returned from Fraser Island and then left the next morning for Brisbane. Brisbane gets the whirlwind treatment as we're we were only here there for about 24 hours before we have had to catch our flight to Sydney. I think I would have really liked Brisbane - I'll have to explore it more another time if I have a chance - but we decided that since we'll have a week in Sydney, a huge city, we'd spend our time on Fraser instead of Brisbane, a much smaller city.


  1. after looking through your pictures - i have to respond. hell yes, I would stop in the middle of a bike ride to reapply lip gloss.

  2. Laura - LOL. Glad to hear I'm not the only one.

  3. The view from Indian Head is lovely. I want to come and sit on that beach.