Lookout, it's a Dropbear!
26/4/14 - 28/4/14
When travelling in Australia, particularly along the east coast, it's a must to see Fraser Island. While I didn't want to miss out on Fraser Island, I was skeptical after hearing some of the stories about the different companies that run tours. You can do anything from a day tour to a three day tour, ride in a bus or do a tag along 4wd tour (where your group is split into several vehicles, depending on the size and everyone can take a turn driving). I certainly didn't want to do a day tour and the bus was definitely out, but there were several tag along tours to choose from. I turned to TripAdvisor to see if anything stood out. Many of the companies recommended by travel agents (such as Wicked Travel had mixed reviews, however one company immediately stood out. Dropbear Adventures. Out of the 188 reviews on tripadvisor, 181 were excellent, 6 were 'very good' and only 1 negative review. I was astonished by the reviews and immediately decided to go with them. Best decision ever.
From being picked up at the hostel by the owner himself, to how smoothly the paperwork, safetly introduction video and vehicles were sorted, I was impressed.
As quick as possible we all packed our stuff up in the cars and left Noosa for a two hour drive from Noosa to Rainbow Beach, where we'd catch the ferry to Fraser Island. This 2 hour drive was a good opportunity to chat with the people you were in the car with and start getting to know some of the people you'd be spending the next 3 days with. Unfortunately, I ended up in a car made up entirely of Swiss who all knew each other and though they tried to speak English, they inevitably slipped back and I was left on my own. The following days some people switched around in cars and so I was able to be in different cars.
Once we got to Rainbow beach we hopped on the ferry and saw our first glimpse of Fraser Island.
It was a short ferry ride and soon enough we were driving on the sand, where all normal road rules still apply, such as speed limits and driving on the left.
I had no idea Fraser Island is as big as it is, it's almost 80 miles long! The eastern beach goes most of the length of the island and is the main driving area. It seems to go on forever!
Our first stop was our campsite so we could change and have lunch. One of the reasons I'd chose Dropbear Adventures was that food was included, which is a nice change for backpackers.
We were right next to the ocean, just a sand dune separating us from the water and you could always hear the waves.
Our tents were already set up with sleeping pads and sand already in them. You just had to claim one, but make sure you didn't keep any of your belongings in the tent when you weren't in it, dingoes are very present on the island and never hesitate to steal a tent if they think there's something good in it.
Our afternoon adventure was to Lake Wabby, one of the many freshwater lakes on the island.
The water was chilly, but in a refreshing kind of way.
We headed back to camp for dinner, drinks, and then I spent the night laying on the beach looking up at the sky. The stars were absolutely incredible!
And it was so great being so close to the ocean, but unfortunately due to stingers, sharks, and rips, you couldn't swim in it.
But you could watch the sunrise!
We did a lot of driving that next day, since it was our only full day on the island.
And spent some time at Eli Creek, another freshwater spring (where our camp drinking water came from).
We went to the Champagne Pools, where water washes over the rocks and there's lots of little fish in the water.
We hiked up Indian Head, which was a sacred area for the Aboriginals and had gorgeous views, we even saw a shark swim by down below!
There's a famous shipwreck on the island, called the Maheno. You can read more about it here.
Fraser Island wouldn't be complete without some dingoes!
Our last day a storm came in, but we were headed inland for some bush driving and a rainforest walk anyway. Though we did stop at Lake Mckenzie which certainly would have been better had it been warm and sunny.
It wouldn't be Australia without a ridiculous sign.
We took a walk in a rainforest and there was another freshwater stream, this one almost difficult to see as it flowed over the sand.
All too soon it was time to say goodbye to Fraser and head back on the ferry.
Though since I was headed all the way back to Noosa, my trip wasn't done. After we dropped some people off we headed for another beach drive along Rainbow Beach.
Right at the end Mark got stuck and we all got out to push and eventually had to tow him out. It would have been disappointing if no one had gotten stuck the whole trip, so this was good timing. And he was very stuck.
But we pulled him out, no problem.
We took another ferry and watched the sunset and then we were all ready to be home after a very long three days.
I would highly recommend Dropbear Adventures to everyone. It's an unforgettable trip!
The following photos courtesy of Dropbear.