We originally rented our "spaceship" in Sydney for a week and was supposed to drop it off in Brisbane. Well, a week went by and there was more to see. As much as I wanted to stay and explore Brisbane for a day, time once again had a deadline (6 days) and with 1700 km to cover to get to Cairns with lots to see in between, the road called us to get lost again. And with a relocation special to drive the Armageddon (spaceship's name) up to Cairns for a $1 a day, its a pretty easy decision.
After getting Sarah settled in to her hostel, Steph, Colleen, and I started making our way towards Hervey Bay. It was a long drive and there was no way we could make it all the way at night so we camped out at this spot where we saw a toad. Now, me being paranoid about every animal we luckily didn't touch it because come to find out the next morning, they were in fact poisonous! AHHH.....so just add another poisonous animal to the list. The next morning we woke to loud birds...talk about an early wake up call which we needed anyways because we had a tour in the morning with still an hour to drive.
Hervey Bay is one of the starting spots to Fraser Island. The proper way and the way the three of us would have liked to have seen Fraser Island was to rent a 4x4 vehicle and camp out but remember we were on another time deadline and only a day trip out to Fraser Island is all we could afford, and afford at least for me.
Taking the ferry over, we then jumped into a 4x4 bus. Can you believe that? Yeah, a bus that could drive through sand dune. Now, to explain why 4x4 is so important, Fraser Island is actually the largest sand dune island in the world. Yup, an island completely filled of sand but covered with a rain forest. And speaking of rain forest, our first stop was to walk right through one. Its true what our guide said, everyone tries to bottle that rain forest smell but there is nothing that can compare. Eucalyptus the strongest of the scent filled with a hint of pine created this aroma that filled my nose of sweetness not to mention the beauty of it all as we stared at a river so clear, you almost did not know it was there. From there we drove down 75 mile beach which really wasn't 75 miles but it was beautiful looking out at the ocean under the clear blue sky. We stopped to take pictures at the colored rock and the Maheno shipwreck. We reminisced our memories by pretending to be dancing on the cruise ship like we had on our cruise on the way over.
Colleen decided she wanted to see more of the island and hopped on an airplane while Steph and I drove back down on the beach and walked through Eli Creek. We were thigh high deep in clear water walking and stopping to take pictures.
It was not only refreshing from the hot sun but very relaxing walking under the shade of trees that formed above us. After, we met back up with Colleen and had lunch at Eurong Beach Resort. It was buffet style so you know we ate as much as we could and put whatever we could in our back packs....hello we're on the cheap!
As we drove to Lake McKenzie, it was a little nappy time for me...so much food in my belly as Colleen, Ms. Sociable, chatted with the girls next to us who happened to be from the Boston area. Anyways, I didn't not know what to expect but my eyes were amazed by the magical beauty of this lake that formed on top of a sand dune that I have to say had the same tropical look like the French Polynesian Islands. It was spectacular that it made you just want to jump in the water except one expression....BRRRRR!!!! It was slightly cold but every once in awhile you get a warm spot (no I don't think it was from anyone peeing) yet it was odd and I'd swim around looking for another warm spot which also meant I didn't stay in the lake too long.
As the day came to an end, Ms. Sociable discovered that on that same tour in a different bus were two other girls that worked on the Sapphire Princess - the ship we just had disembarked on. Can you believe it? Such a small world! Actually, kinda crazy but it doesn't surprise me anymore...partially because the Princess family is pretty small - all of us travelers and well I'd see one of them at the bar, she was the bar manager and of course where would I be? Yeah, you know me too well.
Well, we decided that once we got back to Hervey Bay we'd have a drink, the girls from "BAHSTIN," the Princess crew, and us three. It was nice to sit and chat for awhile. We talked mostly about Princess which, eh...always happens when thats the common thing. But, it was nice but there was more driving and of course dinner which I will explain was an adventure.
While Steph and Colleen went to go do some internet, I made dinner. Yes, I love to cook so I didn't mind. Well, a drunk guy came over and of course my first thought was "oh, great...he's drunk and hungry...I guess I could try to blow him off and ignore him" but then I realized how everywhere we've traveled we've met nothing but genuine hospitality and all he wanted was a drink of water....lots of water...and more water...I did say he was drunk, didn't I? We ended up having a conversation...yeah it was a good one too, him slurring while I smiled, cooked and well tried to figure out what he was saying. He offered me a place to stay if I needed it and wanted to take me and my friends out back to Fraser Island for a camping excursion. DAMN! Too bad we didn't meet him the night before because that trip would have been a lot more of fun. Oh well. After he left, I continued to cook, which by the way was an amazing Indian dish. Uhm, no I can't cook Indian but I can by canned sauce and mix in some chicken and vegetables on some rice. Yeah, it was delicious, so delicious that I think I attracted bats. OH, the bats. These were huge and I mean HUGE bats. One every so often would come and swoop around and fly back in to the tree. I swore I was going to become a vampire that night because the thing kept coming closer and closer. No I didn't take a picture! HELLO! I was too busy trying to cover my neck while I was trying to cook, I only have two hands! You didn't even have to see them, you could just here their wings flap in the wind like it was trying to catch its prey and I kept thinking that prey was me! I wasn't the only one who saw it, Steph luckily came out and she had a glimpse of those flying rodents!
Anyways, after finishing dinner what else was there to do but to continue driving and finding a place to stop and sleep. Still, lots of driving to do!