March 13 Gympie – Rainbow Beach – Fraser Island (Dilli Village)
After a lovely, peaceful nights sleep we woke early and packed quickly. The children were highly motivated this morning as they were promised a final goodbye to the animals before we left. Much to Clarissa’s disappointment the guinea pigs were still in hiding which I suspect has much to do with the over loving they were receiving the day before from a couple of unsupervised brats. Zach was happy saying goodbye to chicken Joe.
With a few tears we headed off towards Rainbow Beach. Adrian sorted out the barge pass and where we were going to stay while I sat in the car and enjoyed a moments peace. After a few phone calls and about half an hour my 3 lovelies emerged from the Manta Ray office sorted and ready to cross. After stocking up on a few bits (milk, eggs, fruit and water) and airing down our tyres we headed off to meet the barge.
The entrance to the beach dock was rather boggy and had already proven too much for 1 car of backpackers (Fraser is 4wd only…their car was not up for the task). After a quick ride across the strait we arrived on the beautiful white shores of Fraser Island. As all the other cars rushed past us we enjoyed the beautiful scenery laid before us and drove on the “road” at our own pace.
It wasn’t long before we arrived at Dilli Village (a fully fenced campground). Adrian checked in and was downloaded with a huge amount of local knowledge from our lovely host. (The village is owned by the Uni of the Sunshine Coast but also allows other guests to stay. We were the only ones there for our 1st night with only 2 other families on the other nights.) She gave us the best site and was super helpful.
After setting up and a bit of lunch we decided to head along the inland tracks for the afternoon and check out the freshwater lakes we had been told about. The inland tracks are a lot softer than the beach and the speed limit is 30km/hr.
The first lake was a bit unpleasant as it had lots of tannin in it from the trees. Lake Beerabean, however, was lovely. It had squeaky white sand amd crystal clear water. This is the locals favorite spot as its not as busy as the main lake.
It had taken us 2hrs to get there so after a quick cool off we headed back to get dinner. The bugs!!! Oh my goodness there were so many. We were heading for bed when our host came and told us of their friendly python who was on their back fence trying to catch a bird if we would like to come and see him. So after a quick look we tucked in.
March 14 Central Station, Lake MacKenzie & The Maheno Wreck
The next morning we headed off early as we knew the tracks travelled slowly and we wanted to visit the famed Lake MacKenzie. We arrived at Central Station at morning tea time. We walked along the boardwalk through the rainforest and saw the clearest water I have ever seen. As the sand is so white the water is almost invisible. STUNNING!
The lake was only a short drive from the station. It was very warm by now and we were all ready for a swim. The hype was not exaggerated. It was Incredible! The white sands and clear waters were like something out of a movie. We enjoyed a lovely swim and a few photos before heading towards the beach.
We arrived at Eli Creek and set up for a late lunch. We didn’t stay long as our goal was to see the wreck not far up the coast. It was so cool to see a huge ship right on the beach.
We headed home down the beach and saw 1 dingo in the distance. It was a huge day but so many beautiful sights had been seen. A storm rolled in as we drove…but we are getting used to the rain following us.
March 15 Champagne Pools & Eli Creek
The next morning we started a bit slower as we were waiting for the tides before venturing up the coast (a much faster way to get around). We pushed through past the Maheno wreck and arrived at Champagne Pools near the top of the island. The veiw from the cliff was amazing. What an awesome God we have! The pools were lovely and warm and were frothy from the ocean spray.
We only stayed a short while as quite a few of the tour buses were also visiting at this time. Our main location for the day was to be Eli Creek. This creek is super clear (and freezing) and you can walk along a boardwalk to the top and float down in the current. It flows 4 million litres of fresh water into the ocean every hour! The lady at the village had excitedly lent the kids her floating ring so they we very eager to test it out.
We had the most relaxing time by the waters edge floating on the creek and even watching planes land on the beach in front of us.
On the way back we encountered 4 dingoes which we were able to photograph (from the car) without them taking much notice. The dingo awareness is so strict on the island to keep everyone safe.
March 16 Fraser Island – Burrum Heads
Waking early, we packed up and headed off after saying goodbye to Dilli and our wonderful host.
Eli was to be our breakfast destination. We arrived just before high tide and got a few interesting looks as we arrived, pulled out our fabulous awning and sat down to bacon and eggs or beans on toast by the waters edge. We were off for one final float down the creek when an eel swam by our feet. We left shortly after.
By the time we had returned to the mainland and found a washdown for Blu it was definitely lunch time.
A quick pie and fuel for Blu and we were off to catch up with some family friends. We had a lovely time and were very thankful for their hospitality as another big storm rolled in.
Drifting off in a real bed after a lovely shower was a great way to end a busy day.