Saturday, August 23, 2014

Frasier Island

We were able to take a couple of days off and travel north to the Hervey Bay Area with our friends Rob and Rae Rancie. We spent one day on Fraiser Island and one day whale watching (more about that later)
Fraiser Island is the largest sand island in the world. It is also a world heritage site. We were picked up at our hotel in Hervey Bay and taken to the ferry. After about an hour ferry ride we were on Fraiser Island. We had purchased a tour. Only four wheel drive vehicles are allowed on the island. Most of the "roads" are sand tracks with trees on both sides. Bumpy, hilly roads. We were in a four wheel drive bus and we were so grateful that a few days prior there had been a huge rainstorm so the tracks were smoother than usual, but it was still a real roller coaster ride!
We first went across the island, which is about 22 kilometers wide and 125 kilometers long, to the eastern shore where we drove along the beach for about 12 kilometers. It was beautiful! 
We drove to a ship wreck, the Maheno. The ship was a cruise ship in 1905, during World War One it was put into service as a hospital ship, then it was back to a cruise ship. It was being towed after having been sold to china, but a cyclone came up, the tow line broke and the storm pushed it to shore on Frasier Island and they couldn't move it. It is slowly being covered by sand and eroding. Someday it will be totally covered. 
There are Dingos all over the island, these are wild dogs. They were brought to australia by Asian seafarers about 4000 years ago. There are warning signs all over the island warning people about them. They are a sub species of the grey wolf and can be dangerous and aggressive. Parents are especially warned about keeping small children close to them. We did see some on the beach.
We also purchased a short, small airplane ride that flew over the island. It took off and landed back onto the beach. This island is only one of two places in the world where private aircraft can take off and land on the beach. We next went to Eli's Creek, a beautiful, clear creek people could wade or float in. After lunch we took a 1.8 kilometer hike on a trail through the rain forrest. We ended the tour at McKenzie lake. Where one of us, bet you can't guess which one, waded in the water. Back on the bus for a roller coaster ride back to the ferry. Once back in Hervey Bay we ended the day with fish and chips and a ice cream cone! Beautiful day!

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