We left Rainbow Beach, stocked with food and more importantly as far as Jamie is concerned – beer. We were so loaded we bogged on the run up to the barge and Oliver was forced to dig us out. The barge only takes 10minutes and the guy running it pointed out Dolphins swimming on one side of us, we all ohhhed and ahhhhed, and then he pointed to the other side and said with a grin “Sharks”. Lovely. Added to this was the leaflet we were given on the barge about being dingo safe. The best bit was ‘if you are attacked, be aggressive. Remember you are fighting for your life!’
We arrived on Fraser and started the 120 odd km journey to our campsite at Waddy Point. We bombed happily along the beach, spotted a couple of dingos and had a slight hiccup with a little creek we didn’t notice until too late – cue salt water car wash. Then we hit the notorious Indian Head bypass. We’d already been warned it was a bit soft and as we watched 2 cars got bogged. We helped dig one out and Jamie took over the driving and managed to back the guy out. Then we headed in and promptly got stuck – so our newly rescued friends helped dig us out in return!
We arrived at the campsite and headed down to the beachfront where we were meant to be camping but after frequent dingo warnings I freaked and demanded Jamie take us to the dingo proofed campsite up top. We had been told it was full which was so far from true I am not sure how they got to that decision! As the mossies started their attacks we threw up the tent, and sprayed ourselves to within a inch of suffocation. Then we knocked up some hamburgers and settled down for the night, bring on Fraser!!
Our first real day began with sorting out the explosion that had occurred the night before. For some reason I don’t care so much about things when I’m being attacked by vampire bugs. We finished up and hit the tracks to explore the lighthouse, find the local shop and get our bearings. The lighthouse is staffed by volunteers who come up for a few weeks, keep and eye on everything and have a holiday. Apparently they call themselves ‘grey nomads’ 🙂
The next day we took a day trip down to Lake McKensie, drove through a little bit rainforest with giant trees and ferns. You could smell the difference in the air, all earthy and moist plus the temperature dropped. Then we arrived at the Lake – not as blue or as sandy as Jamie remembered but the kids had a blast jumping about. I gave the lake a skip, it wasn’t sunny enough for me to brave the freezing water.
The next day Jamie headed to the local shop and returned home with a story of a couple of young guys who had gotten their car stuck in a creek and needed pulling out. So we loaded the kids – Olly gave it a miss – and headed off to help. To say we had failed to,appreciate their predicament would be an understatement. They had managed to get 2 cars stuck, the front one up to the bottom of the doors and the second one behind it up to the middle of the doors – both were soaked inside and complete write-offs. The guys were remarkable chilled about the whole thing, especially as I am pretty sure insurance would not have covered them driving into the river thinking it was shallower than it turned out to be. Jamie had a go at using his winch – the rope broke – then using tow ropes, neither worked. A few friends of theirs turned up with another car to help and some much needed refreshment – on Fraser that could only be beer and a can of Jim Beam and coke. But even with both cars together those vehicles were not going anywhere. We waved goodbye and left them to their drinking. Seemed to be a bit of a thing on Fraser, every guy had a can in their hands especially the fisherman and this could be as early as 8am. I have no idea how they managed to catch any fish at all. The things must have been just flinging themselves onto the hooks. Anyway that afternoon we headed to the champagne pools, not as rough as Moreton which was nice. Even Zachary got his legs wet, although he was less than impressed with that turn of events! Both Jack and him seem to prefer sitting in the little warm pools left by the high tide.
We’d been told about a place called Lake Allom down the island from us that had turtles so we headed there for lunch. I unfortunately forgot to pack the lunch – jam and peanut butter sandwiches all round then! But the turtles were there, as soon as we arrived they started swimming their way towards us. Jamie, Abi and Jack dipped their toes in the water to see if any would have a nibble but no such luck. Instead little fish came out to hide behind them and have a nibble! Olly attempted the walk around the lake only to discover the walk vanished into the lake after 5 minutes. Then freaked us out by doing dingo calls as he walked back to us – the kids were ready to race back to the car! We drove on home and as the sun set pulled up onto the beach down from the campsite. The tide was heading out and left a deep channel just perfect for the kids. Jack has been desperate for a dip in a little pool so we striped them off and off they went. It was magical. The kids practiced their jumping in, we had a drink and watched the sunset. Perfection.
Our final day started at the Champagne Pools at high tide, a last ocean dip for most people. I spent the time paddling with a sleeping Zachary strapped to me. He does pick ’em. Afterwards we headed to Wathumba Creek on the west side for lunch. The sand was almost white and the sea a lovely blue. The tide slowly receded and we saw sting rays swimming the channels back out to the sea. As the water level dropped Jamie and the kids started chasing little puffer fish through the shallows and occasionally catching them (carefully) when they buried themselves in the sand. It was hard to leave, more so since it was the last day. As we packed up a lone dingo appeared on the beach, came down to take a look for scrapes and then disappeared into the woods. We headed home and packed up most of the tent ready for our 5am start.
The mossies had their second meal of us as the boys packed up the last bit at 5am. Zachary got covered – poor boy – and just in time for christening photos! We headed out of the campsite back to Indian Head and promptly got stuck again. Luckily there as a Good Samaritan following us who towed us out so we didn’t lose much time. With high tide due at 12.40 we were racing the water to the barge. As we bombed down the sand Olly spotted whales playing off the beach, blowing water and waving fins. We hit the barge at just after 9 and waved good bye to Fraser – until next time. Now for our 24 hour trip home!