Ry & J's South Pacific Tour '05 travel blog

Packing our 4WD

Ry & J at shipwreck on Fraser Island

75 Mile beach at low tide

View south from Indian Rock

North side of Indain Rock

J @ Indian Rock

Our 4WD's parked below Indian Rock

Walking north toward the Champagne Pools

Champagne Pools

Lake McKenzie

Lake Wabby and sand blow

Lake Wabby

Getting ready to jump into Wabby

Goanna looking for food in a carpark

Waiting for return barge

Dingo

San Carlo Sand Blow

San Carlo meets the ocean

J & Anna on sandblow

Anna, J & Maria walking back


Wow - where to start! Fraser island was the best thing yet! We went on a 3 day/2night self-drive, self-guided 4WD trip of the island. There were ten in our group and 5 groups in all that went out with our company that day. We got to the edge of the sand, turned the front hubs in and grabbed 4 low to make it to the ferry. Tide was just headed out so we were near the soft dry sand for a bit as we started off, but as the tide goes out the hard pack makes and excellent road. The speedlimit on the beach is 80 kph and we were fairly comfortable with that, depending on who was driving. We had 5 who wanted to drive in our group including Ry & I so there was plenty of sharing. The whole idea is interesting for a people watcher as you see leaders emerge and watch diplomacy and manners as a group of people from several different backgrounds spend several days together. Our group had 4 guys and 6 girls. Another group had 9 girls and just 1 guys. We ended up traveling together and on several occasions it was quite good that we did as both vehicles had "issues" at some point. Thier starter motor stayed engaged for a bit and was white hot before they stopped and complained of the odor of it. Ry & I were the only two people with the slightest of mechanical experience and it was eventually figured out that they had a sticky ignition switch. Still not sure how they could drive that long with the starter engaged, but it kept on working. We made our way all the way up the beach the first day to check out Indain Rock at sunset and camped 7k south that night. We had a nice bit of food to work with and I ended up being the group cook following the first night and the realization that we could combine the allotment for 20 and be more efficient. We had a stir fry the first night and steaks with salad and potato the next night. Lighter lunches of sandwiches and hot dogs and one cold breakfast and eggs on our last day. There were a few places we could get freshwater and we had a 20 liter container plus waterbottles so water was no issue. We had two large tents per vehicle and they provided sleeping rolls. We had two large eskies(coolers) one for food and one for drink. Couldn't drive on the beach until after 10:30 the second day and had a little slow time after having packed up and not being able to drive yet, but as soon as we could, we went back to Indain Rock and walked about 40 minutes north to the Champagne Pools. They are a natural rock like formation where the surf pounds both through and over the rocks creating bubbly water. We then headed to Lake McKenzie via inland track. The inland roads were much more slow going as they are rough and tumble. At times we had to shift into 4low, but most of the time we could go in 4 high and 2nd gear. The vehicles were Toyota Landcruisers with 6cylinder diesels. They were amazingly torquey. We were able to camp at McKenzie that night. A few of the two groups stayed on the beach all night. Even fewer stayed up the whole night and watched the sunrise. After packing up that morning we made our way to Lake Wabby which has a huge sand blow on one side of it creating a very steep dune right to the water's edge. You simply run to the edge and jump and roll and it's 40 feet or better to the water. We didn't have boards or even a piece of cardboard to ride down so we tucked and rolled down with eyes closed until you spill into the lake. Good fun! Ran into a really boggy spot in very dry deep sand on the trail headed there and if not for Ry's excellent driving we likely wouldn't have made it out. This was by far the best part yet. We partied with the crew from our groups that night as well. Of the twenty people we had 6 Germans, 3 Swedes, 2 Brits, 2 Austrians, 4 Canadians, 1 French and Ry & I. It was a perfectly eclectic group. We've just reached Brisbane and fast internet so were able to make some substantial updating. We'll do our best to keep it current more often. All in all, the trip has continued getting better everyday.

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