Your guide to Fraser Island!

Now this is an area everyone should be able to visit in their lifetime. Untouched paradise, barely any contact with other humans(yay during covid) an abundance of exploring to be done and animals, lots of animals. The Fraser coast can be travelled to from either Hervey Bay or Rainbow Beach. Rainbow beach being closest to Brisbane is where we have left from both times I have been to FI. This trip takes roughly three hours to drive to Rainbow and the barge that takes you across may take 15-20 minutes. The barge is $130 return for a vehicle and runs all day long with no need to pre book. We got so lucky with the quietness of the island being that it was during the school term and unfortunately borders being closed in Australia at the time. Fraser Island itself is the largest sand island in the world(AMAZING) and it is 123K’s long- it is huge! It’s hard to imagine its length and size before seeing it with your own eyes!

DAY 1

When we arrived we set up camp in Dundeburra, which I’d highly recommend. It was great, there was plenty of space, communal fire pits which were needed during a QLD winter(we are soft), the campground also had toilets and $2 per use hot showers, did someone say LUXURY?! Dundeburra is quite a central part of the island also. Campsites are pre booked online and from memory roughly $6 p/p per night. This drive took possibly 1.5 hours to get to after driving off the barge. Our first night we put a beef brisket in my partners car oven(bougee) and ate that with some coleslaw and crusty rolls. A crowd fave. And no dishes to be done, woowoo. We sat around the fire with a few other campers with beverages in hand. The stars couldn’t have been brighter. It was lovely. We were chatting about the topics of conversation a few days later and both mentioned how funny it is that occupations etc are never the first questions asked when you meet people camping and out in nature. Its almost like it doesn’t matter, when really it… doesn’t. Theres no hierarchy or ‘status’, we’re all just outside, being. And talking about more important, interesting and meaningful topics than your line of work. It’s pretty amazing really. I love meeting people like this.

DAY 2

This was our driving day. And it was semi cloudy so a perfect day to be in the car. We drove for roughly 7.5 hours. She was bumpy. We saw a whole lot of the island though and especially alot of the rainforests inland. Fun fact: Fraser Island is the only place on this planet that rainforests grow on sand dunes, up to 200metres high! This day we checked out Kingsisher Bay resort, had a fish off of the jetty, a brew at the pub, had a dip in Lake Mackenzie, it was cool to see it so quiet. And finshed with a short stroll to Lake Wabby. This day we also visited Happy Valley Pub and Orchard Beach Pub. There are supplies at both of these locations for essentials, ice, coffee, cold beer etc.

When your tights match Lake Mackenzie

DAY 3

Day three was my favourite day. We drove up to Waddy Beach area and made a beautiful platter, drank cold drinks, whale watched along the cliff faces and listened to triple J while fishing. A highlight was discovering these amazing natural rock pools to take a dip in! It was the most perfect 25 degree sunny day.

DAY 4

We were planning to head home this day, but the weather and our surroundings were just too good. So we headed to the tip and most northerly part of the island, The Sandy Cape. I’d push for just about everyone to make it this far as it is jaw dropping and not so many cars get up here. There is a huge sand dune(there are too many to count on the island) that is an excellent platform for sunrise and set. We hiked the lighthouse walk which took roughly 1hour return and was totally worth it. The signs at the start suggest to take shoes, we didn’t listen to this very clear advice. Definitely take shoes. There are camping area’s at the cape so we decided to stay here for our last night. We were right on the beach. It was insane to wake up to. We actually caught fish this day so ended up making flathead, chips and salad for dinner- it was so tasty. We saw alot of dingoes this day, they are very intelligent and know exactly when you are making food, they’re just chilling, lurking. I don’t think there is a reason to be scared of them as such but rules need to be followed. Food needs to be in a secure place, and as all of the signs tell you; they’re never to be fed. They’re smart animals and they will find a way to hunt for their own meals. They can’t be relying on humans for food. I saw a fisherman catch something and a dingo just hung around, sat by his bait bucket. They’re switched on. I think just stand your ground and as long as food is kept out of their reach you have nothing to worry about.

Sunset solstace on the Sandy Cape dune

DAY 5

This day it was time to cruise home. So we headed just before lunch after having a walk around the Pinnicles and Eli Creek. This meant a shower at home and sleep in our own bed though, yay. The little things. Do Fraser Island, and go for a minimum of 4 nights, its incredible!

Our view waking on our last morning, paradise…

Growing up remote

Dundee beach, NT.

I remember being in Canada and having people say(Australians mind you) “wow its crazy that you’re from such a small town and you’ve ended up/come all the way here”…… Ummmmmmm. Excuse me Mr. Melbourne’?(I still hear this in Brisbane, sigh). What the heck is that supposed to mean? Is that a compliment? An insult? Just something that people have not thought through before they’ve spoken? Why would me travelling abroad to live in another country be any different than my other Australian/foreign friends from cities/larger areas of the world? It’s kind of mind boggling. I had access to an airport, it wasn’t a 30minute uber away(you poor city slickers), but it was do-able. I had a good job, income(you generally make a better wage remote- der) and DESIRE, DRIVE and a massive WANT to go and live overseas, too. A few things stand out to me here. A massive one(which I’ve probably realized more with age) is:

Interest:

When people say these, sometimes seemingly raw comments; they are generally just interested. I get it. Sometimes we can take these ‘unfiltered’ if you will, things the wrong way but it is really cool that strangers show interest in our lives. It’s cool they care! It’s great having a conversation with someone that is from somewhere you haven’t visited, you want all of the information you can get. I know I do!

Possibly Spitefulness?:

Australian’s are well travelled. But when it comes to our own country I definitely think we could visit/learn/be more educated about certain pockets of our island. I do think where I am from originally(which is Katherine, Northern Territory, 3 hours south of Darwin- I’ve actually had an Aussie ask me where Darwin is located before- wow…) is quite misunderstood. Not many people I know personally have visited- but everyone has an opinion. We all have a voice these days, especially on the internet- (aka me on this blog, lol). Anyway, I often do feel like spite occurs when chatting to people that aren’t from a regional area.

In saying all of this, I am not from the most remote, isolated place in the world. I grew up in a town of 10,000 people. Small for sure. But It had everything you needed to survive. A grocery store, a few schools, a hospital, sporting opportunities(hated sport, catch me anywhere but there). It was a great up bringing- I grew up with three siblings and parents that are still together(rarity). We had so much fun. Spent a lot of time outdoors, swimming in our pool, rivers, going camping and fishing. I have so many great memories growing up in the NT. I feel privileged I was able to experience such a cruisey, low key, simple up bringing. I now see 10 year old kids walking across pedestrian crossings in Brisbane CBD and it looks so, odd. I want to grab their hand and make sure they get to school safe. But hey, it’s all about your upbringing and what you’re used to, right? These kids don’t know any different. Catching the public train to school and dodging corperate suits each morning would be the norm for them. I have no idea what that’d feel like. Just like they wouldn’t know what it’s like going to a high school with 500 kids. They’d think that’s odd.

Isn’t it so funny how much where we are from shapes us? Is it with us forever? I truly think so. No matter how much we move around(like I have), where we were born plays such a massive role in terms of who we are, our morals and values. I wonder if I’ll still be telling people that ask where I’m from that the NT is home in 20 years time? Probably. But then they say home is where the heart is huh, I feel like I’ve had many homes around the world. I’m lucky to have made so many memories in different parts of this country and globe. Katherine, Banff CA, Noosa, Queenstown NZ, Broome, Brisbane. Ah nostalgia. I cant wait to visit my previous ‘homes’ again.

Anyway. I tell everyone I meet to visit the NT. It’s barren, out of the way, unique, sunburnt, underpopulated(winning throughout COVID), wild, rugged, friendly, the wages are great, the sunrises and sunsets are some of the best I’ve ever seen, the lifestyle is a simple one, non-pretentious, you can’t buy booze past 8pm(boo), its always warm, there are waterfalls, millions of bugs, it’s full of wildlife, there are social issues, you can swim with crocodiles in Darwin CBD, you can drive a boat without a license and more likely than not you’ll hit a kangaroo or two driving the massive distances along the Stuart highway. The NT is classic Australia. It’s got to be visited. If you are reading this and are Aussie- go this year. Flights are cheap and it’ll be unlike anywhere else you’ve ever experienced. I promise πŸ™‚

Mataranka hot springs, NT.

Will I ever live there again? Hmmm possibly, possibly not. It’s hard to go home again after living elsewhere for so long. But I LOVE visiting!

Shoutout to my mate TC for giving me inspiration for this blog!

Hope we are all having a wonderful week. x

6 Things I love about Australia

Gods country, right? Aren’t we lucky to have these wide open spaces, breathable air and some of the freshest produce around. A big country with a small population and ALOT to give.

  1. What is a crowded space?

Unless you live in one of our 7 main cities, Sydney being the most populated at just under 6 million(hard to believe) you probably won’t feel claustrophobic all that often. I’d like to think alot of Aussies dont even have neighbors, lol! So much space to roam, camp, frollick and have beaches to yourself. It’s such a free feeling and i hope this doesn’t change anytime soon, We’re such an island.

A map of Australia, with not much surrounding it. Europe can fit into our country comfortably. Source: annamap.com

2. Our beaches

Are like nowhere else… We don’t have many different ‘textured’ beaches like black sand or pebble beaches. But is there anything more perfect than a white sand beach with sand so high in silica that it squeaks? We are pretty lucky. A warm late 20degree day, some fresh fruit, a few beers and LOTS of sunscreen, heaven. And like I mentioned before, it wouldn’t be unheard of to have the beach to yourself. My favourite beaches are Rainbow beach/Double Island(QLD), Fraser Island(QLD) and Cable Beach(WA). All of these beaches never disappoint and are so relaxing so spend a few hours at. Apparently if you visited one Australian beach everyday it would take over 27 years! That’s a lot of exploring to be done. Also notice so much less pollution than beaches i’ve visited O/S, we aren’t perfect though and when we see anything that doesn’t belong on the coast we should always take it with us- hey πŸ˜‰

Stairway to heaven. Sunshine beach, Noosa, Queensland.
Fishing at a beach in Broome, Western Australia.

3. Our coffee

Again I think we create better coffee than anywhere else I’ve been. You’ve probably heard the term ‘coffee snobs’, yep that’s us! So much love, skill and pride is put into barista work here in Australia… aaaand we pay a lot for it! But hey its worth it. An airport almond cappuccino was my absolute priority when I flew in from North America(years ago, tear).

Have had a few coffee’s doing this beautiful national park walk. Talk about the most enjoyable morning workout- ever.

4. The people

Australians are fun. Australians are laid back. Australians don’t mind a cheeky party. Australian love to travel. Tick x4. Is there anything more you’d want out of a person? I really do mean it though, I’d like to think we’re a helpful and friendly bunch. If you were stuck on a highway/needed directions I’d like to think majority of the country would go out of their way to help in some shape or form. I also love that no distance seems too far- maybe not everyone has this outlook but being from the outback a 5 hour road trip for one night is nothing! Count me in.

A photo of my brother on a local river in the Northern Territory. He’s going to love that I put this here. You’re welcome. PSA: this bloke would absolutely pick you up if you had a flat. He’s a good one x

5. Endless summers

The weather I’d say is up there with reasons people move to/stay in Australia. We very rarely cancel plans due to snow storms/hail showers etc. The sun is basically always out(ok this may not be true in all states, but in QLD it sure is) We complain when jeans and a long sleeved shirt are required for a day out, lol! Wouldn’t go swimming at a local beach during the winter when its 25 degrees though, if you did this I’d consider you mentally unstable x

Tallebudgera creek, Gold coast, Queensland… swoooon.

6. Difference in states

Going to a different state is like headed to another country. They are all so unique and individual in a good way! Headed to Kangaroo island, South Australia? Heck no. Most Australians probably haven’t been! But Las Vegas… sure! It really is the case, haha so ridiculous. You really could spend your lifetime travelling this gorgeous, vast continent. Just ask any retired Australian 60+ or foreigner under 30 :P. We could all put more effort into seeing our backyards, now that we can’t- don’t we all want to?!

An enjoyable read, sunshine and rock pools. Sunshine coast, Queensland.

Australia is bloody beautiful though and if you haven’t been you need to! Our borders will be open all in good time, and when they are- we cant wait to have you!