Somerset Times

Fraser Island Camp Report 2017




Somerset Times Edition

Week 9, Term Three, 2017

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Last week a group of 31 happy campers set off to Fraser Island. Accompanied by Mr Goodburn, Mrs Scandrett, Mrs Schneider, Mr Wrigley and our tour operator Keith, we drove the six hours to the ferry terminal, where we caught a glimpse at the pristine waters and white sandy beaches of Fraser Island that are responsible for its World Heritage Listing.

From the ferry terminal, our massive four-wheel drive bus boarded the ferry and onboard, we had our first dingo sighting as well as managing to spot a pod of dolphins. Once on the island, a very bumpy ride took us to our first stop where we went on a short walk to a creek that is sacred to the indigenous aboriginal people of the island. It was called, "Wanggoolba Creek" which translates to "Invisible Creek" because the water is so clear it appears as though there is no water at all. We made our way back to set up camp at Central Station and cook up dinner before a good night’s rest.

The next morning was a freezing but refreshing start to a busy day. We packed up our tents and bags and hopped back on the bus on our way to the Pile Valley Rainforest. With music playing and people singing along, even the teachers were dancing. After a 45-minute walk surrounded by the towering Satinay Trees that seemed to defy gravity, we really began to realise the rarity and beauty of this tropical rainforest that exists on the largest sand island in the world. A short bus ride and then walk to Lake McKenzie revealed a huge bright blue expanse of freshwater, bordered by soft white sand.

After swimming there for hours, we had lunch and then made our way to Eli Creek where the current drifted us down the stream. We stayed there playing cricket and soccer until the pink sunset faded.

Our last full day of being on Fraser began with an early start for those who chose to wake up at 5.30am and make their way down to the hill by the beach for the sunrise. On the drive to Lake Wabby we made a stop at the Shipwreck of the SS Maheno; an ocean liner that was washed ashore by a cyclone in 1935. We took many pictures with the disintegrating frame of the ship that once carried up to 500 passengers, before continuing on to the starting point of the hike.

It was quite a long and difficult walk up sandy paths to Lake Wabby but it was all worth it for the beautiful view of the desert-like sand dunes leading down to the lake. We spent the rest of the morning cooling off and enjoying the sunshine. After the walk back, we were headed to Champagne pools where waves would crash over the rocks splashing everyone in the pools that were created by the circular rock formation. Another short drive and then a walk led us to Indian Head, one of the anchor points that helped the island to naturally form. The vantage point gave us a view of the ocean as well as the surrounding bushland and we saw numerous turtles swimming in the waves as well as some sharks.

We packed up early the next day and began our long journey back to Mudgeeraba, but not before we sighted another three dingoes while driving along on the beach. One was even snacking on a dead turtle that had washed up. They ran alongside the bus for a while before eventually heading their own way. On the trip, back across on the ferry there was a lot less excitement than the first trip as we were all wishing we could stay on this picturesque island a bit longer. However, we weren’t quite on our way home yet as the bus got stuck in the sand. The engine would be revving but the wheels kept spinning, sending sand flying in all directions. Eventually after everyone got out of the bus to help push, it was free and we were back on track to home, marking an end to an awesome trip that brought us so much closer together as a group and gave us some memories that we will always look back on and smile.


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