K’gari Fraser Island: Family, Diversity, Sunshine.
When Ilka and Simon suggested/insisted we visit Fraser Island, they talked it up pretty well. Having just spent a glorious week there, I think it's safe to say, no matter what you say about Fraser Island, it's not enough. The scenery, the diversity of the landscape, the unique and remote beauty, the ever-changing conditions of the roads the weather the environment, it's all incredible.
As luck would have it, we enjoyed a week of spectacular weather sandwiched between two very wet weeks. These are the highlights.
Saturday - depart Elliot Heads (Gray Family) and Sunshine Coast (Oster Family) convene in Hervey Bay. Pack excess luggage into Simon's trailer, supermarket shop and prepare for Sunday morning 9am Ferry to Kingfisher Bay.
Mid Saturday morning the Bruce Hwy is closed at Gympie due to flooding of the Mary River. Oster's cannot get through. Problem.
Oster's will come up Sunday morning instead when flood water subsides and catch 9am ferry.
Plan C water still rising at Gympie.
Oster's will catch 1pm ferry
Plan D water still rising at Gympie.
We will all catch ferry Monday. Sad faces. We need a better plan.
Plan E F G H I J K are discussed, considered, discarded....water still rising at Gympie.
Plan L created 9am Sunday Morning. Implemented 9.30am
Oster's will drive up the beach from Noosa (100km) cross the forest to Rainbow Beach, head north to Inskip and catch the barge from there. Drive another 100km on the beach once on Fraser Island. If all goes to plan they should have ample daylight and beach to make it safely to Orchid Beach.
Plan M as above however it's now 11am
Simon notices the hired trailer needs a new wheel bearing and Simon has to change said wheel bearing. Lucky he is very clever. Ample daylight and drivable beach now in doubt!
4.30pm Gray Family arrive at Orchid beach accommodation feeling glad they had finally arrived as drivable beach was diminishing with the rising tide.
5.30pm Oster Family arrive at Orchid beach feeling relieved they had finally arrived as sunset was in the past and the last few kms waiting for the wave to recede before proceeding hardly counts as drivable beach!
Without access to Simon's trailer we had to 'Tetris' the back of the Prado.
There is no supermarket on Fraser Island, so the shopping list for 180 meals over 6 days had to be thorough and accurate. It felt like preparing for shearing, without the local Edenhope supermarket for back up. No pressure!
The ferry ride over to Kingfisher Bay took about 45 minutes. It was very smooth. We headed through the resort, let the air out of our tyres to about 20psi and began the slow, rugged 20km journey through the forest to the eastern side of K'gari. We then turned the Prado north and drove along the beach for about 60km towards Orchid Beach and our accommodation. The Oster's arrived just after dark and we all agreed that the challenge of getting there, the uncertainty and the close timing, all made a very special trip feel even more epic. We were all together and we were all super grateful that we had made it happen.
Monday: Champagne Pools and a picnic lunch on Orchid beach.
Tuesday: Mackenzie Lake, lunch with a Sand Monitor and a stroll down Eli Creek.
Wednesday: Fishing at Wathumba Bay, finding a Ring Tree, and a campfire
Thursday: A walk up Waddy Point, beach driving, dancing and Dingoes at Ngkala Rocks.
Friday: Ocean Lake, geocaching, poker on the deck, dingo prints and Flathead for dinner thanks to Hugo and Simon.
Fraser Island, K'gari is an unforgettable place. It is part of the Great Sandy National Park and was listed in 1992 as a World Heritage site. It's about 120km long and 22 km wide at its widest point. It's the largest sand island in the world. It has lush rainforest, majestic eucalypt woodlands, mangroves, peat swamps, sand dunes, beaches, creeks, crystal clear alkaline lakes, pure white squeaky sand, exquisite flora and fungi, tidal pools... the list goes on and on. Our time on Butchulla Country at K'gari was nothing short of magical. Thank you K'gari.
Next stop Noosa