Monday, 12 December 2011

Agnes Water, Rainbow Beach & Fraser Island

Stormy 1770
After a gruelling 10 hour bus journey and very little sleep we arrived in Agnes Water. By way of a change we decided to do some couch surfing here, but this meant we had nowhere to go until 6pm when Nick (the guy who offered us his couch) would be home from work. Agnes Water and The Town of 1770 are most commonly visited for surfing or scooteroo. It is actually the northern most beach along the east coast where you can surf so we decided we'd hire a couple of boards and see what it was like. Firstly, however, we stopped off at tourist information mainly for somewhere to leave our backpacks for the day. The staff there were incredibly friendly offering us a place to leave our stuff free of charge and lots of information. We set off to walk to 1770 not realising it was 6km away and then got caught in a torrential downpour. Thankfully, this guy offered us a lift and took us right up to the viewpoint. I think he thought we were mad wanting to be out in that weather but we knew we were only staying one day so wanted to see as much as possible. As expected we couldn't see that much from the lookout due to the weather but we were still able to gauge that it was a pretty cool looking place. As we started to head down into the town the rain got heavier so we stopped for a hot chocolate. Here we ran into Luke – a local surf instructor who we'd met earlier that morning and he gave us a ride back to Agnes water and let us hire 2 of his boards for just $10 each for the afternoon. Him and his mate even came out in the water with us, and as he knew Nick he let us chill out at his until Nick could pick us up. By the time we got to Nick's we were both exhausted and really struggled to keep awake! We met his house mates and chatted for a while before cooking food. I went in the room to get something and then just passed out by mistake! Next thing I knew it was 5:30 and we needed to get up for our early morning bus! Nightmare

Paul gave us a lift to the bus thankfully as it was raining again... I slept a little on the bus and eventually we arrived at Dingos resort in Rainbow beach at about 12 midday. We checked in and went for a look around. After about 20 minutes the rain picked up again and before we knew it we were soaked. By this time I think its safe to say both Inge and I were sick of the weather and just wanted some sun again! That evening we both crashed out pretty early. I had another early start the next day as I got a free "Dolphin Ferry Cruise" when I'd booked my trip. They picked us up from the hostel at 6:30am and were taken to the boat. After a short trip on the boat we got to the dolphins. I had low expectations I have to admit but really was nothing like how the talked it up. When our boat pulled up there was already about 20 people stood around the water edge where there were 2 dolphins in the bay. We stood around and took a few photos for a while but it wasn't too exciting especially as they'd told us we could swim with them which wasn't true! After a while Alice and I went and got a drink, my first Chai Latte in Oz which was the highlight of the morning!

Rainbow Beach
By the afternoon it was a beautiful, hot sunny day so Inge and I headed to the beach. We walked towards the sand dunes and it soon became clear why it was called “Rainbow beach”. The sand was all different colours, different shades of orange, red, yellow and even black, I have to admit it did look pretty cool. One thing that did look out of place was the speed limit sign on the side of the beach but it wasn't long before several land-rovers were flying past and so it made a bit more sense. We had our briefing for the Fraser Island trip that evening. Altogether there was almost 50 people leaving with Dingo's for the Fraser Island 4WD Tag-along trip the next morning – we were split into cars and out of the 7 other people in my group there was only 1 who I hadn't met already somewhere along the coast. We were given a safety talk and had some paperwork to do and then we had the rest of the evening to get ready.

Lake Mackenzie
Alarms were set for 6:30 in order to get up, have breakfast, pack, check out of the hostel and assemble by the land-rovers by 7:45. We then had to go through all the camping and cooking equipment that was supplied to check we had anything, then after a quick run through how to drive in 4WD we set off. First to Inskip point where we got on the car ferry across to Fraser. We were really lucky with bright blue skies and scorching hot weather which had not been predicted so first we headed to Lake MacKenzie. All the cars met up here and so it was good to get to know people from the other groups. The lake was really nice; clear fresh water made a nice change from the sea and it was so refreshing in the heat. The beach was almost white and there was lots of greenery around making it even more picturesque. From the lake we drove along the beach to the place where we were to set up camp and it was my turn to drive. It was so much fun! I'd been a little apprehensive at first but as soon as I’d driven 100m I loved it! It felt a little odd driving on sand but it was easy to get used to. We pitched our tents, cooked food and chilled out on the beach for the rest of the night.

Champagne Pools
The next morning, the heavens opened! Naturally this did damped a few spirits but we were still determined to have fun. First off we went to Eli Creek where we pretty much all reverted to being children running around in the rain and swimming in the creek. Had it been sunny it would probably not have been as much fun, and maybe a little more chilled. After a while we got back in the car to drive to the next spot. We'd all warmed up and just about dried off when we reached Champagne Pools. For a few minutes it was so difficult to muster the enthusiasm to get back out into the driving rain but we were pleased we did as they looked incredible. You walk a short distance from the car park down to sea level where there are huge rock pools deep enough to jump in to. When the waves break behind the rocks a surge of white bubbly water enters the pools, hence the name! In the afternoon the rain had eased off a little bit - as in it was no longer a torrential downpour – and we went to Indian Head. This is one of the best lookouts on the island to see sharks and dolphins. I didn't see either of those, however I did spot a turtle and a young seal from a distance which was cool. We made one more real stop that day, at the wreck. This was more of a photo stop than anything but the weather had cleared so we stayed a little longer. On the way back to camp, Shane (our “guide” for the trip) pulled in at a spot next to some quicksand. It felt so strange getting in as you felt almost powerless as it was so difficult to move, a good laugh to watch everyone though!

Lake Wabby
That night was a bit of a mad one – lots of goon was drank and far too many shots and the next morning the majority of the camp were suffering. Exactly what you want when you've a 40 minute walk to Lake Wabby ahead of you. Inge and I were desperate to jump in the water as it was one of the hottest days I've encountered and you can't swim in the sea surrounding Fraser because of the sharks so we walked as quick as we could. The lake was so refreshing, much deeper much sooner than Lake Mackenzie but a little smaller. The walking path we had taken brought us down to one end of the lake through the trees, but when the others arrived, several of them had chosen the route via the sand dunes. After swimming for a while a few of us went to check it out. It was amazing - never before had I seen such a vast amount of sand and nothing else. After a few hours at the lake we walked back and then after lunch it was time to leave Fraser.

Back at Rainbow we cleaned out our cars and gave back our camping stuff. We were so lucky to have such a good group of people and none of us really seemed to want to leave Fraser. That night was actually Shane's birthday so we met up in the bar at Dingo's for a few drinks minus the goon! It was a really cool night and nice way to say bye to everyone before we caught the bus to Noosa the next morning.

1 comment:

  1. 4x4...I wanna play! Quality group shot, must have been hell trying to get it!