Day 21: Fraser Island to Rainbow Beach
I woke up around 6am and started to clean the campsite since I knew my fellow team members would not be fit to drive this morning. Stumpy and I cleared the empty cans and shimmery silver wine bags. He remarked that he chooses not to “poison” his body by drinking. Shortly after, he lit up a cigarette.
The rest of the team eventually emerged from their tents and slumped at the picnic tables over cereal and coffee. Stumpy had woken them up at 6:30, which was way earlier than agreed upon. However, this was intentional to get us packed and ready to enjoy the few hours of rain-free sunshine.
We swept up the campsite and packed all our eternally damp towels into the cars and were off. I drove us along the sandy beach and rugged dirt roads while trying to ease the amount of bumps for my dusty crew. Driving was great and I was able to keep up in Stumpys tracks until we arrived at the trail head of Lake Wabby for a hike in the woods.
The sun was actually shining, so we enjoyed walking along the sandy path under the tall trees while Thijs emerged from his sleepiness and chatted about life back home in the Netherlands.
The freshwater lake was hidden at first, but once we crossed an open desert and looked down from the crest of a dune, we saw the shimmering blue lake. The water was chilly, but refreshing and we all stayed in splashing and pointing out the massive catfish patrolling the bottom. The hungover German joked that he felt like a “drunken stone” and would just sink to the bottom. The sun shined down on us and it felt as if we’d forgotten what that felt like after all the rain.
As if on cue, right when we were supposed to trek back to the cars, rain drops plonked down and hurried us along the path. It was pouring buckets as we drove back along the beach, yet somehow Thijs spotted a dingo on the banks. The other cars had their radio on the wrong channel, so only our group saw.
At one point, Stumpy turned his car in he direction of the sand bank and to our amazement, just rammed the car full-speed up the crest and made it over to the other side of tracks. Anne and Gabby swapped drivers seats and Gabby lined us up for the ascent. We got halfway up and we’re teetering on the top of the embankment as our wheels spun sand in every direction. She reversed and lined up again, practically in the ocean waves to get enough “runway”. She slammed on the gas and we braced for sandy impact. The car erupted in cheers as we climbed up the mound and joined the rest of the waiting cars.
We were a couple hundred meters away from the end of the island when all the cars in front put on their brakes. We were confused until we saw the sandy brown flash of fur farting between the cars and barking. A Fraser Island dingo! It was like a puppy; barking at us, following or cars, and lying in the mud. We got all the photos we wanted and couldn’t even move for a while as the dingo kept chasing the cars.
While waiting for the barge from Fraser Island, we stopped to have lunch and the rain came down. Water dripped from my hands, hair, and every bite felt like I was drinking water. Exhausted and wet, we were all glad to get back to pavement and check back into the hostel for warm showers and much needed laundry.
The rest of the night was spent with our tour friends eating instant noodles, playing with Gabby’s stripper cards, and remembering stories over the past three days together.
May 7, 2018
Accommodation: Pippies Beach House, $23
Breakfast: Toast, Peanut butter, cereal
Lunch: Ham wrap soaked in rain water
Dinner: Instant noodles (with peas and corn because we’re classy)