Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Day 3 on Fraser Island

This post starts with a personal indulgence to say how proud and delighted we are that Nicola has got a Graduate position for next year are Royal Children's Hospital.  When she rang this morning, she couldn't stop crying with tears of joy.  That set me off and I think even Russ had a tear of joy too.  
Congratulations to Alysia Calleri (Jess's sister) who got a Grad position at GoulburnValley Health.

On to our day here.  We headed off about 8.30 this morning.  RR and Glenda had a run again at 7 whilst Helen and I had the walk. We start at the same time and finish at the same time, Glenda doing half the walk back with us.  Mad rush after the walk/run to shower, have breakfast, get lunch organised to leave by 8.30.  Times are fairly important to adhere to because of tides and traffic on the inland tracks.  With regard to tides, the higher the tide, the more dry sand you have to travel through.  Tougher to drive in as well as less economy.  Inland travelling is pretty rugged at the best of times, as many of the tracks are two way, but not much room to pass.  Therefore it is important to try not to clash with traffic coming from the mainland, particularly the tourist buses.

Our destinations today were Central Station and Lake Mackenzie.
Central Station was the original saw milling centre.  A small village used to exist for the workers. The trees are so straight and tall, all trying to outgrow each other for the sunlight. Perfect for timber.  
The  saw milling ended in 1992.  Central Station is located on a creek. It is a most spectacular creek.  The water is so clear and fresh, the water is almost invisible.
The track (well it is the main road and only road) to Central Station, is as rough as guts!  No chiropractic adjustment needed as we have had so much manipulation already!  RM reckons he has never seen such rough tracks. Plenty of "Holy s...." Moments again today.  Not sure why the tracks are so rough, maybe because of so much traffic, inexperienced drivers getting bogged and creating deep ruts or because it is so dry.  Either way, it has been hard work for the drivers. Colin thought he was in trouble on numerous, but he has done very well in pretty torrid conditions.

After Central Station, we travelled on more rough inland roads (oops, I meant tracks) to Lake Mackenzie.  This is a closed lake.  It only fills from rainfall.  There are no aquafires or inflowing rivers to fill it.  As Fraser Island is all sand, it is amazing to swim in this lake.  As you wade in with sand under foot, you expect the first mouthful of water to be salty.  But it is fresh water.  The lake is not quite as pretty as normal because of storm weather that filled it.  A lot of tannin runoff has given it a less blue color.  
Still a great place to swim and have lunch. 
Lunch has to be in the gated enclosure.
 Dingos are a problem on the Island, so lots of areas are fenced.  Our village (and others) actually have electrified cattle grids to keep out the dingos.  There is always a safe path to walk on, but warnings everywhere, not to feed wildlife or leave rubbish about. Plenty of goannas about too.  Despite the problem with dingos, we are yet to see one.  RR has just suggested we should buy a baby doll as bait!

When travelling back to Eurong (which is the hub where inland tracks meet the beach), we came across one of the tourist buses that was bogged.  It had a companion bus traveling with it.  Fortunately for us, we were at a crossroad and we could go straight through, unlike the many others who were banked up behind the buses. With the tours, they must have disclaimers stating some attractions/ferries may be missed due to road conditions etc.  RR suggested some attractions may be missed due to lack of traction!
Back at Eurong, Colin and Glenda said they may stop and take some photos, so not to wait for them.
As it was getting closer to high tide, higher ground was needed along the beach.  Some detours were required to avoid the tide. Colin and Glenda were not so familiar with the beach and didn't know (or see the signage) to take the high road.  They took on the oncoming tide on both occasions.  Freaked a little but did manage to get past the rocks without too much trouble.  Probably a good hosing required under the car!
It was a great day, but we are "all shook up" from the rough roads.  The roast lamb is cooking, red wine is breathing and a good night's sleep is beckoning.
On that note, as the sun rises that damn early, we are all exhausted by 9.00. Last night, Colin was going to watch a DVD but couldn't get it going upstairs.  Had poured a drink, then went downstairs to try the tv there.  No luck, so came back upstairs to find lights out and everybody in bed.  I think it was 9.15!  When we rose this morning, his drink was still sitting there!
There are plenty of young international tourists enjoying this fabulous island, plenty of dedicated fisherman, and plenty of people just like us, just enjoying the environment.

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