10 Aug 2016

Why Fraser Island Will Change Your Life


So, all the way up the East Coast of Australia people always rave about Fraser Island. There actually came a point when I thought "I hope it really is as good as people are making it out to be." And well, it bloody was.
I booked my trip with Peter Pans, Sydney (this is the one excursion they did get right and not at all a company I would recommend to anyone). The trip went from Rainbow Beach at Dingos Hostel. There's very little to do in Rainbow Beach other than eat, drink and leave for Fraser Island. It's basically a tag-a-long tour of 4x4 trucks in which you take it in turns in your group to drive.
This scared the hell out of me. Having only had my license for 1 month prior to leaving the UK I didn't feel confident enough to drive 7 fellow backpackers around an island off-road and across the masses of beach land. Yet I'm SO glad I gave it a try. Turns out I'm an OK driver (I mean we all survived any).
We started the day at 7AM with free pancakes from the hostel (any backpacker knows what an absolute treat this is) and left for our trip at 9AM. We were put in the third out of four cars, and ours definitely looked like the best. There were eight people per car, and in our car there were only four drivers. This made me even more nervous because I was now more of a dependent so that the driving was shared out equally. It's only a short 20 minute drive from Dingos Hostel to the ferry ride and only a 10 minute ferry ride to reach Fraser Island. There's the potential to see dolphins on the trip over too, yet it was too windy for us that day. Just 30 minutes into our beach ride and our car broke down.
We had to hot wire the car and have to stall it in 4th gear in order to stop the car. Yes, it's as dodgy as it sounds.

The people you meet and are with for a short 3 days turn out to be the people you have basically have the same itinerary with up the rest of the coast and they almost become like your little East Coast family.
Camping on an Aboriginal-owned camp site, sharing litres and litres of dirty goon and trusting that if you walk anywhere together you can fight off dingos together. Turns out you only need a goon bag to learn the ins and outs of a person.
No but seriously, you feel as though you've known these people for so much longer than just 3 days. We saw Champagne Pools, Lake McKenzie, Indian Head, Eli Creek, Lake Garawoncara which was a lake filled with tea-tree (yes I bathed in it while everyone else complained it was too cold to get in, and yes my black heads are still there) and a shipwreck. Each of these places we drove to together.
At night time you all cook for one another and sit and have a meal as a family (a very dysfunctional family I might add) would. As people get more and more drunk it's always a great idea to leave the safety of your dingo-free fenced area and head on down to the beach, dingo-stick in hand to see the stars. It sounds sad, but until you've seen the stars from a place where there is 100% no light pollution, you really cannot appreciate their true beauty. I never knew you can actually see the Milky Way from Earth, turns out you can. (Through one eye of course as the goon deterred my focus slightly...). But it was truly incredible.
There will never be an opportunity again in my life where I will be away from social media, phone signal, and electricity and i'm instead completely focused on the views in front of you, the people around you and the genuine experience.

Honestly, it's amazing and I 100% recommend that everyone planning on visiting Australia goes and does it. Don't rent a car and do it yourself to save money, do it with a group of like-minded people who are probably the best people you will ever meet. It's worth every cent.

Just Write About It.
Raven Twigg
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