Friday, April 18, 2014

MaryAnn the Mitsubishi proves her worth

Jules Mooseknuckle had heard from many people in Canada and in Australia that Fraser Island was a MUST DO!  and he was really looking forward to this day trip. For those who don't know here is some background on Fraser Island: a world heritage site, the worlds largest natural sand island, it is 138 x 15 km, over 100 fresh water lakes (yes fresh water not salt), the worlds only PURE dingo population, AND (Todds favourite part) a 75 mile sand highway directly on the golden beach, with speed limits of 80 km / hr.

So we did our research and due dilligence to make sure we had a) a vehicle permit, b) a barge that would take us over really early in the morning and c) the tide tables. The day started at 5:30 am wake up and 6:10 departure for 2 hour drive up to Inskip Point, where we donned the permits, barge pass and lowered the tyre pressure to 18PSI (for those who don't know, this allows better traction in the sand AND the signs everywhere told us we had too!)
Barge unloading, directly onto the sand beach.
The tide tables said that high tide was at 8:17, which was about 10 minutes before we got there, making offloading quite difficult due to high / deep water swells, unloading directly onto the beach, and we only had a Mitsubishi Outlander!( EVERY other vehicle was a high clearance 4x4 EXCEPT us! But we had Donovan at the wheel, so we were not worried!)

See, not worried at all! (until we caught some air, and we later found out MANY people flip their vehicles doing what we were doing.)

We drove directly inland, as the tides were too high for beach driving and followed the tour buses, until the road directed us back to the beach.
At this point, we met up with a family that originated from Vancouver. Jeff, Joyce (gramma) and two boys Zach and Patrick. They queried as to our plan for the day, and Jeff (now living in Aus for 9 years) offered to be our tour guide for the day, because he thought we were in a little over our heads (with only a Mitsubishi Outlander. P.s. Do not tell the car rental company we did this.) With two way walkie talkies, Jeff and family, guided us through inland sand highways, which were filled with deep ruts and challenged our undercarriage clearance the WHOLE time. Jeff gave us great "pin-it" advice along the way. 11 kms later (or 1 hour), through a rainforest, we arrived at Lake McKenzie which was a very popular lake destination (as fresh water lakes are rare in Aus apparently, everyone and not their dog, was there)
a popular destination
The clear turquoise waters were soothing in the hot sun.

It was time to go! A tight schedule to ensure we get back to the ferry by 5 and beat the incoming tide! Next stop was at the shipwreck, 20 kms away back to the beach following our tour guide Jeff.
Rush hour.
We also saw a few dingos on the beach. There are signs everywhere stating don't feed the dingo's, you can't eat on the Lake McKenzie beach due to potential dingo activity AND if you have kids under 14, you have to keep them close by and if you are camping have to camp with kids in a gated campground. They look like dogs to me, but they are wild animals.
The last stop on this tour was at Eli Creek. It didn't look like much from the beach, some trees, some fresh water, whatever. But when we got closer in, there was a boardwalk leading to a lazy river! This was SOOOO awesome!
After completing the lazy river, we got back to MaryAnn for some snacks and realized there were two airplanes (which landed on the beach!) along with too many tour buses!
There were too many people for us, so it was time to leave and head south down the beach highway to the barge. The beach really opened up due to the low tide and 80 km/hr seemed quite slow. We were as surprised that MaryAnn the Mistubishi proved her worth on this expedition. There were many that commented to us "is that a car?".

Just another day in paradise.....


  1. This looks like fun!

  2. Hi Jill and Todd, so excited you got to go to Fraser Island. Craig and I had the tour when we were there and we did the flight over the island. Saw some very large sharks floating around. Also some very large spiders with their webs,seem to be near the walk ways- everything Texas size.
    Very surprised you were able to get around in your vehicle but good on you mate!
    Enjoying your blog-wish I were there,love to you both. Carol