Our last train ride took us from Miriam Vale to Cooroy. After waiting for about an hour, the Loka bus picked us up. It was not the most comfortable bus ride, lasting about an hour and a half. We dropped off our luggage in our shared room upon arriving at our hostel. We strolled through the shopping street and stopped for a drink. Rainbow Beach lived up to its name, as we were greeted with a beautiful rainbow upon arrival. We enjoyed a delicious meal of chicken and rice for only seven dollars at our hostel.
Half past six, once again, an early start. Our hostel offers free pancakes every day from 7 am to 7:30 am. Well, you have to sacrifice for a free breakfast, right? 😄 We spent the entire morning making new plans. We’re almost done here on the east coast. Our last stops are Noosa, Brisbane, and Byron Bay, and then we’ll end up back in Sydney. We would like to see more nature and both of us love hiking. So, we decided to go to The Red Center: Alice Springs & Uluru.
We picked our accommodation and booked a 3-day tour with overnight stays in tents and lots of hiking. Now we need to keep an eye on flight ticket prices because we haven’t booked those yet. Our heads were full of all the planning, so we decided to walk on the beach. Rainbow Beach is known for its huge sand cliffs, Coloured Sands, with their forty different shades. Beautiful! We passed many 4WD vehicles on the beach. By “chance”, someone stopped and asked if we wanted a lift along the 23-kilometer-long beach. We didn’t hesitate and got in.
Chance (yes, his name), our driver, took us all the way to the southern part: the rocky Double Island Point. Stunning! We wanted to visit the lighthouse at Double Island, but it’s impossible without transportation. Fortunately, our driver was kind enough to take us there as well. We drove through the tropical forest of the Great Sandy National Park and traveled kilometers along the beach.
We climbed up to the lighthouse to enjoy a magnificent view. Along the way, we were lucky to spot some whales! Fantastic. These days are the most enjoyable for us. You don’t plan anything in advance, and suddenly the day takes an unexpected and, most importantly, free turn. We satisfied our hungry stomachs with a meal at our hostel. We had a beer and chatted with other backpackers. Once again, we went to bed early because we were heading to Fraser Island the next day.
At eight o’clock, we were ready at the agreed-upon location. A massive tank picked us up, and we headed toward Inskip Point. This is the northern part, where you also take the ferry to Fraser Island. Inskip Point made the news earlier this week due to a massive sinkhole. A large portion of the beach has collapsed. Rapid currents cause this phenomenon. Fraser Island is the largest sand island in the world. It took millions of years for this landscape to form. What makes it unique is that you find sand there and a large rainforest. It is part of the Great Sandy National Park. The largest population on the island consists of dingoes, wild dogs.
Our driver, Michael, knew a lot about the island. It has a fascinating history related to the Aboriginals and the island’s name. I honestly only half-listened. He lost my attention quickly, and I enjoyed the view more. On the other hand, Ely found it very interesting, and the main points I picked up confirm that. It was high tide, but we still drove for kilometers along the “75 mile Beach” (75 miles long, approximately 121 kilometers) until we reached Lake McKenzie. We spent an hour here. It’s a beautiful freshwater lake, so the water here is crystal clear. When you stand in the water, you can literally see down to your toes; that’s how clear it is! Unfortunately, we weren’t the only ones there, surrounded by about two hundred people. What a downer! We enjoyed the beautiful view and took a walk along the water.
At noon, we had lunch and continued walking through the tropical rainforest along Wanggoolba Creek. We received some information about the fauna and flora. The most interesting feature on the island is the 1,000-year-old Satinay trees. These trees are incredibly thick and tall. They can reach a height of forty meters, and it takes twelve people to embrace them fully. These trees were cut down in the year 1800. Because this type of wood was only found here and could withstand saltwater well, it was used in the construction of the Suez Canal in 1869. Fortunately, we were still able to admire some smaller specimens.
It was time to head back towards the ferry. We chose to do a day trip to Fraser Island. There are many two- and three-day trips available at exorbitant prices. Every trip is a bit of a trade-off. You never know in advance if it’s worth it, and as mentioned before, all the trips are costly. If we wanted to make a three-day trip to Fraser Island, it would cost us around 450 Australian dollars each. In hindsight, a day trip was too short. You spend a long time on the bus, you do and see everything at a fast pace, and you see too little of the island. Choices must be made, unfortunately! As an added disappointment, we couldn’t spot any dingoes either…
We decided to visit Carlo Sand Blow to conclude our day and stay in Rainbow Beach. This short walk through the forest led us to the top of the sand dune. We enjoyed a magnificent view from this 15-hectare dune, which contains many shades of sand. We witnessed a beautiful sunset there. From the top, you could see in all directions, from the ocean to Fraser Island. It was a magical experience! We had one last delicious meal in our hostel and went to bed early again. We packed everything neatly and were ready to leave for our next stop the next day; Noosa.
The following day, we left around seven o’clock in the Loka van. We made a stop at the ‘Tin Can Bay Dolphin Center.’ Here, you could feed dolphins. To be honest, it wasn’t really our thing. Fortunately, the animals live in the wild. They only come here to receive one-eighth of their daily food intake. Dolphins eat a lot of fish.
Another experience added to my list of being around animals! 😀
X Inez & Ely