A Travellerspoint blog

Hervey Bay

sunny 31 °C
View Round the World in 164 days! on KerryMc's travel map.

6th December

Ok, so there's not going to be much to report today... I felt like it was a day off from everything and intended to make the most of being able to relax! (Shame that I still woke up at 8am!)

I was still resourceful though, did some laundry, wrote some Christmas cards and then headed off to the 'shopping centre' of Hervey Bay... yep, ok so perhaps I was going to have to use my imagination for feeling like I was doing a day shopping on a Saturday.. Suffice to say I quickly got bored. Am most distressed that the locals don't get to experience a Marks and Spencer...!

For the early evening I took a walk down to the marina to check out the yachts! Decided against entering the boat club in my extreme casual summer clothes plus flip flops when it states a dress code on the front door (this never happens in oz!).

Time to pack up again though! My day of rest is short lived, I have two long days of driving to put up with before I reach the Whitsundays... and some madness as a cattle ranch to contend with... oh joy this will be interesting..!

Posted by KerryMc 00:38 Archived in Australia Tagged round_the_world Comments (0)

Fraser Island - day 2

sunny 32 °C
View Round the World in 164 days! on KerryMc's travel map.

5th December

Now this will surprise many people who know me but this morning, I woke up at 3.45am. I wanted to catch a sunrise on the East coast and gathered that this would be the perfect spot, right? WRONG! The only morning I go and choose and the clouds decide that they are going to ruin it! It was really peaceful though waking up in a place where few people were actually residing and sitting listening to the ocean watching the sun start to break through the clouds. That was until the march flies started....

I got chance to have a few more hours sleep and then up to get breakfast and back on the bus. This morning we headed first of all to Lake Wabby. Except, you can't get to Lake Wabby by bus, you have to leave the bus on the beach and walk inland. All going fine for the first 1.5km which is forest but then you have to climb the final 1km over the Hammerstone Sandblow. Memories of a near death experience climbing the Dune de Pila (?!) in Arcachon, France come flooding back and I'm not feeling so great! I make it though, right to the top, in time to go running down the other side and dive into our first freshwater lake encounter - Lake Wabby. I can't tell you how refreshing it was considering the heat of the sun is already baking down and you're lifting about 1kg extra with all the sand that's climbed into your trainers...

Yes, I swam with the turtles and the catfish and it was great! The water is an intense green colour which is odd but still invitable enough! It was good to just sit and relax in the water for about an hour.

After our dip we headed back (thankfully via a forest route, albeit longer in length) to the bus and it was time to get back to Eurong again... days are going so quickly... for some lunch.

This afternoon was the best bit by far! We headed inland once again past the rainforests to Lake McKenzie - another freshwater lake - this time, the scenery is just amazing. White fine silica sand and crystal clear water with a turquoise hue! Beautiful!

Had an encounter with a dingo who suddenly appeared and was loitering less than a metre from my head. He soon trundled off when he realised I hadn't got any food!

It was time to head back to the mainland via the barge and back to my hostel. I was exhausted from my 2 days but well worth paying the bit extra to have someone guide you around and keep you informed as to what you were seeing. I shall sleep well!

Posted by KerryMc 00:27 Archived in Australia Tagged round_the_world Comments (0)

Fraser Island

sunny 31 °C
View Round the World in 164 days! on KerryMc's travel map.

4th December

Ok, so a bit about Fraser Island for those who don't know....

Its the largest island made totally of sand in the World, created by the reef currents that have taken fine sand from the bottom of the ocean north from the Antarctic over thousands of years. It is home to a number of freshwater lakes, rainforests, massive sand dunes and wild dingoes... Oh, and did I mention that it has over 70 miles of beach which also acts as a main road? (So much so, one guy who we had met the day before in Rainbow Beach had been pulled over by Police on the beach and fined for not wearing a seatbelt - a comfy $250.. about 100 pounds!)..
here goes my experience!

I took the (some may say cowardly) option of a guided tour of Fraser Island over the course of 2 days, staying one night in a resort (?!) on the island. Many of the people who were travelling with me were doing self-drives in 4x4 vehicles but there are a couple of things that put me off..

1) You have to go with 8 other people in one vehicles who are probably randomly selected to join you... kinda cramped.
2) Anybody could drive the vehicle so you didn't know what level of experience they had driving in the conditions (think of driving on thick snow and you're pretty much there on the driving in thick sand...)
3) You have to camp and there are no toilets... what?!!!

So, my (sedate) tour company picked me up from my hostel at silly o'clock in the morning and took us to River Heads for a barge crossing over to Fraser. Our tour guide, Alan, has been doing Fraser tours for years so felt confident that I'd get to hear a whole lot of history on the island. What I hadn't counted on was being the only person from England or indeed the UK or any english speaking country (except one Aussie), but hey ho.

The crossing doesn't take long - only about 45 mins - so once we arrived on Fraser we took off to Central Station - the hub for walks around the rainforest. Alan sent us off on a 2.5km trek through the jungle and in my shorts and trainers I was really feeling like I was stepping into David Bellamy mode. "This plant structure is weally amazing"...

The amount of freshwater on this island is fairly staggering, especially when it sits on sand which should naturally absorb it right? Wrong! I was listening to Alan about why it happens but I won't bore you with it here. What you need to know is that I was in Jungle Jane mode and trekking through a rainforest - could I get any further from my usual style of shopping in the Bull Ring??

The rainforest gives way to forest land which contains some real hefty trees, some thousands of years old. One fact I will tell you about is that they have Satinay trees which only grow on Fraser but are so good with dealing with water (and not being destroyed by lots of it) that when the logging industry took over the island in the early 20th century (before it became world heritage site in 1992), they shipped satinay trees off round the world - including to London Docks which are made from that very substance! ....really, how interesting ;)

Ok ok, so then we travelled across to the east coast of the island to check out where we're staying for the night. The Eurong resort is like a motel / hostel style resort so forget your Sandals Beach ideas... But to be fair, they laid on lunches, dinners and breakfasts for us and the room itself was pretty comfy so can't complain (the VB beer from the bar after a long day was even better!).

After lunch we started our trek north on the beach to Eli Creek. This is a freshwater creek which meanders down from the higher land within the island and out to the ocean. Being freshwater and about knee depth (until it reaches the beach), it is famous for people walking through it! I had to oblige and even managed not to fall over by losing my footing in the sand underneath (despite trying to a number of times!).

Noticed a fallen soldier of a 4x4 vehicle that had been in the wars from the day before - rolled on a sand dune and not a pretty sight! So glad I took my sedate option...

From there we continued north up the beach to the wreck of the SS Maheno - an old luxury liner that got stranded here after the Japanese had bought it but tried to sail it Japan without its propellers... yeah, there's more to the story but it gives you the reason why it is now a heap on the sand of Fraser.

Further north we reached Indian Heads (so called by Captain Cook who when he first saw it, saw two Indians - aborigines - looking out from the cliff. We climbed the rocks to get to the lookout and get the chance to see lots of marine wildlife - hammerhead sharks (unfortunately not one to say hello to today), rays, turtles...

After a long old day, we headed back to Eurong for a roast dinner (broccoli, cauliflower and gravy and everything, I was so excited!!!). Went for a drink in the bar with Danielle from Holland and tried to avoid the horrid march flies (about the size of a large moth which bites bad!). All very civilised!

Posted by KerryMc 01:54 Archived in Australia Tagged round_the_world Comments (0)

Noosa... to Rainbow Beach... to Hervey Bay

sunny 31 °C
View Round the World in 164 days! on KerryMc's travel map.

3rd December

Are you getting sick of hearing how hot it is yet???

Another travel day today - starting to rack up some mileage! Just call me Long Distance Kerry like the one from Pigeon Street (look it up on google if you don't remember it!).

We had chance to have a last look around Noosa this morning before jumping back on the OzE bus again - this time with Joel.

Today I'm heading north to Hervey Bay which is one of the gateways to Fraser Island (which I'll tell you more about when I reach there!). I'm heading off to do a 2day, 1night tour of the island but in relative style to most. Its a haven for backpackers who collect together into groups and self drive a 4x4 vehicle around on the sand and then camp overnight but I just wouldn't have anywhere to keep my clinique items cool so decided to do the 'resort' option! I hope its nice!!

We stopped off for a break in Rainbow Beach which was meant to be one of my stopovers. Rainbow Beach is also a gateway to Fraser Island but is very low key - only a small amount of shops so was glad that I had decided to go straight to Hervey Bay. There is an amazing amount of sand dunes in Rainbow Beach though and many of them provide different coloured sands (hence the name of the town) - a bit like the place near The Needles in the Isle of Wight!

Onwards to Hervey Bay, added another 5 and a half hours to the travel log! Its much bigger than Rainbow Beach but very spread out and to be honest, I am not going to venture around it this evening. Another early start tomorrow (why can't these Aussies do anything with a 10am start? How rude!) and need to pack myself an overnight bag... how I don't know!!

What I do know is that I'm yet again in a very friendly hostel with new friends to talk to. I'm sure people must think i'm a nutter - I've also noticed that I'm addicted to (amongst other phrases) the word 'random'... it could be worse!

Posted by KerryMc 03:03 Archived in Australia Tagged round_the_world Comments (0)

Australia Zoo

Oh Steve Irwin - I wish you were still here!

sunny 33 °C
View Round the World in 164 days! on KerryMc's travel map.

2nd December

I've always been a big Steve Irwin fan - no impression of an Aussie is quite the same as the 'strewth, this one really packs a punch'.

The shuttle to the zoo (about 1 and half hours away) came complete with Croc Hunter videos! The man is truly a legend.

As you'll probably see from the pictures, the wildlife on offer is pretty much totally Australian based animals but unlike other zoos, they are given much more space to roam and interact with the environment. Plus, you get a chance for a much more hands on experience. I got to tick another 'must do' off my list and had my picture taken holding a koala! They are just so cute! (Stink a bit though, phew!). You can walk around with the wallabies and kangaroos but all of the animals have "stay away, i'm resting now" areas which are out of bounds for the visitors.

There are wildlife information sessions going on throughout the day and a number of main shows with crocodiles but generally you are left to go and mingle! The zoo workers meander round the zoo with wombats, cockatoos, baby crocodiles, camels... all of whom you can go and hear about! A fairly unique experience and I loved it!

You only get to see a very small section of the parkland that the Irwins own and where they offer breeding, care and development facilities for their wildlife work but you still get a true sense that Steve Irwin's sense of adventure and immense care for animals lives on through this place.

A pretty action packed day which I have loved! Can't believe its nearly time to move on again tomorrow! I managed to catch up on doing some laundry which I was delighted about - I'm sure I'll be very sick of my clothes by the time I arrive home (if they survive that long!!).

Daragh, Juliana, Ina and I all headed out to a mexican restaurant and another early night was on the cards - despite the quiz night on offer in the hostel! I'm such a party animal ;)

Posted by KerryMc 02:49 Archived in Australia Tagged round_the_world Comments (0)

(Entries 36 - 40 of 62) « Page .. 3 4 5 6 7 [8] 9 10 11 12 13 .. »