FRASER ISLAND 2014
It had been nearly 5 years since the boys and I headed for a week on Fraser, and I was keen to take the family. Last time, it was winter and we were on a fishing expedition. This time it would be summer, and a family trip, spending our time on the beach and floating down Eli Creek. My anticipation for this trip was off the radar, and after recently doing some upgrades to the Rodeo, I was keen to see how it would go. We had booked a permanent tent at Cathedral's, which is based just north of the Maheno Wreck and pretty central to the main tourist attractions. We were packed and ready for an early start to catch the first barge.
We were first in line at the barge, bit excited I guess! Anyhow, we learned it's not best to be the first... we were one of the last on board! No drama, we got there all the same. First stop off once over was Central Station to have a quick look and do the board walk around Wangoolba Creek. Cal loved all the old logging machinery and both kids found a hollow tree to hide in for a photo. We soon left here and headed for Eurong. The track was a little bumpy but enjoyable. The rainforest either side of the track made us feel somewhere else for the time being. Then we hit the open beach and Shell thought 'Wow!' It was awesome!
We had a perfect run up the island, past the coffee rock areas, past Happy Valley, and on to Eli Creek. I chucked it in 4L as 4H can be gutless in the Deo, followed someone else's tracks and no worries. Being close to here anyhow, we headed to Cathedral's to see if we could check in. Upon arrival, up a pretty challenging little track, we were told we'd need to wait till after lunch. We headed back to the beach, set-up the awning and had lunch overlooking the ocean.
We initially checked in at the wrong part of Cathedral's - a permanent tent that was extremely basic and popular with local wildlife (spiders). Oh well, we'll be right - good experience. Then we realised there was a different section that had our tent set-up. Wow, what a difference. This tent was a double, had bunk beds, a queen bed, a little deck with chairs and was right near an awesome camp kitchen. You ripper! For the first 4 nights we basically had the area to ourselves. The tents are really close to one-another, but only on the last night, a few other families rocked up. The rest of the first day was spent settling in, unpacking and having a couple of drinks.
Pretty excited to see some sights, we headed for the Champagne Falls - of which we had an awesome time, just beating the tourists (they arrived as we left!). Loz kept calling them 'Shampoo Falls'. After a couple of hours here and some morning tea, we headed for Indian Head for lunch. Another top spot that we seemed to get the perfect tide for. As it went down, it created the perfect swimming bay - which we enjoyed for a while.
Eli Creek was another day trip. We got there early to choose an ideal spot to set the awning and gazebo up and enjoy a day of riding down the creek in the tubes. Not sure how many times we drifted down the creek, but every single time was awesome. The kids had a top time mucking around in the knee deep water. We had a couple of days of this. They were the highlight of the trip. From here we stopped at the Maheno and saw planes landing on the beach, which was a bit different.
Camp consisted of teaching Loz how to play UNO and taking a 'Dingo Whacker' to the dunnies as needed. We didn't see any dingoes close-up near the campsite, but they were in the grounds, and others had encountered them. All our food was stored in plastic tubs with lids and cold food/drinks in the camp kitchen fridge. We had take-away for dinner one night and enjoyed an ice-cream from the camp ground store - their prices were quite reasonable for the location.
A bit more exploring around Indian Head found us breaking the awning on the north side. So we ventured to the south side and set-up for lunch. Loz and I climbed the headland from the south, which was quite an expedition. The view was worth it.
A quick 'G'day' to the new guys who arrived on our last night, and we packed, ready for our last day on the island. We left when the tide allowed, and decided on checking out Lake Mackenzie. Just out of Eurong, the track became 2 way. On a tight corner, a bus came hooting around. We stopped to a halt. The bloody bus kept coming, and I could hear beeping. I engaged reverse and (not being able to see through rear windscreen) bumped a car that was right up our clacker. We then proceeded to a parking bay. No damage to mine, slight damage to his. We continued on to Lake Mackenzie. The track in was absolutely shithouse - first, second gear the whole way. When we arrived the lake was wind-blown and without any beach. Quite disappointed. We continued on our way to the barge landing.
We were early. Aired the tyres back up and relaxed. Before we knew it, we were home and unpacked. Car was washed down and we'd had a bloody awesome holiday. Can't wait to go back!