Here’s a fun fact you may have never known – when you push a car out of deep sand, you can actually fall on your face once the car starts moving.
I’m all for women power – ra ra, equality, ra ra – but that doesn’t mean that I don’t believe that there are times men come in handy. Instance number one when it’s nice to have a man around?
When you’re on Fraser Island (on Australia’s East Coast) and your huge 4WD vehicle is mired deep into incredibly soft sand. In this particular case, the two men in our group were the only ones who actually knew how to drive the stick shift 4WD really well and that meant we pushed while the men drove.
All a part of the fun camping out on Fraser Island, the world’s largest sand island. I spent three days and two nights as a part of a backpacker tour of the island. – we cruised down the sandy beach to the various points on the island in our rented 4WD and the tour company provided a cooler with all of the food, tents, and extras that we would need.
Being a sand island though, there’s…umm…sand. The tightly packed beach sand makes driving pretty easy. When we headed inland though, we continually got stuck in the soft sand; if it wasn’t our 4WD wasn’t stuck then someone else’s was and there was only one small road…passing was not an option.
So the nine women (and the men at this point) would jump out and we run ahead, push the other trucks out the sand, and then continue down the road until we got stuck. Then it all happened over again. Wash, rinse, repeat.
That about sums up Fraser Island – you drive around the island taking in the handful of superb natural wonders, camp in the sand, relax away from all civilization, and sleep to the roaring sound of the ocean and those snorers in the group.
As for sites, Lake McKenzie is the top reason to visit in my opinion – the other lakes are ok, the hikes can be unbearably hot and un-shaded, but Lake McKenzie is a fantastically beautiful perched lake with nearly 100 percent pure silica sand. It’s so pure that you can (and we did) massage the sand into oyur skin as an exfoliant.
Do I look younger…or just ridiculous?
Also interesting- the shipwreck of the S.S. Maheno –during low tide the rusty hull perches on the beach forlornly; once the tide comes in though the shipwreck just sits eerily vacant on the beach.
Oh, and two words of warning:
- The dingoes are visible all over the island; we were specifically told that women should not “pop a squat” in the bushes at night because the dingoes might attack if they think you are a child. Heed the warning or you too might find yourself hollering for help with your pants around your ankles, gesturing wildly while you bare all for the dingo. I seriously doubt he was going to attack, but he was a peeping Tom.
- Although there are no cops on the island, don’t drink and drive and just be careful. Just this past April 2009 two backpackers will killed when an underage driver flipped the vehicle.
Fraser was neat and unique, looking back though at all of the options for Queensland activities, if I had it to do over again I would likely opt for Magnetic Island to see the animals instead.