Sunday, 12 December 2010

Great Keppel Island and Fraser Island

Well time really is flying - I can't believe it's December already. It's really odd being in a hot country at this time of year, seeing Christmas trees and hearing Christmas music in shopping malls doesn't feel remotely festive! I actually feel a bit jealous of all this snow that's been falling over in the UK, though I certainly don't miss feeling cold.
The weather here has been consistently hot, but also persistently rainy - and the weather I mentioned in the last blog post hasn't let up. It's such a shame as the rain really doesn't do justice to the beautiful beaches we have been passing on our way.

For Kev's birthday we caught the ferry out to the stunning Great Keppel Island and spent a night there, where we stayed in a safari style tent. The rain even held off until the evening, giving us a beautiful sunny day on the beach. Unfortunately we discovered a hole in the roof of our tent and we woke up with wet feet (though fortunately the rain wasn't dripping on our heads in the night!)

Whilst camping in the van and waking up early, we've got to know some of the local bird calls: the screaming curlews and the laughing kookaburras. We also saw a pelican on the beach in Yeppoon, which was absolutely enormous. There are funny big birds with curly beaks that look a bit like skeksis from the dark crystal! Once again our interest in ornithology has caught us by surprise! Ha ha.

In a bid to escape the rain we decided to head as far south as possible, as the rain will surely diminish once we leave the tropics. Our next stop was Hervey Bay - and yes, the sun came out! We hired bikes and enjoyed a leisurely 14km cycle ride along the bay, stopping along the way to swim, which we can now do safely and without the threat of the box jellyfish as the water is too cold for them.

From Hervey Bay we went on a two day tour to wild Fraser Island and had a fantastic time. We not only had no rain, but two days of sunshine (according to our guide: something Fraser Island hasn't seen in weeks!)
On arrival we boarded a four wheel drive bus and our guide took us out to see the famous sights that Fraser Island has to offer, including the swimming in the stunning clear turquoise waters of lake Mackenzie and the fizzing 'Champagne Pools', a natural jacuzzi created by the waves crashing over the rocks and bubbling into the rockpools on the shore. We also had great fun leaping off sand dunes and walking through the rainforest, taking in the Moheno shipwreck on 'Seventy Five Mile Beach' and watching the turtles and dolphins from the clifftop lookout at 'Indian Head'.

We enjoyed cocktails on the beach as the sun set and kept our eyes peeled for dingoes but we didn't see one, which was a bit disappointing, but I suppose they're only wild dogs so we didn't miss much really!

The beaches on Fraser Island are absolutely stunning - and the closest we've come to finding any that rival Cornwall's beaches. Look out for photos on the blog soon and see if you agree!

Well it's back on the road for us, next stop Brisbane and the Gold Coast.

Sarah and Kev xx

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