Thursday, 26 January 2017

Bush fire number 2

On our last night on Fraser, we heard there was a bushfire near where we live and that the motorway near our house had been shut. As we got near home, we could see the plume of smoke:

The following day, helicopters were out dropping water on the fire and it was finally extinguished.

While the fire was raging, we spotted a couple of interesting insects around our house including a preying mantis. A ring tailed possum appeared in our garden that evening too.

Fraser Island

Last week, we went on holiday to Fraser Island. We took a ferry from River Heads, near Maryborough, across to Fraser. 

Waiting for the ferry, reading signs about estuarine crocodiles, dingos, and dugongs:

The ferry was brilliant. Andrew had to reverse onto the ferry and then we had 45 min to watch for dolphins and turtles in the Great Sandy Strait. There is another ferry we could have caught, which leaves from Inskip Point. Unfortunately, someone lost their car recently from that ferry when they forgot to put their handbrake on!

When we arrived, Andrew drove us off along the jetty onto Fraser Island. It is a World Heritage Site, like Uluru, and is the world's largest sand island. It was indeed a very sandy place, and I think we brought half a beach load back with us in the car.

We were staying at a resort on the West of the island. There was a beautiful beach along a boardwalk through forest which we went to everyday. You can't swim in the sea around Fraser because of marine stingers, strong currents and sharks but we really enjoyed beach combing in the evenings and finding lots of interesting creatures.



A dingo. We saw about three or four dingos during our stay. There are dingo fences around the resort. The dingos seemed interested in us but were very calm and kept their distance.

On our first proper day, we left the nice flat roads of the resort and headed out on deflated tyres to the sandy tracks. We visited Central Station, in the middle of the island. Loggers lived there in the past, cutting turpentine trees for shipping. 

Then we went on to Lake Birrabeen, where we swam in the clear waters and made a snowman with the pure white sand:

 We crossed to the East of the island, where the beach is a highway with a speed limit of 80 km/h, a bit different from the slow inland tracks:

Sand ball shapes made by Sand Bubbler crabs back at our hotel beach:

When the tide was out in the evenings, Leaden Sand Snails and Pyramid Periwinkles (see below) were out crawling around laying their eggs in sand collars and jelly masses.

A Speckled Seastar, a huge starfish, was out on the sand (see below). We also found a smaller Spiny Seastar waving its tube feet about.

Driving North the following day:

There were a few obstacles to navigate on this route less travelled:

At Lake Garawongera, a very peaceful place:

A cicada next to the wreck of the Maheno:

Floating down the refreshing Eli Creek:

A Soldier Crab. Armies of them were rushing about at low tide:

Lake McKenzie. It is a highlight of Fraser because of the beautiful blue water reflecting the colour of the sky, and the pure white sand:


Bye bye to Fraser Island. A tranquil barge crossing back with pods of dolphins and fish to watch.

Thanks for reading to the end! Your medal will be in the post. Hope you liked the tour of Fraser.