Raining all the way from Tannum Sands, we pulled into a soggy caravan park near the town centre of an industrial looking Bundaberg. We were over it after a long day driving (from Moura) and finally pulling in was a welcome reprieve. Although it became a mexican takeaway night with an Esther ready for bed and no real time to prepare food. Sometimes it feels like a mad rush and with Esther sleeping in the kitchen (well the caravan, it’s all one room) its not a viable option to feed her, put her to bed, then cook our own dinner. We only spent one night in Bundaberg, a visit to church the next morning where I was made to feel so welcome and spoiled by experienced mothers who had cool trinkets for Esther to play with, (what I did bring didn’t seem to keep her entertained). Lunch in the van outside church and off again.
With recommendations to visit Fraser Island we headed to Hervey Bay. Close to our budget limit and lovers of the Barefoot Investor, we had put some money in a “Smile” account before we left (although our whole trip warrants usage of the smile account) which we had used for things that didn’t quite fit in our budget. We found a package deal for 3 nights accommodation including breakfast, taking us and our car over on the ferry, which was too good to miss. What better time to use our “Smile” money to celebrate our birthdays so we made the booking.
This place is stunning. The clearest water, whitest sand, but chilly! It is a perched lake, so only filled by rainwater. Where the water changes from clear to blue in the photo it drops off quite deep, Dan and I went over with some snorkel masks to check it out and it was kind of scary as the floor disappeared into a blue abyss (apparently only 8.5 m deep, so visibility must’ve decreased because you couldn’t see the bottom).
SS Maheno Shipwreck (1935):
Sandblows & Lake Boomanjin:
In my mind I was expecting something different, so when we hiked in the heat to see a sand dune I was utterly disappointed ha ha. Lake Boomanjin (the red lake) looked like it had rusty water lapping up on the shore, supposedly discoloured by the tannin from the Tea Trees.
Driving out of the forest back to the beach we found this very still turtle on the track. Not sure if he was dead or alive we pulled over. At first he didn’t move much, but he was a good 100m from a water source. Dan put some gloves on and picked him up, put him in a reusable shopping bag and took him home.. nooo.. took him to the lake we were passing. After thrashing and tearing holes in the bag when Dan released him he seemed very happy to swim off.
Things to see and places to visit on the island are not that far in distance, but seem to take forever 4WDing. The track was boggy sand with roots so unless you want whiplash you needed to take your time going up, down, over and around. Except for driving along the beach, it was difficult to get any speed up.
It was a little overcast when we finally made it to Eli Creek, packed with people enjoying such an awesome spot on the beach and a shallow running creek you could float down. The water was a little cool so Esther didn’t enjoy it as much as anticipated and the weather was cooler as we got there later in the day than planned due to the lack of speed 4WDing in the forest.
Central Station Rainforest:
Add it to your bucket list!