Fraser Island, QLD.

October, 2017.

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.

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Lining up to drive onto the ferry.
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The Ferry.
Thick rainforest within a km of driving off the ferry.

Lake Mackenzie:

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).

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SS Maheno Shipwreck (1935):

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Champagne Pools:

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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.

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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.

Long neck freshwater turtle.

Eli Creek:

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.

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My turn driving on the beach!

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What is that in the distance?
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A cement truck?
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And another truck!!

 

Central Station Rainforest:

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Add it to your bucket list!

Daintree, QLD.

Late September, 2017. The beautiful, beautiful Daintree.

I will reiterate how nice it was to be back in our van after our time in a tent. It was luxurious and Esther was excited to be reunited with some of her toys as well as get her new birthday toy train:

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We enjoyed showering again in our own shower, having air conditioning, our lavish kitchen, block out blinds and minimal unpacking and packing in order to sleep (throw some toys, books and clothes off the bed and off to sleep, as opposed to blowing or re-inflating the air mattress).

We stayed at the Daintree Caravan Park, friendly accommodating staff and the surrounds were lush, birds all through the tree canopies singing every morning, bandicoots and friendly ants that made a nest in the arm of our camp chair, overnight!

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View at the caravan park.
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Our set up. same old.
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Female & Male Australasian Figbird.

We headed back across the ferry to check out the Daintree National Park and also some of the tourist sites. We did a hike through the rainforest and paused for any loud noises to see if it was a Cassowary, but never to see one. The only Cassowary we saw was a statue of one prior to boarding the ferry, that and a million road signs warning of their supposed presence. I’m not sure they even exist, kind of like hoop snakes and drop bears or wild Koala’s as opposed to bred in captivity! We are now in the ACT and I still haven’t seen a Koala in the wild.

One of my favourite things was visiting the Daintree Icecream Co. With a self guided tour of their amazing orchard and only one choice to purchase a 4 flavour sample of their freshest ice-cream, I think ours was coconut, wattleseed, soursop and passionfruit, all from their orchard.

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This is a rather large Jackfruit @ the Daintree Icecream Co.

Sugar Cane fields everywhere and a well advertised chocolate tour of a cocoa plantation, which turned out to be more about sugar cane, to which I was very disappointed, I’ll say no more and just rave about the one we did further south that was excellent in the next blog.

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Juicing a sugar cane.
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Vanilla Bean vine.
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Cacao Tree
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Cacao fruit

Our beautiful child:

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