Noosa and Beyond

 

In some respects, it is an advantage to know something of your intended destination, when heading off on a holiday. In our case, we had visited Noosa before, but I must add, never after dark.

We had driven up to Brisbane airport in the afternoon, to rendezvous with our old pals Linda and Alan Archer, who arrived from Wellington N.Z. just before dusk. Fortunately Linda had her mobile and managed to contact the night security at Club Noosa as we approached our destination. With Linda on her mobile and yours truly behind the wheel, we somehow managed to navigate our way around a dozen traffic islands to finally arrived around 8-30 p.m., to see the security guard standing on the curbside waving us in!

The following morning 21stMay 2,002 we awoke to sunshine and 31 degrees Celsius. I have attached a few photos’ starting with Carol and Linda getting into the holiday mood on the roof garden just above our apartment.

Carol & Linda at Club Noosa

Carol and Linda at Club Noosa

Noosa is a very popular holiday destination. We took full advantage of the situation. Swimming, snorkeling, walking, fishing and enjoying the excellent restaurants both in Noosa and on the river frontage in Noosaville.

After three days, with the weather-continuing fine, we decided to try somewhere different.

Fraser Island is one of those special places, which given the opportunity, one should definitely visit. Originally named Great Sandy Island, it received its present name from an event, which happened on May 22nd 1836, when the Stirling Castle was returning from Sydney to London via Singapore and struck a reef. The Captains party and crew took a pinnace and long boat and headed south. According to one of several accounts, Captain Frasers party including his wife Eliza, landed on the island, where Captain Fraser was speared to death by local aboriginal natives, whilst Eliza and other crew members were taken alive and forced to work. Eliza was eventually rescued through the assistance of a runaway convict named John Graham, who was living with the local natives. Graham was given official credit and received a pardon for her rescue.

Fraser Island is the largest sand island in the world, being 123 Kilometres long and covering 184 hectares. In some places the sand is at a depth of 600 metres below sea level, rising to 250 metres above it! And on a time scale, has existed as far back as (1.8 million years.)

One very interesting feature on Fraser Island is the large number of crystal clear, fresh water lakes. Known as (perched lakes,) this refers to their elevation above the water table. It appears the clarity of the water in the lakes results from being filtered through the sand dunes.

Lake Mckenzie Linda & Carol

Linda and Carol taking a swim in Lake McKenzie

Lake McKenzie is said to be one of the seven best places in the world to swim, Linda waving!

Another big attraction is the surf fishing enjoyed by thousands every year. We noticed several families with four wheels drive vehicles camped under the cliffs and close to the fresh water streams, fishing happily knee deep in the surf. (A four-wheel drive vehicle is a must.)

Dingo

Dingo on Fraser Island

Notoriety has been pinned on the Fraser Island Dingo’s after a recent fatality, which led to a culling of these wild dogs. There is little doubt that these animals being as they are, in close proximity to humans, and very much like the European fox, which has resorted to scavenging, can do a great deal of damage to ones camping and fishing equipment if left unguarded. After the recent cull I considered it very lucky to obtain a photo of the only Dingo we saw whilst on the island.

The only practical way to get to Fraser Island from Noosa is to travel by four-wheel drive, although flying is another option .One can hire a driver and four wheel drive vehicle. Or as in our case, travel on a four-wheel drive coach!

Carol & Alan & the Bus

Noosa Coach

Leaving at around 6-30 a.m. and returning at 5-30 p.m. It turned out to be a perfect day .

The coach leaves Noosa, crosses the river by ferry, thereby it is then able to drive onto the beach, known as the highway, as indeed it is.

Lizard Lake McKenzie

Lace Monitor lizard on the beach at Lake McKenzie

With a speed limit of 80 klms. And police speed traps to make sure you stick to it! From the whole trip, which covers 350 Kilometres, 240 of these are along the beach! Sitting in the front seat opposite the driver I had a grandstand view, plus I was in the right seat to ask questions from the driver who, as you would have gathered, was a mine of information. After a pit stop at Rainbow Beach, we left the sand.  Traveling through the bush to Double Island Point, only to hit the beach once again, where we picked up the ferry to transport our coach to the island. We had lunch at the Eurong Beach resort after our swim in the lake.

Heading for the ferry

Heading for the ferry to return to the mainland

On the return journey it was approaching high water, and we were running through the tidal sweeps for a considerable part of the trip. Four wheel drive vehicles are must here and even then, inexperienced drivers bog down regularly. 

After ten days we decided to return to the Gold Coast, as we thought our old pals would enjoy a change of scenery before returning to the land of the long white cloud. Anyway Linda had the shopping bug! You just wouldn't believe how much was crammed into the car when we left Noosa. Linda and Alan were jammed in amongst vast packages, like a couple of bookends! On the way home we visited the Ettamogah Pub.

A & C .ETTAMOGAH PUB!

Arthur & Carol outside the Ettamoghah Pub

Michael Palin also dropped in here whilst on his epic journey (Around the world in eighty days.)

A & C On Stage !

Arthur & Carol on stage at the Ettamogah Pub

Whilst Carol and I played up on the pubs magnificent stage. Linda disappeared, only to return with a large doll. Don’t ask me where we stuffed that! End of story.           

Arthur. E. Bensley

 

 

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