Our Dropbear adventure to Fraser Island and a brief introduction from our time in Noosa…
After Airlie Beach we spent a couple of days of travelling through the delights of Rockhampton and Bundaberg where precisely nothing happened of note. Jen says that her drinking some ginger beer was a highlight but the jury is out on that one. We eventually made it to Noosa which was one of my favourite places ten years ago and hasn’t changed all that much.
We bumped into Stina and Linus from our Whitsunday trip and had a good catch up over a bottle of wine with views over the beach before arranging dinner the next night at Embassy XO – an Australian Asian restaurant of good report.
Noosa is a lot like Rock, Padstow and the whole North Cornwall scene with lots of second homes, rich families and good restaurants. There is a nice beach for surfing and an awesome headland for walking around. The surfing we missed out on but the walk was beautiful.
Dinner with Linus and Stina was really good, Jen starting off with a lychee martini of course. We had the local set menu and added some starters to create a pretty awesome feast. Highlights included the scallop dumplings served in their shells and the dessert of chocolate dumplings with a raspberry chilli syrup. Om nom nom. It wasn’t just the food that made it a great evening as we had a good time catching up with our Getaway Swedes. A great couple who give new meaning to long distance relationships with Linus living the last two years on and off in Australia. Also, thanks for the lift back in the van!
We were also in Noosa to take off to Fraser Island with Dropbear Adventures for a two night, three day stay on the largest sand-based island…. in the world! With lakes, creeks, heads and goons to look forward to we hopped in our truck at 6.45am full of optimism and fruit smoothies.
A safety video or two couldn’t dampen the spirits and served up such great advice as go slow and steady through soft sand. Within ten minutes of being on the island this was overruled by Jon our guide pumping his fist and shouting “hard and fast through this bit”. With a round of beers on the first driver to get stuck fellow driver and Englishman Ash would have to cough up after going soft and slow and getting comprehensively stuck.
After reaching camp and having a lunch of wraps (these would feature heavily over the three days but with plenty of fillings and condiments to choose from life wasn’t too bad) we rolled out to Lake Wabby which is shrinking by 3m a year meaning it is approximately 30m smaller than when I was last here. It features a pretty steep bank/dune down to the water which gave us an opportunity to rush headlong into its cool green waters. Splash.
We chilled out for a while, swimming about as Jen thought about Crocodile Dundee and that scene where they swim in the lake. No crocs allowed. Dinner that night was bbq steak with plenty of beer and wine and a general getting to know you session with the 24 travellers and the three Dropbear guys.
We had a pretty decent group with everyone getting on and mingling like only travellers can. A good mix of Europeans with only a few English folk which no doubt pleased the others immensely. Australia, Austria, Denmark, Germany, Holland, Italy, Sweden and Switzerland were all represented but thankfully there was no song contest. The UK may well have received the Italian vote though. On second thoughts maybe not.
Our second day of adventures was slightly blighted by the rain but even mild precipitation which swung between, drizzle, spitting, mizzle, light rain and that fine rain that soaks you right through couldn’t dampen our spirits. Aha! We arose early to check out Eli Creek where I punched myself in the face with our “tough” camera that is now broken and left me with a nice cut on my top lip. Tough my arse. The creek itself though was beautiful and we swam, floated and drifted about in it for a few hours before checking out Indian Heads.
It was a pretty decent drive to get up to there and then Champagne Pools so we got to enjoy some DJing from Ash, Dave and Marie who thankfully had over 60 Taylor Swift songs. Oh how we thanked our lucky stars! There was also some 90s garage, some lounge music, dance anthems and a whole lot more as we rocked up the beach scaring birds, dingoes and the more shy members of our group.
Indian Head was pretty sweet with some cracking views over the island and rays and turtles swimming along in the crystal clear waters below. Our camera had pretty much packed up by this point so pictures are a little weak.
Champagne Pools was to follow with natural water pools and crashing waves as a back drop. With a ball and so many Europeans we started to play football and I managed to rip open the bottom of my foot on some barnacles which was awesome! It was really beautiful before all the other tour groups arrived so big props to Jon and the team for getting us there before the hordes descended.
After lunch we returned to Eli Creek again but with rain and crowds we didn’t stay too long as our particular brand of tomfoolery didn’t go down too well with the other groups drifting about. Shame.
The evening was spent consuming all the booze we had left in camp and playing some games including limbo (won by Maria with valiant efforts from Marie, Xanna and Sally), 21s (everybody lost), buffalo (see 21s) and I have never (nobody won but Dave definitely lost). As the evening wound down we swiftly realised it was 1am and sunrise was 4.50am. Sleep time.
The sunrise was well worth getting up for with stunning light and the accompaniment of a family of dingoes. The mum didn’t seem too happy with us as her cubs played around so we left with our tails between our legs.
The last day was a trip to Lake Mackenzie which had risen over 3m due to the rains which gave us less beach to play on but the water was beautiful and we enjoyed a few hours relaxing and making sand sculptures including sand/snowmen, a turtle and a fish. It was top-drawer sculpting.
All that was left was a few more wraps, some long, some tear-filled and some awkward goodbyes and a long drive back through the hinterland to Noosa. It was a beautiful drive punctuated by Ash and Jack’s flirting as they sought to dispel the latent sexual tension that lingered between these two hulking men.
We also saw some pretty kangaroos hopping about as the sun slowly set on the day and on our Fraser Island adventure. It was an awesome time so a huge thank you to Dropbear Adventures for their hard work especially to Jon, Jack and Andre for their efforts in the field.
So goodbye fellow Dropbearians, it was emotional!