We began our journey from Rainbow Beach toFraser Island bright and early, and what a journey it was. Smoothly, we began to roam across the sand beast, only for trouble to start. The car behind us broke down completely, causing an unexpected pit stop in the middle of the bush. Refusing to start, the passengers had to sit and wait it out for a mechanic whilst the rest of us were shown to our first lake of the island.
Down a little pathway we go and, wow, I’m stopped in my tracks. This is the most stunning lake I have ever seen. McKenzie you are beautiful. Crystal clear, bright blue water at the front faded to a dark night, sky blue in the distance.
After a couple of hours in the sun, we were a) wondering where the broken down group had got to and b) hungry. The waiting and hunger was clearly troubling us and so we created art in the sand to distract us, beginning with a sand BBQ. Sand steaks, sand chicken breasts and sand corn on the cobs, for vegetarians, were on the menu.
In the meantime, an underpass for the BBQ had been built, joined by a mini Stonehenge, a heart, a castle and a fort to protect the BBQ rounded off with a dead fish placed on the grill and voila… we had our very own Salvador Dali.
Eventually we left the lake to set up camp just next to the beach (but obviously still on the sand). I jumped out of the car, leaving my handbag on the seat. I didn’t need it to set up tents. So tents all put up, I returned to reunite with my bag and it had gone! Trouble had reared its ugly head again. Don’t panic, don’t panic. Okay, it’s dark and things have moved, just grab a torch and have a look around.
After looking for what felt like forever, I jumped out of the car again and, “Hello Mr Dingo.” Run! Everyone’s shouting “Dingo” at me. “Why do you think I’m running?!”, I shouted back. Luckily he wasn’t too interested in my lack of food. I shared my bag-missing woes with the group but no one had seen it. Everyone advised to wait till morning for light but where on earth will it be if it’s not in the car?
The next morning I’m the only one on the camp awoken by sunrise – hunt for bag time. Nope, it’s not here. No one has taken it by mistake and dingoes wouldn’t have been bothered about it. So whilst everyone is at the creek, our guide drove me and (trouble again) a guy who had cut his thumb open to the ambulance station. They fixed him up and he fainted. Whilst they’re helping him, I’m using their phone to call the police and cancel my bank cards.
All done and time to try and not worry how I’m going to make it up to Cairns without any money, phone or ID. Solemnly, I get back in the car for the bumpiest journey of my life with (appropriately) Incubus’ ‘Drive’ cranked to full volume.
A very long, bouncy journey across the beach, returned us to camp. After dinner, one of our group was in the tent and had felt something hard underneath it. “Nicky! Quick, come here.” So I ran faster than I ever have before.
“Is this your bag under the tent?” Please don’t joke. Lo and behold she reaches under the tent and there, buried snugly in the sand, is my bag. It had attached itself to a tent bag in the car and someone had pitched a tent on top of it.The irony being that this was the last tent available and the tent I was invited to sleep in. I had been sleeping on my bag the whole time.
Troubles over for now and I began to enjoy the rest of my time on Fraser. Despite the drama and the following weeks of endless sand in my bag, my trip to Fraser was incredible and I would do it all over again given the chance.