Day 67


Hervey Bay



What We Did:

So many people have told us that Fraser Island is on their Australian bucket list that we had to come up to Hervey Bay to squeeze in a visit to the world’s largest sand island. And if we can get some more air time on a Discovery jumping pillow, speed about in a go-kart and enjoy a beach playground, then all the better! Fraser Island is 1840 square kilometres of coastal dunes, rainforests, pristine beaches and crystal clear lakes. There’s no roads on the island, and the only way to explore the island is with an all wheel drive or boat. Hervey Bay is a lovely town on the mainland, and that’s where we set up in a deluxe Discovery Parks cabin. It’s the school holidays here in Queensland, so there’s lots of kids about and both kids quickly made friends. Unfortunately we didn’t have enough time to take our own Everest onto the beaches, so we were picked up early in the morning by Whalesong Cruises, and taken to their big boat the MV Whalesong. The weather was spitting rain but we’ve learned by now to never judge a day by its weather. Sure enough, as we crossed the shallow channel towards Fraser Island, it started to clear up. The boat was big and comfy and it naturally didn’t take long for the kids to be in the bridge steering the ship (and likely driving the friendly crew crazy!)  It took us a little under an hour to arrive at Coongul Creek on the west coast, away from the popular all wheel drive traffic. We transferred on the dinghy and spent a couple hours of divine beach life. Dad took Raquel and Gali sea kayaking, Stu set Raquel up with a fishing rod and sure enough she quickly pulled in a fish, and was delighted to release it back into the waves. Jaci took Gali for a long dip in the tea-coloured freshwater creek, and Mom soaked up some sun. The island is a UNESCO Heritage Site and although we only got the chance to experience it for one day, it’s pretty obvious why it’s so popular.

What We Ate:

Lunch: A delicious boat BBQ of steak, salads and prawns.

Dinner: Fish n chips and spaghetti Bolognese

Where We Ate:

Lunch: on Whalesong

Dinner: We strolled down Shelly Beach and ended up at the Torquay Hotel Restaurant. Crowded House was playing on the video jukebox. On the way back the kids played in a beachfront playground with a human hamster wheel, burning off some serious energy!

My Favourite Pictures Today

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Where We Slept:

We’re at the Discovery Parks Fraser Coast, in the fine hands of Dave and Georgie and family.  No sooner had we arrived than Raquel and three year old Sage were off to the jumping pillow. Lots of kids about for the holidays and considering the vibe around the 8-acre park, we wish we could stay here longer. Raquel and Dad took the Go Karts for a spin, finally one small enough for Raquel to ride all by herself. We were gifted some lovely local kids books and Aussie souvenirs (platypus keychain!) and the fact that Raquel insisted on giving Sage a big hug at the end of the day kinda says it all.

We Learned:

That tall rainforests can grow in sand.  That Fraser Island has the most pure breed dingoes in Australia, although there’s only around 200 of them left in the wild.  That human interaction with dingoes on the island led to a series of attacks about a decade ago, and many dingoes were culled as a result.  That there used to be wild horses called brumbies on Fraser Island.   That Fraser Island has some of the world’s cleanest lakes, with water filtered by the quartz sand.  That saltwater crocodiles have made their way south to Fraser Island, but aren’t known to stick around.  That a half dozen people were evacuated this summer from Fraser Island after being stung by super venomous jellyfish in the seas.  That jellyfish aside, we need to spend more time on Fraser Island next time!

Reflection of the Day

The Best Part:

Sea kayaking with Dad, and Raquel catching a fish!

The Worst Part:

Dad disappearing to work for four hours when we’re all having so much fun.

We'll Always Remember

  • Name: Dave
  • Favourite Place: Fraser Island
  • I Love Travel Because: of the adventure
  • My Advice for Kids: Have as much fun as you can before you get old
  • Name: Georgina
  • Favourite Place: Italy
  • I Love Travel Because: I find out the unknown
  • My Advice for Kids: Don’t get complacent
  • Name: Stu
  • Favourite Place: Western Australia
  • I Love Travel Because: I get to meet new people
  • My Advice for Kids: Enjoy life more outdoors
  • Name: Ben
  • Favourite Place: Definitely Fraser Island
  • I Love Travel Because: the sights, sounds and emotions are all new when you go to a new place
  • My Advice for Kids: Surprise surprise! Your parents actually know what they’re talking about!
  • Name: Doug
  • Favourite Place: The beach over on Coongul Creek on Fraser Island
  • I Love Travel Because: I get to see different places and meet interesting people
  • My Advice for Kids: Even though you think your parents know nothing, their advice will come in useful one day

  Today's Random Thing

  A Note from Mom and Dad

Maybe Raquel turning five did shift a gear, because we managed the 4-hour drive from Brisbane without a single tantrum, which we think is a first. Gali has a new spell: e-i-e-i bo-bo, which is impossibly cute out of his mouth. Quote from Mom today: When Gali is 7 I’ll be 45! And Dad will be 50, so I guess we’re going to be older parents. Still struggling to get Raquel to accept bed time, even with a new Geronimo Stilton adventure. Gali has picked up how to roll his eyes from his sister, and also dismissed a street band with a nonchalant wave the Queen would be proud of.  His personality is becoming more fierce by the day.  Mom is so proud of the way Raquel stood up to an aggressive boy twice her size at the jumping pillow.   Raquel said she was sticking up for Gali.  Who knew there could be so much drama at the jumping pillow!

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