More Australia Pictures: Fraser Island # 2
We continue our adventure on Fraser Island...
Further up the beach as we traverse north, we find the wreck of the HMAS Maheno. It was being towed to a Japanese scrapyard in 1935 when a typhoon caused her to be dislodged from the boat that was towing her. She ended up washed on the shore of Fraser Island. She originally was a Tasmanian passenger liner.
Craig and the Maheno.
We finally arrived at our destination that the 4x4 company said we couldn't get to--Indian Head. Here are the Champagne Pools looking north from Indian Head.
Len contemplating life: "Do I want to jump off this cliff or not?"
A closer look at the great white infested waters.
The beach parking lot at Indian Head. This was the only place on the Island where we saw this many cars.
The Toyota LandCruiser
After leaving Indian Head and driving down the beach, we made our worst judgment of the day. The rental company told us to check each water for depth, but we had long abandoned the practice just because there was so much water. Craig said something like, "Let's go ahead, I'm sure it's not more than six inches deep." It turns out to be five or six times that in the middle.
Much of the Island's inland trails looked like this: very soft, deep sand. We did not get stuck at all on the trip. This we were told, was unusual. The norm is that even experienced drivers get stuck quite often. We were lucky because it had rained recently and this made the sand much easier to drive in.
In the few places were we weren't driving in soft sand and eucalyptus forests, we drove on dirt trails through scattered patches of rainforest. There wasn't much rainforest, though. This is 900 miles to the south of Cairns and the other rainforest areas on the trip.
Unfortunately, we could only spend half an hour at the coolest place on the island. It was getting late on our second day on Fraser. We had to make the 4pm ferry back to the mainland so we could catch our flight the next morning.
Here is the bird's eye view of Lake Wabby and the sandblow that is slowly encroaching on it.
A view on the sandblow.
That's Len running out ahead. "I must maximize time in paradise while still catching the ferry."
You can see how steeply the sand falls into the lake and how tall the dune is. The lake also gets very deep very fast.
"I have found the garden of Eden," Craig decides. "There's no way I'm going back to Boston." Note that the water isn't green, that's just the water reflecting the vegetation.
Who cares that he was wearing his only pair of long pants on the trip, Len was going to go for a swim.
Craig expedites himself on his way back up to the LandCruiser. We have 75 minutes to take an off road trial that is supposed to take two hours.
We see a large iguana or some sort of lizard on a tree on the way back up to the car.
It's time for speed vacationing. We drive really fast (in fourth gear off road) to get to Lake McKenzie, which we haven't seen yet.
The classic Len pose.
We make the ferry, return the LandCruiser with no damage, and drive halfway to Brisbane, where our flight leaves the following morning. After all that rushing, we almost miss our flight to Sydney because of unexpected traffic during the Brisbane rush hour.