With so many different experiences and destinations, I just cannot cover it all! Therefore, I am happy to share Stacy’s Australia travel adventure.
Hello! I’m Stacy, from Flights Of Delight, and I am very excited to be guest posting here at Angela Travels! Today, I would like to share my holiday 4x4ing on Fraser Island and sailing the Whitsundays in Australia. In college, I was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to study for a term in Manly, New South Wales (a suburb of Sydney). While I was there, I did some traveling and took a fabulous holiday up the coast to Fraser Island and the Whitsundays.
To start my holiday, I flew from Sydney to Hervey Bay and stayed at a lovely hostel. The hostel was setup with tropical style cabins, pool, community room, and community kitchen right in the heart of town. Once settled, I went to the community room to meet my fellow travelers, where the tour organizers separated us into groups of 8-10 per 4×4 vehicle.
Hervey Bay Hostel
Then, we had a briefing about safe traveling and the best places to see on the island. Afterwards, we got time to socialize with our group mates, decide where we wanted to go, and how we wanted to do our meals for our 3 days and two nights on the island. I was grouped with a wonderful bunch of people who were all backpacking the world, including a guy from London, another couple from London, two girls from Ireland, another guy from Ireland, and a couple from Sweden. We decided to share meals and bring our own beverages. Off to the grocer we went to pick out food and split the bill. The next morning, we checked out our equipment, loaded up, and followed the caravan to the ferry to the island.
Group-mates & 4×4
Fraser Island is the world’s largest sand island at 120 km. (75 mi.) long and 24 km. (15 mi.) wide and is mostly uninhabited. The island is unique and stunningly beautiful. It boasts 100 inland lakes, both fresh and salt water, the only tall rainforest to grow on a sand dune, and great sand blows and cliffs. The island is also home to a great variety of wildlife, including Dingoes.
First, we made our way to Lake MacKenzie, which is crystal clear. We ditched our water supply from the mainland and refilled from the lake. Honestly, it was the best water I’ve ever tasted. I could have stayed forever on the beach there.
But, with so much to see, we made our way to 75 Mile Beach and cruised north until we decided to set up camp on a dune before sundown. It was a great evening of conversation and laughter with my new friends.
75 Mile Beach Sunrise
The next day, we went up Indian Head and looked down into the turquoise water. We were amazed that, even from such a height, the water was clear enough to see sea life, including tortoises and a mother Tigershark with her pups.
Mom Tigershark & Pups
We decided to walk up to the Champagne Pools too. These are shallow rock formations that create a barrier from the rough Pacific Ocean (which you cannot swim in off the island). Waves from the ocean crash over the rocks and bubble, like champagne, in the pools where people can swim. Very fun!
Finally, we headed back down the shoreline to the shipwreck of the Maheno. It wrecked on the shore in 1935 after being disconnected from the ship that was towing it to Osaka to be scrapped in a Monsoon. Three stories of it are buried under the sand, and it is very cool. That night, we camped and we spent the next day enjoying Lake Mackenzie and making our way back to the ferry.
After returning to the hostel to gather all of my things, I grabbed a shuttle to the bus station, where I took an overnight ride to Airlie Beach. The town was another lovely coastal village that featured a gorgeous lagoon. I had a little time to browse an art and craft fair, then it was time to catch my ship. We sailed on a catamaran through sparkling blue waters for a couple of hours before arriving at South Molle Island. This island was also beautiful and dotted with cabins, along with some country club style amenities.
South Molle Island
In the morning, we ate breakfast at the pavilion and enjoyed a pretty sunrise. Rainbow Lorikeets also flocked to us for granola and honey. I even made friends with one as it perched on my arm. Their spectacular colors are amazing.
Afterwards, we boarded the ship and headed to Whitehaven Beach. Whitehaven Beach is accessible only by boat, and features the sugary white sand and crystal clear water for which the Whitsundays are famous. Paradise! There, we simply lounged around, played frisbee, or snorkeled a bit.
For the afternoon, we sailed over to a bit of reef for snorkeling. This was literally a childhood dream come true. Not only had I always wanted to visit Australia, I wanted to see the Great Barrier Reef. In fifth grade, I even won Young Authors for the book I wrote about it. We spent a few hours just kicking around the reef to see the coral and swim among the fishes. Unfortunately, I accidentally bumped my heel into a very small bit of coral. Ouch! It is hard, sharp, and cuts. Coral is painful, especially since it gets stuck in the cut and is a living organism. I made sure I cleaned out the wound as best I could, and once I got back to the mainland the next day, a pharmacist gave me some Betadine (an iodine) to treat it. What a relief!
Back on the mainland, I checked into my hostel. The next morning, I found a book in a little used book store and lounged around the lagoon all day, until it was time to catch my evening flight back to Sydney.
My holiday was amazing! Thank you for letting me share it with you. I hope that you enjoyed reading. If you ever find yourself looking for adventures in Oz, I highly recommend Fraser Island, especially, and the Whitsundays. If you have any questions about my time living in Australia, please leave a comment, or email me at FlightsOfDelight@gmail.com. I would love to hear from you!
Stacy is an insatiably curious, continuously creative, endlessly adventurous, life-loving lady pioneering her path through this crazy-beautiful-wonderful-