4. An Australian Island Safari
Fraser Island was my next trip, but I first stopped in Hervey Bay, a little village in a lush forest with trees lining most of the roads. The small community of Hervey Bay supports Fraser Island through tourism.
I would stay at the Colonial Backpackers Resort, which was far out in a semi-forest and had excellent rooms, before going across. The absence of typical hostel structures made it a special location, and the modest wooden huts added to the sense of seclusion in the forest.
Do not Mention the Cane Toads
We heard the notorious cane toads singing in the rain, which made for a fascinating night. A botched bug-killing attempt caused by overzealousness has turned this into a minor humiliation. They imported cane toads from another country because some bugs were damaging crops, and the cane toads determined that eliminating the bugs was insufficient. As a result, they ran amok across substantial portions of Australia, harming their distinctive environment. The cane toad is not the only unpleasant incident involving native life; household cats also regularly kill birds and other native small animals.
We Are off to Fraser Island
The setting was ideal for a four-by-four off-road adventure. I chose Sand Island Safaris since they concentrate on small-group tours. As I said previously, Billy Connolly went to this location. I decided it should be on my list because it appeared tropical. More on those later, as he showed a couple more gems.
With a few clouds drifting by, the weather appeared calmer after clearing up earlier in the day. Unlucky toads that did not survive the night were visible as I strolled around the hostel and along the neighboring roadways. I eventually reached what I thought to be a coastline after traveling a little further. I could see my next location as I looked across the bay at a shadowy figure off in the distance.
Later that morning, I went back to the hostel when I ran into our tour guide. Trevor was a short man with strange facial hair that appeared to have been cut without a mirror. With Minjun, a Korean man, Richard, a Swiss man, and Lisa and Jack, a couple from Newcastle, England, we boarded a ship together and traveled to Fraser Island in our four-by-four vehicle. In addition to our gathering, we noticed that several other off-road vehicles had come to the island.
Due to the rainy weather, we were able to drive wherever on the island. Trevor had told us that this had not been possible in previous weeks. Dingoes were visible on a nearby hill as we landed. How did they get there, and for how long had they been cut off from the mainland?
We followed a nature trail. Trevor assured us that he would drive and wait for us at the other end. We had no idea how long it would be as it meandered alongside a river and through tall trees draped in twisting vines, giving the impression that we were in a real jungle. We were happy to see him again after too many miles to count. As Trevor informed us of the surroundings and the history of this special island, we climbed back onto the four-by-four. Inland, there are lakes, rivers, forests, and enormous dunes that are of the same magnitude as this sandbank. To ensure that we were not alone with dangerous creatures, I sensed hesitation from the nearby guides to go swimming.
After breakfast, we eventually left and went to see the Maheno, a ship that served as both New Zealand's and Australia's joint medical ship during World War 1. It washed ashore on Fraser Island in 1935 because of some extremely strong weather. After some unsuccessful attempts to move it, it was left in place. Despite how decrepit it appeared; it is a well-known monument. We had been warned not to approach too closely because of obvious reasons, but the ship had all but vanished, leaving just a spectral silhouette of rusted metal.
Later the same day, we went for a stroll across some sizable dunes. I had the impression that I was in an alien environment. We also discovered that the sand is constantly moving. The weather would always determine how it developed. We then drove to Indian Head, where the sea was so bright that we saw fish swimming and jumping next to an outcrop of more exposed black rock. Being in such a location with sunshine and clear waters was hard to believe where I was only two days ago in the city.
The following morning, we awoke early and headed to a gorgeously clear lake for a swim. The waters were fascinating because of their size. A sandbank that big could not possibly have formed rivers, I thought. I noticed more exposed black rock as we approached the beach, which he explained to us was solidified plant life rather than a rock. As the waves exposed the cliff faces, the holes created bizarre sculptures.
The Infamous Coconut Incident
Our group had a humorous story. Minjun, a Korean man, had finished drinking from a coconut and considered the rest to be useless. Nothing else, in his opinion, was inside. The more frustrating issue was for him to open a coconut with little more than a small penknife after I explained what was inside. He struggled to move it around to gain entry, but he always came back to the tiny holes. After opening the coconut, it is reasonable to state that his penknife was no longer able to cut anything else.
Lisa, the Newcastle girl, was strolling alongside the rest of us without a worry in the world. An elderly Italian woman was getting her picture taken when Lisa walked in front of her. The woman then began yelling at Lisa in Italian as she tried to move out of the path.
On the day before we left, the temperature had dropped once again. Just a short while later, we boarded the ferry to return to the mainland.
It was a day off and time for washing and other tasks before my next place. When I got to the major town, I finally bought a little radio. I can now enjoy listening to regional radio stations along the coast.
5. Afloat, Under the Milky Way
I boarded the bus once more and rode along the coast to a different small town called Airlie Beach.
A narrow strip of coastline that extends into the Whitsundays and Barrier Reef provides support for the sailing enterprises. This collaboration was comparable to Hervey Bay's with Fraser Island. A group of islands inside the Barrier Reef is known as the Whitsundays. I came here because I had two days of sailing planned.
As I would be sailing in deep waters on a small, if not microscopic boat, this made me feel a little uneasy about trying something like this. However, whether this activity would go ahead fearlessly or not I would still try.
Familiar Faces in Surprising Places
I arrived at the Club Habitat hostel. I passed by James and Jonathan from Byron Bay on the way there. Richard from Switzerland, who was in the same room as me at Hervey Bay, is also present. He had left a couple of days before I did. And that would not be the most bizarre meetings I would have.
A Giant Shark in a Suburban House
After getting off the bus, I wanted to take a stroll, so I went for a walk around. I took a little stroll as the area only has a short road with lots of hostels, eateries, and boat shops. I came across the most bizarre museum ever while exploring the neighborhood. Unbelievably, I discovered a shark museum with a massive shark embalmed inside of someone's home. Photos of the shark with previous captures and the man who captured the monster were plastered all over the walls. These locations become invaluable when sharing tales with other travelers.
I booked my trip with Next Sail after doing some additional exploring and looking at some vacation packages. There were only four of us on board the Clement Webb, so it would be a small and intimate group like Fraser Island.
That evening, my concern about sailing did not lessen because the welcoming staff at a neighboring restaurant did not know our boat crew and none of the other three had arrived. After that, I sat with drinks in my hands and approached two girls with curiosity to check if they were on my team. Sadly, no, because they had already taken their trip. Therefore, we talked, drank, and enjoyed a delicious meal together. They told me about their activities and their enjoyable time. After a while, I started to consider what I would be dealing with tomorrow. If at all.
It is Time to Set Sail
The following morning, I arrived at the docks and wondered if I would even have a boat. I, at last, saw Next Sail. My crew, Justin, a German man with a fantastic American accent, Joanne, and Chloe, two British girls, were there. The tour guides were Jack and Ruby. Jack was a tiny man, so small that I worried he would not have the strength to sail the boat, but there was no need to worry. With his six feet, Justin dwarfed us and made him appear even smaller.
We started sailing in calm waters, but I was worried that the waves might have come from the first storm of the season. Although the boat was a fair size, it still felt like a dingy. Even though the waters were not the best environment for me, this was nonetheless an adventure.
The water was a lovely, calm blue as we sailed through it. As the waves softly rippled back and forth, we sailed farther away from land. I was so calm that I forgot all my anxiety. We had spent a lot of time outside in a picturesque location, lost in our thoughts on the calm waves, so getting somewhere would take a while. Other than the occasional passing whale and an occasional boat, I did not notice much else around us.
In a tiny inlet, we docked and spent the night. Then, after dining below deck, we all went up on top and laid down together while admiring the most amazing sky above us with millions of light bulbs twinkling in the dark sky. We were speechless when we first saw the Milky Way. We were all sitting on a small boat out at sea, off the coast of Australia, at night, gazing out millions of miles and counting billions of stars. This experience is something that I will never forget.
Later, we got together to chat and play cards. Even though the girls have only been here for two weeks, they have already inspired my plans. Chloe told us about her past as we were chatting about ourselves. When she was homeless, she had a narrow escape from death, but her good companion saw her through to better days. I am delighted we got to know one another and have such a fun time. We wanted to stay there all night, but we had to get ready for bed.
We visited Border Island the next day. Chloe and Justin dove while Joanne and I stayed on the boat because she could not dive with a broken arm. Joanne and I thought it would be fun to throw bread at those two, as we watched the fish getting close to them. Seeing the fish up close must have been incredible. We then went to Whitehaven Beach, where the sands were exquisitely white, and the sea was the most vivid shade of cyan I have ever seen. Quartz and silica are ejected from a 200-meter-deep volcanic crater. The girls had some beautiful silver jewelry that had been sand polished. Little sharks swam past us only a few feet away. It made for a heavenly location.
Bucket List: New Entry and Checked Off
I can now say that I have sailed a boat. I navigated rather well, but I could feel a few choppy currents pulling the ship in different directions. Jack remarked that I kept the ship on course, which was remarkable and gave me a strange sense of authority over something that has long had sway over me. The further we traveled from land, the more whales we saw. It is a good thing they did not appear when I was sailing. As night fell, we headed back to another little inlet where we could hear the surrounding ships' loud dancing and shouting of inebriated women. For us, it was an added opportunity to take in the magnificent skies; we could never get tired of doing so.
On the final day, we traveled by boat to Daydream Island to view the Three Mermaids, a gaudy and commercial attraction. We saw whales up close to round off the vacation in style, albeit it was unsettling to be that near to such a beast. We proceeded to a restaurant in Airlie Beach and enjoyed an outstanding English breakfast before bidding everyone goodbye. Since this is a traveler's life, I will miss them terribly. We interact, have wonderful conversations, and then part ways.
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Australia and New Zealand Backpacked
Go on an incredible journey by leaving everything behind and traveling to the opposite side of the globe.
Experience an unforgettable year of work and travel down under.
With history as the main objective, this adventure follows a voyage through Australia and New Zealand. For individuals who desire knowledge before going, this is great. I present a wide range of locations and encounters, including those that are more typical. Why not board the vehicle and go across two magnificent nations?
* Amazing Australian food, culture, and travel resources
* Fantastic opportunity to gain experience about stunning people and unusual native critters
* Working holiday recommendations with budget-friendly travel advice
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