hervey bay was the next stop on my way down the east coast – i came here to visit fraser island, part of the great sandy national park.
fraser island [G] is the largest sand island in the world, and has no solid base down to 400 meters below sea level. it contains more sand than the sahara desert.
i first heard about it in a documentary which mentioned that it’s one of very few spots on earth with the combination of freshwater lakes and sandy beaches. lake birrabeen, for example, has an especially beautiful beach of white sand, while the water has a blue tint (due to dissolved aluminium).
very much to my surprise, i even found a species of sundew, drosera spatulata, on that very beach (from afar, it looked like stains of blood).
[end of nerdy biologist details]
there are several companies offering single-day to multi-day trips to fraser island. i ended up booking a 1-day-tour with fraser exclusive tours, who keep their passenger lists small (we were no more than 10).
while there was not the typical australian tourguide i had hoped for*, it proved to be a nice tour. there were nice people on board the green all-terrain-bus – including anja & detrik and bea & markus, two newly-wed-couples on their belated honeymoons. they were married on the same weekend, but had to postpone their honeymoon 6 months! -, and due to bushfires in the north of the island, we got to see places that are not usually on that tour.
* our guide was an emigrated german with an odd sense of nature conservation. for example, he blames the environmental protection agency (EPA) for the extinction of animals, which had been imbruted there maybe 100 years ago, saying “they had been part of the ecosystem” and “they had no right to take them away from the island”…
in hervey bay (another likable quiet town), i was staying at the friendly hostel, which was clearly the best youth hostel (or backpacker, as they call them down there) that i’ve encountered on my whole trip.
i prolongated my stay in there for another day to just relax – the first day with constant rain since i had left home.
this was when i realized that i would have been pretty screwed if that had happened more often – i hadn’t even thought about rainy days, and i didn’t have the time to just stay somewhere longer than two days because of bad weather.