Fraser Island_Day 3

Saturday 3rd November

We woke up and went straight to the pool! Quite a nice treat, especially as it’s not allowed to swim on the 75 Mile Beach of Fraser as there are very strong currents and sometimes sharks. So a swim was welcome, even if only in a pool!

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Here is the map of what we did that day. We left Eurong and tried to go to Dili Village, we took the sandy path hoping to go to Lake Boomanjin, Lake Benaroon and Lake Birrabeen. Sadly we got stuck really quickly. Turned back. Went again to Eurong. And took the sandy track to Lake Mc Kenzie. We went for a swim and had lunch there, and then headed back to Wanggoolba Creek.

Fraser Map Day 3 - Copy

We drove south, in the direction of Dilli Village again. This time it was low tide, so we had no issues. The beach was as beautiful and mystic as the day before.

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We passed some creeks, but the level of the water was low enough.

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We saw a brown jellyfish on the sand. Hopefully not a dangerous one.

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We got inland and started driving on the soft sand in the direction of Lake Boomanjin, the biggest lake of Fraser Island.

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We saw a funny tree with the bark covered with squiggles, a Scribbly Gum (Eucalyptus racemosa). The distinctive brownish ‘scribbles’ are made by the larvae of the tiny scribbly moth.

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More info here thanks to Robert Ashdown:

http://www.csiro.au/en/Outcomes/Environment/Biodiversity/Scribbly-gums-interpreting-their-scribbles/Scribbly-gum-moth-research.aspx

http://australianmuseum.net.au/Scribbly-Gum-Moth

And a beautiful poem that Robert Ashdown made me discover about it.

Scribbly Gum (Judith Wright, 1955)

The cold spring falls from the stone.
I passed and heard
the mountain, palm and fern
spoken in one strange word.
The gum-tree stands by the spring.
I peeled its splitting bark
and found the written track
of a life I could not read.

 

After a 180-degree turn, we got to a piece of sand where the car couldn’t make it through. My dad tried three times, with a lot of “elan” to go through, but each time it got bogged down and he could only reverse back. See the blue plastic in the sand on the picture? That’s where we had put those plastic things in order to help the car go through that part, but it didn’t work out.

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So we went back to the beach and started driving towards Eurong again. The beach was a bit busier, we could tell it was Saturday!

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We stopped on the way for a quick walk.The ocean was beautiful, even if we could not swim in it!

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There were two guys doing something intriguing.

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We approached and asked one of them. He told us they were “worm pickers.” They each had the head of a ray or some weird fish and something looking like an octopus dragging in the sand 1 meter behind them on a rope. He explained us that the smell of fish was making the worms come to the surface. He told us that with his right hand, he was then putting a shell smelling fish near the surface and waiting for the worm to exit, and then grabbing the worm with his left hand. The worms were pretty long, 30-40 cm each! Then he would sell them to the fishermen for 1.50 dollar each worm. Interesting job! I had never met a worm picker!

A few minutes after we started driving again, we saw an eagle holding a dead mutton bird in his talons, ready to fly away to go eat it somewhere.

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Then we drove from Eurong to Lake Mc Kenzie. This time we didn’t get bogged down! The nature on the side of our drive was pretty beautiful.

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At the Lake, there were some signs about the traditional owners of the land, called this time the Butchulla. The Butchulla and the Badtjala are probably two slightly different spelling for the same tribe. These signs at the lake presented the three laws of the Butchulla people.
1. Whatever is good for the land comes first.
2. If you have plenty, you must share.

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3. Do not take or touch anything that doesn’t belong to you.

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There was another sign warning people to not eat on the beach, or outside of the fenced area dedicated to it, in order to not encourage aggressive behaviours from dingos.  Each time we stopped on the island, we saw several of these signs asking people to be careful with the food they ate.

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This sign was mentioning that once a child died. It was a 9-year old boy on 30 April 2001. He was walking near Waddy Point campground with his 7-year old brother. They had probably been followed by the dingos. He stumbled and got killed. I found that article relating the event.
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-42438/Nine-year-old-boy-killed-dingoes-holiday-island-beach.html

It’s mentioned on Wikipedia that as a result of the incident, 120 dingoes were killed by rangers.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fraser_Island#Dingoes

Since then, no one else was killed, although several people were attacked or bitten, including a 3-year old girl at Hook Point on the southern end of the island, bitten by dingoes 2 years ago on 26 April 2011. http://www.smh.com.au/environment/animals/dingoes-destroyed-after-fraser-attack-20110426-1duel.html

Here is a picture from the sign showing Lake Mc Kenzie  from the sky.

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We walked there and had a swim. The colour of the lake was quite interesting, a mix of yellow at the start and then bluish afterwards. Quite unusual. Lake Mc Kenzie is one of the 40 perched lakes of Fraser Island. Perched lakes are made from raindrops. The bottom of the lake is made of decaying plant matter which plays the role of a water proof dish holding the rain that otherwise would disappear.

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Then we brought food to the fenced area and had lunch there. There were a few bar-shouldered doves hanging around, whistling “ow-ow, ow-ow”.

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We also saw the wonderful Kookaburra.

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We also had a lot of March flies hanging around. Not nice at all!
After lunch, we drove in direction of the ferry point, to Wanggoolba ferry.

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Soft sand road again, as the rest of the island.

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On the way, there were some interesting plants.

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We got to the barge point and parked the car to the left at first. Unlucky spot, there were tons of sandflies! I had experienced bedbugs bites in Lao. I can definitely confirm sandflies bites are way worse than bedbugs bites. They were incredibly itchy and lasted for three/four weeks afterwards!
We moved the car to a safer spot, lined up and ready to embark once the ferry would be there.

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My dad reinflated the tyres so we could drive again on firm ground once we would disembark on the main land. I went for a walk to a spot where we could see the trees nearby.

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There I saw these beautiful rainbow bee-eaters.

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And also the Lewin’s honeyeater.

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The boat was in sight soon.

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This juvenile Brahminy Kite was flying over.

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There was also an Eastern curlew nearby.

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The boat arrived and the passengers started embarking.

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From the boat, we could see this really tempting river inviting us to go explore it.

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Two cars arrived at the last minute, speeding and getting on the boat quickly, as in a movie.

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The journey back was nice with a beautiful sunset on the sea.

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The cat on board was a real character.

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We got to the mainland, drove to the Caltext station near Fraser Magic, refilled for 153.9 cents per litre for Diesel, quite cheaper than on Fraser, and swapped the 4WD for our normal car. The sunset through the trees was gorgeous.

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On the way back, we stopped in Maryborough at the Federal Hotel and had a great dinner in this local pub atmosphere with a guitar player on stage, although it took ages to get the food. And then we headed back to Brisbane!

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Back from 3 days on Fraser Island, yeah!

And again, thanks to Robert Ashdown for preventing me from calling all birds just “a bird” but helping me with all their names! 🙂


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