Wednesday, 15 July 2009

Sailing the Whitsundays, Roaming Fraser, Boozing in Brisbane, Wave Bashing in Byron


Just got back from an awesome 3 days driving in a 4x4 around Fraser Island. The best fun that I have had in a long while!

Any how back to what I have been up to...

Airlie Beach: The gateway to the Whitsunday Islands. I was walking along the street one morning to go and book a tour and low and behold I saw Matty Rogers walking down the street (an old school mate) what a small world!

I ended up booking a one day tour on board the Maxi Ragamuffin, a old racing yacht. We set sail early on a freezing day without a jumper, Australia is not meant to be cold! It also sucked that that day we were setting off the weather decided not to blow a gale, one a measly breeze! Which meant that we didn't actually get the chance to do that much sailing. Yeah they did haul up the mainsail and the front one (the name escapes me?) but we had to travel for most of it under the motor! None the less it was still an awesome time to be sailing through the Whitsunday Islands. We did also go to Whitehaven Beach, often voted best in the world. The sand is like caster sugar and I am not kidding either, texture and colour!

After another night in Airlie Beach BBQ - ing we decided the next day that, as we did not have that much time left we would mission it to the Town of 1770, a mere 710 km! We did make it in time but arrived after dark, not the best thing to do as there are Roo's on the road and a roo + Car = destruction!

1770 was a nice enough town really small, some excellent views of sandbanks just off the coast and a really nice headland to walk too. Apart from that there was not much else to do, as such we drove to Hervey Bay for Fraser Island.

I ended up booking a 3 day 2 night tour of the island - self drive. Basically they rent the vehicle out for you provide you with all of the equipment that you'd require and you drive around the island with 9 other people in a huge Toyota Land Cruiser. It also turned out that I was turning 22 on the worlds largest sand Island! Not bad Aye! I was also really lucky that the group of people I ended up being with were a right laugh. There were 7 lads all around 20 - 24, all of us seemed to have the same sense of humour which was cool.

After getting up very early one morning for our brief I drove to the hire depot to get the rest of the equipment before heading to the ferry for Fraser Island. Driving on the road was very strange as the car was really front end light, and the brakes were like sponges. As soon as we were on the sand though it was a different story, this beast powered through the deep sand ruts, up some hills i did not think possible. Its also a really really strange thing when you have full right lock but you're going forwards! The views of the island were amazing, huge sand dunes, a 75 mile beach, rocky outcrops, unbelievably clear inland fresh water lakes, beautiful fresh water creeks. Man I need to upload some photos at some point! The evenings were really cold, beer blankets ensued so I [felt] was alright! STARS!, I have never seen so many stars nor the milky way in such splendour before!

When we originally got the cars, we were told that there was a set itinerary that we were to follow. Well lets just say we didn't, we ended up driving all over the island and saw loadsa places that the others didn't. Glad we didn't crash or get stuck as our insurance would have been void! oops.

My birthday was a right laugh, just a bunch of us lads having a few drinks around the camp, as I also had brought my snorkel with me we used that!

When we got back to the mainland it was one of the others guys 22nd birthdays also, so we went out for a 'all you can eat Mexican' and a few beers in one of the local pubs.

The next day Tom n Nicole drove us back to Brisbane to drop off our camper van at which point I split from travel with them to do the last bit on my own. I ended up staying in Base right in the centre of town. I spent only the one real day there walking around South Bank, visiting a few museums along the way. In the evening we all as a group went down to the backpackers bar, before heading out for some nice Italian at one of the local 'art' cafes.

After a 2 hour bus I arrived at Byron Bay at about 10 in the morning and pretty much signed up for a 4 hour surfing lesson that afternoon. It was awesome fun, we drove to Flat Rock which is a beach about 20 mins out of town, which mean that is was quiet compared to the rest. I did after many attempts manage to stand up, oh yeah, get in there! (disclaimer: for about 2 seconds!). Today I have spent the morning shopping for some warm clothes for Sydney writing this monumental blog post and walking out to Cape Byron, Australia's most Easterly (mainland) point!

Anyhow, getting the bus this evening to Sydney before getting the train in the afternoon to meet Tom and Amanda Jansen.

Ciao For now


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