MARK/SARAH: So what was the real reason for our visit to Australia?
As part of our RTW trip? To see Shane, George and the rest of the family @ Christmas? For Sarah to re-live her “alcohol-fuelled” east coast journey sober, 35 years later? Or was it something else? Stay tuned and find out more after the break!
In the meantime, we didn’t think we would be blogging again from Australia.
BUT, we’ve just had an amazing day on Fraser Island (southern Queensland) and we both wanted to share what was a superb “post birthday” treat for Mrs Bailey. Rather than the typical format of “prose with pictures”, we have decided to go with a pictorial blog – a few photos, with comments. A bit like the “Jackie” girls magazine from the 1970s – something a good friend of ours (who will remain anonymous) starred in! That’s the subject of another Blog in itself!
Background: A chauffeur driven Hummer picked us up at 0730 from our delightful Colonial Lodge accommodation in Hervey Bay – check out Mark’s Trip Advisor Review (https://www.tripadvisor.com.au/ShowUserReviews-g255404-d1852678-r343261729-Hervey_Bay_Colonial_Lodge-Hervey_Bay_Fraser_Coast_Queensland.html) and after a 40 minute “barge crossing” drove us around the largest island made out of sand in the World. Morning tea with cake, a superb lunch in the middle of a 150 million year old rainforest with a selection of wines and an afternoon finale of champagne, chocolates and strawberries on a beach which was a mere 75 miles in length.
This “Mr T” look-a-like vehicle picked us up and whisked us away
Down with the Captain as we steamed across to Fraser Island some 12 miles away from Hervey Bay
View from the front of the Hummer as we bounced along sand tracks en-route to Mckenzie Lake
MB taking a dip. Lake McKenzie is a perched lake (created by rain water only) sitting on top of compact sand and vegetable matter 330 ft above sea level. It has an area of 150 hectares and is just 16 ft in depth. The beach sand is nearly pure silica, which enabled us to “shine up” our wedding rings as if they were new. Water temperature 28C and air 31C – beautiful
The water looks dirty – but don’t be fooled. It comes from a spring and the filtrated water is 200 years old and some of the purest on the planet! The depth of the creek is about three feet – the light brown you can see is sand. So clear! The forest at the other side has not changed for 150 million years and is the same now as it was then. T Rex city!
A beautiful Yellow Robin to go with my beautiful Blue Wren
On the 75 Mile Beach highway. We saw a Cop pull over a 4WD – the speed limit is 80kph and full Highway laws are enforced – he was breatherlized and later released
A traffic jam – the cars ahead waiting for the waves to go out before heading around the rocks – a bit like Saltburn on a good weather day
We did not spot any Dingos sadly
THANKS TO WIKIPEDIA…
A major landmark on Fraser Island is the shipwreck of the S.S. Maheno. The Maheno was built in Scotland in 1905 as a luxury passenger ship for the trans-Tasman crossing. During the First World War she served as a hospital ship in the English Channel and was then returned to her owners to resume her usual commercial operation….
… by 1935 the ship had been taken out of service and was sold to a ship-breaker in Japan. On 25 June 1935, while being towed to Osaka to be broken up, she was caught in a strong cyclone about 80 kilometres (50 miles) off the coast of Queensland. The towline parted and on 9 July 1935 the Maheno became beached on the east coast of Fraser Island…
… during the Second World War the wreck served as target practice for the RAAF and was used as an explosives demolition target by special forces from the Fraser Commando School. The remains of the ship are now severely rusted, with almost three and a half storeys buried under the sand
On the way back, a small Cessna landed just in front of us, the white Landcruiser (right) took avoiding action
It was a great day! And a fitting way to end our 3,250 car miles / 5 flight trip Down Under.
So, bet you want to know now why we came to Australia!
Well, the answer is we have been assisting the Australian Tourist Commission with their latest promotional video (launched this week on Australia Day.) Despite protracted negotiations over three months, they did in the end decide to go for slightly younger actors and a different voice-over artist! Nevertheless, we think they have captured perfectly the spirit of this wonderful country. Click on the link/video graphic below and see for yourselves:
And so finally we say good bye to Australia. We fly to Christchurch New Zealand tomorrow (Sunday) from Brisbane, where we are currently spending the weekend amongst temperatures close to 39C and amazing cyclonic rain – the light show for which is something to behold. Cheers from the two of us!