Saturday, August 3, 2013

Our first view of Fraser Island

Fraser Island is also part of the Great Sandy National Park and it doesn’t take too much indecision to work out how it got its name (the national park also extends to the main land around Rainbow Beach to the south of Inskip Point where another barge also travels from).  Four wheel drive vehicles are required on the island to drive both the tracks and the beach highway.  Caravans are not recommended (although we did see a couple of outback types) but camper trailers and boats are reasonably popular.  We arrived at Fraser Island at Wanggoolba which is on the west of the island and followed the track to the eastern side to our accommodation at Eurong Beach Resort.   We soon realised why four wheel drive vehicles were necessary, and we were pleased we had already deflated the tyres.  The drive across the island takes about half an hour and is a sandy track through the rain forest – it is just beautiful and a great introduction to the variety of the landscapes on the island.  
Although it is possible to stop off at Central Station (a very popular camping spot and day area) or take side roads to various lakes and Kingfisher Bay (which is another barge landing area and resort) we continued direct across the island to Eurong Beach Resort.  We had read in a Trip Advisor review that the facilities looked as though they were built by the Soviets.  Well, that was a bit harsh but they were certainly built perhaps in the 1950-60’s so did not have the resort appearance we have all become accustomed too.  However, with showers about and rain forecast we were happy that we weren't erecting the tent.

The staff members at reception were very friendly and welcoming and we were soon in our room – a reasonable size room with full kitchen facilities, obviously bathroom and sliding doors on to the deck overlooking the pool area, reception with the coast in the distance.  Yes, it could be considered a bit tired and not modern but was beautifully clean so what more could we really ask for.  One big advantage – the room was a reasonable size so out came the tent and although not erected in our room (that would have surprised the hotel staff) we were able to spread it out and complete the drying process.

As well as the resort, Eurong is the village area for the island.  There is a general store with fuel, bakery (with very nice offerings and at reasonable costs) and pizza shop.  All of these outlets were owned by the resort but as there were limited other shops were very popular.  After a bite for lunch we decided that we needed to drive on the beach – after all isn’t that what most people come to Fraser Island for?  The recommendations are that the beach highway is driveable two hours either side of low tide.  We collected a summary of the tide conditions and after a quick check realised that we were within the two hours of high tide and not the best time to drive on the beach.  However, we had time for our first adventure so down the beach we went hoping that we would make it to Dilli Village and then be able to take the inland road back to Eurong.  However about five kilometres down the beach we decided that we didn’t want to take any risks, and with few other vehicles on the beach, it would be better to turn around and get ourselves away from the incoming tide.