Paul and Pat's Australian Adventure 2004 travel blog

So we've just returned from what proved to be a three-day safari on the world's largest sand island. Fraser island lays just off of the Queensland coast, several hundred kilometers north of Brisbane. We arrived in Hervey Bay, the main access point to FI, on Sunday afternoon, where we had to meet for a 2pm orientation for our trip. We got to the area a bit early and hit up a flea market, we figured we'd mingle with the locals a bit and see what they're all about. It proved to be a worthwhile stop for Pat, who dropped some cash on a wooden cd stand that he has yet to figure out how the frick he's going to get home. We also met a family hawking blue gum table and chair sets, we're both actually interested, they're amazing, and a steep discount from what you would find in some snooty old city shop. The problem is once again, shipping 500lbs of blue gum half-way around the world.

We then arrived for our orientation at Fraser Escape expeditions. 30 Strangers sitting around a bar in a hostel were greeted by a slightly smaller, darker haired version of Steve Irwin, who proceeded to give us an hour-long schtick about what awaited us on the island. We were then broken into three groups of eleven each, with whom we were to spend the next three days driving around in a hollowed out Toyota Land Cruiser. So we made the acquaintance of six Brits, two Americans and an Aussie, all of whom were as in the dark as we were.

The next day we met at the ungodly hour of 6am to undergo our formal safety briefing by Chris. From the beginning Chris was out to put the fear of God in us, of all that can go wrong on Fraser. You have to understand on the 75kilometer long beach island there is about 100 meters of asphalt. The rest is sand. Lots and lots of sand. We learned it would be necessary to drive through one-lane sand paths across the island to the main eastern beach, which is an official state highway and airfield. Yes, highway and airfield all in one big sandy mess. So not only would we have to watch out for ignorant drivers but also random aircraft landing and taking off on the beach. Sweet.

well I'm bushed, so we'll fill you in with pictures and the rest of the story later as well as our Fraser Island camping Top Ten list...

- Paul and Pat

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