Sure enough, we swapped the hire car for a far superior one - the Toyota Landcruiser, the Taleban's vehicle of choice. Equipped with two tents, four sleeping bags and a gas stove that makes your average London kitchen look small we set off on the ferry to Fraser Island.
It's the world's biggest sand island and supports rainforests and over 200 freshwater lakes. The Aussies seem to think it has more sand than the Sahara, but we were a little sceptical. We ragged our vehicle up the white, sandy beaches with the sea on our right and the rainforest on our left - truly beautiful. Swimming was out of the question as the sharks are circling just a few meters off-shore. Nice to watch responsible parenting in action.
We headed inland on the rough tracks to the campsite - all the while dodging signs warning not to feed the dingos. Apparantly they can open food boxes, steal cars and are getting worryingly good at chess. The campsite had a tall, strong fence around it, but even after a gourmet meal and three bottles of wine between us, Tanya's night terrors made for an interesting evening.
Up surprisingly early the next day it was to our utmost joy that the car even Top Gear couldn't destroy broke down on us as we drove out of the campsite. I imagine the Taleban could have fixed it but we couldn't and we had to wait most of the day for a mechanic to come out to the island and get it started (took him about 5 mins). We then made a break-neck dash round the sights we had time to see before trying to beat the tide and get back to the ferry. We made it, but some poor backpackers who helped us push our car were not so lucky and managed to roll their 4x4 twice on the soft sand. They were trying to avoid a dingo - it turns out here you are not insured if you swerve for anything smaller than a cow.
Congratulations to Sophie and Felix in Singapore on the birth of young Barnaby! Good work Sophie! As soon as we get a picture of the young nipper we'll post it.