Our next stop was Rainbow Beach and Fraser Island. Rainbow Beach is a tired little beach town with a couple hostels, cafes and not much else. We were booked for a couple nights at the hostel running our Tag-Along-Tour on Fraser Island and were so grossed out by the state of the room that we ended up booking at a motel across the street for our return journey.
Rainbow Beach derives it name from the sediment in the sand. I think “rainbow” is stretching it a bit and they could have just called it Sediment Beach. We hiked from the hostel to the start of the rainbow and lurked around the sand dunes there to pass some time.
After a couple days we were ready to get over to Fraser Island for our 4 X 4 adventure. Our tour had 4 vehicles with 8 people per vehicle. Drivers would alternate so that everyone could get a chance behind the wheel. Jess doesn’t drive standard so she elected to be a cheerleader. Our Car 4 Team was easily the best car to be in. We were the last car in the group and enjoyed watching the cars in front of us get stuck and mercilessly hounded them and our guide with radio chatter and bad jokes. Our guide Jimmy did humor us by keeping an eye out for our lost flip-flop. I ended up driving for just over an hour and got to experience some legitimate 4 X 4ing and racing down the beach/highway. I struggled with the shifter on the left but we made it without incident.Our accommodation was a permanent campsite hosted by the mysterious Cinnamon. The tents were tiny and the mats were as thin as tissue paper.
On the bright side we took a lot of sleeping medicine, ('Goon': cheap boxed wine). To keep refuse to a minimum we just took the insert out of the box. Once you are done you can just re-inflate the bladder and have a comfy pillow. Neither of us slept well and at four in the morning some of the other campers were screaming “You eat the horse meat!!!” we think they were French and watched them struggle with the simplest of tasks.
In between the drinking hours and during the driving hours we did visit some inland streams and lakes and spotted some of the local Dingoes. Fraser Island has the largest population of wild Dingoes. No babies were harmed in the making of this vacation.
Eli Creek. AKA: Hangover Creek was a great place to stop. You walk up a short ramp to the start of the creek & jump in for a lazy float to the end. Very cold at first but so refreshing. This water was so clean that we actually filled up our drinking water canteen here.
Lake Wabby: The deepest lake on the island.
Champagne Pools: Another great invigorating dip. The waters are protected by the rocks, but every once in a while a large wave will crash in and stir up the waters causing many bubbles to surround you – like the bubbles of champagne.
One of our truck mates told Jess that I looked like a child because I was all decked out in my sun protective gear even in the water.
Indian Head: We all walked bare foot up to this lookout – the Aussie way.
Overall we recommend a day trip to experience driving on a beach highway. There is no need to stay the night unless you plan on drinking way too much and potentially sleeping with snakes and mice – which yes, did happen in another group’s tent…probably the French.