I've been to K'Gari (Fraser Island) four times. The first time we spent weeks cutting vouchers out of the Australian newspaper to win a few days of accommodation at Kingfisher Resort on the Island. We had a wonderful time there with our young son. I remember going on a bus trip to Lake McKenzie and swimming in the pool at the resort.
The next time I went with two other people. We rented a beautiful house for a week at Orchid Beach in the Northern part of the island. We hired a four-wheel drive in Hervey Bay It was a wonderful holiday but I was pretty stressed driving up the beach because I was worried about getting bogged or rolling the car.
I did a three-day trip to the Island for my third visit with a friend visiting Queensland from Darwin. It was very relaxing. We travelled around in a four-wheel drive bus, visiting lots of the main attractions. I remember walking into Lake Wabby and swimming in Lake Mckenzie (Boorangoora) and floating down Eli Creek, which was great fun. We stayed in an accommodation with hot showers and ate in restaurants. It was very civilized.
Dingo - Renee photo
My most recent trip was a few weekends ago. This time I went with friends from my bushwalking club. We spent six days walking and camping, carrying all our food, tents, clothes, water and cooking gear on our backs.
It was a wonderful walk and I really enjoyed it, although it was a lot tougher than my previous visits. It was my longest through walk carrying everything on my back. One of the men on our trip had never done a through walk before. I asked him a few times if he would do more, but he was a bit non-committal.
Over the six days, we walked about 95 kilometres and I saw parts of the Island I had never experienced before. Seven of us left Brisbane in two cars and drove to Hervey Bay. We left the cars at River Heads secure parking and took a bus took down to the jetty where we caught the car ferry to Kingfisher Resort Jetty where we started our walk. The first day we walked 12 kilometres to Lake McKenzie, where we spent our first night in the Dingo-proof walkers campground. The lake was deserted and a few of us had a quick swim as the water was pretty cool.
The next day we walked in pouring rain to Central Station via Basin Lake a distance of about 7.8 kilometres. After putting up our tents and having some lunch, three of us went for another 5 kilometre walk around Wanggoolba Creek and Pile Valley. I remembered walking along the beautiful creek on one of my previous visits. The water is so clear, it looks like sand. This campsite had a large cage to put our gear in to protect it, although I have heard of mice getting in and chewing people's gear in there.
On our third day, we set out early and hiked 15.9 kilometres from Central Station to Lake Boomajin via Lake Benaroon. After cooking and eating our freeze-dried meals, we usually played cards at night before going to bed around 8pm. I took five Strive meals, which were absolutely delicious. These meals are made in Tasmania, where I grew up so I may be biased, but they were much tastier than other lightweight freeze-dried meals I've tried. I bought them at Paddy Pallin in the Valley.
We only saw one dingo, but lots of footprints, especially on the beaches. I missed getting a photo of it but Renee let me use hers. I did meet a couple of women at Lake McKenzie who told me they had been stalked by a dingo and had to call for help from other campers in a remote area. We had been warned to not walk alone and be aware of our surroundings all the time.
It was about this time I started getting blisters between my toes I stupidly hadn't worn my gaiters and friction from sand probably caused the blisters as well as having wet socks. I taped my feet up and put some Hiker's wool around the sore bits, which worked very well in stopping the pain A few weeks later I went on a three day walk on Moreton Island. I walked through a lot of sand on that walk but didn't get any sand in my socks or blisters because I was wearing some cheap Bunnings gaiters over my socks on that trip.
The next day was a big one. We left early and walked from Lake Boomajin to Dilli on the coast then returned to Lake Boomajin. That was around 15.1 kilometres. We then walked 7.7 kilometres from Lake Boomajin to Lake Benaroon where we stayed the night.
There was no dingo fence at this campground, but there were metal boxes to put our food into. We had left our big packs at Lake Boomajin and only carried water and snacks to Dilli. We stopped on the way to climb up to the Wongi Sandblow.
We were pretty tired after our big day. At least our packs were getting lighter as we ate our food On our fifth day, we walked 7.5 kilometres from Lake Benaroon to Central Station via Pile Valley. After lunch, we continued another 11.5 kilometres onto Lake McKenzie to camp in the hiker's camp there again. The lake was crowded with lots of day tourists. We walked way up the beach away from the crowds to have a swim.
On our last night, the pole in my lightweight Tarp tent broke and with the help of fellow walkers I managed to fix it with duct tape. On our final day, we packed up and headed back to Kingfisher to catch the barge back to the mainland. It was an interesting 15 kilometre walk via McKenzie pier and the beach. There was a large turtle shell on the beach and mangrove saplings growing up in driftwood. There were dingo footprints along the beach.
We all had a wonderful hot meal and drinks at Kingfisher Resort. We only had one $2 shower at Central Station on the second night, but lots of swims, so we didn't feel too dirty. There was plenty of drinking water in tanks at the campsites and/or water from the lakes. We did need to treat the water by boiling or using sterilizing tablets.
I need to go back one day and do the sections of the Great Walk, which we didn't do on this trip. It is certainly a beautiful Island with a variety of habitats, ranging from ancient rainforests, open forests, gorgeous freshwater lakes, sand blows, ferns, huge Satinay trees, and long white beaches. I'll just make sure I wear my gaiters next time.