Cool Dingo Bus tour for 3 days/2 nights.
Let me start by saying I loved loved loved Fraser Island!
Along with the Whitsundays, this was the other trip I ensured I had booked to do along the East coast before departing for Australia.
I decided to go with this company as they advertised having a base with accommodation in the form of lodges over camping like the other companies advertised. In hindsight I am so glad I chose this option, as even though it was summer, 2 out of the 3 days it constantly rained and everyone was cold, covered in mud and soaked through by the time we ended the first day.
The accommodation was made up of decent sized clean lodges with 4 people to a room. The showers were hot and it was bliss to be clean and go to bed warm at the end of the evening!
At the base site there was a main area consisting of a large seating area where they served the food buffet style and a bar if anyone wanted to stay up and socialise. The hosts also ran a quiz night and entertainment in the evenings which was great. Some people even found time to make use of the swimming pool and hot tubs on site! I really recommend this company to experience the island with!
We also drove around the island in massive truck-bus type vehicles 🙂
TIP – wear your trainers and pack flip flops in your day bag. Carry a waterproof and only wear dark clothes you wouldn’t mind getting ruined slightly on this trip.
TIP – Wild Dingos are present on the island, and will attack if they feel threatened or sense food. It is important if you do come face to face with one that you make yourself appear as big as possible – stand up and never feed them. November falls in their breeding season and the Dingos can get particularly vicious when their young and nearby.
Over the course of the 3 days we visited the following places:
Lake MacKenzie – The jewel of the island, Lake MacKenzie, is a large lake with crystal blue waters and white sand. As it was raining when our group arrived and very cold, everyone ran into the water which was warmer than being out of it! Because of its beauty and popularity, it can get crowded during the middle of the day during peak season. Our nice driver took us back the following day to enjoy properly when the sun came out.
Lake Wabby and Hammerstone Sandblow – This was the highlight at the end of day 2 for me! Lake Wabby is a green coloured lake about 20 minutes from the beach. The lake is directly adjacent to the Hammerstone Sandblow, a large sand dune overlooking Lake Wabby. It actually created Lake Wabby by increasing in size until it cut a creek off, forming Lake Wabby – a barrage lake. It is still increasing in size today! From start to finish, your adventure begins in a section of rainforest and ends at Lake Wabby.
TIP – The trek to Lake Wabby is a good 15 minutes and is quite harsh on the hamstrings – hiking down to and back up the sand dune in the heat can be tiring. This trek is one better suited for the more fit and able bodied. Wear trainers to do this walk, we arrived at lake Wabby around 4pm and the sand was hot hot hot.
Seventy Five Mile Beach – This length of beach stretches along the entire eastern side of the island and is considered the main road of the area. Many of the island’s best sights, such as the Coloured Sands, Eli Creek, and the Maheno Ship Wreck can be seen along the beach. You can see the entire stretch of beach from Indian Head or up close while 4WD driving.
Indian Heads – The rocky outcrop at the northern end of the main beach is great to climb, and then look down into the ocean. If you get lucky you may even get to spy sharks, rays, and turtles.
Eli Creek – This freshwater creek midway along the main beach is where bathers can float down with the current. A boardwalk provides easy access to the top of the creek. It was busy when we arrived here the sun had finally decided to come out and shine! I was laying down and dozed off on the sand when someone came up to me told me to slowly stand up as there was a dingo that had turned up and was sitting watching me very close by. Keep your eyes open people!
Maheno Shipwreck – In 1935, the retired passenger steamer Maheno was being towed to Japan for scrap when a storm forced it ashore. It was used for bombing tests during World War Two, and is now left as a relic on the shores. It was here we were also offered the chance to take a scenic flight of the island if we wanted to. I did and went up with Rebecca, enjoying the pretty views over the island as the pilot gave us a run through of the sights down below.
Champagne Pools – North of Indian Heads, these rock pools provide a safe place to bathe in the ocean—there’s too many sharks around to do so safely otherwise. Their name is derived from the froth created when waves break over the edge and into the pools.
Wanggoolba Creek – In the middle of the rainforest, the Wanggoolba Creek runs crystal clear and is surrounded by rare King Ferns that are said to have existed here for over 2500 years! Unfortunately, due to human destruction, only 60 are left, so visitors can truly appreciate their unique beauty. I was so surprised when I realised there was water here – it looks like sand until you step on it – or more precisely in it! Worth seeing whilst on the island J
I loved Fraser Island and actually preferred this trip over the Whitsundays (ironic since I was convinced I would like the Whitsundays more!), but I really enjoyed the whole trip. It was organised very well, the driver was very informative and fun, we got to see everything and the accommodation was great for the 2 days and clean. I met a girl called Rebecca who was my age and we got on really well, and I stuck with her most of the time. The age range on this trip was between 20-30 so it suited me great and I felt abit more relaxed having other people more my age around. Would highly recommend!
Leaving the beauty of the Whitsunday Island and Airlie Beach behind, I re-joined the greyhound bus for the next stop down the east coast; Hervey bay.
Unfortunately there is not much to do in Hervey bay, it is a pretty coastal town but it is quiet and quite unexciting, however, it owes most of its tourism to being the closest gateway to Fraser Island! A night here is enough before setting off to the sandy island for the next adventure, unless you really do need some recover time after the madness of Airlie beach and the Whitsunday island boat trips, in which case you could stay for 2 nights no problem.
TIP – It is worth noting here that some Fraser island tours offer to ‘pick up’ from Hervey bay and ‘drop off’ in Noosa which is a great idea and what I would highly recommend doing. It will save you coming back to Hervey bay for a night then travelling onward to Noosa the next day, which is what I did when I should have done this. Oh well!
Next stop – Noosa!
– TheSloanRanger x