The world is bigger than we could ever possibly imagine, and it’s scary to think we will never even scratch the surface in this lifetime. Even if we do travel to the same places, we see the world through different eyes, creating a unique experience. As I dive head first into travel, I am inspired by each of your adventures and am starting Sonderlust Secrets as a series showcasing this. Interested in being featured?I spent a few weeks travelling down Australia’s East Coast, and one of my most unforgettable experiences of the trip was my two night Fraser Island stay.
Fraser Island is the largest sand island in the world, with over 184 000 hectares of stunning landscape. A short ferry ride from the laidback Rainbow Beach and boasting beautiful scenery, freshwater lakes and a feeling of true escape, backpackers shouldn’t miss it if they want to experience a different side of Aussie culture and heritage.
Four wheel self- drive safari
We trundled off the ferry in our huge white Four Wheel Drives. I sat in the front with our guide, Nate, playing DJ while the others bounced around in the back. Smooth white sand bordered with tropical rainforest stretched out in front of me as far as the eye could see as we set off along the beach, passing a few hungry looking dingoes on the way!
We spent two nights sleeping in an authentic Aboriginal camp. Each night we cooked dinner as a group in the outdoor kitchen area, played drinking games and sat around the campfire telling travel tales. Going to the toilet once the sun set was a bit scary – we carried sticks with us and stamped our feet to warn off snakes, although whether this precaution was just Nate making us look stupid I’m not sure.
The campsite even had its own nightclub, a wooden bandstand complete with a disco ball and a place to plug in your iPod! It was called ‘Winkies’ after one of the locals’ pet dingoes!
Our first stop was Lake Wabbi. We climbed up a sand blow and when we got to the top, the lake lay before us, glimmering invitingly. Swimming in the lake was an amazing way to cool off.
After dodging a death adder chilling in the sand, we also swam in Lake Mackenzie to cure our campfire hangovers. My favourite part of the second day was when we walked to the top of a fresh water stream called Eli Creek that spilled out onto the beach and floated down towards the shore. Lying on my back being propelled along leisurely as branches passed by overhead was so relaxing. The water was pure enough to drink – not a way I ever envisioned re-hydrating after a heavy night!
At Indian Head, the most Eastern point of the island, we learned about Fraser’s history. A short climb took us to the top of the cliffs, where the view of the island was fantastic. I got shivers when I heard the story attached to Indian Head. When Fraser Island was discovered by Captain Cook, all the native Aboriginals were marched to the peak and ordered to choose – jump off or be shot.
Just when I thought Fraser Island had no more secrets to reveal, our guide took us to an abandoned shipwreck. We waded out to the rusting vessel and I tried to imagine the boat back in its heyday.
The ‘champagne pools’ are another must-see. Here, the shallow pools hold sea water that foams like bubbly.
Camping and exploring on Fraser Island is an intrepid adventure that anyone visiting Australia should squeeze into their itinerary.
I’m Dannielle, a traveller, Dig ital Marketing career gal and blogger at While I’m Young and Skinny. Just trying to do it all and see the world while I’m still young and (kind of) skinny. My blog is all about prioritising breath-taking experiences above everything else; even if that means living off a tenner so you can have adventures on payday! While I’m Young and Skinny is full of fuel for your wanderlust and thoughts about life as a lost twenty something. Visit the blog, say hello on Facebook and follow me on twitter.