Fraser Island is the world's largest sand island so I was hoping for blue skies and palm trees. But of course when I arrived it was raining, which seems to be the standard for my time here in Australia. Honestly the next time I meet an Aussie who complains to me about the weather in the UK, I'm going to have something to say about it...
Anyway, I was too excited to care about the weather and when I arrived in my room with its double bed, bath and enormous TV, I seriously contemplated just spending two days in bed eating chocolate and watching rubbish daytime TV (ANTM how I miss you.) But I decided it might be a bit tricky to write a travel piece about that, so I probably should explore a bit.
|All of this for me? I'm in heaven.|
|Complete with bath tub. Woohoo! (It's the small things when you're travelling.)|
|Turns out you can actually cook with paperbark. Who knew?|
|So how big is a "small teenager"?|
|Who cares? Looks like it's time to head back anyway.|
I then went to the Seabelle Restaurant and had what is probably one of the best meals of my entire trip.
My starter was paperback smoked duck breast with beetroot, orange and rocket salad and an orange and wattleseed glaze. This was followed by a main course of seared kangaroo loin with pumpkin puree, onion rosella jam, lilly pillies, wilted greens and red wine jus. For dessert I opted for the trio of handcrafted bush tucker ice creams, which perfectly captured the three distinctive bush flavours of wattleseed, rosella and aniseed myrtle. While the rosella was a sweet, fruity ice cream, the wattleseed had a drier, more coffee-like taste and the myrtle provided the faintest flavour of aniseed. After years of eating mostly European seasonings it was so interesting to taste some new flavours and to see how traditional recipes can be given a bush tucker twist. I ate so much they practically had to roll me out of the restaurant afterwards.
|What bridesmaid dress?|
|Dessert as well? Oh, go on then.|
After dinner there was just time to squeeze in a guided night walk, where we saw bats, toads and spiders, as well as one unfortunate frog becoming a snake's evening meal. But for me the highlight was looking up into the sky and seeing the millions of stars unaffected by light pollution. Then it was back to my lovely room, where I settled into bed to watch a film with a cup of tea. Bliss.
The next day was an early start for a tour of the island and after saying a sad goodbye to my double bed, I boarded a 4x4 coach which looked like it belonged on a Jurassic Park film set. We set off along the bumpy terrain and our first stop was Lake Mckenzie, a perfectly clear freshwater lake. The water is supposed to be very good for your skin so I jumped in, hoping to save myself a bit of cash on all the lotions and potions I normally use. It was so nice to be swimming in the sun (which had finally decided to make an appearance) in water which was surrounded by white sand and forest.
Then we headed on to Wanggoolba Creek, where we walked through the tropical rainforest, looking at trees which were hundreds of years old. After lunch we drove along 75-Mile Beach, a long sandy highway, to the Maheno Shipwreck - cue everyone trying to take lots of arty photos of the sea through the rusting hulk of the boat.
|Let the age-defying process begin.|
|Yes, I did take some shots in sepia...|