I finished up my final week of classes on Friday and now I’m on my week-long study break (aka SWOTVAC) before exams start this Saturday. Throughout the last couple weeks, I was pretty busy with schoolwork since I don’t have exams for most of my classes. In lieu of these exams I had a few large papers and one take-home exam, which were all handed in last Friday. So essentially, since Friday, I’ve been pretty relaxed and can’t complain about school at all!
Since I now only have one exam to worry about before the end of the semester, I decided to have a little fun during my study week. A few friends and I headed out to Fraser Island, four hours north of Brissie, to go camping and four wheel driving along the 75km beach.
Fraser Island is a world heritage listed island because it’s the only place in the world where you’ll find a gigantic rain forest growing from the sand. It’s a pretty incredible place. You can only get to the island by ferry. And you must have a 4WD vehicle to access the island since there aren’t really any roads.
In addition to the rain forest, the island has a number of fresh water lakes and creeks. We visited several of these areas. The tour started with a trip into the middle of the island to Lake McKenzie. Here we lazed around the lake and swam in the beautiful, blue water.
Afterwards, we spent some time touring part of the rain forest. It was pretty nice. Unfortunately (and fortunately), we didn’t see any of the dingoes that live throughout this area.
After the rain forest trek and some more 4 wheel driving through the rain forest and along the beach, we headed to our camp for the night. I was incredibly excited to finally have a campfire in Oz. Given the tough fire restrictions in Australia, they are not permitted in a lot of locations throughout the country. We sat around the fire and under the stars for a few hours while my friend entertained us with his musical abilities. It was a nice, relaxing evening.
On day two we set out for another lake, Lake Wabby, which was a quick hike inland from the coastline of the island. We had to hike about 30 minutes to get to the lake. At the end of this hike we happened upon a large sand dune surrounded by the rain forest and ocean. It was absolutely beautiful.
We had to scale this large dune to get to Lake Wabby. As soon as we saw the lake, we pretty much ran as fast as we could down the dune and into the catfish-filled Lake! It was such a nice, hot day that the lake was incredibly refreshing. It was also really nice to be swimming in freshwater again. I love the ocean, but seeing as I normally live in central Canada, I feel much more at home in a lake!
After our hike into and around Lake Wabby, we headed to a fresh water creek. It was probably the most beautiful creek I’ve ever run through. The water was about knee-deep so we did about a half hour stroll through the clear waters. We also filled our water bottles at the top of the stream, since the water in this area is as clear and clean as a Swiss Iceberg, (or so we were told!).
Our final stop after the lakes and creek, was at the Maheno Shipwreck. It’s a former luxury cruise boat (from before 1912) that was being toed for scrap metal by a Japanese liner. The Japanese boat got caught in a hurricane and lost the Maheno Ship. It washed up on Fraser Island and was impossible to move. It was very cool to check out. Despite the fact that it wasn’t one of the natural wonders on the island.
All in all, the camping trip was an excellent study break!