The tour started with possibly one of the funniest safety videos I’ve ever seen but then it was time to load up the 4x4s and head off to rainbow beach. I was expecting a fairly dull highway drive up to rainbow where we could catch the ferry out to the island but no, nothing’s dull with dropbears! We drove along Noosa north shore and rainbow beaches allowing for beautiful views and some apparently incredible driving experiences (no chance I was getting behind the wheel!). Along the way we tried to rescue a beaches fish, failed and collected dinner (sorry mr fish). All this before 9am when we arrived in the town of rainbow beach to pick up some more people.
After a short break we headed back to the beach to catch the ferry over to the island where the real adventure begins (but lunch first of course). On day one we went to explore lake wabby a beautiful, but freezing, green lake infused with tea tree oils from the surrounding trees. Here we also explored the surrounding sand dunes hiking up to the highest point to check out some amazing views over the island. As lake wabby is a sacred place for the aboriginal men us girls had to take part in an acknowledgment ceremony before we entered. After an afternoon exploring we headed back to our campsite for a BBQ dinner and digeredoo lessons, again one for the boys as its believed that a woman should never play a digeredoo as she will become nine months pregnant over night, just to be sure our tour guide had some plastic ones for us to try out.
Day two was a jam packed day starting with breakfast at 6:30am, not such a bad hour when your camping and sunrise wakes you anyway it also allowed us to get ahead of the other four groups. First stop today was at champagne pools, a group of rock pools that fill with bubbles as the waves come in, unfortunately no champagne breakfast for us. After some time hear we walked up Indian head a rocky outcrop of the island and a very sacred site for the Butchulla people. They believe the island is there God and they were put there to protect her, for this reason they will never cut down a tree (they carve canoes directly from a living tree) or damage the island in any way. Indian head was also the site of a mass murder of aboriginal women or children on there own sacred land so you have to respect the areas you can not go to and stay behind the signs. After this we got to experience s very special lunch spot at lake boomanjin a red lake again infused with tea tree. Not many tour groups get to go here as there is a maximum of twenty people at any one time but we where lucky to be in a small group. At the lake there are hundreds of tiny turtles that come and pop up there heads as you approach the shore. We also swam here which left your hair and skin feeling very healthy after even if it was freezing cold when you first get in. Our next stop of the day was the wreck of the ship Maheno that became stuck on the island in 1935 This was a flying visit as the wind had picked up by this point and it was getting chilly. Our final stop was floating down Eli creek in rubber rings, we also played crocodiles where one group has to get the other group into the water lets just say there was a lot of screaming and rugby tackling. Once we were back in camp for the night it was Story time! Our guide Dave is being adopted by the Butchulla Tribe a rare and incredible honour so he told us story’s of the aboriginal people and their spirits beliefs and history.
On day three we woke early again to get to Lake Mckenzie before anybody else. A beautifully clear and incredibly blue lake that’s the most famous area of Fraser Island and therefore gets 15000 visitors a day. But thanks to our digeredoo alarm clock we had the place to ourselves, it was very special. The afternoon we did a Rainforest walk in an area of the island sacred to women it here the went to give birth. If the baby was a boy it had to be taken out of the area as fast as possible and a cleansing ceremony was carried out as men couldn’t go to this area. The boys had to have their acknowledgement ceremony here this time. After this it was to me to head back to rainbow beach and say our goodbyes to new friends.