We didn´t sleep well tonight. Despite all preparation we feel the excitement of the upcoming adventure of going over to Fraser Island with our car. Fraser Island is the largest sand island in the world. There are no roads, just beaches and some inland tracks, which mostly consist of soft sand. So getting stuck will not be difficult. And enough people had their cars washed away by the ocean – there are some haunting pictures around. So we are already quite awake when the alarm goes off at 4AM. We pack up and head to Inskip point, from where the barge leaves. The other vehicle on the barge is a towing truck – very reassuring.
Fraser Island. One reason for us having taken the first barge at 6AM was to have enough driving time on both sides of low-tide. Being familiar with the tidal times (amongst other things) is crucial, as some beach passages may otherwise be impassable. From Hook Point we drive up the Eastern Beach for approx. 2 hours, get to witness an amazing sunrise, cross several creeks, stop alongside the renowned shipwreck Maheno and safely make it to our campsite (Cathedrals on Fraser).
The Maheno had already been put out of service as an ocean liner and had been sold for scrapping purposes to a Japanese company. When the ship was towed from Sydney to Japan, the towing ship lost its haul during a winter-cyclone in July 1935. The Maheno then stranded along the Eastern Beach of Fraser Island. After that, no one wanted the ship anymore. So its remainders can still be witnessed today.
Time to say good-bye to Fraser Island. So we head back down the Eastern Beach, this time in a southern direction, take the barge to the mainland and – after having adjusted tyre pressure back to normal road requirements – drive further on to Hervey Bay (approx. 2h 45min from Rainbow Beach).