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Tag Archives: four wheel driving

Chef Extraordinaire, Al McLeod, serves up Five Fab Days On Fraser Island

Celebrity Chef, Alastair McLeod may have rubbed shoulders with the world’s best chefs in the Michelin-listed restaurants he’s worked in… but being an ace in the kitchen doesn’t necessarily mean he can ‘cut’ it on the sand tracks of World Heritage-listed Fraser Island… or does it?  This month Al ‘dishes’ up the dirt… erm, we mean sand… about his five fabulous days on Fraser Island and he’s taken us along for the ride.

Al McLeod takes to Fraser like a fish to batter!

Al McLeod takes to Fraser like a fish to batter!

“Use 4 High,” the guy said. “Take a good run at it,” he encouraged.  “Did you drop your tyres to 18 psi?,” he went on.

It’s a whole new world this 4 wheel driving pursuit.  Gee, I thought Psi was the chap who sang Gangnam style!

Gen Y remembers where they were on September 11; my Mum’s generation remember where they were when man landed on the moon.  Me, I will remember forever where I first got bogged deep in the sand in my brand new 4 wheel drive.

My mum was with us that day and I’m sure she will remember the one small step I took back before kicking the car in frustration.

It was a tricky wee bit of the track between Lake McKenzie and Kingfisher Bay Resort where I came unstuck.  Luckily a passing 4WD – well he wasn’t actually passing as he was stuck behind us – came to our aid and offered the aforementioned tips to staying on track so to speak.

Unbelievably, I first set foot on Fraser Island 16½ years after I first landed in Australia. I had seen it across the channel when camping at Inskip Point and from afar on the foreshore in Hervey Bay.  My recent trip there in my one-day-old car was a trip I will never forget.  We careened over the soft sand at Inskip point to catch the barge over to the southern tip of the island.

When our turn came to get off the barge I felt the same nerves experienced at the top of the ski lift. Desperate not to collapse upon disembarkation I confidently selected 4-High and gunned the engine. Once safely on the hard packed sand we were able to relax, lower the windows and take in the extraordinary beauty of this island. There are no paved roads, just sand tracks, making the entire Island one huge 4WD, off-roading adventure.

Maheno Shipwreck Fraser Island © D. LEAL 056

There’s many a picture opp to be had at The Maheno

The next day we headed up to see the spectacular wreck of the ocean liner The SS Maheno which beached on Fraser almost 80 years ago during a severe cyclone. As we pulled up to the wreckage we heard the hum of a twin engine plane flying low overhead and landing just ahead of us using the beach as an airstrip! What a thrilling and easy way to see the 100 plus lakes on the island.

Our visit to one of the jewels, lake Wabby, was a wee bit more strenuous than taking a flight with Air Fraser Island but well worth the effort.  To reach the lake I recommend trekking over the Hammerstone Sandblow, which is essentially a massive sand dune which plunges down to the lake.

Each year the huge sand dune engulfs a little bit more of the lake – as much as 3 metres a year. Swim there with the catfish and turtles in pristine water and walk back to the ocean through a eucalypt forest. You will remember this impossibly beautiful experience forever.

Al made quite an impression on Fraser!

Al made quite an impression on Fraser!

This was my first visit to Fraser and also my first time fishing in the foam. The experience of baiting a huge rod and casting out (what seemed like) a hundred metres with a cold beer in hand, a few curious dingo pups peering from the edge of the scrub, the sun setting, surrounded by family and loved ones… just too perfect.

No, I didn’t catch anything.

I have got to say that with five full days on Fraser, we still only managed to visit a handful of the lakes and covered a fraction of the island’s tracks.

There is just so much to do. I am converted to this style of holiday. I love being at one with nature, getting away from it all, feeling the sand between my toes and …, ahem, retiring for the night at Kingfisher Bay Resort.

But, that’s another story…

Stay tuned for Alastair’s PG-rated (we hope) next installment.  You’ll find him Facebook and Twitter.  And, if you’ve liked what you’ve read, check out his experiences on the surf side of Fraser – it’s published on our Life on Fraser sister site.

 
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Posted by on July 25, 2013 in Guest Bloggers

 

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The gang from Brisbane’s Radio 97.3FM enjoy time out on Fraser!

97.3FM’s Brekkie Announcer Terry and some lucky listeners won a trip to Hervey Bay to see the Humpback whales and ‘time out’ on Fraser Island with thanks to Tourism Queensland, Fraser Coast Tourism and Kingfisher Bay Resort. Here’s Terry blogging about their amazing adventures last week. August 2011.

At eight o’clock we all boarded the “Fraser Venture” barge to take us across to Fraser Island. It was on this barge
we met “Buttercup” – the barge’s ginger cat, kept on the barge to ensure pigeons didn’t make a mess of things. But
Buttercup was a favourite of all the passengers, and perhaps was a little bit spoilt.

All aboard the Fraser Venture for a great day out!

All aboard the Fraser Venture for a great day out!

When we arrived on the island we were met by a bus from Kingfisher Bay Resort.

Our tour guide and bus driver from Kingfisher Bay resort was Chris. Before his 7 1/2 years as a tour guide on Fraser
Island Chris assures us he was a professional snake catcher and handler. One promise we were all glad wasn’t kept was that
if he found any snakes on the road he would be sure to bring it onto the bus.

From the jetty we were taken to Central Station – so called because of all the rail lines that passed through it during the
time of logging on Fraser Island. In fact, it was only in 1991 that logging stopped on Fraser Island, and in 1992 that it
was declared World Heritage.

The history and science of Fraser Island is simply fascinating. We all know that Fraser Island is the largest sand island in
the world – but it is also the largest island in Queensland, and the sixth largest in Australia.

One of the most beautiful parts of the island is Invisible Creek (or Whispering Creek) – so called because the water is so
clear that it is impossible to see. At first your think you see some white, white sand. It is only be look and listening
very, very hard that you can tell that the most pure water is flowing silently down the creek bed.

The water is so pure we all decided to have a drink – and unanimously agreed it was some of the tastiest water we had ever had.
It is rainwater that was been purified by the sand over the last 150 years.

Wangoolba Creek is beautiful in the winter

Wanggoolba Creek is beautiful in the winter

Lake McKenzie is one of the largest lakes on the island. There are over 120 lakes on Fraser Island, of which only about thirty
are accessible.  The water sits about 72 metres above sea level, and is purely the result of rainfall. It is this, and the fact
that the water is slightly acidic, that makes it the cleanest, bluest water you will probably ever swim in.

The kids we brought along had a great time swimming in the water. Despite the fact it was August – the sun was out, and the
water was beautiful.

We ended the day with a very tasty lunch at the Sand Bar, located at Kingfisher Bay Resort – just near the jetty. Terry had the
Nachos while this intrepid reporter had the Chicken Parmigiana. We can both report that the meals at the Sand Bar are delicious
and well-priced.

Check out Terry’s Blog on the official 97.3FM website.  It’s complete with pics of their great day out:

http://www.973fm.com.au/shows/robin-terry-bob-in-the-morning/photos/Terry-s-Fraser-Island-Adventure

 
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Posted by on August 11, 2011 in Guest Bloggers

 

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Super Mum Symantha Perkins Takes A Holiday With Her Kids On Fraser!

This month’s guest blogger Symantha Perkins writes about her stay at Kingfisher Bay during a recent visit to Fraser Island. Sam is a ‘Super Mum’ to three gorgeous kids, is the Features Editor of ‘Holidays With Kids’ magazine and is married to ‘Super Fish’ Kieren Perkins.

Sam writes: We just had a fantastic getaway on Fraser Island, relaxing at Kingfisher Bay Resort. A huge thank you to all the Kingfisher team, especially Ranger Bec who taught the kids some valuable lessons about Aussie wildlife and eco-living, and gave Kieren daily updates on which tracks were safe for 4WDing.

Bush, sand, surf, beaches, rock cliffs, sand dunes, freshwater lakes, you names it Fraser Island has it!  When we weren’t lazing by Kingfisher Bay Resort’s pool or soaking in the spa tub on the deck of our treetop villa, we spent our days 4WDing around the bush tracks and cruising along Fraser Island’s awesome beaches. It’s the ultimate 4×4 destination and family vacation spot.

Our highlights were floating down Eli Creek and in The Champagne Pools, swimming in Lake McKenzie and hiking to Lake Wabby from Hammerstone Sand blow. A game of family ‘eye spy’ has never been so much fun with so many interesting things to spot, including dingoes (look but never touch), dolphins, turtles, kingfishers; no whales this trip – but maybe next time.

We’re already planning our next Fraser Island adventure. Keep and eye out for my action packed story, complete with all our family snapshots in the Spring issue of Holidays With Kids magazine – http://www.holidayswithkids.com.au.

 
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Posted by on May 19, 2011 in Guest Bloggers

 

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Easter Recharge On Fraser Island – Best Job In The World’s Ben Southall

Tourism Queensland’s Roving Global Ambassador, Best Job In The World Winner and now Best Expeditioner In The World – Ben Southall – takes time out on Faser Island over Easter.  April 2010.

The Best Expedition in the World launch is looming, with only three weeks to go until the big day arrives. It’s been a hectic few weeks, with training, logistics management, sponsorship deals and crew planning requiring relentless effort.

To have a fews days away from it all and recharge the batteries, I decided to take the Colonel (his 4WD) and Sophee (his girlfriend) over to Fraser Island for the Easter break.

The experience was bliss.

On the first day of our sun-kissed getaway, we escaped the crowds and explored the west coast of the island. By late afternoon we’d found ourselves the ultimate campsite by Woralie Creek. As the sun set we pitched the tent, enjoyed a swim in the calm ocean and cracked open a bottle of red wine. The rest of the night was history.

As the sun rose on Day 2, we eagerly set off towards Kingfisher Bay Resort (www.kingfisherbay.com), located 40 km further down the west coast. I’d popped into this eco-friendly holiday hub during Best Job but never had the pleasure of staying.

Soph and I couldn’t wait to reach our room, unload our weighty bags and ensconce ourselves in a good book by the pool. The next few days were set to be an absolute pleasure!

At the tired end of our final day on Fraser Island, it was time to fill my grumbling belly…I’ve still got to put another 2kgs on before the expedition starts. A feast was in order.  The resort’s Seabelle Restaurant came up trumps with a classic Australian selection; kangaroo, emu and crocodile to start with followed by one of my firm favourites – whole barramundi!

It’s rare for me to totally relax…to get mental and physical time off work. Kingfisher Bay offered the perfect formula; ocean views, the sounds of nature, a moorishly comfy bed, service with a smile and great food.

Fraser Island is a beautiful retreat that can be enjoyed in so many different ways and this Easter holiday will be remembered for a long time to come.  The energiser bunny is fully recharged and ready to go. Bring on the Best Expedition in the World!!

Check out the the blog at: http://islandreefjob.com.au/2011/04/26/easter-recharge-on-fraser-island/

Yours expeditionally
Ben Southall

 
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Posted by on April 28, 2011 in Guest Bloggers

 

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