An overnight bus ride on the Greyhound got me from Arlie Beach to Rainbow beach. The Bus journey was really long and uncomfortable. I spent most of my time awake, wishing I was one of those lucky people who can fall asleep anywhere and everywhere. Thankfully, I had my laptop with me and the entire 12 seasons of 'Friends', so headphones in, I killed a few hours laughing at my screen like a lunatic (Brownie points for you, if you know who stole Ross' sandwich).
To my pleasant surprise I didn't have to walk vary far when I got to Rainbow Beach as my Hostel Pippies Beach House was right in front of the bus stop. Rainbow Beach is a popular stop for backpackers and tourists because of it's connection to Fraser Island. It is here, that most of the tours to the Island depart from.
There are different ways to see the island, you could opt to self drive, do a bus tour or like me combine the adrenaline of driving a 4WD on a beach with the comfort and safety of having a guide by booking a 3 days/2 nights 4WD Camping Package
As required by the tour operator, I arrived at the Hostel the night before the tour. This is necessary in order to attend the mandatory safety briefing. The talk lasted about an hour, during which, you are divided into groups, decide who wants to drive, and sign a load of paperwork. The talk is followed by some hilariously outdated 'safety videos' that are meant to educate you on the possible dangers of 4WD driving on the beach and dingos roaming around the island.
The next day we were all up bright and early. We loaded the cars with our bags and supplies, got into our 4WDs with our respective groups and hit the road. Our guide - Bret always lead the way, with each subsequent car following one behind the other. All the cars can also talk to each other through a radio so Brett was able to give us instructions and communicate with us both through necessity and for fun!
Once we got across to the island on the ferry, the real fun began! The road was replaced by beach, the asphalt was replaced by sand. We all took it in turns to get behind the wheel, with the guys offering to brave the drive before the girls (stereotypes prevailing). When it was my turn I must admit I was a little scared, mainly because it is daunting to know that you are essentially responsible for the lives of 7 other people. Driving on the beach was surprisingly not as difficult as I had imagined. The wet sand closer to the water is a lot easier to drive on, it is so compact that it is just like driving on a main road. Of course you have to watch out for big waves and oncoming traffic, but Bret was always one step ahead, warning us or giving us tips along the way.
The camp that we stayed in is permanently set up and is composed of an undercover area with tents, a social area with kitchen, tables and chairs and access to nearby toilets and showers. You will need your own sleeping bag and pillow, however the hostel can rent them to you prior to departure if necessary. Food is also provided through the stay, for our group this consisted of tea, coffee, cereal and toast for breakfast, ham and cheese or tuna wraps for lunch and BBQ for dinner. Nothing fancy but we didn't go hungry and dinner was a particularly fun affair as the whole camp was involved in cooking and clearing up, which, when combined with music and a few drinks kept us entertained!
Over the duration of the three days we visited different areas of the Island...as always pictures will show you what words cannot, so have a look below for a feel of what Fraser has to offer:
Next we are headed to the city of Brisbane
See you there!