01.24.2010 - 01.26.2010
We spent 2 days on Fraser Island, the world's largest sand island which can only be explored by 4WD vehicle. The island is known for its wild dingos, many species of birds, ancient forest growing up from the sand, beautiful freshwater lakes and its 75 mile beach (which becomes a motorway/runway during low tides).
Rather than going on a ranger guided group tour, I thought it would be more fun to rent our own 4WD vehicle and explore the island at our own pace. I opted for the budget 4WD, a 2-seater Susuki Jimmy, circa 1985 - not the best decision I ever made... The Jimmy sits much lower to the ground than the Land Rovers, Jeeps, etc. that most people are driving, so we're more or less plowing the sand road with the under body of the Jimmy, making traction exceptionally difficult. Outside of getting stuck twice for about 10 minutes each, we managed to bounce around the island okay. I'm guessing the stops to refill the radiator with water and to change a flat tire are just part of a typical day out with this piece of junk. At least I had the piece of mind of an insurance policy with a $4000 deductible for a vehicle worth at best $2000. The big risk was that if we got stuck anywhere, I'd have to pay for the rescue and recovery, which could be quite costly on these remote sand roads.
We did manage to get the Jimmy to all the sites and back with minimal damage - $100 for the damaged wheel from the flat tire we got while trying to film an "off-roading" video. I was very on edge while driving, expecially when we were racing the tide down 75 mile beach as the road was beginning to disappear into the ocean! In between the stressful off-road drives, we stopped at some amazing places:
Brett in the piece of Junk Jimmy
Lake Wabby lookout
Maheno Ship Wreck (1932)
The Pinnacles rock formation