Striking it Lucky at Rainbow Beach
12th July 2012
You’ll be glad to know Smera and I didn’t take any part in dogging last night in Childers. Although this morning when I woke up early at 7am to make a brew, I was astonished to find 3 police vehicles standing outside. Throwing up my hands in the air, I shouted,
‘I didn’t do anything, Smera is the one who did it, get her!’
Luckily for me and especially for Smera, they weren’t interested in us. Minutes later, they dragged out a protesting man out of a house opposite the street whilst I gawked brushing my teeth in my bedraggled state in just my jeans. I was truly feeling the gypsy lifestyle.
Today, I shot a warning glare at the darkening clouds…they better not rain. I’ve had enough of rain. Totally.
Reading up on Childers, it’s only mention for backpackers is that in 2000, a hostel fire broke out and killed 13 backpackers. There is a plaque to commemorate them somewhere in Childers. Feeling the crime wave, Smera and I, at the wheel, headed out onto the Bruce Highway and made our way south to Hervey Bay.
What did we do in Hervey Bay? Checked out the local MacDonalds to finally get half decent wifi and spent all of ten minutes in the esplanade and headed on out.
Don’t get me wrong. You HAVE to come to Hervey Bay in August. Because its when the Whale Watching Festival takes place in this town. Many whales that have been spawned off the north eastern shores of Australia often find refuge in pods of half a dozen in this shallow bay, protected from the elements by Fraser Island, and build up their blubber before their arduous trek to Antarctica waters. It’s a great time to watch them. Unfortunately. Smera and I got there a few weeks too early.
Another reason why we didn’t stay very long was the horrible weather that descended on us with brutal force. Why?!
This was truly a low point for both Smera and I as we climbed back in dejectedly into the campervan and stared grimly at the rain. Was it worth being in Australia any more if it was going to continue like this?
Actually…YES. With a steely determination and a new disregard for the weather, I wasn’t gonna let a little bit of rain spoil my time in Australia. We shall go to Fraser Island goddammit. We missed out Whitsundays and there’s absolutely no way that i would miss out Fraser island!
Enquiring on tours to Fraser Island, we figured out that it was cheaper to get a tour from Rainbow Beach, an hour and a half down the coast, and more worth it as it was 10 mins to Fraser island by ferry from there and more than an hour from Hervey bay. It was cheaper as well!
Waving goodbye to Hervey Bay, we raced down to Rainbow Beach despite getting lost in Maryborough, where the creator of Mary Poppins was born. Upon entering the town, the rain quietened down and immediately, I loved the vibe about the place. It felt so young and vibrant! A truly beach kind of town. All my muscles seem to relax and. Hardly spent 5 mins in the place. I knew I was gonna love it. Checking in the tour centre, the people were so nice and before long, we booked in for a day tour of Fraser Island for the next day. Next, as it was getting on to late afternoon, and the overcastness of the clouds threatened to get dark, we wanted to find a nice camping spot to arrive to before dark for a change. We did, whilst getting a camping permit to camp on the beach itself. It’s truly magical. It’s not all white sand and blue seas. The gigantic dark clouds hovering over peeking Fraser Island on the horizon gave a fantastic backdrop to a swirling sea that crashed waves upon the dark sand that had been thrown apart by roving 4WD vehicles. Happy campers merrily fished for their catch in the sea whilst their swimwear suited children ran around in windy yet warm winds in the darkening light. Standing in the middle of the cool beach with a warm mug of tea to my face, I smiled. I knew I loved the place. It seemed like the last couple of days of constant driving became worth it.
So Rainbow Beach? Is it a rainbow? Well, I’m not actually on the actual beach at the moment but at Inskip Point where the 4WD and tours go to embark on the barge to Fraser Island. But the day after our Fraser Island Tour, Im going to spend the morning exploring the colourful sandy cliffs of Rainbow Beach and perhaps sand board down the sand blowouts. Who knows?
Meanwhile, I’ll just rest with my cup of tea listening to the break of the waves on the beach. Ahhh, such is life.