Expectation vs reality. It’s a big deal. You hear about delightful white sand on the beaches of Fraser Island, crystal clear blue waters of Lake McKenzie and glorious sunsets. Thus far we have not experienced any of this. In case you aren’t across the weather reports, there’s a low monsoonal troph crossing northern Queensland.
Instead of packing our gear and departing the island, Mark and I promised to stay on Fraser for the 7 days we planned. The others in the group were not pleased by the weather, and began planning to depart after hearing about the weather forecast for the week.
On the first night I woke several times to the sound of the gazebo cover cracking in the wind. I peeped through the swag flyscreen behind my head and saw the canopy flapping above the metal frame that was standing firm in the sand. At this point I tapped Mark on the shoulder and shouted over the wind, “Should we pull the gazebo down? I feel like it might fly away.” But we chose not to take it down because there were plenty of items beneath the gazebo that couldnt get wet. By now I felt it was redundant because the wind was blowing the rain beneatht the gazebo that wasnt really covering anything because it was off its leesh. The rains were heavy, and my side of the swag was weighing down on my body, massaging me in the wind – but I ignored it until the morning.
In the morning when we awoke to more rain (and winds up to 120 kilometers per hour that we later discovered) I climbed out of the swag to see the carnage. When I walked around to the other side I saw that the wind had burried my side of the swag in sand. Thanks Fraser.
The wind was so strong and hit us with a constant spray of sand – in the eyes, mouth, up the nose and inside the ears. Everyone began packing their gear up so that we could set off to find a better spot on the beach.
We collectively decided to pop down to Eurong to grab a feed and wait out the storm. When we got reception we learnt that the winds were coming from the East, and wondered if going inland would shelter us from the full force of the storm.
With the tide at peak high around 10:15am we needed to move quickly to get off the sands and onto the inland tracks. As the others stuffed saussage rolls into their mouths and bickered about the lowsy weather, Mark and I returned to the Eli Creek campround to move swag onto the hill between two trees.
Later we realised that these trees would not shelter us from the wind at all, and we would need to move to a camp site on the western side of Fraser, or inland.
Everyone else packed up and started looking at prices for hotel rooms available on the island. Mark and I wanted to tough it out, and wanted to continue camping in the bad weather to prove a point to the others.
It was 2 against 10, and the others had calculated each of us to pay $50 so that we could book 2 rooms and squeeze 6 of us into each. Sounds a bit like Schoolies, yeah?
Mark and I decided to stick with the group and cough up $50 for a room at the Kingfisher Bay resort.
On the way to Kingfisher Bay we stopped off at Central Station. We walked along the board walk and (potentially illegally) waded through the clear waters of the creek. We spotted an eel sliding along the sandy bank. One of the blokes tried to grab it (like Crocodile Dundee with less grace) but the eel slipped right between his feet and sailed away like a good eel should.
Next stop – Lake McKenzie.
Despite the shit-house weather, I couldn’t believe how blue the water was. And could only imagine how much more incredible the lake would be on a sunny day. We all went for a dip, and to our surprise we were much warmer in the water than out.
We spent one night in the resort, with this good ol’ view.