The tour bus was due to collect us at 7:30am, so it was an early start.
Over 120km long, Fraser island is the longest sand island in the world, it is also the only place where a rainforest grows on the sand.
After meeting the rest of our group we were driven to the ferry and taken over the the island. Because of the sand, only 4X4 vehicles can be used. Our was an off- road truck with a coach body on the back.
The first stop was the in the rainforest for morning tea. After a couple of members of the group asked where the facilities were, our guide grinned and told them to pick a tree.
We were then taken to Mackenzie lake. This is a rain-fed only lake with silica sand. As we had brought our swimming stuff, we braved a swim, unlike those wearing a winters coat and hat. It was 'fresh', but we had a brisk swim, and stayed in the water whilst there was a brief rain shower. Afterwards, we quickly changed into dry clothes and took the camera down to the beach.
Lunch was next to a picturesque creek, that was so clear and so quiet, that at first glance, you wouldn't know that it was there.
After lunch, we headed to the somewhat treacherous 70 mile beach. As our guide navigated the bus, we kept our eyes peeled for Dingo's.
Dingo's are a type of wild dog found in Australia; a sub-species of the wolf, they howl rather than bark. The Fraser island Dingo's are the purest breed of Dingo's and are therefore protected. However, as they are very dominant animals, they have been known to attack, children and small teenagers.
From safe inside the bus, we were fortunate to see 2 Dingo's.
Other sights along the beach included:
The Maheno Wreck - wrecked and abandoned in 1935.
The Pinnacles - Sand compacted, showing different layers.
Disclaimer: We are both absolutely fine
As we were driving back along the beach there was a small section where we had to go into the surf to go around a headland.
But there was a problem. As we drove through the water, one of the wheels hit a rock, the vehicle lost momentum, and one of the wheels dropped into a sand hole. There was a sudden lurch as the entire vehicle tipped precariously to the right hand side.
As the driver called for assistance, everyone in the coach moved to the left hand side.
The driver got out and started connecting a tow rope to a tour another coach, whilst we quickly started gathering our belongings.
After a failed attempt to right the bus, the call came to 'abandon ship'.
David had our rucksack, and a bag with our boots and swimming stuff, as it would be easier to go barefoot, I took both pairs of flip flops.
One by one we stepped into the surf. Unfortunately at this point my grip slipped and I dropped one of my flip flops, but as this was the only casualty, and there was no way I was going to go after it, and wasn't too concerned.
We waded the short distance to the beach, and climbed onto a rock to watch.
Once everyone had left the bus, there were a few more unsuccessful attempts to retrieve the vehicle, but after a few of the rangers and a policeman turned up, this was abandoned.
The coach that had tried to pull us out took us back to the ferry, and a shuttle bus met us on the other side to take us back to our respective campsites.
p.s We didn't realise until the following day that we had made it onto the news....
there is also a Facebook page that takes pictures of 'bogged vehicles'. A friend sent us a link showing our tour bus 24 hours later....
This link shows a video that appeared on the news, it is taken just after we got out, so you won't see us.