28th November - 2nd December (Fraser Island)
I enjoyed my stay in Brisbane and it was really cool to meet up with Scott and the family - I reckon Brisbane is a great place to live but not the greatest tourist spot. Next stop Hervey Bay.
I've realised that my asian blogs contained as much info on the journeys as the places I went to and that travelling by greyhound is far too punctual, organised and uneventful - I think I will hitch hike in New Zealand. From Hervey bay I went on a two day tour of Fraser Island ($260). There were a real mix of nationalities in our group and I was the only Brit. It took a while but I eventually got quite friendly with a couple of German girls. We walked through rain forest, crystal clear lakes, massive sand dunes, swam in beautiful lakes, visited a washed up ship wreck, took in the ocean views from 'Indian Head', and I paid $60 to fly in a small plane for some ariel views of the island which would have been better if it wasn't cloudy and raining, and ate some fantastic buffet food at the resort.
Fraser island was formed over millions of years when three underwater mountains appeared which stopped all the sand as it drifted north with the current. When the ice age came the sea levels lowered exposing an island made of sand. Small vegetation grew and died time and again leaving nutrients for the next generation until there was enough to support the rain forest. There is not enough downward pressure to create soil or fossil fuel. It is approx 120km long by 15km wide and up to 200m above sea level. There is tons of fresh water flowing down the creeks into the lakes and the ocean. some of the trees are over 1000 years old. Lesson ends.
Back in Hervey Bay, I got into a game of pool doubles and played about the best pool of my life. One unlikely looking angled plant ended up potting both the balls and the crowd went wild! Ended up drinking until late when I had expected an early night. Spent the next morning recovering on the beach before getting back on the bus to Rockhampton where I spoke to a young Danish girl doing a thirty hour journey from Brisbane to Cairns.
I met two Nottingham girls heading to the same hostel as me, the Ascot is quite homely with friendly staff situated above a pub (handy!). I also met a Danish guy called Kim in my dorm who was heading to a nearby 'Criterion' pub with a bunch of German girls so I tagged along. Rockhampton is pretty lively with locals at the weekend (not in the week apparently).
I killed a day in the uninspiring town, did laundry, internet, bought new trousers from k-mart (finally throwing out the khakis with the big hole in the crotch!) and walked around some gardens. I played shit-head and even watched some of the cricket before heading into town for the annual firework display and some beers at the pub where the same awful covers band played as the night before. The fun comes tomorrow...... (www.capricorndave.com.au)