NB. This post continues part 1 (see previous post that finished in Noosa).
1. Noosa to Hervey Bay
On route to Hervey Bay, we were so pleased we’d made time to sidetrack to Maryborough. This is one of the coolest towns ever – ‘practically perfect in every way’ – and is where the creator – author Pamela Travers – of magical Mary Poppins was born. With the lights on pedestrian crossings showing Mary Poppins instead of a green or red man, and cafes called: ‘A spoonful of sugar’, what couldn’t be more supercallifragilisticexpialidocious?!
We were impressed with Queens Park…
We pitched our tent, at the Discovery Parks Fraser Coast campsite, next to a wall of towering bamboos that chattered and groaned to us as they swayed in the wind – a mesmerising sound!
Hervey Bay is made up of a few small towns with lots to entertain along its ocean frontage: at Scarness we had fun in the water park and learnt lots of watery facts, whilst in Urangan you can fish off the 800m historic pier.
The highlight of this part of our trip was our visit to World Heritage Site, Fraser Island, which is the world’s largest sand island and the world’s only one that has rainforest growing on it. It’s a ecological masterpiece of giant dunes, miles of elongated stretches of beach, sandy track upon sandy track that make for a bumpy ride, tropical rainforest clad bush, coloured sand cliffs and elevated freshwater lakes.
It was amazingly only a short ferry crossing from the mainland to reach this pristine landscape.
Feeling like we were on Top Gear, the 4×4 truck we were on, exhilaratingly sped along the beach highway, with the ocean on one side and forest on the other, as light aircraft landed alongside us. Unreal!
Along the way, we were in awe of the Maheno shipwreck…
and coloured cliffs…
We stopped to swim in Eli Creek, where the crystal clear water cooled us down.
Albie and Lola helped to set up the picnic lunch for our tour crew…
We swam in the beautiful Lake Mackenzie and exfoliated our skin on the squeaky white silica sand!
Unfortunately we didn’t spot any dingoes, which live fairly freely on the island.
We only wished we’d camped overnight on the island and travelled further up to the north of it.
2. Hervey Bay to Agnes Water and 1770
The towns of Agnes Water and 1770 felt pretty special. Off the beaten track, they are made up of only a smattering of shops and cafes, and have an arty vibe about them.
We camped right on the beach at Agnes Water Beach campsite, so could hear the sound of the crashing waves lulling us to sleep at night in our hot tent!
The beach at Agnes Water is immense, one of those wide and long stretches that make for good walking or, in the case of Jake and Tash, good running!
Seventeen Seventy, also written as 1770, was built on the site of the second landing in Australia by James Cook and the crew of HM Bark Endeavour in May 1770. We drove through the Joseph Banks Environmental Park on the peninsula, where we walked to various look out points to view fauna and flora indicative of the area, rugged granite rocky outcrops, and vistas out to the Southern Great Barrier Reef beyond.
On 1770’s beach, we were entertained by millions of blue soldier crabs marching over the sand. If we approached too closely, they quickly disappear into the sand and then reappear as you walk away! They are a species of crab that live on sandy beaches in Australia; adults are 25mm across, white, with blue on their backs, and hold their claws vertically. They feed on detritus in the sand, leaving rounded pellets of discarded sand behind them that make beautiful patterns.
As usual, too little time in such stunning places!
Next stop: Agnes Water to Yeppoon and Airlie Beach (Whitsundays!).