Sunday, July 15, 2012

SAND


The largest sand island on the planet, more perched lakes than anywhere else in the world,  giant 1000 year old Satinay and towering Tallowood trees, Australia's purest strain of Dingo and crystal clear, sand filtered, freshwater streams running through postcard perfect sub-tropical rainforest. Fraser is special. And this was a special trip. The kind of trip that reaffirms just how important spending time in nature - with nature is, that going outside and staying out for more than a day or two is the only way to (at the risk of sounding trite) 'drink deeply' of the bush. 


Unfortunately, since being listed as a World Heritage Area in 1992, Fraser Island has not been given the protection it deserves. A seemingly unregulated stream of four wheel drive vehicles pour on to the island everyday despite the fact most of the island is national park. For those that like to travel in a low-impact fashion Fraser offers outstanding opportunities to explore - places the 4WD crowd can't reach - by foot, sea kayak, bike or combinations of. Sal and I had walked and combined paddling and walking on previous trips but on this trip our tool of choice was our Salsa Mukluk fatbikes..fast enough to get us all the way around the island in seven days but not so fast as to not allow us to 'stop and smell the flowers'. Helped by plenty of rain to keep the sand moist and firm, our four inch wide tyres proved to be a fantastic choice for a leisurely sand tour. 







The itinerary:

Day 1 - Hook pt to near the Maheno wreck 70k
Day 2 - Maheno to Ocean Lake 40k
Day 3 - Ocean Lake to Rooney pt 45k
Day 4 - Rooney pt to Moon pt 50k
Day 5 - Moon pt to Lake Mackenzie 50k
Day 6 - Lake Mackenzie to Dilli Village 35k
Day 7 - Dilli to Rainbow Beach 35k

See map.

All distances are approximate. Due to the firm sand on the beaches and inland tracks travel was fairly easy for most of the trip and we rode our bikes 95% of the time. On the beach we were able to ride about two hours either side of high tide. The west coast was a bit of an unknown, particularly Rooney pt to Wathumba Creek, as we knew of no one riding a bike on this beach before (although I'm sure someone has). As it turned out, apart from a few soft patches here and there the beach was firm and rideable. Wathumba is the biggest creek on the west coast and needs to be crossed about 500m upstream from the mouth within an hour of low tide. Ideally Coongul Creek should also be crossed close to low water, we didn't and the water was well over waist deep, lucky fatbikes float! All the other creeks are no more than about knee deep. Overall we had close to ideal conditions for a Fraser fatbike tour. A video as well as a gear rundown will follow.  

7 comments:

  1. Interesting post and what sounds like a a fun trip Trev. A perfect workout for the new bike? The second photo down is fantastic, very atmospheric! Looking forward to the video and gear report.

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  2. Thanks Philip! The bikes really were ideal for this trip and they worked perfectly. Highly recommended!

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  3. Nicely done, and I totally agree with your opening words!
    Excellent.

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  4. Sounds like the right way to spend a week Trev. Awesome collection of photos. Fat bikes in their element!

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  5. Cheers Darren! was a good one

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  6. Hey Trev,

    Great post! I was lucky enough to do the great walk at exactly this time last year, amazing country! You have any trouble with the dingoes? In the tall tree section, they gave us hell, stole my pack (got it back a bit later on) and harassed us for a couple of hours.

    I look forward to the vid!

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  7. Thanks Jeremy! A dingo stuck his head under our mid on the first night and pinched our map case, other than that we have never had any problems with dingoes on Fraser.

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