Our next stop – Rainbow Beach – was exciting because this was the launching point for three days and two nights on Fraser Island. It received its name from the sand, which has many colors and looks like a rainbow when the light reflects off of it. While the beach was nice enough and the sunset was gorgeous there, I didn’t witness any magical rainbow qualities in the sand.
Rainbow Beach as a town is extremely small. It is literally one street with a handful of stores and a bunch of accommodation options. Other than that, there’s nothing. Louise, Claire and I stayed at Fraser’s on Rainbow Beach, one of the main backpacker joints in the area. We’d been advised to stay the least amount of time just to get your Fraser Island tour on, then get out of dodge. Again, we hadn’t been lead astray.
|Slide Album: Rainbow Beach|
Fraser’s on Rainbow Beach was a dump. The first room they tried to give us was rank and dirty. We couldn’t tell which beds were available because it looked like the current occupants’ stuff had exploded all over the room. We headed back to reception to complain, and they gave us another option, which was still rank but at least the beds were clean. It was only for a night or two so we sucked it up and accepted our fate.
We attended a mandatory safety briefing the day before our tag-along driving trip to Fraser Island. On the trip we’d be able to drive on the sand dunes and the beaches of Fraser Island. We wouldn’t have a tour guide, but we’d have a knowledgeable driver in the lead car who would direct us where we needed to go. Unfortunately, the entire town’s power went out before we could actually start the briefing. Apparently someone’s car hit a utility pole and took out all the power. The Fraser Island people did the best they could and had us fill out all the waivers, which informed us of the risks and responsibilities when driving on the sand and warned us of the dangers of the island dingoes. But we still had to come back early the next morning to watch the safety video.
Since we ended early, everyone headed out to buy supplies for the trip. Most people bought boxes of goon, a somewhat questionable wine-like liquor that was really cheap but tasted nasty from what I heard. I hadn’t sampled any of it and didn’t plan to as I’d heard that the ingredients included fish eggs. Who knew what else was actually in there? We picked up some real wine – riesling and chardonnay – and a six-pack of apple cider as well as some chips, chocolate and other snacks to sustain us for the next few days.
Loaded down with all of our necessities, we headed back to the room to pack for the trip. We were only allowed a small bag on the tour and would be leaving our main packs at the hostel. We would be “roughing it” for the next few days and didn’t actually need much clothes. We would be sleeping in sleeping bags three to a tent and there would be no toilets or showers at our campsite. Yes, this meant peeing and pooing in the bush with the dingoes. And I thought the long-drop toilets in the outback were disgusting. Over the next three days, we would become savages . . . or just be camping out . . . whatever you want to call it.
I came to Australia to experience new things, and this would definitely be a new experience for me. Driving on the opposite side of the road from the opposite side of the vehicle – check. Driving a 4WD truck on the open beach – check. Using the infamous bush toilet – check. Bring it on man, bring it on.