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Tuesday 8 Jul 2003
Sunshine Coast, Australia

Fraser Island

Hopped onto the Fraser Adventure Tours bus early this morning at 8am for an unforgettable trip to beautiful Fraser Island. The bus is a specially-equipped 4x4 vehicle looking like something out of the army with metre-high wheels and the bottom is raised about 1.5 metres off the ground... certainly felt like it was going to topple over during some of our angular ascents over the dunes...

After taking the ferry across the bay, I left the shores of my beloved Australia for the first time since I arrived *sniff* and 10 minutes later we arrived on the sand bar-cum-island that is Fraser. The island is entirely based on sand, with no rocks or dirt to be found, yet it features a full rainforest on the western banks.

The seas around Frasar are no-go areas for swimming since there are hundreds of man-eating Tiger sharks swimming around quite easily seen, and they have a tendency to bank themselves on the shoreline in desperation to get some man-flesh. Erk. Not to fear as the island also features several enormous freshwater lakes in the centre which were created purely from rainwater. The sediment on the bottom of the lakes ensures that water never leaves the lake, other than through evaporation, so the lake water is among some of the cleanest water on Earth.

We were given the opportunity to take a dip in the lake and I didnt hesitate for a second although the lake quickly got to its full 40 metre depth about 10 minutes into my swim out which freaked me out a little since all I could see below me was black (from the sediment). The legacy of Jaws still lingers on even though there isnt any major fish-life in the lake to speak of!

We had a stroll through the rainforest as well and the walk took us along a freshwater stream and featured some amazing flora and fauna, inlcuding one of the deadliest spiders in the world, unique to the island: the funnel-web jungle spider. Thankfully we didnt actually see one of these, rather I saw a larger 15 cm-wide spider hanging from a tree along the trail... oh joy!

After a fantastic feed for lunch (included in the 71 dollars price) we headed back around 4pm and this capped off an excellent trip! Highly recommended and top value for money... my next plan is to take a dive with the sharks on Thursday and chill out tommorrow... gotta run my net time is almost up!

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