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From the worlds largest Sand Castle to the Sunshine Coast

Lake on Fraser Island

And so it continues….

Our generous tour of this part of Australia continued in glorious fashion today.

Starting nice and early with ‘call me Richo…or Richard just not Rick’ the worlds most knowledgeable tour guide ever from Fraser Island Company tours.

Which is just as well as we were off to Fraser Island – the world’s largest sand castle – and there was so much information that Richo just had to get out. 

In fact I began to think that Richardo had skipped the school lesson that taught how full stops worked such was his passion to yabber.

To be honest ordinarily this style of commentary would drive me nuts – but Richardio was saved by the fact that he was just so damn interesting.

There was nothing he didn’t know…..well except maybe for a few of the functions on the brand spanking new 4 wheel drive that was our Island transport.

4wd Fraser Island

Bouncing around the Island we visited a lake, were shown trees of interest, learnt all about Dingos and exactly how Richero felt about the government culling of said wild dogs.

Ship Wreck Fraser island

We had lunch and then a hoon on a beach to a shipwreck before sadly parting ways and leaving the beach in the most exhilarating way ever.

About to take off on Beach Fraser Island

By Sea plane – taking off we took in the sheer scale of the Island and looked across at the crystal clear waters of Lake Mackenzie.

Cruising at altitude up the coast we had a couple of interesting moments diving in and out of a few clouds and then looking down on Noosa before touching down at the pretty little Sunshine Coast Airport.

Had a bit of a sad moment as we said farewell to our excellent wine drinking TQ host Gemma. We ditched her to pick up another Gemma who came complete with a Brooke.

Our newest best friends then whisked us up the coast back to the charming and relaxed surfy village of Noosa, checking us into a flash room in the French Quarter. Greg walked into the room first so nabbed the giant double overlooking the pool courtyard and spa while I happily settled for the single next door.

No time to debate this though as we were given a five minute warning to don boardies and head off to our next adventure.

Clarke on Paddle Board

Paddle Boarding.

And what a great way to wind out the huge day.

With not a breath of wind on the harbour our instructor Chris soon had us out enjoying some turns and the last of the days sun.

True to form a surge in confidence not backed up by skill soon had me drinking water and scrabbling to climb back on board. …..on more than one occasion.

Chris even let his dog ride shot gun on my board as we worked our way up the harbour. It needs to be said the poor thing looked petrified the whole time as she had been watching my failed turns moments earlier.

Returning the dog to dads board we made our way back, had a quick peek at the beach and then returned to accom to get ready for a dinner out with our new besties tonight. I’m stalking the fridge for something to give me energy to stay awake.

This is losing? – man this ain’t to bad at all…

Flying into Lady Elliot Island

This being Australia its pretty apt to use the term ‘as the dust settles’ – but that’s exactly what it is doing in the aftermath of being caught up in one of the biggest publicity generating promotions of all time – bigger than the Obama campaign so they are saying.

And I have to say it’s pretty hard to find the silver lining when there doesn’t seem to be any damn clouds in this part of the world today.

However the silver lining under the failed applicant cloud would have to be the incredible site seeing trip that Tourism Queensland has organised for us all separately.

After the final night wrap party wrapped ummm…at…I think….4am….ish – my first media interview was at 5:45am. Thankfully just via telephone, but lets just say by the end of yesterday I was a gibbering sleep deprived mess.

So you can imagine how amazing it was to get a proper nights sleep in the brand new apartments of Whale Cove in Hervey Bay. Then get up fresh and fly in a small plane over to the tiny little island of Lady Elliot Island. One of the only inhabited coral cay islands in the Great Barrier, and just 42 hectare’s with 41 rooms available to stay in.

looking down in Lady Elliot

A doctor couldn’t have ordered it better.

The air strip is the length of the Island and I knew we were somewhere special when upon approach I spotted a manta ray swimming like a slow motion bird down below us. As it turns out Manta Ray spotting is such a common occurrence they’ve made it the Islands Logo

And I’ve just read a whole thesaurus but I still can’t find anything sufficient to describe the snorkelling. Like staggering into a large colourful musical stage performance half way through the finale.  Rainbows of crazy fish all darting about like there lives depended on it. Which turned out to be the case for a small fish I watched get eaten by an aggressive Coral Trout. Boy do those things have some teeth.

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Although I’m pleased the little reef fish who bit my arm and then rushed my camera wasn’t similarly equipped. I’m guessing he didn’t like being backed into his corner.

The visibility was incredible.

Long ones, short ones, yellow, silver, multi coloured, snout nosed, long nosed, turtle nosed – just about every single fish you could ever find using google images was out on show.

The half hour roared by.

Back on the island and a decent lunch later, some deck chairs were discovered in the lee of the lighthouse and 3 happy campers sprawled themselves out and promptly went to sleep.

After the chaos, effort and work load of the days prior on Hamilton island I could feel the stress and tension sliding away, and what a perfect Island to do it on.

Departing I was completely jealous of the few people staying on for the night.

Birds on lady Elliot

But back to Hervey Bay it was where as a kiwi I’m already being heckled about the impending league game this evening. (NZ vs Aussie) – We smashed them last time to take the world cup, fingers crossed a similar upset occurs this evening……although chances not looking to good. There’s nothing like an Aussie backed into the corner – just ask that little fish that had a go at me.

  • Nesting sea birds (Nov – May)
  • Humpback Whales (June – August)
  • Island is a Green Zone Marine reserve
  • One of the best spots in the world for diving with Manta Rays

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* Internet connection a little slow to load pics – will try later tonight.