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A loooong day at Fraser Island...

Proudly broadcast by... Love Bytes Friday, November 27, 2009

So, last weekend, we decided at the very last minute to pack up and drive to Fraser Island for the day. When I say last minute, I mean LAST minute! It was about 8pm on Saturday night and if we were to make full use of the day, we needed to leave by around 4am the next morning to ensure that we would arrive at the optimal tidal times.

Ok, so I spent a chaotic and late night packing up the car and getting ready for the drive, whilst Steve slept so that he could safely drive us there in the morning.

Amazingly, we managed to accomplish the task and we had a lovely day at Fraser! The kids floated around in Eli Creek for a couple of hours, and even Neo, (who is petrified of baths due to Zali pushing him under one day) had a really nice time, as you can see here.

We spent many hours driving along the beach, and our car, who we call "Serious Black" handled it perfectly! We actually got Serious a couple of years ago just so that we could go to Fraser and camping etc, but we've never actually had the opportunity to go. So we were relieved that Serious Black cut through the sand easily, and even managed to snatch out a hilux that was bogged and had a broken axel! It was great advertising for Ankle Biters too as we had a number of people ask us about the business when they saw the signage on our car.

We had a really long day, admittedly, mostly due to me pushing everyone to take photos everywhere we went (what self-respecting photographer could resist the opportunity to use the beautiful backdrop that is Fraser Island?!). BUT, it was SO worth it! We really needed the time out from the stresses of home, and a beautiful change of scenery, plus, I got to capture these:

Just check out these little performers!

And, the day was not without it's hairy moments either! We almost ran out of fuel on the way back, and discovered that Rainbow Beach has no fuel available after 6pm so we very gingerly limped another 80kms down the beach to Tewantin, grinding our teeth the whole way and sweating it out with no air conditioning, hoping that we would make it! The poor kids, who were totally exhausted had to deal with our anxiety on top with us snapping at them all the way to be quiet as we weren't game enough to take our eyes off the fuel gauge!

Here is some shots from our "enjoyable" trip home...

Hehe, ok, so the one of Steve was a set-up, but it looked so "real" that I had to include it here! The one of Zali screaming her lungs out is NOT a set up! Her and Molly-Rose were fighting over the only pair of sunglasses that they had between them, and this was the result! :) Neo, as you can see, couldn't care less about sunglasses or anything else for that matter!

Those of you who know us may be asking where the boys were?! Well, Keegan was celebrating his birthday in Mackay with his Dad, and poor Jaimyn was sitting way back in the 3rd row of seats so I couldn't get my camera at him! (He was more than happy about this!) I did, however, manage to get one shot of him, when he climbed a tree and couldn't run away from me! And, doesn't he look impressed?!? I think it's because of the reaaaaally bad haircut that he has right now! (and no, it was not me who did it!)

Amazingly, we made it to Tewantin with about 2 litres of fuel to spare! And at about 9pm, we literally rolled into a servo and filled up. Another 2 hours later, we were finally home! I slept most of the way and poor Steve had only his coffee to keep him company as we all snored our heads off. Lucky we'd had the foresight the night previous to allow Steve to get a good sleep whilst I was packing the car!

So, all in all, it was a very eventful, loooooong day, but an enjoyable one, no less!

Now, one thing that struck us whilst we were on Fraser was the apparent disrespect that people seem to continually show for the island. It is a jewel on this earth. One of the most beautiful places that I have ever been lucky enough to experience. I am even more in awe when I consider that people travel from the other side of the world to be able to experience what Fraser Island has to offer, and here we are, only a few short hours drive away! We are so lucky to have it so close, and yet, every time we visit, we see evidence of people who don't seem to comprehend just how lucky we are. Rubbish, graffiti, pollution, people not abiding by rules set down by National Parks & wildlife are just some of these things.

Here is the latest example that we saw for ourselves:

Now why anyone in their right mind would want to waste their Fraser Island experience by spending time watching television is beyond me, but to just dump it on the beach is disgusting. I mean do people not get that they are destroying the very thing that they are traveling to enjoy?! If they took the trouble to drag the big heavy contraption all the way TO the island with them, wouldn't one simply take it home too? Possibly, it stopped working, or was dropped off the back of a ute? But, to just LEAVE it there, like that, on the beach?!

There is evidence of this kind of abuse all over Fraser, and I'm afraid that it could be getting worse. There are regular bush fires on the island now, due to the carelessness of campers who refuse to abide by the rule that says "no open fires allowed anywhere on the island". There is charred, blackened trees everywhere and many of the freshwater wash-outs that flow onto the beach are not their usual crystal-clear selves, due to the soot from the fires.

There are so many things to be proud of as an Aussie, especially the beauty that we are surrounded with, but honestly, the lack of respect for this beauty is something that we should all be ashamed of.

People travel from the other side of the world, paying many of thousands of dollars to witness something that we have on our door-step, and yet, some of us cannot even be bothered to pick something up and chuck it in the back of their car to ensure that the beauty remains. I can see that in generations to come, we will be lamenting the loss of such places like Fraser Island, and then what? We will all get to sit on our lounges, looking at the lost beauty through scenes on televisions just like the one left on the beach. Scenes that once were available to us for just a short drive, and scenes that television can never truly capture. Television doesn't show allow you to hear the birds in the trees, or the waves on the beach. It doesn't allow you to smell the salt in the air or to feel the sand in your toes. Nothing can replace the feeling of the wind on your face as you drive along the beach, or the icy chill of the freshwater on your legs as you wade through Eli Creek.

It is so sad that the very possibility exists that one day, we, and our children, may no longer be able to experience these gifts that Fraser Island (and other beautiful locations like it) has to offer, and I think that the image above, of the television on the beach, is a grave reminder as to why.

Please people, show some respect for what we have in the here and now, because if we don't, the days are numbered and simple things, like building a sandcastle on the beach, may become just another one of those old cliches following the question"do you remember when?"...

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