Sunday, 5 July 2015

Fraser Island - Part 1 - Dingo Daze

Curlews on a sand bar.
Fraser Island - Garry's Anchorage. 5th July - 7th July

After another calm and pleasant night in Pelican Bay, we made a late start and slowly made our way along the 18 nautical miles to Garry's Anchorage on the west coast of Fraser Island. This meant we were totally getting warmer and hopefully socks and cardigans could soon make way for T-shirts and shorts (yeah... in my dreams right now). Unfortunately my legs are so white I could blind people if the sun inadvertently shone on them. I have determined that it may be time for the fake tan on them just in case. I'd hate to be mistaken for a beacon.

The 'Garry' of Garry's Anchorage.
Garry's Anchorage at Fraser Island.

Garry's anchorage is a peaceful haven and with only a few other boats around, it felt like our own little piece of paradise but rather than just sit about on the boat, and because the day was pretty much perfect, we dropped the dinghy and went ashore where we were greeted on the beach by a bloke who could have easily talked the hind leg off of a camel and still had more chat left for the hump. Even as we left him (luckily an unsuspecting couple of blokes had arrived, the perfect distraction for a hasty getaway) I don't think he took a breath before regaling the newcomers with another tale. Apart from telling us about the track he had gone down (the one we also decided to take) we had no clue what he was talking about.

The long track, now closed to vehicles, but a lovely walk.
Just a lovely tree.

Once again the warning signs were out for possible crocodile activity so we decided that the trek inland was definitely a sensible move. The track was an old 4 wheel drive track but was closed due to a weakened bridge further along, and so we pushed past the barriers and wandered down the wheel ruts looking out for birds or any other creature that might show itself.

Fraser Island is renowned for its dingoes but because of the size of the island, we had hopes but no real expectations of actually seeing one. When we had gone about a kilometre or so along the corridor, and with not a sound around us, I jokingly said to Dave "For all we know, there could be an entire pack of dingoes behind us and we'd never know". At that, Dave spun around and bugger me.... there was a dingo not 100 metres behind us! It was awesome! We stopped dead and whipped out the cameras as it trotted slowly towards us, watching us as warily as we watched him. He was a beauty and with no ear tags, he was an unknown quantity. He came another 30 metres closer before he decided that it was time to do a disappearing act, and with that, he veered right and vanished into the bush. It was a most fantastic experience. We're fairly sure that he may have trailed us for some distance from his camouflaged position. We saw nothing but the feeling that we weren't alone was strong for a while. We walked on just past the damaged bridge before the decision was made to go back and try the other way. We didn't see any more dingoes but it didn't matter one little bit.

An absolutely unexpected sight. What a handsome boy!

Back in the clearing near the beach, we took advantage of the fact that some sensible person had decided that tables and benches under the trees were a good idea.... yay that person! It was whilst we were sitting and having a bite to eat that I noticed several huge bugs under the table. After my initial "Oh my god, oh my god get it away!!" reaction, I noticed that they weren't moving and so I didn't panic much and had a closer, though very wary look. I panicked even less when I realised that these 'bugs' were nothing but husks, the creepy sheddings of something even larger, which luckily we didn't see. Yep, they could be the stuff of every entomophobe's nightmare!  I even got brave and moved the corpse on to the table to take a closer look.

It was a big bug! I was ever so brave!

A little more exploration in the opposite direction to the dingo encounter was made. We practised our 'twitching' (bird photography)  before we succumbed to the distant beckoning call of boat caffeine. Luckily the talky man had departed the beach to find other ears to bend, so we tootled back to the boat. It had been an interesting day!
White cheeked honey eater
Oyster catcher
Easter yellow robin.
A female honey-eater of some kind.

End of part one.... stay tuned for part two of our Fraser Island exploits :)  

Location: Garry's Anchorage, Great Sandy National Park, Queensland, Australia
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