Lake McKenzie

33 Days in the Wilderness Day 17

We are up early again for our drive around the island.  At breakfast we find out that the kitchen bins are adjacent to the laundry facilities and Maureen had not one, but two dingoes for company.

We queue for the four wheel drive coach which cost 250,000 Australian dollars.  Another stringy dingo saunters along the road as we wait.  He totally ignores the humans.

We are taken on a woodland walk around a stream.  There are water snakes swimming in the stream and huge spiders and webs in the vegetation.  We get back on the coach and it stops so we can view the Maheno which is wrecked on the beach.  It’s huge rusting bulk is unsafe but there are always those who will jump aboard to pose for a photograph.

Kevin is our tour guide and driver but he keeps forgetting what he is saying, mid-sentence and mid-word.

We hear Geoffrey had been taken off the island by helicopter last night and is in hospital very ill.

We travel inland to Lake McKenzie.  The lake is of silica sand and the water stays in the lake because of the fallen vegetation which provides a catchment layer for the rainwater.  I wish I had brought a plastic container as the silica is the same sand that jewellers use to clean jewellery.  Most of the ladies are to be seen down on their knees cleaning their rings and bracelets for free.

Kevin has told us not to put on sun tan lotion if we want to swim as they don’t want the lake polluted.  The setting is picture post card but the reality is that the lake shelves rapidly within ten feet of the edge.

I can’t believe that today we are actually shown a rusty wreck that the Australians are proud of.  It must be polluting the sea and the sand.  Kevin has also walked us deep into the forest and shown us a King Fern which he gloomily reports is no longer reproducing because of global warming.  I want to let him know that these ferns are growing just fine in West Cork but don’t want to spoil his enjoyment of being miserable. Who am I to spoil his fun.

We are taken on another walk to view the seven different coloured shifting sands but are not allowed near as we might pollute the area!

It starts to rain heavily again as we return to the coach.  Kevin morosely tells us on the return journey that all of the beautiful sandy beaches that we can see are unsafe. One side of Fraser Island is notorious for rip tides and the other side is full of sharks.

We buy hot Ross buns in the shop and I get some butter from the restaurant.

We next meet up with Brenda for our evening meal.  It is self-service in the restaurant and as our fellow guests are mainly Far Eastern, there is very little European food.  I ask one of the chefs if are there any potatoes amongst all the dishes. He says, “No Madam, but would Madam like some French fries.?”

Madam would and he delivers a huge platter to our table.  Some of the Americans at the next table acknowledge our existence but their eyes are fixed on the fries and we make a grandiose gesture of sharing our spoils with them.

There are two large chest freezer compartments on one side of the self-service section.  Brenda is a chocoholic and finds four different types of chocolate ice cream.  She returns for seconds then thirds.

As we turn in for the night we get the news that Geoffrey has viral pneumonia.