There is a common plan for sailing between Bundaberg and Sydney. Due to the consistently strong southerly current that runs down the east coast of Australia, many yachts choose sail quickly down to Sydney - 3 days at sea should do it - and then make a more leisurely passage north by hugging the coast to keep out of the strong southerly current. Hugging the coast is known here as having ‘one foot on the beach’ and you can day sail from harbour to harbour.
We had pondered a quick trip south, but people, places, weather and the odd wrench in the works meant that this is not to be. We left Bundaberg…. And are only halfway mostly because of short weather windows as well as places to see along the way.
And this is a terrific map - K’gari / Fraser Island map. It is worth having a look at if only for all the warnings.
I didn’t expect that our stops would be quite so short or I would have taken more photos, but I do know that we will spend much more times there on our way back to Bundaberg in May 2024.
We did go ashore with Claudia and Philip from Bruno’s Girl and checked out the resort pools that are free to all comers. Philip had a rather good looking meat pie at the outrageously expensive mini mart. On our way back from Maryborough we anchored near the ferry terminal to Fraser Island. The little supermarket there advertised/warned that it was the last shop with mainland prices.
With Philip full of pie, we went for a walk. Whenever you leave the busy tourist areas there are warning signs laying out the safety advice concerning the native population of K’gari dingoes. ‘Keep children close, if threatened by a group of dingoes behave like a wildebeest confronted by, well, a pack of dingoes - children in the middle, adults facing outward’. Last but not least, call for help.
I can’t quite remember now but I think there must have been a fence and a maybe gate at the start of the walk. I do remember the ‘dingo sticks’ stuck in the sand near the entrance and a sign saying, ‘Please take one’ and a repeat of the rules to follow if approached by dingoes.
We saw no dingoes here, but we did see one on the bank near an anchorage further south on the island. Two young couples were camped on the bank. We were sitting in the cockpit with Philip chatting when someone noticed a dingo nosing around the campsite. The couples were away at the time and we watched the dingo disappear into an area they had covered with an orange tarp (which matched the small orange trimaran anchored of the beach that they had arrived on). The dingo soon reappeared and then disappeared into the brush. As Aussie campers, we were that they were well aware of the dingoes in the area.
Back to the walk…
Our walk started on the high land and wound through a forest, past a war memorial - Fraser Island Commando School - and down onto the beach. All the paths we walked on were a fine white sand and exhausting to walk on. Looking up from the beach, you could see under the trees and grasses only a thin top layer and then just sand. The slope to the beach with either freshly eroded sand or sand covered in scrubby growth.