Anne hooked it up this week. We’re staying at a lux condo on Hervey Bay, it’s literally straight out of a magazine. On the “DL” it’s an A-list Aussie’s beach pad…. I know, is this real life? After surviving some pretty questionable accommodations in Asia, this place is hitting the spot: laundry, full kitchen, deck with a view of the bay, pool, private hot tub, gym, my own bed, bathroom, warm showers… just wow. Outside the condo, Hervey Bay is so quaint. It seems to be a holiday town geared towards an older crowd so the vibe is slower paced with restaurants closing down by 11pm (which I am loving right now!) What brings in the backpackers and tourists is that it’s a launching pad for Fraser Island, the largest sand island in the world.

It’s 100% sand….no rock and no dirt but it magically grows a rainforest. The water is as clear as, well, water. It’s drinkable almost everywhere on the island. 100-some lakes throughout with a handful of streams producing a flow rate of 10 million liters per hour or more. That’s 30x the amount of water in Sydney Harbor…. How do I know all this? I got to play assistant tour guide to Steve, “Explore Fraser Island” tour guide extraordinaire. I earned this prestigious opportunity by strategically placing myself in the co-captain’s seat to avoid motion sickness while off-roading all day about the island…. motion sickness rarely has perks, but today it sure did! Steve shared tales from his years of touring the island while I scanned the big windows to spot a dingo and enjoy the view from the best seat in the house.

We strolled through the rainforest, drove on the beach “highway”, peeked through an old washed up shipwreck, walked through a natural lazy river, paused through aboriginal spiritual grounds, and off-roaded up to Lake McKenzie (quite possibly the most beautiful lake I’ve ever seen… yeah, for sure, the most beautiful)…. WHAT A DAY!

I definitely haven’t had a birthday celebration like this before. Thankful for you, Anne x2 :)

First Aussie “World Heritage Listed” site down, up next, the Great Barrier Reef!