By Sophia Brumme, Class of 2019
The first trip I took in Australia was to Fraser Island in Queensland. It is the world’s largest sand island. The day we departed, we were divided up into groups of eight. My friend and I were the only Americans. We were grouped with a boy from Israel, a girl from the U.K, another from the Netherlands and a pair of friends from France. The eight of us had our own car to drive for the next three days, but only four people were qualified to drive stick shift on the sand in our group. There were three other groups of eight and a tour guide that would be traveling with us around the island. After we introduced ourselves, we packed up our four-wheel drives to head to the island. When we first got there, we drove down the beach for about two hours until we got to Lake Wabby. We had to hike for 45 minutes and walk through the desert just to get to this lake, but it was worth it. It was a beautiful, green lake with tiny fish that ate the dead skin off our feet! After this, we drove to the campsite that we would be staying at for the next two nights. On the way there, we were lucky enough to spot some dingos, which are feral dogs that live on the island.
The second day, we drove to Eli Creek where we got to float down the creek like a lazy river. This water was so clean we could drink from it. We borrowed a giant flamingo float from some kind Aussies to travel down the river on. After this, we drove to Lake Garawongera. This was a lake that had tea tree oil, so it is really good for your skin and hair! This was my favorite part of the trip because I love tea tree oil so I soaked in the lake, getting the most of this natural spa treatment until we headed to the Champagne pools. These pools get their name from the bubbles that are formed when the waves hit the rocks. With each wave there is a flood of champagne-like bubbles into the pools. We ended our day by visiting the SS Maheno shipwreck. This is a shipwreck with a long history of being a luxury cruise liner which was ultimately bought by the Japanese during World War II. It never made it to its destination and still sits on the shores of Fraser Island today. On the last day, we visited the famous Lake McKenzie. This lake is called “Australia’s most beautiful lake” because of the white sand and light blue water. It was the perfect way to end the trip. This was an amazing first experience of traveling not only because there were breathtaking sites, but also because I made so many amazing friends from around the world.