I woke up before my 6am alarm, then I woke up to it, then fell back to sleep until 6.45am. I was outside waiting for the lift by 7am. Moreton Island is the world’s third largest sand island, so you really need a 4WD to get around. This means tour groups are limited to 10 people. Ally was our tour guide. Really nice lady, and reminds me of Sonia from South Africa, in a ‘save the planet’ kinda way. So there was me, Arek the Polish guy who can speak six languages, Hiro the Japanese guy from the same university as Arek, four Taiwanese student doctors, and three older Japanese people. It was a very sociable group – lots of chatting and laughing.
We got to the ferry and started the crossing at 8.30am. It takes about and hour and a half to get there. My main thought as we approached the island was, “I don’t see much sand”. It’s amazing how much vegetation grows here.
Our first stop was The Desert for sandboarding. Exactly how it sounds. You have a board and a big sand dune, you lie on the board, and go sliding down. Lots of fun, but you get sand everywhere. I had a handful in my pocket, and my camera got loads in it too! You have to keep the front of the board and your elbows up, otherwise you get slowed down and spray even more sand in your face. I had three tries and was pretty good at it. Didn’t try the standing up version though (basically sand surfing).
After that we drove along East Beach up to North Point. We had a quick dip in the ocean here, mostly to wash the sand off. There is one spot called Champagne Rocks, where the waves crash over a few rocks that stick out, and the water looks like champagne fizz. We had some really big waves while we were paddling round there. Me, Arek and Hiro then took a five minute walk round to a little cove, then back to the 4WD for lunch.
We got back in and headed up to the lighthouse. You could see the whole of East Beach from up there. And there were turtles swimming by the rocks just beneath us. It took a bit of looking to find them though! On the way back to the car park, you could see North Point where we had lunch, and all the way to the Glass House Mountains on the mainland.
Back into the 4WD and over to Blue Lagoon. This was a freshwater swimming hole. Not as beautiful as the ocean, but it was freshwater so you don’t get mouthfuls of salt all the time!
After that we were back in the 4WD and to the ferry for the 3.30pm crossing. I spent most of the journey outside, making the most of the view, and also trying to dry out my clothes. I got back inside to watch a few minutes of cricket though, and try to explain to Arek the difference between cricket and baseball.
Moreton Island was good fun, but five hours really isn’t long enough. Because all the “roads” are just sand tracks, driving is slow, so it takes a while to reach each destination.
I was back in the hostel by 6ish. Had a quick chat with the Canadian boys, then had a shower to make sure all the sand was gone. My camera must still have a few grains stuck in there because it isn’t totally happy with me.
Then I had a few drinks with a new guy in the room. He’s from Perth, and decided yesterday that he was sick of Perth, packed up all his clothes, sold his possessions, and bought the first plane ticket out. Also managed to watch some more cricket. England won. Again. Shocking.