📓 Entry #11 — Our most expensive camp trip.

Maeghan Smulders
A Little Detour
Published in
6 min readFeb 17, 2018


February 16, 2018

There are so many things to see and do here in Australia, but its a big country and we only have a few weeks time before moving to our next destination.

We had a toss up on whether we should visit the Whitsunday sand island tour, or check out the largest sand island in the world — Fraser Island.

Both activities were expensive, several hundred dollars just for a day trip in a big tour group. But there was something about Fraser Island that was calling my name. Maybe the desire to get away from the cities for a few days and my inner ambition to be a lady of the wild…. meaning a good camper like the rest of my family (I’ve been known to be more of a glamcamper than normal camper).

So we bit the bullet and picked the big sand island as our next destination
[ You can see all our pictures here ].

We rented a little Jimmy jeep with 4WD + got the overnight camping package (since it was a little bit more than the group tour for one day — and we were not tied to a tour schedule). Soon after booking, we realized that we needed to head further up the coast to a town called Hervey Bay to make it in time to catch the 8am morning ferry since we were currently beach bumming in Noosa that was 2 hours away.

Oli and I received special training for 4WD’ing (4 wheel driving) in the sand dunes of Fraser. Turns out, it is a lot like driving in snow…. but to be honest, I prefer the sand over snow 😉

Caught the ferry and once getting off, made our way on the island. We were taken back to 1999 without google to help us, had a paper laminated map with highlight paths that we could take. We also had a suggested itinerary of where on the island we should visit in order to maximize our time and not get lost in the sand tracks.

Adventure to Wabby Lake

Our first stop was at Wabby Lake, a massive sand dune that had a rain made lake below with a family of large cat fish living in it. We hiked up the hill to find a small lake below.. and a small group of only 5 people that left after only 20 min in the lake to stay on time for their tour. It was pretty neat to be completely by our selves.

Then as we got back in the car, we realized how terrible we both were at navigating on a map with no clear road signs or digital support. So we followed what we think was the only road out of the area and shortly after got stuck. Not by our doing… but a car that appeared out of no where had run over a tree truck and unable to move.

Oli got out to try and help them. But had no luck.

Because we couldn’t pass, and they couldn’t move… we had to reverse and drive back on the only road that we thought made a loop around to a different destination outside of the suggested itinerary.. this detour took us 2 hours to complete.

Tea tree lake that starts with a B

We were running short on time, it was starting to get dark… we had a tent to set up and dinner to make so we weren’t able to stay long at the next destinations.

We stopped at a lake with a really long and weird name that started with a Benni… something.. and it is surrounded by tea trees. So the lake water has a very strange multi-colour look about it because it is essentially cold tea! It was super soothing on the skin and smelt really great.

We got to drive down the beach at sunset and that was incredible.

My Uber driver picking me up.

We got to our campsite and had maybe 40 min left of sunlight and quickly went to setting up our tent.

Fraser Island is known for it’s wild dingos — they are scavenger dogs that eat mostly crabs, fish and lizard but have been known to attack people. We saw a few during the day (they are very skinny, but cute looking dogs) and I had read up on my dingo safe practices. After setting up the tent, and being attacked by sand flies.. Oli was ready to make dinner. And this is generally how our conversation went:

Oli: Alright! It’s pitch black, but I can use the headlamps to cook our beef and bean pasta dish.

Maeghan: Umm… can we just eat sandwiches for dinner and then have the beef tomorrow?

Oli:…. Maeghan, we’ve had sandwiches all day… I was really looking forward to the beef pasta!

Maeghan: I read the Dingo Safe pamphlet… and dingos are attracted to the smell of sweets and meats. And I am now afraid a dingo will come eat us if we eat anything that smells good.

Oli:… Are you serious?…

Maeghan: Yes.

So that night we had sandwiches……. I will one day be a good camper, I know it. ps. Oli is a champ.

We also got to star gaze and watch the most incredible sky. That I was also too scared to stand outside for too long in fear dingos may find me alone and with out defence.

It costed an extra $20 for sleeping bags and pillows, so we instead bought a blanket and cheap pillows from the super store which paired with the flat yoga foam was not the best night of sleep (also the fear of dingos still prevailed).

Day two came quick and we packed up and got right to sight seeing again.

We visited Eli Creek and a really cool ship wreck that used to be a Japanese hospital ship during the second World War, and as it was being towed back for scraps after the war, got hit by a Cyclone and washed up on Fraser Island.

Then visited some other beautiful areas of the beach and rain created lakes.

Overall the island was beautiful and made us feel like we were the only ones there since we would rarely see any tour groups (our timing for visits didn’t overlap). That is until we got to the main attraction of Lake Mackenzie when a massive amount of 40~ people there… in a crystal blue rain water lake that was so pure from the sand cleaning and maintaining the water.

It was a super great trip filled with adventure, natural beauty and good company. I’m super happy we did it despite the price tag. We learned to be better together because of it.

See more on our website www.alittledetour.ca🌏✈️👫



Maeghan Smulders
A Little Detour

Hi! 🙋 I'm a tall, homeschooled, well traveled, terrible speller, who loves ice cream, building things and can be hilarious at times 👉 www.maeghansmulders.com