A thin lighting bolt struck the ground just a few yards in front of me.
“Fuck this. This is dangerous,” cursed a muscled German boy, turning back down the hill.
A rumble of thunder, the sky flashed purple again and I quickly follow suit. My skin was soaked, newly made streams poured down the slope, and my glasses blurred with the rain.The world was water and I felt like I was swimming through it as I make my way back to the bus.
“That was awesome!” Davie, our tour guide, gleefully said once we’re all back on board, “I didn’t expect any of you guys to actually go up!”
By up he meant Indian Head, an iconic viewing spot for the idyllic Fraser Island, the largest sand island in the world. Our view from it probably wasn’t the best.
For you see, Fraser Island was experiencing one of the worst cyclones in ten years and on our second day, we found ourselves right in the middle of it.
We didn’t let the storm dampen our spirits – pardon that pun – and we continued on with the Cool Dingo experience. The entire tour group spent the day in swimwear as our clothes had been soaked as soon as we’d got off the bus. We managed to tick off a couple more sightseeing spots, including the Pinnacles.
And the shipwreck.
Thankfully, the weather did ease off later in the afternoon and we got to spend it on the beach, tubing down a creek and even spotting a few wild dingoes.
The rain picked up again the next day, but nowhere near the heavyweight, pounding the ground stuff from the day before. We all went swimming in Lake Birrabeen, barely giving the rain a second thought as we were going to get wet anyway. Plus, this time there was no risk of lighting.
“Not everyone gets to see this place in a storm,” Davie said, “Plus you guys are getting an extra experience of the roads.” Experience meant being lifted out of your seat and constantly rocking side to side. Driving through the bumpy forest was pretty exhilarating.
Once again, the weather miraculously improved in the afternoon. This time the overcast sky worked in our favour as it made the half hour walk to Sandy National Park comfortable, rather than sweaty.
A sweeping desert, juxtaposed by a nearby lake. We stumbled down a ludicrously steep sand dune and stayed sat still on the water edges so little fish could nibble the dead skin from our feet. A surprising spot for a spa treatment.
.A personal favourite spot of mine, though perhaps it was because the storm had yet to hit, was Lake Mckenzie. It was crystal clear, with the softest sand I’ve felt. It felt like pure paradise there.
Davie said there’s nowhere else in the world quite like Fraser Island and I have to agree with him . It is so spectacularly scenic, from the blue of the lakes, the green of the forest, and even the purple of the lighting. We saw such wonderful things, even during the storm, and I think it can say a lot about a place that you can have such a good time in the middle of a cyclone.
Davie was impressed everyone on the bus was so willing to get out and embrace the place, even in the weather. He fed of our energy and loved it. He said:
“I want everyone to take away something from this trip, be it more knowledge about nature, or the attitude we all shared about the rain – don’t let obstacles get in the way of enjoying your life.”