Week Two on the Road: Liberation, Lakes & Lethal Snakes
I think that week two of road tripping is when you really start to learn more about the other person you're travelling with (since you're quite literally together 24 hours a day, 7 days a week). And I must admit that spending this amount of time together, was probably one of my biggest fears about going on the road trip. As Henrik and I (mostly) only got to only spend time together for 10 minutes in the morning (at 5am whereby we were both in zombie mode) or for 5/10 minutes in the evening when he came home from work at 5:30pm (which was before I went off to my second job). Granted we occasionally both had the odd Sunday off, which meant bike riding, mountain hiking, a beach day... or just doing absolutely nothing at all, laying in bed watching Netflix all day (we're currently addicted to the series 'Shameless').
So naturally, I was a little anxious about going from spending the least amount of time with him, to the most amount of time. (Being an only child I have a tendency for enjoying time by myself and needing my own space to breath). However, it's actually worked out really well, as in the van I tend to wake up around 5/6/7am.. Henrik however would be awake at 11/12 if he had it his way. So I use these few hours of unconscious Henrik to do the things I enjoy doing in my own time, like blogging, drawing, yoga or reading.
So anyway, as I was saying: you get to learn more about the person you're travelling with. I have learnt that Henrik is sometimes over careful, whereby I receive constant reminders to not spill food on the bed, not to lose the van key or my phone or purse for that matter (which we turned the whole van upside down for the other day as I thought I had lost it-oops). And he has learnt that I'm over-clumsy-the complete opposite of careful with things and possessions (some may say careless in fact).
But we've both reached a somewhat balance and acceptance of this side to one another (hopefully). One thing however that I've had a hard time getting to grips with, are the copious amounts of farts that this boy manages to squeeze out on a daily basis. But I guess I only have myself to blame due to constantly feeding him delicious vegan food (but unfortunately he still drinks milk, eats eggs and will opt for a meat dish when its cheap to eat out-so I haven't won him over just yet).
Any who, so our week two on the road began in an absolutely beautiful town on the Sunshine Coast, called Noosa. Noosa Heads is apparently a world famous surfing destination (which is a shame for me as I've yet to have learnt how to surf, without getting tangled by somebody else's surfboard cords and then getting dragged/drowned 100m by my neck through the water as they catch a wave-but I'll get there someday). But anyway, regardless of whether you can surf or not, Noosa is absolutely a must see destination if you're travelling through the Sunshine Coast at all.
If you like nature, you will LOVE Noosa! I've actually been a few times now (as it was only a 40 minute bus journey from my hostel) and whenever I visist, it feels like I've taken a holiday (from my holiday). There's a beautiful national park/nature trail which you can hike through (home to one lonely koala bear which I unfortunately never had the pleasure of spotting-I think I need to wear my glasses more often), which leads you out towards beautiful beaches, cliff faces and the fairy pools (which are basically giant rock pools which are super deep and can swim in).
So basically, Noosa has a lot to offer for one who wanders in hope to see the natural beauties in everyday life. One perhaps not so great thing about Noosa however, is that it's not too backpacker friendly in the sense that everything there is expensive as shit. The food, the accommodation, the coffee etc. To overcome this little hurdle though, we managed to find a spot on Wikicamps, where we were able to camp for free which was about 20 mins away from Noosa Heads (the main place to visit in Noosa). And despite being yet again sleeping at the rest bite of a highway, I truly felt at home as I gazed into the blackness of the night, where I saw hundreds and thousands of stars, brightly littered throughout the sky (a luxury some will unfortunately never get to experience due to the problem of light pollution).
After staying at Noosa for a few nights, we made our way up to a place called 'Rainbow Beach', which many people from our hostel had boasted was a must-see experience. When we got there however, although it was beautiful, it was probably no more beautiful than Maroochydore (the town where we stayed to do our farm work). Despite this, I think that all of the real true gems of Rainbow beach, are hidden for only those who have access to 4X4 vehicles. Unfortunately for us, our van Mushi would most definitely not survive beach or off-road driving. But we did however manage to find a nature trail (2km walk) which led to 'Lake Poona', which looked something like the backdrop of a film. It had the whitest sand and we had it all completely to ourselves. Admittedly the rocky, dusty road we drove down to get down there was probably a bit too dodgy for poor Mushi's tyres, but I would definitely say it was worth it (Henrik may say otherwise).
Whilst at Rainbow Beach, we once again decided to camp in places we probably shouldn't have camped (as the park ranger came on the second morning and told us to kindly move on). These first two nights were spent at a place called 'Seary's Creek', which is creepy as fuck at night time (thank god I have Henrik as a toilet buddy). Despite this, as soon as the sun comes up its super beautiful, and you can follow a little crooked walk way which leads you in two directions towards an (almost crystal clear) creek, where wild cat fish are swimming about! I decided to skip out on a morning swim though as I was a bit unsure of what other wild life was lurking amongst the depths of the waters (but this sure didn't stop Henrik).
Overall we had a nice time at Rainbow beach, it probably wasn't my favourite we've visited so far, but we did manage to go on a few cool hikes and discovered some awesome sand dunes (which are a hell of a workout to run up by the way). The town itself in Rainbow is practically non-existent, with a small strip of about 5/6 shops/restaurants and two over-priced fuel stations. So if you're heading down to Rainbow and are planning on going to Fraser Island, make sure you stop off at Aldi (or another cheap supermarket) before hand as Rainbow literally has 2 small (super expensive) supermarkets (if you can even call them that). There was however a small cafe (Cafe Jilarty) which offers $10 backpacker meals which is great (but not so great if you're vegan and gluten free, and the only option you can have off the menu is a salad-story of my life).
We spent the last two nights camped in our van in a backpackers (Pippie's Beach house) car park, which meant we finally had the luxury of hot showers and brushing our teeth at a bathroom sink! (Also a great tip for backpacker's who don't want to spend $20+ to park at caravan sites, you can usually sleep in your van and use the facilities at a backpackers for around 10 bucks a night). They also offer tours etc to take you to Fraser Island but Henrik and I decided to hire out our own 4X4 vehicle (which was an absolute beast) and we made our own private tour (which pretty much worked out the same price as going on a tour accept we had complete freedom and flexibility). Of course, we didn't want to pay for camping (backpackers on a budget here) so we slept in the car instead which was probably one of the most uncomfortable nights of my life (so far).
We caught a ferry over to Fraser Island from Inskip point which quite literally took about 7 minutes (if that) and then we were off and free into the wild. I let Henrik do all the driving as I can barely trust myself driving on the roads, never mind driving on soft sand you can get stuck in (which we did). Fraser Island was super cool and is apparently the world's largest sand island (and the only known place in the world where the rain-forest grows on sand!). Also not to mention, home to three of the four most deadly snakes on the planet. One of which (the Eastern brown snake, second most deadly on the planet which paralyses the bodies vital organs), we saw about 1 meter away from our feet as we hiked through the rain forest to get to Lake Boomanjin (the largest perched lake in the world, which is filled with tea tree leaves making your skin feel amazing).
So despite the deadly snakes, there were also (most likely) deadly spiders in practically every toilet to watch you whilst you pee. Not to mention the wild dingo's running about where you're constantly reminded not to leave ANY food around (this was a struggle for Henrik and I as we're constantly eating). Despite all of the crazy warnings though, we only ever saw one lonely dingo wandering the beach alone.
Fraser has a lot to offer and we could have easily spent more than one night there (especially as everything took so long to get to with the roads literally being deep sand tracks throughout the rain-forest). However despite only having two days on the island, we managed to see Eli Creek, the Maheno shipwreck (110 years old), Lake Wabby, Lake Boomanjin and the most famous of the island-Lake McKenzie. Despite being warned that Lake McKenzie would be jam packed, there were barely any people there (they've clearly never been to Barry island on a summers day). The Lake in itself was huge which meant everyone had lots of space anyway, and there were heaps of places to rest without being surrounded by others. The Lake itself was absolutely beautiful with the most crystal clear water I've ever seen in a lake! I can crystal clearly see why its a major attraction for Fraser (no pun intended).
After Fraser we returned our beast of a hire car and are now patiently waiting to get our $1500 bond back (let us pray that we do not get ripped off). Our next upcoming adventure is looking like its going to be Hervey Bay (which is peak time for whale watchibg) and then who knows from there on-wards. It honestly feels so liberating having absolutely nowhere to be (and having no idea what day or time it is most of the time). Being able to go wherever we feel like, whenever we feel like has been a truly liberating experience, bringing me so much freedom and joy. I feel so grateful and blessed to be able to experience everything that I have been experiencing, with someone who I can easily call my best friend. What a life this is.
To keep up with our adventures, be sure to check out my insta page for up to date travel photos!