We got on board the Alexander Stewart on monday evening. We motored to our first anchorage at dusk which took a few hours. Some people on the boat weren't feeling too well that first evening, because it was somewhat rough and dark which upset some stomachs. The next day we sailed a bit to a spot where we could hike to a lookout and a beautiful white silica sand beach. We could go swimming, but had to wear a "stinger suit" which is a thin, fine mesh full body suit that protects you from stinging jellyfish. The next day we got a chance to go snorkeling, but it was a little disappointing because the water was murky and we weren't in a very good location. Amy saw a big sea turtle though, and we saw several kinds of tropical fish. We did some more sailing, and another bush walk up to a lookout point. It was great having all accommodation and meals taken care of, and having a chance to just relax!
We returned on thursday at 3pm, and started to drive toward Hervey Bay. On the way we called to book a tour of Fraser Island, which left the next day at 8am. After 900 km of driving that got us to Hervey Bay at 4am, we slept for a couple of hours in the car and then got on board the ferry to Fraser Island. We were with a group of about 24 people and our transportation was a big green Unimog (pictures available eventually). The roads are usually deep sand and often quite rough - the Unimog did very well. Fraser Island is the largest sand island in the world, and has rainforests, long beaches, sand dunes, freshwater lakes, and much more. We saw most of it on a whirlwind trip that was great fun. On the second day we went swimming in three different places - a river, the ocean, and a lake! We also took a short helicopter flight over the island.
After returning on saturday, we stayed the night in Hervey Bay rather than driving more that day. Today (sunday) we drove south to Noosa, taking the scenic route. We saw a small sign to a lookout point and drove up a gravel road to the top of Wolvey Mountain where there was a fire lookout tower. There was an amazing view from up there! Our "Uni-bishi" did well enough on the gravel road.
So we are now in Noosa just a couple of hours north of Brisbane. The weather here is great, not as hot as it is up north. Tomorrow we plan to visit the Australia Zoo and drive through the Glass House Mountains.