This is Chapter 10 of the Short Travel Stories section at Gone Atlas. You can read all other chapters by clicking on the section on our menu, to laugh and learn more about the incredible trips and funny memories that take place when traveling or backpacking.
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Chapter 10: Fraser Island
From Byron we went to Surfer’s Paradise, the Australian Miami. We arrived on a sunny afternoon, the three members of the Wolfpack: Chris, Adam and myself. We were all staying in different hostels, but still we went out together every night.
Our stay over there could be summarized into three nights of clubbing, days at the beach and one night in my hostel room (which had 22 people in it), where a couple decided to have full-on loud sex. The other twenty people were uncomfortable as fuck, but hey, it happens and honestly I’m happy for those who can celebrate their sexuality so freely and openly.
From Surfer’s we left to Noosa. It’s a small surfer/hippie town, kind of like Byron, very chilled out people and vibes, beautiful beaches and a great national park. We were there for five days, drinking Gossips every night, going out and then chilling during the day at the beach, trying to learn how to surf and then going for walks in the park.
I was lucky enough to cross paths again with an American friend I had met in Sydney, Matt. He was with a German guy called Max whom I had also met briefly in Byron and Surfer’s. How small is the world? This time around I got to socialize a bit more with Max and he turned out to be a really cool bloke.
We left behind both places, and then it was time for Fraser Island.
This is Fraser Island in a nutshell: the most famous backpacker trip of the whole East Coast of Oz, they describe it to you as the biggest sand island in the country, with awesome beaches, full of dunes, lakes, weird animals and you get the chance to drive 4×4 on the beach and drink like crazy by night.
Sounds good eh? Well, the day to start such tour arrives and the tour guide comes up and says:
“Look at each other right now. Take a good look because you all look nice, clean and innocent. After the next three days you’ll see each other drunk, hung-over, dirty, smelly and probably naked. However, you’ll build friendships that will last forever. Enjoy”.
Fair enough. I turn around and see everyone laughing or smiling, some do it because they’re uncomfortable, others because they’re excited about what awaits us.
The Wolfpack had to separate, unfortunately, each one in different tours on different days. New people, new friends.
The trip started when arrived in the island and they ask me to be the first one to drive this sick Land Cruiser. I’m driving on the beach and I’m full of adrenaline and a strange type of fear, the type that makes you laugh. Every hundred meters I lost control of thee wheel as the car danced with the sand. It felt good though, so good, freedom. I was driving at full speed on a vast lovely beach, almost empty, only us, the sand and the ocean.
The day goes by between driving and stopping at rivers and lakes. The first lake was unbelievable: it was red. Basically, the roots of some plants and trees turned the water red, and even though at the beginning you’re kind of disgusted, after a while you’re inside swimming in what seems the River Nile after Moses’ prophecies.
Night time arrives and we start drinking. Everything goes wild and when I least expect it a thirty year old English guy is naked and dancing and shaking his cock like a helicopter.
A comedy show.
Afterwards, three or four Swedish girls take off their clothes and start running towards the ocean. One of the guides has to stop them since there are sharks and also dingoes roaming around the beach.
Everything is happening. Chaos.
The night is over and we all wake up totally destroyed by the alcohol, but off we go to explore.
The whole day is about having fun, talking about what happened and enjoying the place. I meet this German kid called Anton, his nineteen and has been traveling around the world for a year. A total alcoholic, drinking all day, but he’s also a photographer, and a good one. He’s traveling with three other German girls, all the same age as him, and one of them has the loveliest face I’ve seen in a long time. One of those faces that you see around the world every six months or so. Thing is, the girl is apparently interested in a chubby guy. Everyone has their taste.
With Anton I end up having a great time. We also meet an English guy and his sister, David and Sarah. They are two great travellers. David drove from London to Mongolia, going through countries such as Iran, while Sarah drove a motorbike from north to south of South America. I swear I could never get tired of listening to their adventures.
I’m listening to them and I just think on how much I’d like to have such stories, but at the same time how hard it must have been. You need a lot of courage to do things like that, but also belief and strength in yourself to leave aside a normal life and block what society tells you: study, work, have a normal life.
The second night comes and the same dynamic. Craziness. There’s this gorgeous Dutch girl that goes to the beach with an English guy, but after like fifteen minutes they have to come back because apparently, while they were making out on the beach, a couple of dingoes started smelling them. The guy freaked out and started kicking the air in the best Power Ranger mode, and then they ran back to the camp. He was cockblocked by dingoes.
The last day we went to spend the morning at Lake McKenzie, a lake made of only rainwater. Never have I ever seen such pure water, so refreshing and transparent. You even feel something different in your skin, a different kind of freshness, as if the liquid form of the water had a different element. The skin can feel the temperature and texture, but in this case it also feels and perceives the purity.
It was addictive to simply swim under it and enjoy the 50 meter visibility, and feel alike a true aquatic being, as if the water transmitted life and energy into you. In that water I felt in my habitat, I had never experienced such a feeling. I normally get bored or tired of swimming, not there, I didn’t want to leave.
However, we had to leave, jump in the cars, then the ferry, and then head back to the hostel. Eventually everyone went their own way and a beautiful three day experience that felt like months, came to an end.
I hopped in the Greyhound that night on my way towards Airlie Beach. I was going to meet Adam and Chris, and I couldn’t help but think about how I spent three days with drunk, dirty, smelly and naked people. Like in the prehistoric age, but funnier.