Fraser Island Adventures!

The Fraser Island tour was definitely one of the highlights of my trip to Australia. This was one of the only actual group tours I did while away but I think that it was worth it. Fraser Island is Heritage Listed and the largest sand island in the world! 

I ended up doing Fraser Island through Palace Adventures from Hervey Bay. They have a hostel in Hervey Bay where you stay the night before and after the tour, and also run the whole tour. The Fraser Island tour included the 2 nights at the hostel, 2 nights of camping and 4×4’ing on the island. I think it was about $525AUD, which honestly did seem like a lot, especially because you also had to provide and cook your own food.

Fraser Island Group

The group before heading on the ferry!

Amy and I ended up booking with Palace not only because they had good reviews, but also because my lovely friends Liam and Stacey were already booked in, and I’m easily convinced seeing as I don’t generally make my own plans. We took the bus from Noosa up to Hervey Bay, which was about 3 – 4 hours.

The night before the tour was to start there was a group meeting with the 34 people and one guide that would be bringing us along, and then we got put into groups of 8 and headed out grocery shopping. Now let me tell you, grocery shopping and meal planning with 7 other people who you don’t really know well is a pain in the ass. I was the only vegetarian, which is a pain for other people I’m sure. It was awkward just meeting these people then basically trying to get that all sorted. If there was one thing I would recommend them changing it would be to provide the food for the tour.

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It was an early morning the next day, we were checked out of the hostel by 6am and it was time to hit the road! There was 4 SUVs in our convoy and the ferry to the island was about 45 minutes away from the hostel. The next days were filled with swimming, a serious rain storm, a lot of group bonding, listening to the song Closer by The Chainsmokers an embarrassing amount of times and of course driving along the beach!!

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Other than the snake I saw in Byron Bay…Fraser Island was a low point for creepy wildlife. So so so many creepy spiders, including one that Liam had to kill in our tent that had us all screaming. Other than the spiders we saw some dingos and had a small run in with a frog while trying to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night, so all in all not too bad.

Spider of nightmares...in our car!!

Spider of nightmares…in our car!!

Trying to drive the manual vehicle on the beach, on the wrong side of the vehicle, while at home I only drive automatic was a little bit traumatic, maybe more so for the passengers who were with me at the time. I may have gotten stuck in the sand and the clutch didn’t sound so good when I got out. Oh well…it was fun!!

Me attempting to drive...with Liam shifting!

Me attempting to drive…with Liam shifting!

Maheno Shipwreck

Maheno Shipwreck

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We met a great group of people and definetly had an amazing time.

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Everyone with their Canada temporary tattoos!

Everyone with their Canada temporary tattoos!

 

If you’re thinking about doing Fraser Island I would recommend Palace, but to be honest I have heard good things about most of the other tour operators also. Getting one that provides the food might be a good option too…it was nice to be able to cook for ourselves but it was also a bit of a pain!

 

Devils Tear

Home and Away

I’ve been home, in Kamloops, for about a month now. After a bit of a marathon trip back to Canada I felt pretty confident that I wouldn’t want to be getting back on a plane anytime soon, but what can I say, once that travel bug bites…

I think that everyone whose come home from travelling, whether it’s a two week trip to Mexico, a month in South East Asia or something longer like the six months I did in Australia, knows that there is a bit of an adjustment period to being back. There’s a bit of a struggle between missing friends you’ve made, the excitement of going new places and experiencing new things and then the comforts of being home, seeing the people you love and in my case getting to be reunited with my puppy!

Lucy

The last month has had quite a few highs and lows. At times I’ve been a bit down, missing the freedom of travelling, being constantly surrounded with people (something I didn’t think I’d miss!) and adjusting back into the autumn weather at home, cloud and drizzly really brings me down. When you get back you realize that everyone still has been going about their normal lives, and you have to adjust back into that. Not everyone will be keen to here all your travel stories so you want to make sure that’s not all you talk about, whereas when you’re travelling thats most of the conversations you have with other travellers.

I also have been thrown back into living at my parents whilst trying to find a house for me and Lucy the dog, that I can also have a salon in, not an easy task. I’m not used to being a responsible grown up anymore, I have to just adjust right away?!

Of course it hasn’t all been bad since I’ve been home! It has been so good to see my family, I was worried my nephews and niece might forget all about me. Getting together again with friends has been great too, nothing like a good wine night to make me feel welcome at home again.

One thing that is a bit of a struggle that I know other people have gone through is coming back when you feel so changed to somewhere that it doesn’t seem like anything or anyone has changed. I know personally I’m the same person, but I certainly feel like I’ve got some new perspective and have had a lot of experiences that have shaped me while I was gone.

I went totally alone out of my comfort zone and did something I thought I could never do, I figured out how to do things on my own, how to meet new people in any situation, how the get the best sleep in a shit hostel and a million other things. Yet coming back to where you’re from, the other people have just been living normal life for the last six months. You can’t expect people to notice a difference but I also don’t want to feel like I just revert back to who I was before I left. I wanted to go travelling for a reason and I love the person that I became while I was gone.

I’ve loved keeping in touch with the friends I made while gone, it’s great to talk about the memories we made, although some are still travelling and that does have a way of making me want to open the Skyscanner app and see if I can find any cheap flights.

I’m working on getting settled back at home, setting some goals to work for, and of course doing all the adulting, house hunting, work, etc. It’s all a balance of cherishing the time away but also realizing how great I have it at home too.

Sorry this was a bit of a rambled post, I know I still have a few Australia blog posts to catch up on and I’m working on keeping track of my home buying experience as a first time home buyer! Don’t forget to share with friends if you like what you read!

Have you struggled with feeling down or out of place when you got home from a trip? What’s the best part about coming home for you? Comment below.