Facts: 132km x 22km , 244m sand dunes, 40 lakes, 4 villages (together 250 permanent inhabitants)
The journey takes place with a ferry and then it goes on with all-terrain buses.
It is the largest pure sand island in the world. On it grows a rainforest, which is crossed by many “streets” (I would rather say dirt roads). Of course, these only consist of sand and are hardly wider than a car. Regardless of that, the bus driver drives rather quick – sometimes with just under 40-50km / h. In the process, trees, hardly more than a hand’s breadth from the window, whiz by.
When an SUV got stuck in the sand in front of us, our driver explained: “Here you have to drive as if you stole the car and the police are behind you, otherwise you get stuck.”
During the safety briefing – there are dingoes, snakes, spiders, ants and much more that can be uncomfortable – especially the handling of the safety systems of the bus was interesting: “If the bus has an accident, you can open the door when you If the door can not be opened, because, for example, the bus is lying on it, you can destroy the windows with the red safety hammers – if they are still complete … “. That immediately conveys confidence! However, I have to say that the driver really knew what he was doing. Due to the subsoil and the speed, the bus jumped very often – Max laughed globally and Kasia became very white in here face …
The beach is here – as well as in New Zealand – used as a highway (officially declared as Highway !!). So you have to take care when crossing the beach. There are even police and radar controls here!
Not only that, the beach is also a runway / airport (one of two beaches where commercial planes land on a beach, here and somewhere in Scotland.)! For $ 80 per person we could have made a short flight. We watched some planes take off and land.
The ride on the beach is like slalom driving. On the one hand you can not drive into the water, because they are flooded immediately and you are stuck – every year some vehicles are lost to the sea – and on the other hand there is oncoming traffic and overtaking maneuvers. Maybe I should say that our bus was never overhauled, but we left a few dozen cars on the left …
The shipwreck is the ship that rescued the wounded from Italy in World War II (see article on the Wellington Museum). A storm washed it on the island and it could not be made more afloat.
After that, it was the colored sand dunes. These shimmer in many colors and are made of soft sandstone. Right next to it you can book a sightseeing flight and start right away.
The next stop is Eli Creek, which flows into the sea on the beach. It is nice and cool and invites you to wade through. Every 32 minutes you could fill your water with an Olympic swimming pool.
Afterwards we will stop for lunch at the Eurong Beach Resort. Our driver has overtaken so many jeeps quite easily. Since the tide has begun, we drove one or the other times through the wave foothills, which washed one side of the bus.
The food was not special – as usual a canteen buffet – but as far as OK. In the meantime, our driver has had the bus washed. Let’s see if we can see something out of the window again afterwards – the drive over the beach has significantly impaired the view.
On the way to the center of the island, a car stuck in front of us in the sand of the road and even with the help of about 15 men could not be released by pushing. Then our bus has towed him – in reverse for some 100 meters – as if we were on a flat, asphalted road! After this action, Kasia said only: “Such a vehicle we buy at home!” – And she meant the bus with it – well at least we would always have enough seats in the trunk, but the Sprittkosten and parking problems … rather not.
The Lake Mc Kenzie is a “dune lake” (my translation). It was created by the accumulation of sediments between dunes, which are then combined into a “Coffeerock” (brown / black watertight but soft stone). Through this rock, the rainwater could not drain and formed over time a lake – of which there are several here. The water is incredibly clear and the sand very fine and white. A glorious graduation for the day!
Then it’s back to the ferry.
Peter our guide and driver was great. Not only did he drive very safely, he also told us all about the island the whole time.