Day 2 started with an early pack up for those at Inskip Point and we were promptly joined by another two cars of early risers (Michael/Leighanne & Kerry/Chris). The sky was clear and the weather was on the improve. We all joined the barge queue, which had started building at 04:00, and were safely deposited on the island by 07:30 - Ben was given a wheel chock for the Landcruiser. The clean-up commenced as soon as we landed on the island with Wayne finding a most unusual item.
Our Safety Brief was conducted followed by a run up an ever decreasing beach as we challenged the tide. We arrived without incident at Waddy Point just before lunch and set up camp. Following the leisurely set up, and the top of the tide, we set off for Sandy Cape to spend the afternoon at the lighthouse. Ngalla rocks provided little challenge as the recent rains had ensured the sand was firm. Of course the usual shenanigans occurred and Debbie came back from her lighthouse walk to find her car was now sitting on its chassis; oh well, she did say she wanted to learn how to self-recover using her winch. Another easy run back down the beach and through Ngalla to end up back at camp late afternoon for happy hour and belated birthday celebrations with Leighanne. The campfire that night had lots of banter and the girls were all getting Gobby!
Day 3 realised a sleep-in day and a late start. We headed of to Platypus Bay around 10 am with a few stops for some still, and drone photography, along the way. After a couple of relaxing hours on one of Fraser’s best beaches, we headed back to camp. Ross and Steve went for a fish resulting in a tailor and a dart being landed. The dart was a bit small but the tailor added the surf to the turf meal.
Late afternoon we were joined by the Bayside Off-Roaders for happy hour and some snacks and light refreshments around the campfire. A good time was had by all and I am sure it won’t be the last time we meet Day 4 was the big day and the purpose of the trip; Fraser Island Clean-Up. We had been allocated from North Indian Head to South Waddy Point as the Club’s area to clean which included the secluded beach at Waddy Point. From our allocated area, the eight cars comprising 14 people picked up a total of 192 kgs of rubbish.
In total a staggering 6,974kg was removed collectively by 730 willing volunteers in one morning. The proof of how good the effort was became evident when we left the island on Monday, it was clean. What was picked up?
* 741 cigarette lighters * 4,578 straws / cups / plates / cutlery * 2,367 plastic toys / ribbons / poppers * 43,701 plastic lids * 2,075 plastic bags * 6,442 plastic beverage bottles * 4,962 rope scraps * 20,674 plastic film scraps * 9,606 pieces of foam * 1,468 glass stubbies * 2,481 Aluminium cans * 4,382 pieces of aluminium wrapping * 1,569 thongs * 7 toilets
The most alarming find was the 1,723 Cyalume Sticks used by fishermen to light up buoys at night and by beach partyers. The most satisfying statistic was the removal of 131,350 pieces of hard plastic. These are, or will become, the small bits that are dangerous to our wildlife and sealife.
On completion of the clean-up we travelled down to Dundubara to register our rubbish, then down to Eurong for a well-earned meal at the bakery. Although the thank you meal was being held at Eurong that evening, the majority of our members headed back up the beach to Waddy Point as some were heading off at 06:00 the next morning. Ben and Laura, supported by Michael and Leighanne represented the Club at the dinner. Our Club won the prize (an ARB Chair) for the most unusual item collected which will become part of the MDORC Christmas Raffle. If you want to know what the unusual item was, ask the girls, they were pretty talkative about it.
All in all a great day was had, the objective achieved and everybody tucked up in bed by 22:30ish.
Day 5 began with some early risers; Jo, Andrew, Kerry, Chris, John, Lorraine, Michael and Leighanne all headed off around 0600 to beat the tide. A rather uneventful trip with just one flat tyre realised by John. With Mick, Kerry and Andy supervising, John soon had that rubber donut replaced and they were back on the beach and off the island. Debbie and Wayne left mid morning and were followed by the last three cars departing just before lunch. It was a tight run down with Hook Point lapping at the dunes but with some timely runs between waves the last three cars got through. All of our crew were off the island by early afternoon and all participants arrived home safely.
Once again a great time was had by all and thanks go to Ben and Laura for all the organisation. It was a great trip and the club looks forward to being represented strongly again next year. Put this trip in your diaries as it is a chance for us all to help keep one of our 4WD Paradises in pristine condition.