1999 Sinclair Fraser Island Expedition
Tuesday, 6th to Thursday, 15th July (inclusive)
Transport:We will hire a Land Cruiser from Four Wheel Drive Hire Service as a support back-up vehicle and to cover the logistics.
Michelle (and Natalie [Keith?] or Nicole) will drive this and be able to collect fresh food and deliver it to us during the ordeal.
Participation: Andrés looks like an unlikely starter. He suffers from the same syndrome as Rastus at his age and is only interested in "bushwalks in the car" so there should be just four of us unless my little brother Chris who was attracted to the idea comes as well.
Accommodation: I will book "Talinga" as a base accommodation for Michelle and anyone else. I will stay on there after the Expedition as I have a meeting of the Community Advisory Committee on Fraser Island on Saturday, 17 July and a FIDO Working Bee to eliminate weeds from the Eurong precinct on the weekend of 17-81 July. Some volunteers will be staying in "Talinga" for the Working Bee.
Logistics: We will each provide our own backpacks and sleeping gear.
(If we are out of contact for 3 days at most we should be OK as long as we stick to the rule, never carry more than 20% of your body weight. I'd suggest even then we try to keep it below 15Kg each. There's some things we need only one of like a. a big camera set b. one little camera c. first aid [do we need anti-venin?] d. cooking gear etc and some things like tents that we only need 1 between two. Do we really need tents and/or sleeping bags? How cold/mossie busy/wet will it be? BTW I am NOT sleeping within earshot of Dad!)
We will need two tents plus one for Michelle when she joins us (which can come from my safari equipment). Let me know if we have these or can we borrow them. I will purchase one if we need it. We will each need to get ourselves to Brisbane and kick in about $500 for the transport on the island and food. It may be a little more.
Navigation: I will get a GPS before then as we need to up date our Bill Lambourne maps with more accurate descriptions of old trails. GO BUSH Safaris will buy that.
(John Droobler is in charge of getting maps in Qld. Maybe he should also look at GPSs otherwise Dad will get the wrong type ie. The cheapest.
The following is a very tentative projected route, keeping off the beach for the northern half of the island and walking on the beach from Eli Creek to Dilli Village. It could be varied as you wish moving more along the western side including following the beach around Platypus Bay to Wathumba Creek, and then going inland. I have long had a desire to follow Eli Creek from its source to its mouth. I will send you all a contour map and you can submit your variations on my proposal which is based on 16 km per day as an average although we will go further along the beach in one day.
(16km is a fair distance esp. on on the Ho-Chi Minh Trail as it may require some trail blazing.)
Projected Walk and Route
Monday, 5 July:Get from Brisbane to Sandy Cape. I don't have tide times but this will determined the program and agenda. There is a place with water to camp at right at the Cape.
(Optimistic - Tides?)
Tuesday, 6 July: Start walk from Sandy Cape. Walk down past Flinders Blow and start on the Ho-Chi Minh Trail. We can camp either at where Bool Creek crosses the track or press on a bit further to Lake Glenys. It will depend on the start time, the weather and on the amount of surface water.
(Hey what type of footwear will we use - I'm thinking Tevas/barefeet)
Wednesday, 7 July: Walk down the Ho Chi Minh. Cut across to Birre Sandblow and from there skirt around to the north and east of Lake Wanhar across Boowon sandblow and then camp at the base near the water. (It is a bit like Lake Wabby).
Thursday, 8 July: Pick up an old mining survey track and follow it down to the western side of Ocean Lake and camp there.
Friday, 9 July: Cut through to the North Wathumba Road and then follow it down to the South Wathumba Road and then walk across to the start of the old fire trail. Rendezvous with Michelle for fresh supplies including using the vehicle to have a shower at Wathumba Campground and get fresh water.
Saturday, 10 July: Return to the start of the fire trail and then walk south along the fire trail. It would be good to get to White Lake, about 16 km but we would cross the upper reaches of Awinya Creek at about 12 km and should get water and camp there. This is about the most remote and least known part of our route
Sunday, 11 July: Walk from White Lake to Lake Allom via Lake Bowarrady. Here we again rendezvous with Michelle with fresh goodies.
Monday, 12 July: An easy walk from Lake Allom to Hidden Lake now in a vehicle free area.
Tuesday, 13 July: Walk from Hidden Lake down through the Eli Creek rainforest which old-timers say is the very best and most pristine bit of Fraser Island rainforest. Come out at the beach and proceed to Happy Valley. Camp between Happy Valley and Yidney. If Michelle joins us there we can eat Birthday Cake.
Wednesday, 14 July: Happy Valley to Dilli Village and then Camp on the creek on the western side of the swamp just south of Dilli Village. (How far is this?)
Thursday, 15 July: Follow the old trail along the western side of the swamp to the Hook Point Barge landing point. Try to be there before the last barge.
If you fellows want to leave the island we will organize for someone to pick you up at Inskip Point and get you back to Brisbane that night and I will go back to Eurong.
Well! — What do you think of that for a way of spending 10 days and a bit?
(Sounds good but remember the family #2 motto - "Commit thy Father" - so lets make sure someone sane reviews all aspects of this trip.)
Are we going to sell/publish this story? If so we should be looking for sponsors now and should be keeping good records of ourplanning endeavours.