Maheno Shipwreck Fraser Island

Over the next few weeks ahead as we all continue to find sand in every hole, crack and crevice, we’ll all be remembering one of the best backpacker famils we’ve ever had.

14 travel agents from all across Australia, and 1 German photographer got together to see what Rainbow Beach and Fraser Island has to offer. BASE alone representing 5 people. Mickey from Base Brisbane. Kellie, Megan and Aotea from Base Airlie Beach and myself from Base Sydney.

What followed was 5 days of surf, sand, sun, camping, partying, drinking... and drinking.

Before you start reading, just a quick few stats from the trip:

  • 5 days
  • 4 nights
  • 723 km’s driven
  • 21 hours sleep (for some)
  • 8 dolphins seen
  • 1 accused camera thief
  • 1 supposed virgin
  • 7 dingos seen
  • 50 blonde moments
  • 1 sexy time
  • 45 karaoke sing alongs
  • 1 bag stolen by a dingo
  • 1 suspicious sex zucchini
  • 0 fish caught
  • 1 vodka face washing
  • 4 Flights missed
  • Countless drinks consumed
  • 1 tired entertainment guide (man up Teuma)
  • 2 amazing hosts (cheers Ben and Em)
  • 15 honey badgers having the time of their lives

Day 1: Meet and greet

After driving to Rainbow beach we were taken on a tour of the town. This took about 2 minutes as it has 3 hostels, a few shops, surf club and hotel. This makes the beauty of what Rainbow Beach is all about. A small chilled out seaside town vibe that is the real Australia many travellers are looking for.

We had a bar tab for the night (thanks Ben and Emma!) so had some drinks then sat down for a $10 meal. Frasers on Rainbows $10 meals are really something for them to rave about with big portions and many choices. The bar has a friendly laid back vibe with different things on most nights such as fire twirling and live music. The rooms were all clean and big, most with balconies.

We all partied into the night before realising there was only a few hours till sunrise and our dolphin feeding tour so we gingerly headed to bed.

Day 2: Dolphins, Dingos and Dumb comments

Sheepishly waking from our beds at the crack of dawn it was time to feed wild dolphins. I would highly recommend the dolphin kayaking - Awesome!

Once back at the hostel we had a briefing about our tag along fraser trip, packed our 4WD, bought heaps of booze and put our best tetris skills to the test by fitting enough gear for a mini bus into a 4WD.

We were now ready to put all our “Man vs Wild” skills to the test. A quick drive and ferry ride and it was GAAAAME OOONN.

We set up camp just off the beach for our first night and had some lunch being told “DONT LEAVE FOOD IN YOUR TENTS!!” because of the dingos.

Next it was off to Eli creek for a quick dip and then to the Maheno wreck with music blazing and fists pumping. At the rate that we were singing the tunes in the cars, we were bound to lose our voices in no time.


At the end of the day and the sun went down it became dingo frenzy time. We went for a fish at the beach only to have a dingo sneak up behind us and steal our bait. Someone had forgotten the “NO FOOD IN TENTS” rule and left muesli bars in their bag and a dingo even went through Jules’s tent and stole her bag just to get at her vitamins... bloody new age healthy dingos.

The fact that Jules’ camera was found in my bag later also earned me the title of being the Dingo of the group.

Day 3: Lake Mackenzie, Indian head and the Kangaroo court is in session.

The next day we all woke up a little cloudy in the morning to the sound of Jules yelling WATER! WATER!... ANYTHING!!! As it turns out she had washed her face with a water bottle that had vodka in it, not water. After people resisted the urge to give her a mixer to finish with and maybe a slice of lime she was given some water to wash it all away.

Next was a quick bite of brekkie then off to lake Mckenzie which is the brochure photo for most companies.

Luckily someone was looking out for us and the sun came out to play, which made the lakes colours look even more amazing. Many, many photos were taken and hopefully some will even end up on the new brochure for Frasers on Rainbow.

Champagne pools and Indian head were next and once again Ben and Teuma must have slipped the big fella a $50 and the sun came out on cue.

For our accommodation that night we checked out “Dilly camping ground” which is a permanent camping ground which is used when the weather is awful. Despite our weather being pretty good we opted for the luxury of a cabin. Turns out we weren’t the rugged campers we thought we were. I would have camped but didn’t want the girls feeling soft so I took one for the team and got a cabin too ;)

That night the “kangaroo court” was in session and we were all given sentences and punishments for our actions on the island.

Some had to kiss members of the opposite sex. Jules had to drink out of a teapot attached to her hand all night. I had to howl like a dingo before drinking, Megan was not allowed to swear (which all good girls don’t anyway) and all penalties went to a bar tab on the last night. The tab ended up being $167 (Megan having to put $60 in alone)

The night turned from some quiet drinks... to some noisy drinks... to showing the backpackers how a campfire sing-along is done... to the inevitable... nudie swimming in the creek.

people lake mckenzie

Day 4 & 5: What happens on the island stays on the island & Return to reality

After some final sightseeing it was time to get off the island. On our way to the ferry there was a quick scare that we missed the boat due to the tides (the real scare was that we were out of beer).

Once back on the mainland we unloaded the vehicles and camping equipment for a clean. Whilst cleaning, an un-named tent strangely had a zucchini still inside it. We all know island life gets lonely, just ask Robinson Crusoe or Tom Hanks but I thought it would take longer than 3 days.

Back at the hostel we unpacked our bags and figured out what we had either lost or left on the island, cut our losses and headed to the bar.

That night our fearless tour guide Joel took to the stage to bust out his guitar and we partied one last time together, telling all the backpackers our stories of heroics and survival.

Our last morning together we headed dolphin kayaking which was awesome as it felt like we had the entire beach to ourselves.

For anyone heading to Fraser island I can fully recommend going from Rainbow beach seeing the small beach community and experiencing the friendly hospitality that makes Australia so popular.

Thanks again to everyone involved and all the fellow travel agents.

Also a BIG Thanks to Simon Gorges from for always having a camera on hand..

Happy Travels :)