It’s been a few weeks since I talked about the epic road trip I was about to take, and I have since then traveled, returned and recovered from the excitement. Furthermore, I’ve had time to actually reflect on all the amazing experiences I had up and down the Australian east coast, and one incredible place I visited that stands out was Fraser Island.
Not wanting to try and self-drive and plan to visit a unique place such as Fraser on our own, Heather and I went with a tour from Cool Dingo. Well, honestly, it was a famil offer that I took because they are a company that is well advertised to backpackers, so I wanted to be able to give a first-hand review to those asking for advice. All-in-all, it was a pretty good tour: we were fed ’til we burst, had nice accommodation and were taken to all the island hot spots. I couldn’t complain.
Yes, we saw dingos, sharks, whales, turtles, dolphins and crazy bugs. Yes, we basked in the sun on Lake McKenzie, swam in Champagne Pools and climbed ginormous sand dunes. Yes, we saw a lot… but what was my favorite part of the tour?
Let’s just say that it wouldn’t have been quite the same had we all not had the pleasure of having Dave, The Philosophical Dingo, as our tour guide.
Dave is a complete character — the rare type of person that can actually live on Fraser as a local and work as a Fraser tour guide for 20 years. You can’t buy that kind of knowledge and experience, and you definitely can’t get to that level of kooky without being special. He could ramble on about anything and everything Fraser, from how the sand dunes were created to how it got its name. If you wanted to know the types of toxic plants and animals on the island, and how exactly their toxins react in your body, he is the man. In fact, he even reads pharmacology books in his spare time!
I think at first we were all a little shocked by his unique sense of humor, but by the end we all had mad respect for the guy. He does it all because that is who he is, and not because he is putting on a show. A guy from our group lost his wedding ring at Lake McKenzie. What did Dave do? He went out there at night in the pitch black to sift through sand until it was too cold to move to see if he could help. What a champ!
When we were at one stop-off, he asked if my camera had super-fast photo taking abilities. Why? Only so that I could photograph him jumping from one post to the next. After the shoot, he saw the photos on my camera, laughed, and then never mentioned them again.
He doesn’t use the Internet — ever. Dave actually told me that if we wanted to get in touch with him, we would have to contact the company to send him a message. Hilarious! Still, Dave made sure to give us loads of information for us to put on our sites and spread the word of The Philosophical Dingo. So, without further adieu, here is the glorious art of the one true Fraser Island guide; for his poetry and philosophy, stay tuned for the next post!