Cool Dingo Tour: Antonina and Tahlia's East Coast Adventure Cool Dingo-style!

Antonina and Tahlia are two outgoing gals with a passion for travel and tourism.  The gals came up with an idea to independently travel up the East Coast of Australia, exploring and documenting their adventure along the way.  July 2011

Gorgeous Lake McKenzie is stunning all year round!
On Thursday we went to Fraser Island on a 2 Day Tour with Cool Dingo Tours. We were picked up from our YHA hostel and then taken to the port to catch the ferry across to the famous Fraser Island.

We were met at Fraser Island by our tour guide Craig and the rest of our tour group. We were a small group of 10 young independent travelers.

Craig gave us a run down of what we were going to be seeing and doing for the day and we jumped on our 4X4 bus to make our way to our first stop, the stunning Lake McKenzie.

The roads were steep and bumpy which made the drive so much more fun! Once we arrived, we had morning tea and time to swim in the lake and relax on the beautiful white sands. Lake McKenzie is breathtaking and looks just as it does in postcards!

We then enjoyed a lovely picnic lunch as a group and everyone began to mingle and chat about their travel experiences so far. We had an awesome tour group of friendly people from different parts of the world.

Throughout the day we made many stops. We visited Basin Lake and Wanggoolba Creek and took relaxing walks through sub-tropical rainforests.

It was then time to head down to the Jetty Hut to watch the spectacular sunset.

We then headed back to our resort. Kingfisher Bay Resort provides really nice lodge accommodation. Travellers have the option of quad or double rooms. The resort has fantastic facilities such as a large pool and Jacuzzi!

At 6:30 we met the rest of our group at the Dingo Bar for dinner. Tonight was pizza and pasta night! It was a huge buffet dinner for all to enjoy! The food was delicious! Some people even went for third plates!

At 8:30 Happy hour started and so we all had a few drinks as a group and continued to chat about our travel experiences so far.  This brought us to the end of our first day.

Flat out like a... dingo... sleeping!
We started our day with a huge buffet breakfast down at the dingo bar before jumping back on our 4X4 bus.

The day was spent checking out several more of the hot spots on Fraser Island such as The Pinnacles of Coloured Sands, The Maheno Shipwreck and The Champagne Pools! We even got to see whales and dolphins at Indian Head!!

It was so exciting but you had to keep your eyes open because they weren’t very easy to spot. Another highlight of the day was seeing some dingoes!

Everyone had been keeping an eye out and finally we came across three of them playing around with each other. They run off so we decided to chase them in the bus. We were able to get lots of photos of them and even a video! They weren’t camera shy at all! (Check out their blog for the awesome pics)

This tour was fantastic and having such a small group allowed us to stop for longer at certain places and we even go to check out some places that weren’t in the itinerary.

We couldn’t have been happier with our tour guide! He made the tour fun and constantly kept us entertained with all his interesting facts about the island. There is so much to see on Fraser Island and Cool Dingo Tours gave us the opportunity to see pretty much all of it. We had an absolute blast and can’t wait to go back again some day!
You can read all about their madcap adventures and their Fraser Island pics and video at

Cool Dingo Tour Day Three: Purple Cat Fish and Spiders Oh My!!!

Canadian Mike Wenzlawe continues his adventures with us (Cool Dingo Tours) on stunning Fraser Island - Queensland. 22 May 2011

Today was day 3 of my Cool Dino Tour and it was packed with some of Fraser Island's lesser known treasures, some that have proven to be my favorite so far! I started the day early again 7:00AM; I don’t know why but there is something amazing about Australia that has made me into a morning person, I am now that really annoying person who is overly cheery at 7:00AM and everyone secretly hates.

Anyways we began the tour today by going to Lake Wabby, this place fits the definition of oasis perfectly, beautiful green waters surrounded by sand and jungle. After a short walk through the humid and dense rain forest you emerge into a vast bright clearing of nothing but sand and distant Ocean. We began walking on what is known as the Hammerstone Sandblow, just one of many sandblows that that blaze over Fraser Island and cut through the islands thick forests. Walking over this desert was a truly a mind blowing experience when you think that this massive pile of sand moves and average of 1-3 meters every year and bulldozes everything in its path. It was hard not to imagine I was in the Sahara as I put step after step into the warm golden sand.

After walking around for a bit we came to Lake Wabby, perched, turquoise freshwater lake that is slowly being filled in by the Hammerstone Sandblow. Lake Wabby is very unique for a couple of reasons but the main one would have to be its inhabitants. The lake has 14 different species of fish were most other lakes only have a couple. Probably the most interesting and my favorite of all these fish would be the Purple Catfish, that are more than happy to swim up to you if you have a juicy worm or fly.

There is a lot of argument of when exactly Lake Wabby will be completely under sand but we were told it would definitely be within this century. With that in mind it feels incredible to know that you are viewing and experiencing something that has a limited life span, something that will eventually only be seen in pictures; this in my mind is a treasure.

After the refreshing dip and a small trek back to the bus we headed to Eurong Beach Resort for lunch. Following the very tasty meal we were all back on the bus and heading to our next destination, Lake Birrabeen. Once arriving at Birrabeen, a lake notorious for being equally if not more beautiful than Lake McKenzie, we were able to lay back and relax on the soft sand. We unfortunately didn’t get to spend as much time as we wanted there because it started to rain, and just when the turtle sand-sculpture contest was heating up! Its not all bad though because sprinting back to the bus from the beach as the warm rain fell all around me was a very cool experience, one I will not soon forget.

The night was spent reminiscing about all the amazing experiences we had and exchanging information as we waited for our ferry to take us off Fraser Island and drop us off in Hervey Bay. The rest of the night was very low key as everyone had a full day and had very early travel arrangements the next day. My early arrangements being a beautiful sailing boat named Summertime!

In my mind Fraser Island is a must stop if you come to Australia. It has beautiful beaches, stunning lakes, unique flora and fauna, and a topography that will make your jaw drop. I want to quickly thank Cool Dingo Tours for giving me a life changing and unforgettable experience. I hope you all enjoyed hearing about my Fraser Island adventure as much as I did having it!

To follow Mike's adventures on Fraser Island and the rest of Queensland visit his blog:

Cool Dingo Tours: Ground Control To Major Tom - Mikes Aussie Adventure - Day 2 Cool Dingo

Canadian Mike Wenzlawe continues his adventures with us on stunning Fraser Island - Queensland. 21 May 2011

Hello Beautiful People!

I am absolutely loving Australia so far, it is such a astonishing place that is so different than anything else.

The people are fantastic, extremely kind and have the coolest accents that are beginning to rub off on me. I find that as each day passes I start sounding more and more Aussie…Kind of…not really.

Well without further a due, lets jump into what I did on day two!

Day Two: Almost too much adventure for one day
I had an early start on the day today and was on the bus by 8:00 AM. We were told it is because of the amount of activities and stops we were going to do that day, I soon found out this was an understatement. After a bumpy 45-minute drive through the sand-trail roads of Fraser Island we reached the vast and soft sand of the beach, the Seventy-Five Mile Beach to be exact.

The drive on this beach highway was incredible; the bus was so close to the ocean edge I could see every bright blue wave crash into the sandy shore right in front of me.

First stop of the day was one of my favourite places on the tour, they are called The Champagne Pools and are a photo opportunity to say the least. The Champagne Pools get their name from the bubbly white wash that trickles into the rock cove as the ocean waves pound into the rock. After having a swim and float in these pools we were back on the bus to make our way to Indian Head.

The historical landmark was said to be a place where pioneers sailing around the coast spotted Aboriginal inhabitants. Needless to say this rocky headland birthed spectacular endless views of the coastline. It was also said to be common for people to spot sharks, dolphins, turtles and even humpback whales from this vantage point, unfortunately I was not so lucky this time.

After a short drive along the beach we stopped next to a small 7-passenger plane with the words Air Fraser Island along the side. The pilot, named Tom stepped on the bus and began asking who would like to take an areal tour of Fraser Island. As I boarded the plane, camera in hand I felt a rush of anticipation and excitement rush over me. Tom wasted no time and before I knew it I was speeding down the beach and taking off into the stunning blue sky! We toured the island from a birds-eye view; flying over all of the wonderful places I had stopped giving me an unforgettable perspective of the island below.

Tom made the ride very exciting by explaining different facts about the island, pointing out landmarks and of course doing gut wrenching aerial manoeuvres. About 15 minutes later we started coming down to land, after overtaking a bus that was racing closer and closer to our runway we softly touched down on the beach we had taken off from. This was a truly amazing experience and I recommend it to anyone touring Fraser Island!

Next stop on the list was the Maheno Shipwreck, a large vessel that is shrouded in a vast history. This ship was washed on shore by a cyclone in 1935 while it was being transported to Japan to be retired; now the beast lay dormant on the ocean shore. Just a hop, skip and a jump away we arrived at the last stop on our tour, Eli Creek.

Another one of my favourite stops, Eli Creek showcases Fraser Island's vast topography and water systems. Eli Creek is a vein of fresh water that snakes from the inland to the salty ocean. The wonderful thing about the creek is that you can walk up it via a wooden catwalk or you can throw on your swim suit and walk up in the creek itself (my choice).

The experience while walking through the stream was simply magical with the overhanging trees and bathtub temperature water. The coolest thing about the creek though is once you get to the end (about 500 meters) you sit down and float back down to the mouth of the creek while taking in the beauty of the forest around you. I did this a few times and then it was time to go back to the resort.

Luckily we got back to the resort in time to grab a seat on the beach and watch a beautiful sunset. Once back I showered and got ready for dinner at the Dingo Bar. Tonight I was extremely happy because it was pizza and pasta night! After dinner the group and I sat down for a couple of beers and games. Everyone was beyond tired from the day so after a little dancing and drinking I went back to my room to write a post for you guys! Tomorrow is my last day on Fraser Island and I am already excited for what we will be doing, I’ll give you a hint, it has to do with a lot of sand and I have my first wildlife encounter!

Well everyone I wish you were all here and look out for my next post coming soon!!! To follow Mike's adventures on Fraser Island and the rest of Queensland visit his blog:

Cool Dingo Tours: Mikes Aussie Adventure Kicks Off With A Cool Dingo Tour (Here's Day 1)

Canadian Mike Wenzlawe (on the right of the picture) won a comp run by Tourism Australia and is currently blogging his way through Queensland. We're chuffed he opted to kick off his Aussie trip with some Fraser Island time on our Cool Dingo Tour. 20 May 2011 Read all about it...

I know you all have been patiently waiting for this post, and I’m sorry it has taken me so long to get it up.

It has been nearly impossible to find down time with all of the unique and unforgettable things I have been doing, things I hope you are all excited to read about!

So because there have been a couple days since my last post I thought I would make this a mega-post including everything I have done so far!

The Travel Day: Just Massive
One word to describe this day…Mammoth! It was so unbelievably long, that I found my days blending together as I hopped from place to place. From the time I left Calgary International airport till I arrived at Kingfisher Bay Resort on Fraser Island I had spent around 22 hours in the air, about 15 hours waiting for transportation and ended up taking 4 planes, 3 busses and 1 boat to get to my destination…but it has all been more than worth it! I thought that I would have been more exhausted or jet lagged but to be honest I feel amazing!

Once I got to Hervey Bay I was picked up by a shuttle that took me to the Fraser Island ferry, once there I got on the ferry and began the last leg of my trip to the Cool Dingo Wilderness Lodges that are located in the Kingfisher Bay Resort on Fraser Island.

I was met by Duty Manager Simon, who took me up to the lodge to get me checked in. After arriving at my accommodation, a beautiful eco-lodge that is best described as simple and homely, while retaining a wilderness feel as it is nestled deep in vegetation. Simon then lead me to my room, where I was pleasantly surprised to find that this 3 person accommodation was completely mine! This was honestly the coolest thing ever, and the perfect start to my adventure!

VIP Treatment - Day One: There Ain’t no tour like a Cool Dingo Tour
The day started surprisingly early, I thought I would for sure be dead from jet leg but I awoke with the warm soft glow of the sun trickling through my window at 6:30 AM.

After getting ready my hostel mates (The Norwegian Girls) and I went down to the “Dingo Bar” where a very large buffet breakfast was waiting for us. After devouring breakfast we headed down to the “Jetty Hut” (where ferries load and unload their cargo) to wait for the remaining 12 members of the travel group to come in on the ferry.

Soon we were introduced to each other and to our Cool Dingo Ranger Guide, Hayden (see pic above - he's the one in khaki LOL). At 9:30 we all got on a huge 4WD vehicle and were off on our adventure for the day! I soon found out that the reason why we needed such a heavy-duty bus to travel in is because the only paved roads on Fraser Island are the ones at the Kingfisher Bay Resort, the rest are deep sand roads that could swallow up almost any other vehicle.

Our guide was unbelievable, from the moment we left he was on the mic telling us jokes, stories, facts about the island and even played a song “were all going to die someday” as we flew down a nearly vertical, bumpy sand hill that the rangers refer to as the “Rollercoaster.”

Lake McKenzie: First stop on the list was Lake McKenzie, this beach had sand so white it put photo shopped postcards to shame. The water was equally as beautiful and inviting, shimmering a crystal clear turquoise and deep blue color. We spent a couple unforgettable hours here lying on the beach, playing in the water and grabbing lunch. After a short ride and walk we came across Basin Lake, another gorgeous example of perched sand lakes (Lakes that are above sea level and surrounded by sand) and how Fraser Island holds many hidden treasures.

The most fascinating thing about these lakes is how they’re made. Fraser Island is entirely made up of sand (about 123km long and 22km wide) it is able to collect and store a large amount of fresh water in these lakes. Another thing that blows my mind is, even though Fraser Island is the largest sand island in the world it is also home to the world’s only tropical rainforest that grows on a sand island (Cool Dingo Editor's note: this is at elevations of 200m).

Rainforest: The following part of the tour showed off locations like Central Station, which was an old lumber harvesting site used by pioneers. Then there was Wanggoolba Creek, a rainforest that can only be described and marvellously beautiful and holds trees as tall as mythical giants! The last stop was Pile Valley, a truly magical place full of satinay and pure white eucalyptus trees.

The bumpy drive back to the Cool Dingo lodges gave me lots of time to think about all the things I had just done and seen, the tour blew my expectations out of the water.

The night proved to be just as fulfilling as the day, after stuffing my face again at the Dingo Bar a bunch of the people in my tour group came back to the lodge for a couple of beers and fun. Shortly after we headed back down to the Dingo Bar, which had music pumping and lights flashing. This was a great opportunity for the group to cut back and party before the long day of activities tomorrow.

Day one is done, See you all tomorrow!

To follow Mike's adventures on Fraser Island and the rest of Queensland visit his blog:

Cool Dingo Tours: A cool, cool way to tour Fraser Island!

Erin from STA TRAVEL experienced a Cool Dingo tour recently... here's what she had to say... (Jan 2010)

For a hassle free, budget friendly trip to Fraser Island, book yourself on a Cool Dingo Tour! With the option of 2 or 3 day packages, this is a great way to see all the beautiful natural highlights Fraser Island has to offer, without struggling with tents, food supplies and 4WD's getting stuck in the sand!

Your trip starts with a complimentary pick up from your Hervey Bay accommodation (or the bus up from Brisbane can be organised), and the transfer across to Fraser Island on the Kingfisher Bay Resort Ferry. Make sure you have a day pack with the essentials like swimmers, mosquito repellent and a water bottle at the ready, as you main bags will be transferred to your accommodation.

Jumping on-board your 4x4 air-conditioned bus, you take the roller coaster ride out of the resort area (hold onto your hats, its quiet a ride!) and your off to check out the Basin Lakes, Central Station, Wanggoolba Creek and the most photographed spot on the Island, the beautiful Lake McKenzie. Silica White sand (perfect for jewellery cleaning), crystal clear blue water and the
option for some turtle spotting, what more could you want! Ray, our ranger had a wealth of knowledge on Fraser Island, which he was more than happy to share.

In the following days, you'll have the chance to explore the other wonders the world's largest sand island has to offer. From 75 Mile Beach, Eli Creek, the wreck of the Maheno (pictured), Indian Head and Lake Wabby, you can see why Fraser Island is World Heritage listed. And don't
forget to keep your eyes peeled for dingos!

Returning to your accommodation late in the afternoon each day, you'll have access to all the Kingfisher Bay Resort facilities. Sore muscles after a day of 4WD-ing? Relax in the heated jacuzzi! Want a few quiet beers back in your lodge? Stop off at the Resort Shop. There is even a
complimentary shuttle bus from the heart of the resort up to the Wilderness Lodge.

Up in the Wilderness Lodge you have the option of a dorm or double room accommodation in a four room lodge. Clean and very comfortable, each lodge has its own kitchen, two bathrooms and balcony overlooking the tree tops. Shared laundry facilities are also on-site.

You can't possibly go hungry on this tour! Breakfast and dinner is buffet-style served in the Dingo Bar, so you can start the day with a plate of bacon and eggs or a bowl of cereal, while dinner will have a theme, and I rate Mexican night!) Lunch out on the road could be like
chicken salad wraps or buffet at the Eurong Beach Resort.

All dietary requirements can be catered to, just make a note when you’re booking. Even the weather wasn't enough to put us off the great time we had on this trip. While it was raining and overcast, we still swam at every stop possible, and it just made me more grateful that I was heading back to a warm, cosy bed when we met some of the travellers doing camping tours.

Thanks again to the Cool Dingo team for a brilliant time across on the beautiful Fraser Island.