On the 7th August I went on the 2 day tour to Fraser Island. We were originally due to be travelling to Moreton Island on the 6th, but the tour had to be cancelled, and so they offered us the Fraser Island one instead. If I had known how terrible the Fraser Island tour would be I would have definitely asked for a refund and made our own way to Moreton Island - even if it had cost us a lot more! There were several aspects of the tour that made it two of the worse days I have ever had.
The sleeping bags that we were provided with were incredibly thin, and most of them were broken. They were not even vaguely suitable for the weather conditions, as my boyfriend had to have 3 and was still freezing! The whole camp was complaining about how cold they were in the morning.
There were not enough mattresses for everyone on the trip and two people had to share one.
The food prep facilities were incredibly dirty, and the washing up was basically non-existent!
There were people (including guides) who were smoking in the food area. Being a non-smoker I do not want to be around people smoking, but this was the only place we were able to sit, and it was incredibly unpleasant.
The tour itinerary itself was also really bad. We were dumped in a couple of places and told we had to do something there whilst our guide disappeared off. The time we had in each place was nowhere near long enough for us to actually do anything either! In one place we were expected to do a 5km walk and swim in 45 minutes! We didn't get the chance to actually enjoy ourselves at any of the locations because of this. There was also very little for us to do.
The set up of the vehicles was terrible and people need warning of it in advance. There are 11 people to a standard Toyota Landcruiser with 10 people sitting sideways on bench seats in the back with the other person in the front seat. There are a lot of people who are unable to travel sideways as it causes bad travel sickness. I am one of these and so had to sit in the front seat on my own which meant that I had a very boring time. However, I am glad that I at least had a 3 point seatbelt and a headrest. If we had had a crash, everyone in the back would be in a very real danger of breaking their necks. Not to mention the fact that the vehicle was not roadworthy to start with as there was a crack in the windscreen which was longer than my forearm!!
However, these things pale in comparison to the state of our tour guide Brendan (on the other terrible reviews he is also known as Eugene)! I have NEVER in my life been so scared to be in a vehicle as when he was behind the wheel!! He drove at several kms above the speed limit everywhere! As an example of this, a journey which should have taken us 1hr40mins according to google maps was done in 50mins. However, speed was often the least of my concerns, as he was also a severe tailgater and had terrible roadrage. If there was any vehicle in the road ahead of him, he would flash his lights repeatedly, drive up very close behind the vehicle, and keep darting out of lane making obscene gestures to the vehicle in front to get them to move off the road. He would even undertake vehicles using parking bays, and overtake when vehicles were coming in the other direction. I was so scared for my life the entire journey that when I got out, I had aching muscles. He would also use the phone whilst he was driving, which is bad enough when you are driving within the rest of the law, but when you are driving like a lunatic, this is just incredibly scary for everyone in the vehicle.
His bad driving didn't just extend to the mainland roads, when he was doing the 4wd "experience", he was just as scary as he would tear down the roads at around 100kmph despite the limit being 50 and we would be completely unable to see anything that we were passing. It was incredibly uncomfortable hitting the bumps at the speeds he did, not to mention dangerous.
He was also a terrible tour guide. I felt like a complete inconvenience the entire time. When we were in Noosa, a couple of people wanted to get some water so popped quickly across to the shop, but when our guide came to the bus, he slammed his foot down, drove over to the shop, jumped out of the car and started banging loudly on the shop window yelling at them to get back in the car. This meant I was worried the entire trip in case we missed any of his deadlines, as he got so angry about it! I understand that he had a timetable to follow, but a minute or two wouldn't effect the day! It felt to me like we were getting in the way of his fishing trip, and it was a real inconvenience that he had to take us places. He didn't do any "guiding" at all as we didn't learn anything about the island or any of the places we visited. On the rainforest walk, he was obviously being forced to say something before he let us go, as he walked off when we got to the site and we were expected to just follow him (he hadn't told us anything!). He then told us about a couple of the trees, but then jumped back into his car and left us. Wherever we went, he would just abandon us to go off fishing.
I am incredibly upset about the whole experience and wish, as I said above, that I had not done it at all. I would rather spend a lot more money than spend 2 days being afraid for my life!
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