week 17...
the fraser island
gong show
Magnetic Is. - Fraser Is.

It is my pleasure to introduce to you... the Dead Possums. Well, eight of us anyway. The ninth one, Bjørn, always managed to get himself separated from the group somehow. Wait, here's all of us...

The Dead Possums were the hottest group offroading around Fraser Island this weekend. From the Champagne Pools to Lake Wabby, we were blazing trails, spotting dingoes, jumping washouts and generally looking fine. Take a stickybeak below to meet some of Fraser Island's sexiest, sandiest, Saturday safari campers.
four hot possum guys...
Gemini, Age 23
Origin: Switzerland

Just completed Scuba certification in Barrier Reef.
Cancer, Age 22
Origin: Holland

Has the longest neck of anyone we know.
Aquarius, Age 23
Origin: Denmark

Just finished hiking tour of Mexico and South America.
Pisces, Age 20
Origin: England

Bears a striking resemblance to the guy from Oasis.
three gorgeous possum gals...
Virgo, Age 19
Origin: England

A kickboxer. Has never camped, fished or cooked.
Cancer, Age 20
Origin: Switzerland

Travelling alone, and misses best friend back home.
Capricorn, Age 21
Origin: England

Has unhealthy fixation with Robbie Williams.
Doggone Funny:
Avg. Size: 10-20kg
Diet: Carnivorous
Intelligence: High
Lifespan: 2-3yrs wild, 5-8yrs in captivity

Amazing Fact: Dingoes can't bark!

Read the first installment of
Brush with Death on
Week 13!
brush with death #2
They say the dingo should not be trifled with. It may look like a dog, smell like a dog, and be able to breed with a dog, but it's much, much smarter than a dog. Possibly even smarter than Kevin...

After a successful evening fishing, Kevin walked back to the campsite with a couple of catfish for dinner. Of course, to cook a catfish, the average camper needs a fire.

Kevin put the bag of fish down next to the firepit, and went off to get some matches. We all decided that the truck was parked too far away, so Max hopped into the front seat to pull it forward.

The engine roared to life, and the headlights were engaged just in time to spot a DINGO! Right there next to the firepit! Right there next to... the fish!

The dingo froze, but only for a moment. Thinking quickly, he snatched the bag of fish in his teeth and ran for the woods. Not thinking quickly, Kevin bolted after it, screaming something to the effect of, "Drop it! Bad Dingo!"

Surprisingly, it worked. The dingo dropped the bag, we retrieved the fish, and later that night, tossed it onto the campfire. It was the worst thing we ate all weekend.

wally's got a girlfriend!
Tess and Wally, sittin' in a tree, K-I-S-S-I-N-G! On Magnetic Island, Wally met Tess, the girl wombat of his dreams. He came home bragging about being out all night with her, but that's okay considering wombats are nocturnal...

Don't forget to look for Wally this week!
And now, a special long-distance message from Bjørn to his girlfriend, whom he hasn't seen in 5 months...

Sali Pia!

So sehsch also au emol e photi vo mir. Liebi Griess us Australie. Dänk dra, ich lieb di und vermiss di ganz feschd!

Vo dim Bjørn.
The giftshop is open!

What's the Giftshop, you ask?
Click here to find out!

why are we being sponsored?
let's get this show on the road!

fal guy Kangaroos:Baby Kangaroos:Koalas:Baby Koalas:Today's Weather:
This is Bob. If we hadn't met so many other interesting characters this week, he surely would have been top choice for the Meet A Weird Guy section on the left.
  Bob's a local. Bob lives on a grounded houseboat. Bob hasn't paid his taxes in 18 years and has to keep moving so the government won't find him. Bob's a sailor. Bob's a drunk. Bob's a wildlife preservationist, if that's even a real word. Bob has six really good friends, all of which are seagulls. Bob's been monitoring the bush fires on the west beach. For all you know, Bob may even be your uncle.
  The most interesting thing about Bob (and the defining characteristic that made me finally start up a chat with the man shouting, "Behave yourself Reghina!" at a seagull) was the falcon. A Whistling Kite falcon apparently visits Bob at sundown every night, where Bob tosses her little bits of meat while she swoops down and catches them. Not that I could get a very good photo, but it was dazzling to watch!
  By the way, don't talk to the Magnetic Island locals about Bob. They can't stand him.

"It takes about 20 minutes to get to the island. I'd walk, but it'd take me 40."
- Dry witted Magnetic Island ferry passenger.
boneless Backgammon Score:Kev-6 : Aim-4 Today's Weather:
Aimee caught this fish today. Impressed? You shouldn't be. You see, this fish is the most docile fish either of us had ever seen. It didn't tug. It didn't fight. Aimee thought it was a piece of seaweed right up until after she pulled it out of the water. "Ah, it's just seaweed... no, I think it's a fish, it's... wait... it is a fish. A fish! A fish! I caught a fish!"
  It was as though a sad little Willy Loman of a fish was swimming alone, down on luck and weak of character, and saw a small piece of shrimp float by. "Perhaps my luck is changing!" perks the fish, and takes a bite. As he feels the tug, he rolls his eyes, thinks, "Isn't this just like me?" and waits for the inevitable.
  The fish hung limply on the hook, giving the occasional tailflip in a half-hearted attempt to celebrate life. It cooperated long enough for me to run back to our stuff to get the camera, snap six photos, unhook him and toss him back. In the water, he just lay there, mouthing the fish equivalent of, "My life was nothing, why can't you just let me die? There's nothing back here for me..." Poor sad little fish.

"You just about hooked your own ass."
- Kevin.
snack stop Time on Bus:16h Time Slept on Bus:2h Today's Weather:
Magnetic Island to Hervey Bay: 1200km on a bus. Your legs are cramped. Your eyes are blurry. It's 3am, and you've been on the bus since 11 the previous morning. It's the perfect time for a meal stop! Not to mention the perfect place!
  If you've ever ridden a bus any great distance (and I'm not talking Queens to Long Island), you know what I'm talking about. The driver says "Meal stop coming up. 30 minutes, stretch your legs, have a smoke, whatever." You look out the window (when it's not 3am) as he passes restaurant, restaurant, restaurant... restaurant... factory... farmer's field... and finally comes to a stop at a hole in the middle of nothing where all the food is wrapped in cellophane that charges $8 for a muffin. Welcome to Gin Gin.

"Smells like Ikea!"
- Aimee.
rules... Food Budget:$101 Meat Budget:$45 Beer Budget:$72 Today's Weather:
I am never doing this again.
  Tomorrow begins the Fraser Island 4x4 self drive tour. A sand island, just off the coast of Queensland, is apparently a gateway to adventure for Australian backpackers. I doubt we would have sprung for it, but what the hell, it was part of an Queensland tour package, so we thought we'd test it out. You know, for the website.
  Three hours of meetings, $225 in groceries and alcohol, six liability forms and an instructional video made in the 80's later, it's almost time for bed, so we can get up at 6am for more meetings and another instructional video made in the 80's. Yeesh! Don't drive on the beach before noon. Don't drive on the west side of the island. Don't drive north of the Champagne Pools. Don't drive in salt water. Don't drive in the mud. Don't stop the car in wet sand. Don't feed the dingoes. Don't eat the dingoes. Don't play fetch the stick with the dingoes. Don't try to take the dingo's food away while he's eating. But above all, relax and have fun!

"Please, take your pants all the way off. You'll run faster that way."
- Koala's 4x4 Instructor.
reality bites King of the Fire:Rody Game of the Fire:Top 3 Today's Weather:
Over on the left, you were given the opportunity to meet the other seven car-mates. Today's the day we're all packed into a 4x4, and sent careening across sand dunes (oh, wait, we're not allowed do that either) in search of dingos, goannas, and a liquor store.
  In the car, we've got: 5 boys, 4 girls; 3 campers, 6 non-campers; 5 drinkers, 4 non-drinkers; 3 drivers, 6 not allowed to drive; a spread of ages 19 through 26; A box of wine, 2 cases of beer, 3 Brits, 3 Swiss-German speakers, 2 Canadians and a Dutchman. Three days on the island. Nine people to make decisions.
  The only thing missing is Gretel Killeen.

"Farts. Picks his nose. Scratches his arse."
- Top 3 things about Max that annoy Charlotte.
flat! Steaks:Burgers:Catfish:Mystery Patties:10 Today's Weather:
It just goes to show you: nothing beats good old dependable Mel. A hundred and fifty rental vehicles on the island, and we get the one with the bum tire.
  At this point, I could have stepped in and told everyone to stand back: I'd put 50,000 km on a Jeep, and by gum, I can change a flat. But I'd be lying. Oh, I'd have an idea. I've seen the AAA guy do it a few times, and once or twice at Big O Tires, but he had one of those hydraulic lifts. If I had to fumble my way through it, I could have. Luckily, Ranger Gene was planting trees nearby, and he came over to save the day for us nine auto-ignorant travelers, thus reaffirming my faith that the only two honest occupations left in the world are firefighter and park ranger.

"What are you eating, marshmallow hamburgers?"
- Markus.
sched-duel Consecutive Volleys:28 Consecutive Dribbles:16 Consecutive Catches:Today's Weather:
It's the last day on the island, and we decide to spend it on Lake Mackenzie. Just like everybody else.
  That's the thing that really gets me about tours like this (other than the deposits, rules, and instructional videos from the 80's). They hand you a "suggested schedule", which packs in more things to see than the Vatican's basement. So, rather than branching out on your own, exploring new trails, you find yourself stuck into a never ending convoy of other self-drive 4x4s from the same rental companies, driving in formation to reach stop #1, staying the allotted half hour, then simultaneously getting back in their self-drive 4x4s to reach the next stop.
  And so, we arrived at Lake Mackenzie nice and early, just in time to watch the rest of the 4x4s trickle in. By noon, people were fighting for beach space, along with the 2-day self drive tours and the 1-day Kingfisher bus tour crowds. But we fooled them all. We went in the water! Australians don't get in the water if it's below 80 degrees, but it was no problem for Markus the Swiss, Bjorn the Dane and Kevin the Lake Superian!

"Once you've decided the romantic moment is over, can you take down your tent and join us at the buffet?"
- Kevin.
wanker: (n.) Taunt, British origin.
1. idiot, bastard, dumbass. 2. one who wanks.
Ya spilt me beer, ya bloody wanker!

Join our mailing list!  
Enter your email address into the box above to get updates from us!
We've got mail...

Hej Kevin and Aimee!
We had a great trip and it was good to meet you.
I'm looking forward to see the page from Fraser Island and all the pictures. Don't forget the surprise for my girlfriend :)
See you somewhen and enjoy your trip on the bycikle! Good luck!
- Bjørn, Denmark

You might wonder about the Subject so I'll explain it shortly. I have heard of your homepage by my boyfriend. He's name is Bjørn and you have met him together with his friend Markus. He is the blond danish guy. Well, he said he will be on your Homepage on a picture on week 17, so I just decided to look at the rest of your homepage until week 17 is on. I can really make a huge compliment to you - it is a great site, but I would think that you know that yourselves. =)
I wish you all the best for you time travelling and I hope you can go on like this for a really long time!!
- Pia, Denmark

impressed by your site! i am a dinky di aussie from canberra but have just returned from a six month global excursion to sth america, europe, egypt and china with the two teenage kids and partner and thought i was doing well to get mini-novellas off from far flung places from various 'net cafes...

your site puts my missives to shame! but i love your take on australia (even if you do make too much of harmless and happy huntsmen spiders! i call all mine 'boris')

it is great to see like-minded foreigners (love all the python etc references...) expound in a friendly casual manner on what we australians take too much for granted sometimes, and to see so many positive references to geelong footy team! c'arn the cats! - loved the scoop i/v with bomber thompson!

but what has happened of late to the 'we got mail' section? getting lazy? sounds far too australian to me!!
have a great trip (like, you won't?) and safe journey - i look forward to more tales and funky recipes.
did you make damper yet??

and btw, its 'carlton' beer and footy team, not 'carlEton'... (not that either light my wick...)
good luck,
- Astroboy, Canberra AUS

We required some translation with Astro's email...

kevin (and hi aimee, too - does kevin get the postman job all the time?)

'dinki di' is a very old australian phrase for 'true blue', or 'authentically australian' and i have no frickin' frack (i love that phrase, too! thanks!) idea where it originated.

spiders aren't really insects but there ya go, i'll let that one through to the 'keeper... (now, another 'australianism' emenating from that wonderfully british game of cricket - letting a delivery ['pitch' in baseball parlance] go through to the guy behind the stumps... err, you guys will get enough cricket soon enough, after september when the cats thrash every team in sight and take the flag!! - note to self: remember to forward your reply to bomber...)

'damper' is rudimentary and quite delicious bread made with mainly just flour and water and salt over a camp fire, traditionally. more liberal interpretations of the recipe turn up in various cafes and restaurants a bit more fluffy and buttery - but fan-frickin'-tastic hot off a camp fire with a wad of butter and a mug of billy tea under crystal sea of stars! you gotta try this:

players: 4 cups self raising flour; 1 teaspoon salt; 30g butter (or dripping); 1 cup milk & 1/2 cup water. battle: sift flour and salt, rub in butter or dripping with fingers [like making scones]. make a well and pour in milk and water and mix with a knife to make a dough. now, in a kitchen, place dough in greased tin in about a 20cm round, slash top with knife and bake in hot [200c] oven for about 25mins. {over a camp fire, wrap the dough in a good wad of aluminium foil and stick into the embers of a good camp fire. have a durrie and a cup of tea and look for shoting stars. after the second or third one, or first ufo, poke at the damper and see if the sides are solid. get out of embers with a stick - it's gonna be hot! - and unwrap, break of hunks and slap on chunks of butter. have second cup of tea, rejoice at the wonders of simple food and watch for more stars...} (if you are particularly traditional, forego the foil and the milk and cook directly in the embers - knock off ash when eating!)

lemme know how you go with the damper and mebbe when you come through canberra (i guess that'll be near the end of the trip?) mebbe catch up for mor tips and coffee and food...??

good luck - keep up the excellent work and remember, in australia it isn't 'food', its 'tucker'...
- Astroboy, Canberra AUS

Editor's note: We'll try to sort all this out for you in the following weeks... don't go making "damper" without further instruction.

Drop us a note!
proudly sponsored by:

Check out our American roadtrip at roadtrip.beimers.com!

© 2002 Kevin Beimers & Aimee Lingman. Happiness is yelling Dingo!