We were fortunate enough to spend our (extended) Easter break up in Noosa and Fraser Island with a couple of friends! First of all, if you haven’t been to Fraser – you should definitely put it on your bucket list. It’s probably the most beautiful place we have ever seen – white soft sand, calm blue ocean, luscious green trees – and it is right on our own doorstep!! We spent three days and nights camping on a serene and quiet beach and decided to make a pit stop at Lake McKenzie on the way off the Island. We had a swim, packed up the car and got ready to make headway for the airport when… our car didn’t start! We were stranded!!
Here are three things we learned stranded on the worlds largest sand island:
- It’s OK to accept help. Luckily, Lake McKenzie is the most popular spot on the island so there were plenty of parked cars around. We straight away sought help to jump start the car. A lovely big family got involved in helping us push the car and try to jump start it. Unfortunately, it didn’t help. In a bit of despair, the guy next to us mentioned he was an electrician and might be able to help. Turns out it wasn’t the battery, but our starter motor which had failed. His friend, the carpenter, got involved too. They couldn’t get it to work – we’d probably need something like woodward solenoids to replace the old, failing ones. Then another passing guy who happened to be a mechanic offered his assistance! There he was, lying on the floor, banging on particular parts. Nothing worked. We had just given up hope when another couple of guys offered to give it another go too (albeit unsuccessfully). Four separate parties went out of their way to help us. All in all, there were about 50 people involved! It was beyond generous to take time out of their holiday to lend a helping hand. Our instinct was to feel guilty and a burden yet we realised that graciously accepting help actually allows others to contribute. They all felt empowered and satisfied with themselves knowing that they did all that they could (and we certainly appreciated it too).
- Ultimately, we weren’t successful in getting the car to start and we realised we weren’t going to make our flight. Now we had to get into action mode: postpone our flights till the next day, work out how we were going to get off the Island and back to Noosa, and book accommodation for the night. Too easy! Don’t get us wrong, there were many moments of “no, this can’t actually be happening”. Yet by accepting what is, in this very moment, we were able to move beyond rehearse and replay and the stress response, and into practical actionable steps to take, no fuss.
- Eventually, we got the number of the only taxi on the island (who couldn’t come for another 3 hours as he was tied up with other customers), got dropped off at the Barge, and travelled across to mainland where our rental car contact had kindly brought us a replacement 4WD. We drove 2.5 hours back to Noosa, slept in a dingy motel for the night, and successfully made our flight the next morning. On reflection, we realise that this kind of debacle can make or break a holiday (or a friendship for that matter). Yet it doesn’t have to, and in our case, it didn’t. We all stayed empowered and happy, and simply made the most of our extra day in Paradise.