1st May 2012
Beach walking at McKenzie’s Jetty Ruins
25’24.427 S – 153’00.612 E
Sunny, warn, patchy cloud, occasional showers.
We decide to move further up the Straits to North White Cliff where there is on old jetty in ruins. This is McKenzie’s Jetty in Kingfisher Bay, built back in the logging days on Fraser Island. Timber logging is thought to have started in the 1860’s by hardened fellers Yankee Jack Piggot, the McKenzie’s’ and the Hines’ from Maryborough and continued until 1991 when the Fraser Island was listed as being World Heritage. The main timber being taken from Fraser Island was Satinay (Fraser Is Turpentine), Kauri Pine, Brush Box, Tallowood, Blackbutt and Cypress. Satinay is very hardy, resistant to marine borers and was used mainly for jetties and general marine areas. Some of the timber from Fraser Island can even be found on jetties in the Suez Canal.
|ALANA ROSE anchored off McKenzies Jetty|
During WWII an area close by McKenzie’s Jetty was used by Special Forces (Services Reconnaissance Dept – “Z Special Unit) as a training camp. Also know as Fraser Commando School where thousands of soldiers were trained in jungle warfare. The conditions on Fraser Island were not dissimilar to those found on the Pacific Islands where the Japanese were fighting. The Z-Force’s most famous special mission was a raid on a Singapore Harbour which end in the team of only 12 men, sinking 40,000 tonnes of ships in one night.
It took us less than two hours to motor-sail to North White Cliff – no good going any further when there is not much wind. Today we go ashore to walk the long golden sand of Kingfisher Bay. The beach is scattered with thousands of tiny Soldier Crabs scurrying in the wake of our footsteps. Soldier Crabs live on the east coast of Australia; they are about 1.5 cm wide and have a small, round, blue body. They have long jointed legs with purple stripes. As they move they place sand into their mouths with their pincers eating the small particles of dead plants and animals, leaving behind small, cleaned round pellets of sand. Rarely seen alone, Soldier crabs congregate into armies of hundreds and sometimes thousands, giving them their name Soldier Crab. When they are in their group they move together in the same direction. Unlike other crabs, they can walk forward as well as sideways.
|Tiny Soldier Crab|
John has to pry me off the beach, away from the jetty, the Soldier Crabs and the tree debris along the beach; pry me and my camera back in the dinghy and back to ALANA ROSE. I could have spent many more hours taking a million and one more “just one more photo”. As it was I must have taken two million photos and John would just keep walking up the beach or stand in the shade of a jetty pole while I was doing my own thing.