These backpackers are grateful to have accommodation out of the weather after a disastrous Fraser Island experience.
These backpackers are grateful to have accommodation out of the weather after a disastrous Fraser Island experience. Contributed

Sandy’s a hero to Fraser Island backpackers

"THANK goodness for Sandy!" was a chorus that broke out yesterday among backpackers, who spent their intended Fraser Island holiday sheltering from the storm in the Rainbow Beach Community Centre.

They were referring to Beach identity and Progress Association president Sandy Brosnan, who opened up the community centre to about 100 backpacker refugees from the cyclonic conditions which led to evacuation of campers from Fraser Island and Inskip Point over the weekend.

"We're angry," said Irish visitor Aine Maher. "We paid $400 each for a Fraser Island tour and we saw nothing.

"We went two days ago," said another Irish visitor Kevin Annett. "The first day we got there it was raining in torrents. We stayed one night and had to come back. We didn't see a thing," he said.

"We are stuck" said Rose Schilder, from Holland.

"We have to stay until Thursday, because there is no bus running, so we missed our flight to Airlie Beach," said her travelling companion, Myrthe de Boer.

English couple Ashley Watson and Daniella Ferrarin felt "ripped off" by the experience.

"When we had to pay insurance for the car and the trip, there was a manager available to get the money off us. There was no one there to give us anything back," Mr Watson said.

"And all our food, which we paid for, is still on Fraser Island," said Ms Ferrarin.

"It cost us $850 between us and we got nothing for it," she said.

"The president of the association, Sandy (Brosnan) came and let us in.

"They (tour organisers) didn't have a register of who was here and who is still on the island. We were camping on private land so we had a choice.

"The only person who even came down to see if we were all right was Sandy (which was when the cheers broke out)".

"They would have made nearly $29,000 out of our group and we had to stay one night in our car and all our food is still there".

Gympie Times


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