An influencer’s attempt to lure tourists to a “beautiful” natural “theme park” on a popular Australian holiday island with the promise of “no scary animals” has gone viral. But not everyone is buying it.
The footage provides a detailed look at the young woman’s day trip with her boyfriend and friends, from their “very, very bumpy drive through the bush” to the “fresh crystal clear” water.
“If you’re scared of Australia because of all the dangerous animals you have to put those fears aside for one second and come here okay?” she said, before warning that the creek, which is roughly 200 metres long, is “very hard” to get to and requires a 4WD.
“And if someone in front of you get stuck, it means you're stuck. So we were stuck for an hour because one of the cars got bogged. But you know what, that's okay. Everybody stopped to help.”
From the island’s eastern beach, visitors can walk along a lush boardwalk, but at the end is where “the real adventure begins”, according to the Queensland Department of Environment and Science’s website. “Drop gently into the water and float effortlessly with the creek, all the way back to the beach. The ever-changing direction of flow from the creek mouth is determined by the sheer force of 80 million litres of freshwater pumping into the ocean every day.”
Influencer floats Eli Creek
Ms Paul posted footage of her using an inflatable toy to drift in the water, saying it took her 10 minutes to reach the beach again. “And once you’ve reached the end, you can get back out, walk the whole way and then you go back in. It’s like a long ride. It’s like literally a theme park made in nature, it is beautiful here.”
However, what she said next caused many of the four million viewers to raise their eyebrows.
“And yeah there’s no scary animals. There are eels in the water but they are friendly and there are spiders in the bushes. Don’t go in the bushes,” Ms Paul added.
'Spiders and eels? Nope'
The brief comment caused confusion and fear among her fans overseas. “Anna: Put those fears aside! Also Anna: eels in the water, spiders in the bushes but you’ll be fine!” one woman said, while another added: “Spiders and eels? Nope”
“Friendly eels don’t exist to me,” someone else wrote, to which Ms Paul responded “they were nice okay”. “You lost me at the spiders,” a man said.
A handful of others said they had also visited Eli Creek, deeming it “so fun”. “Guys I’ve been there, it’s actually really cool. I pat an eel,” one viewer said.
How do you get to Fraser Island?
After getting peckish, the influencer and her friends walked back to their cars on the beach where they set up a sausage sizzle and cooked kebabs. “Then to get back onto the mainland, you drive your car onto this car ferry and you’re on it for like 30 minutes. You're just chilling in your car the whole time. It's beautiful,” she said.
Fraser Island, also know by its Indigenous name K'gari, is accessible by high clearance 4WD, on foot via the vehicle barge, by plane or with a commercial tour. According to Queensland Tourism and Events, Eli Creek is a popular picnic and swimming spot.
“Take care when driving through the creek on the beach, as its fast-flowing water can gouge out deep channels,” the website reads. “At high tide it’s best to take a break and go for a swim until you can cross the creek at the lower end of the beach.”
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