Lake McKenzie, Fraser Island, Qld. Photo credit: © Darren Jew/Tourism and Events Queensland
300,000 visitors a year fall in love with Fraser Island. Come and find out why.
‘Sand island’. Sounds desolate. A bit windswept. Hardly paradise. But there’s much more to Fraser Island than sand. From mighty dunes (or blows as they are also known) to mangrove forests, crystal clear waterways and lakes to rainforest, you’ll want to get to know Fraser.
Getting to Fraser Island
The ferry from Hervey Bay is best. You can find trips out of Brisbane, but be careful – you can spend the majority of your trip on a bus travelling the 4 hours to Hervey Bay, then 4 hours heading back the other way. And that would be a shame, because Fraser deserves far more than a couple of hours.
Tours are an easy option. As they generally include accommodation, transfers and some meals they’re great if you’re trying to stick to a budget.
4WD hire gives you the freedom to explore Fraser at your own pace with the people you choose.
Don’t swim in the sea around Fraser! If the undertows don’t get you the man-eating sharks will. Fortunately, with over 100 freshwater lakes, you won’t struggle to find an incredible place for a dip.
Lake McKenzie is the best known lake and therefore the busiest. Lake Birrabeen is equally beautiful but quieter. You might spot the odd turtle too.
Exploring Fraser Island
Walking trails are one of the joys of Fraser. Babbling streams cut through eucalyptus woodland, and there are camping spots along the way so you can take a few days to explore the seldom used trails at your own pace.
Along 75 Mile Beach, 18 km south of Indian Head are the Pinnacles, a strikingly coloured, striped section of sand cliffs. They make a great photo, as does the Maheno, an impressive shipwreck that has sat on the beach 5km south of the Pinnacles since 1935.
For wildlife, head to Indian Head. It’s the best vantage point on Fraser for looking out to sea and spotting sharks, manta rays, dolphins and whales (from Aug-Oct).
Many of Fraser’s marsupials (eg ringtail and brushtail possums, squirrel gliders) are nocturnal, so keep your eyes peeled while camping, or take a guided night walk.
A large population of dingoes used to live on the island but, after a boy was found dead in 2001 with indications of dingo-mauling, the authorities carried out a cull. The guidance will tell you sightings are now quite rare although both times we’ve visited the islands we’ve been lucky. If you do see one, be wary – dingoes can be dangerous.
Welcome To Paradise
The Kabi Aborigines call the island K’Gari or Gurri, which roughly translates as ‘paradise’.
Fraser is the largest sand island in the world and the 6th biggest island in Australia. It is a World Heritage Site.
75 Mile Beach is 75 miles long. Aussies do this a lot. But then they have so many beaches they probably just ran out of names.
It’s even more amazing from the air. For some really great shots take a scenic flight over the island.
Air Fraser Island is the only company to offer chartered flights over Fraser, using the beach as an airstrip.
Packages include accommodation and transfers to and from Hervey Bay.
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