Simply put, Fraser Island is a place unlike anywhere on Earth, created by almost a million years of drifting sands. This World Heritage-listed island attracts all lovers of the natural world, with its lush rainforests, amazing beaches and freshwater pools, so it’s understandable if you forget that all of this is on top of just a pile of sand. The variety of life here is conspicuous, from dingos that run through Fraser’s sandblows to the sharks living around the island, thriving in the ocean swell. Needless to say, Fraser Island is far away from any kind of civilization, so remember to respect the wild, because if you don’t it will surely come back to bite you…and I mean bite. If you have had enough of the pristine isolation of the island, there’s always Hervey Bay and Rainbow Beach, two coastal communities that act as the gateway to the island and are destinations in their own right. Clubs crank until dawn in Hervey while Rainbow tends to be calmer in the evenings, but whatever your choice, this part of regional Queensland is certainly worth a look.
Fraser Island can be seen from any angle, but there are some places that require a closer look. From Central Station, a beautiful area of rainforest that serves as the starting point for many hiking trails, you can head to many other parts of the island. One such place is Lake McKenzie, a freshwater lake located in the centre of the island not too far away. It’s one of the island’s best-known lakes and a great swimming spot; there are other swimming spots located at Lake Wabby, located to the east of Central and the deepest lake on the island, and Lake Allom, a small lake located further north that you can share with the tortoise inhabitants.
Further along, you’ll find the wreck of the Maheno located in the sand just north of Happy Valley, where you’ll be able to stay should you choose to stay on the island itself. The passenger liner was being towed to a scrap yard when it was blown ashore by a cyclone, and it has remained here ever since. Be sure to also check out Sandy Cape, with its lighthouse that remains off-limits to drivers.
Walking is definitely a great way to see Fraser Island, but by four-wheel drive (4WD) you can get to see more sites in the same amount of time. Tours can last for a few hours up to a few days, with accommodations usually right on the island. The choice is yours.
The waters off of Fraser Island don’t just make good homes for sharks. Both dolphins and whales are known to frequent the area, and dolphin and whale watching tours take advantage of the valuable bay. Tours depart from Hervey Bay on a regular basis.
For whale-watching and dolphin-watchin
You can stay right on Fraser Island, there are a variety of options, including hostels, resorts, being part of a tour, or simply camping, but all tend to fill up rather fast. If that’s a problem, consider staying in Hervey Bay or Rainbow Beach both are good stepping off points and Hervey Bay is particularly attractive in its own right.
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