Even though I am a pro-guidebook girl and I preach independent travel, there are some places you need to visit with a tour company. Fraser Island, world’s largest sand island, is one of them. Unless you have a four-wheel-drive vehicle, a Telstra cell phone (for Googling the history of the place; Optus and Vodaphone don’t get reception on the island), and training on how to deal with dingoes, just take a tour.
My Danish friend, Annemiek, and I went for the two-day Fraser Explorer Tour and we totally recommend it! Here are some of our highlights:
Lake McKenzie is arguably the most popular of over 100 freshwater lakes found on Fraser Island. The white sands around the lake are made of pure silica, and from personal experience I can attest that they are an excellent natural scrub. The water of Lake McKenzie is also supposed to leave your hair feeling baby soft, but that one didn’t quite happen. However, just swimming in this fresh water, lukewarm (by Canadian standards) lake, is what draws so many tourists.
Oh look, there’s me! The water of Lake McKenzie is supposed to be bluer, but due to heavy rainfalls last summer, the lake’s water level has risen and now covers the beach and some vegetation, making the overall appearance more green-ish brown.
A part of Fraser Island is also home to a sub-tropical rainforest. The lush flora is the perfect setting for spotting some little creatures like this one:
One of my favourite parts of the island were the Sand Blows. When you think about, I should have expected a lot of sand on the world’s largest sand island, but the Sand Blows still took me by surprise.
That’s the beauty of Fraser Island: during the afternoon you are in a sub-tropical rainforest and then you get teleported to a landscape that resembles the Sahara Desert.
PS: Sand blows are also the perfect place to practice your cartwheeling skills. Right, Annemiek?
The shipwreck of S. S. Maheno is a favourite landmark on the eastern side of Fraser Island. Shipwrecked in 1935, Maheno makes many photographers and tourists smile as it gracefully rusts away in the salty Pacific waters.
The most easterly point of Fraser Island is called Indian Head, located on the north end of Seventy-Five Mile Beach. The top of this towering landmark is a great place to spot marine life on a clear day. WE SAW A SHARK! Well… the outline of a shark since we were all the way at the top of the cliff.
The aforementioned sharks are one of the main reasons you can’t swim in the salt waters off Fraser Island. Strong currents is another one. But, nature has created the most beautiful swimming pools, called Champagne Pools, that give you a chance to swim in the salt water and protect you from the big, bad marine world out there.
If you are in Queensland, Fraser Island is a must-do. It’s quite touristy, but it’s also one of the most unique places I have ever been to. Where else in the world can you find sand blows, 100 freshwater lakes, a sub-tropical rainforest, a freshwater creek, a shipwreck and dingoes within the span of 700 square miles?