Fraser Island

Thursday afternoon Zoe, Sam, Mere, and I took off for our weekend getaway to Fraser Island. We decided to rent a car to get to the tour starting point due to cost and so we began our first road trip on the wrong side of the road with Sam behind the wheel. We made a pit stop at King’s Beach in Caloundra on the Sunshine Coast for a nap and a bite to eat. Afterwards we continued our trek to Hervey Bay where we stayed in a hostel overnight and got picked up the next morning by our tour company Cool Dingo.

We had a one hour ferry ride over to Fraser Island where we were greeted by our guide. I really didn’t do much research on the island at all and booked our tour based on a few trip advisor reviews. On the company’s website they 4WD tours; so we really weren’t sure exactly what that meant before arriving on Fraser but it didn’t take long for us to find out. Fraser Island is the largest sand island in the world at 120kms in length. For whatever reason I had the misconception the roads on the island would be paved…or at least that the sand would be packed down to simulate pavement. I could not be more wrong. Our vehicle for the weekend was a jacked up 4WD bus that is designed to go over extremely narrow, windy, incredibly bumpy, very loose sand “roads” which feels closer to a roller coaster ride than a car ride.

Our first stop was picture perfect Lake Mackenzie. Here we relaxed and went for a dip in this fresh water lake in the interior of the island.

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For the afternoon, we headed out on a trek through Fraser’s rainforest. The hike went through Pile Valley–a sub-tropical forest full of giant satiny trees. We also walked along the Wanggoolba Creek, a very pretty natural creek with a sandy bottom

On day two we headed straight for 75 mile beach–the world’s longest sand highway. We drove along the beautiful beach for quite some time until we stopped at a small scenic flight operation where we decided to #YOLO and head up into the sky to take in some aerial views of Fraser. The flight was an awesome way to get a better sense of the island’s layout and scale. Image

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Our next stop was the Maheno Shipwreck–a pretty cool historical site that dates back to 1935.

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We then drove up the beach to Indian Heads. We completed a short hike to get to the top of this lookout. From the top you can see miles and miles of beach along the Coral Sea in either direction. It was pretty spectacular and the most beautiful day for it.

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Afterwards we drove up to the Champagne Pools. The Champagne Pools are natural rock pools just inland from the ocean that allow you to relax in shallow waters or play in the ocean waves that come crashing over the walls of the furthest pool.

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At the beginning of day 3, we headed straight for Lake Birrabeen for a dip and a paddle board.

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After lunch we set out on a hike to Hammerstone Sandblow. It was about 2.5kms each way–amplified by the fact that you’re hiking through sand. We finally made it to the Sandblow; it was pretty crazy that we could feel as though we were in the middle of the Sahara and really be less than a couple kms from the beach and have emerald-green Lake Wabby right beside the sandblow to cool off in. We had some fun in the seemingly endless sand dunes and got a fish pedicure in the waters of Lake Wabby before heading back to the bus.

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As we made our way back along the beach towards the ferry we had a few dingo sightings! Looking at them it is so hard to believe they could aggressive animals that we were only allowed to photograph from the safety of the bus. They really just look like beautiful domestic dogs but there are signs everywhere around the island to remind you these wild dogs have inflicted serious injury, even death, on humans in the past.

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I was warned before my arrival in Fraser that tourists are notorious for getting their vehicle stuck and having to have it towed. As it turns out, despite the fact that we were with an established tour company we did not make it off the island without having our own bus break down. Luckily it wasn’t too big of an ordeal but it was pretty interesting to see how efficiently they can solve these sorts of problems given the regularity of occurrence.

Overall, Fraser Island is a pretty amazing place and I definitely hope to get back one day to rent my own jeep! I know what you’re thinking..my driving record isn’t exactly flawless. Maybe I won’t be the driver but I will find someone qualified to accompany me I promise.

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