Located about 120 miles north of Brisbane in Queensland, Fraser Island is the largest sand island in the world. The island has become one of the main stopping points along the Australian East Coast backpacker trail.
We had caught the Greyhound bus from Noosa up to the small resort of Hervey Bay for a nights stay before heading for the ferry to take us across to Fraser Island. At the hostel we were introduced to others that would form the small group we would spend the next few days camping with and crammed into the back of a 4x4 with.
Dingoes and Swimming at Lake McKenzie
The tour company had a pre-planned itinerary that they suggested we stuck to but as we were driving ourselves we did have some discretion over where we went.
Leaving the ferry we hit the bumpy roads and those in the back were tossed around, making for very sore bums! Thankfully the drive to Lake McKenzie wasn't very long and we were able to stretch our legs. As we were grabbing our bags from the jeep, we got our first sighting of the local wildlife as a dingo casually strolled through the car park.
We had a quick swim in the lake, of which we were told the sand was made of silica and was good for cleaning jewellery and had very good skin cleansing properties. A look down the shoreline saw many women and some men trying it out.
Making it to the east side of the island we set up camp just off the beach which doubles as the islands main highway when the tide is out. This was my first time camping but surprisingly was able to get the tent up fairly quickly.
We made a wise investment in buying a football as we all had a game on the beach before attempting to cook our first dinner in the darkness and drinking well into the night, all ensuring we had a good nights sleep.
Views from Indian Head
Up bright and early the following morning we joined the "highway" and drove to the northern point of Indian Head. Climbing up the rocks to the top we got great views back over the island and out to sea. We had to be careful on the rocks as there were no barriers and one wrong step meant a long drop with a very bad ending.
We were meant to carry on to the Champagne Pools but the route we were told to take seemed to be trapping other vehicles in the sand.
Sights on 75 Mile Beach
On the way back we had a look around the wreck of the Maheno, a ship that had been washed ashore when caught in a cyclone and has been left to rust ever since. Nearby is the island's largest creek, Eli Creek. Jumping into the water inland the flow of the water is enough to carry you all the way back to the beach. So much fun we did it twice! At the end of our second run there was a low rumbling like thunder, a few seconds later the source became clear as a fighter jet flew past and was so low it appeared to be skimming the sea.
Back at camp we were just getting used to taking a spade with us for a trip to the toilet and there was more drinking and story swapping over the campfire before another good nights sleep.
Sand dunes at Lake Wabby
On our last day on the island, we took a walk to Lake Wabby, Fraser Island's deepest lake. We had been given some rubber mats as part of the camping gear and their use became apparent as we saw the steep sand dunes that run down to the lake. Several attempts proved unsuccessful as we either didn't move or fell off half way down the slope.
I really enjoyed the three day/two night trip but as with many experiences, the trip was made by those we shared it with. Our small group was made up of English, Irish and Germans and we all got on really well, and most of all we all had a laugh.
Have you been to Fraser Island? Did you get to Champagne Pools, if so what's it like?