I’m fairly certain I raved about Fraser Island in my post a few days ago, but now that I’ve spent a solid 6 days there, let me just take a few minutes to rave again. Seriously, if you have not been to Fraser Island, you must put it on your destination list. It’s no small feat to get there, but the rewards are just out of this world amazing.
Mid-week we decided to do an overnight trip to Central Station, which is south of Orchid Beach and further inland. We passed by the Maheno Shipwreck on our way and stopped for some photos. The ship was originally built in 1905, but fell on rough times after WWI. While on her way to Japan to be scrapped, she was caught in a typhoon and beached on the east coast of Fraser near Happy Valley. During WWII she was used for target bombing practice and now three stories of her hull lie under sand.
The next day we made the trek to Lake McKenzie, inland from the small town of Eurong. Lake McKenzie is known for it’s beautiful white sand made nearly entirely of silica. The sand is so fine and soft I could have walked through it all day! It was like nature’s pedicure. The colors in the lake are spectacular and range from beautiful greens to blues and turquoise.
After our sight-seeing tour we returned to Orchid Beach and I spent my last two days relaxing, enjoying the peacefulness of the island, and doing fantastic beach runs. The beaches are so flat and the sand is so compact I ran barefoot almost the entire time. On my last day I even got to witness a spectacular march of soldier crabs, tiny brightly-colored crabs that congregate in the thousands on mud flats. I probably sat there for much too long, totally hypnotized by them and grinning from ear to ear.
6 days of Fraser and I’ve seen amazing wildlife and dingoes aplenty. I’ve walked on the softest sand in the world and been jostled on rough inland sand tracks. Fraser has a lot of adventure and relaxation. It’s got everything. If you do venture here, your travel times will be dictated by the tide schedule and you’ll need both a barge ticket to get you there and a vehicle access permit. And of course, don’t forget the following “small” things:
- A very reliable, capable, diesel-powered, gas-sucking 4×4. The inland tracks wreak havoc on even the most capable 4×4, so a diesel with lots of torque seems to be the no-brainer. Rentals are about $1000/wk and come with that massive $7500 excess I mentioned earlier. Just don’t submerge your vehicle and you’ll be fine.
- Lots of food and wine. There really isn’t much on the island except a few tiny resort areas with limited supplies and they’ll cost you to the tune of $9 for a tiny container of salt.
- Lots of sunscreen. The sun on Fraser is intense and I tanned at about 4x my normal rate in 6 days. And I’m lucky that I tan rather than burn. If you’re fair-skinned, bring an umbrella or wrap yourself in sun-resistant coating. The sun is scorching.
- A fantastic camera.