Continuing the Essential Australia segment, no list would be complete without Fraser Island. In all honesty it is probably our favorite essential experience of Australia’s eastern coast.
Fraser Island is the largest sand island in the world, with an eclectic mix of beautiful beach, crystal clear freshwater lakes, dense forest and stunning rock vistas. Located just off the town of Hervey Bay, in between Brisbane and Rockhampton, the island is renowned as an experience not to be missed.
The island has some modernised accommodation, however the experience we had was more directed towards wilderness and adventure. We hired a 4×4 with a number of other travelers and headed to the island to camp for two days. It started by catching a ferry over to the island, then we soon realised that the island’s roads were unpaved and simply sand routes. Navigating yourself through the rain-forest with strangers, is a unique experience.
First stop was Lake Mackenzie and what a stop it was. It resembles something out of a movie, a gorgeous white sand beach, giving way to a crystal clear glistening fresh water lake. Walking down to this marvel is simply surreal whilst surrounded by jungle. The water is cool and the heat just about right. In all honesty we could’ve stayed here for the two nights and been more than content.
The island is home to over 100 freshwater lakes, of which it is near on impossible to get to them all. Lake Wabby however is renowned as another essential location, and is at the bottom of a valley of sand – well worth a swim. There is also a number of rivers which you can trek into the jungle canopy to a bridge whereby you can jump into the river and simply float down to the beach… What a great way to spend some free time!
Next up was the island’s highway – simply the eastern coast which is literally a huge stretching beach that you can drive along. The highway leads to the look out of Indian head, were you can gaze across the whole island, view the shoreline and witness the abundance of sea life including Tiger Sharks, Rays and maybe even Whales.
The beach is also home to the Maheno ship wreck, simply rusting away on the beach. The wreck has been there since 1935, so there is not much left but it still sits against the white sand rusting away…
The forest is separated from the beach by a number of dunes, that make incredible shelters for camping. It is literally a wilderness dream, camping under the stars with no modern conveniences – we BBQ’d what we had and partied into the early morning whereby there was nothing but the tranquility of the contrasting ocean and forest. A morning run along the beach was so inspiring, just surrounded by beauty and warmth.
A run along the beach in the early morning just prior to sunrise, gives a realisation of where you are… the sand beneath your feet, the roaring ocean on your heels – seriously there was nothing better. We were lucky enough to have a visit from one of the island’s natural inhabitants – the dingo – who was more curious than anything.
All in all, the island is paradise. It is a true, vast wilderness which we would go back in a flash and explore more. There is truly so much beauty and incredible memories to be made here. The experiences alone were truly awe-inspiring.
Please see the Essential Australian series on A Wandering Memory below:
- Essential Australia – Fraser Island
- Essential Australia – Broome
- Essential Australia – Uluru
- Essential Australia – Cape Range
- Essential Australia – The Great Ocean Road
- Essential Australia – Kalbarri