This week we’re bringing you a little piece of heaven – Fraser Island.
I know, it’s another one that’s a long way from Cambodia, but we are talking postcards and this is one of the most picturesque places you can find. If anywhere should be on a postcard, it is Fraser Island. Seriously, if you are in Queensland, do yourself a favour and try and try exploring Fraser Island.
We made our first visit to Fraser Island back in about 1996 when we moved to Queensland. We took our swag – no tent – and we set our campsite up in the dunes, just a stone’s throw from a glorious long stretch of beach. We thought it was the ideal spot – you know go to sleep under the stars with the gentle sounds of the waves washing on the shore. That’s where we learnt that the waves are not so gentle and rather than a light swishing sound there was a constant crashing, swishing and the occasional boom that went on all night. Quite the opposite of putting us to sleep, it kept us awake and the Joker has never again been inclined to camp among the dunes, or close to the ocean. Early in the morning the Joker got up to go fishing and I was lying in the swag as two dingoes casually walked through our campsite. It was a little nerve-wracking and I would be hesitant to camp in a swag on the beach again.
Since that initial trip we’ve been back many times in three different 4WDs and every time we see something different. One year a pod of whales followed us up the beach, breaching and slapping the water. Just stunning. We’ve never been in the summer school holidays because it would be bedlam. For swimming we find September and October is usually warm enough to brave the beach, lakes and creeks but it can still be a bit fresh. But beautiful crisp winter days can be quite spectacular as well.
The Joker’s favourite Fraser Island activity is fishing. He can spend hours on the beach with a rod in the water, hoping to catch something. And to be fair, he’s caught a few good ones in the past. But he’s always got his funny-man hat on. And yes, that orange fishing shirt could tell quite a few stories – it’s been half way round the world.
Fraser Island is the world’s largest sand island. It is World Heritage listed with a unique environment and ecosystem that includes stunning stretches of beaches, wetlands, sand blows, inland lakes and rainforest. The vegetation and landscape can change quite dramatically within short distances and the scenery and views are nothing short of spectacular.
Once you head off the compacted sand on the beaches, the inland areas can be soft and boggy and travel is generally slow-going. It can take an hour or two to visit somewhere that is not too far away. For that reason it is hard to see everything on a single trip to Fraser Island unless you are there for at least a week.
The Maheno shipwreck is a popular spot to stop and take photos. The poor old wreck is eroding quickly and is not as spectacular as it once was but it is still an incredible part of the island’s scenery and history.
This is just a quick glimpse of the variety this incredible island has to offer. It is about 124 kilometres in length and covers 163,000 hectares. Go and visit.
How to get there and where to stay.
You can access the barge to Fraser Island from Inskip Point near Rainbow Beach or from River Heads near Harvey Bay. There are plenty of options for camping but you will need a camping permit. There are also cabins, motels and houses to rent. Kingfisher Resort is a popular eco-resort on the west side of the island. Our favourite option is a cabin at Cathedrals. There are options for all budgets.
Tips for your Fraser Island visit
- If possible avoid the school holidays and long weekends. It gets ridiculously busy and the beach is like a highway.
- Do NOT feed the dingos. Not under any circumstances. In fact do not feed the wildlife at all. Feeding wildlife can cause unnatural and aggressive behaviour. Many areas are fenced off for your safety but make sure you keep children close by at all times.
- Do not leave any food where dingoes can access it. Don’t leave food in tents and make sure eskies have a very strong seal or take them in the car with you – the dingoes will try and get to the food.
- It is 4WD access only so make sure you have a reliable 4WD vehicle with necessary safety equipment such as a snatch strap in case you need to be pulled out somewhere.
- If you are hiring a 4WD please make sure you have some idea about driving a 4WD in off-road conditions. There have been many nasty accidents in the past and these can be avoided if you take some care and know what you are doing.
- Make sure you know the tide times and allow plenty of time to get to your destination so that you avoid high tide. Some areas have no beach access for vehicles when the tide is high and don’t be fooled by thinking you might just make it – you really don’t want your vehicle to be washed up in the swell.
- It is awesome driving on the beach but road rules do apply and they are policed. Don’t speed and drive safely – many children play on the beaches you are using as roads.
- Some beaches are also a landing spot for light aircraft – don’t park on the middle of the beach in one of these areas. There are signs alerting you about this.
- Be courteous – give way where necessary, be patient, stop and help people – you never know you might need help around the next corner.
- If you are going under your own steam it can be quite expensive so it is worth going for at least two nights so you can try and get the most out of your experience.
- You need to have vehicle passes displayed on your car before you get onto the island.
- It is a pristine environment. Please keep it this way and make sure you take your rubbish with you.
Most importantly, enjoy your stay and have fun exploring Fraser Island.
Thanks to Holly from Four Around the World for the opportunity to link-up with her Snapshot Sunday series. Head over and check out some of the exciting places others have been exploring and get some inspiration for your next holiday.