Fraser Island, Australia

fraser island sand track, australia

Fraser Island, a typical track.

Things to do on Fraser Island

200 miles north of Brisbane, Fraser Island is accessible mainly from Hervey Bay by ferry, taking around an hour, but also from Rainbow Beach or Noosa.

Many visitors bring 4WD vehicles with them or rent them on the island. There are no hard roads on Fraser, mostly bumpy, deep sand tracks winding through the trees (as in the above picture) or long straight, flat stretches on the wide eastern beaches.

Possible accommodation on the island ranges from camping, through simple timber lodges up to a couple of pricey resorts.

fraser island tree-hugging, australia

Tree huggers be warned, exciting trunk alert, Central Station.

fraser island forest track, australia

Walking a forest track from Central Station. Nice in a group, but better by yourself!

Fraser Island’s biggest highway – 75 Mile Beach

Incorrectly guesstimated by Captain Cooke and actually 58 miles long, 75 mile beach is also the local small-plane runway.

This route is popular with tour buses, particularly day trip groups from Hervey Bay, which are keen to waste the punter’s morning in the easiest possible way.
Tourists shuffle morosely down a freshwater stream called Eli Creek, stand in less than awe before a rusting wreck and finally gaze blankly at a small cliff stained vaguely yellow/orange.

However, swimming in the spectacular freshwater lakes of McKenzie and Birabeen is incredible and the powder white sand is awesome. Local myths claim you come out of the water ten years younger but we’d like to know what happens to 9-year olds.

fraser island 75 mile beach, australia

75 Mile Beach – race track, landing strip but hardly a bathing beach unless you like sharing with toxic boxes and Tiger sharks.

fraser island shipwreck 75 mile beach, australia

One of the beaches ‘sights’. You can look but not touch.

And to cap it all punters cannot swim for fear of Tiger sharks but are encouraged to take a short $60 flight over the island. Sharks all around it seems. Just say nay!

Fraser’s magic lies inland, with walks through the rainforest, over monster dunes and swimming from white powder beaches in spectacular azure freshwater lakes.
But to focus on these you will need to avoid most of the useless tours and choose one that delivers the real thing (i. e. inland), or better use your own 4WD, rented and brought over from the mainland or rented on the island.

fraser island Pinnacles, australia

The Pinnacles (all of 15 metres high), another dead loss on the package tourist trail.

If salt is an essential part of your exercise diet then Champagne Pools offer safe tidal seawater for bathing.

Popular activities – apart from sunbathing, lake fooling and digging the motor out of sand drifts, are whale watching (August-November) fishing and walks in search of flora (amazing trees and ferns) and fauna (dingoes, wallabies, possums, turtles and snakes).

This island is stunning in the right places, just don’t go there on time-wasting day-trip.

There is a reasonable selection of accommodation on the island so try to arrange at least two nights stay and three days driving.