Nature’s handiwork is on display is full force on Fraser Island, where all the attractions are outdoors and the elements can be in-your-face.
Among the island’s biggest attractions are more than 100 freshwater “perched” lakes, ranging in colour from turquoise to brown tea-coloured. Lake McKenzie, a vivid blue, is absolutely beautiful and a swim here may be the highlight of your visit.
Once the hub of the forestry industry when there was logging on Fraser Island, Central Station is one of the most stunning spots on the island, lush with towering trees, hundreds of stag horns and other ferns.
As you drive along the sandy tracks that criss-cross the island, through forests of Satinay and Brush Box trees, you will come across one of the few settlements on the island, Eurong. Here, you will hit Seventy-Five Mile Beach. While it is a long straight beach, care is still needed while driving – as well as a knowledge of the tide times so you don’t get stranded.
Don’t miss a refreshing swim in the fast-flowing clear shallows of Eli Creek. Wade up the creek and let the current carry you back down.
Along a track into the bushes, you’ll come to Red Canyon, named for the stains created by the mineral hematite. Hematite also acts like cement, allowing the sands to form into cliffs, a spectacular phenomenon that can also be seen at several other places on the island too.
Warning signs here show that this a known haunt of an aggressive dingo (Australia’s wild dog). Heed the signs that you’ll see around the island, and stay well clear of these sometimes dangerous animals (see Background).
The Stonetool Sandblow, which takes its name from the Aboriginal artefacts found in the area, is an incredible rolling sand dune that rises about 125 metres from sea level and stretches more than 2km inland.
Some of Queensland’s best fishing is on Fraser Island, and you’ll see fishing addicts of all ages and descriptions casting their lines in right along 75 Mile Beach.
From August through October, tour boats crowd the straits between Hervey Bay and Fraser Island to see humpback whales and their calves returning to Antarctica after their breeding season in the warm waters of northern Australia’s coastline.