Leave Fraser Island‘s ocean beach to 4WDs and anglers. Forget, briefly, the humpback whales that loll off its west coast July to October. Because away from coastal distractions you can hug a tallowwood grown tall and 11m around, swim in a perched lake, and appreciate the hush in rainforest before dawn and the cacophonic birdsong after. To get a real feel for the other side (the inside) of the world’s largest sand island you need to step out with boots and backpack on the Fraser Island Great Walk.
One of ten Great Walks of Queensland, the 90km Fraser Island Great Walk follows traditional Aboriginal routes and old logging roads and tram lines. It works around tea-brown and turquoise lakes, over sand blows, and through flotillas of towering trees that escaped the loggers (most of the island is now protected as national park). Along its length are fourteen vehicle meeting points, facilitating shorter walks, and eight walkers-only camps with animal-proof food lockers.
Hiking the Fraser Island Great Walk end-to-end takes 6-8 days. Or you could tread south and north halves, with weeks or months between, or just a night’s break at a resort.
The island taxi – there is only one – does pick-ups and drop-offs.