Fraser Island - Queensland
Stunning Fraser Island is the world's largest sand island off the east coast of Queensland, around 3 and a half hours drive North of Brisbane. World Heritage listed in recognition of its magnificent sand dunes, rainforests, beaches and freshwater lakes, Fraser Island offers the visitor a range of activities for a relaxing or adventure filled getaway.
Swimming in the freshwater lakes, bushwalking, four-wheel driving and whale spotting (during migration season) are all popular activities, and there's always the 100kms of pristine beach on which to fish, sunbake or go exploring. For some of the best fishing in the world…for the opportunity to experience a pristine natural environment abundant with rare flora and fauna…or the adrenalin of adventure activities, Fraser Island has it all!
Marvel at the more than 300 bird species and eastern Australia’s purest dingo population, catch a glimpse of the rare island tortoise, a family of wallabies, a possum or an echidna. Fraser Island is 165,000 hectares of breathtaking beauty and wonder!
The only area in Australia that has a higher concentration of lakes than Fraser Island is Tasmania. Forty of Fraser's freshwater lakes are perched, in the tops of sand dunes high above sea level, this is quite remarkable given that there are only 80 such lakes in the world. Fraser Island also supports the largest perched lake in the world, Lake Boomanjin at 200 hectares, and the highest altitude perched lake, Bowarrady being some 120 metres above sea level. However, the 130 haLake McKenzie is by far the most popular and arguably the most picturesque.
Lake McKenzie is the most famous of all of the Fraser Island attractions, notable for its size, its crystal clear fresh water, the surrounding pure white sand on its beaches and the general peacefulness and tranquility of the area. Lake McKenzie is an ideal place for swimming and picnics with its clean white sands and crystal clear blue water.
In the heart of the rainforest Central Station is so named because it was the central Forestry Department station from 1920 to 1959. Many cottages were built during this time for the workers, the remnants still stand today as a reminder of this period. This is now one of the most popular scenic areas on the island, containing story broads and information panels on the history of Fraser Island.
Many magnificent pockets of rainforest are dotted throughout the central southern half of Fraser. The valley formed by Wanggoolba Creek near Central Station contains magnificent trees, huge kauri, rough barked satinay, brush box, hundreds of airy piccabeen palms and many more push upwards towards the sun, which is so thick in places that its light struggles to penetrate the forest canopy.
Fraser Island sits on top of a huge underground reservoir of fresh water. Much of the 1800 millimetres of rain the Island receives each year, filters through the sand until it is held by the rock base some 30 metres below sea level. As a result, there is an abundance of natural springs feeding freshwater streams that ceaselessly pour into the Pacific Ocean to the east and Hervey Bay to the west.
In one 30 kilometre section of the famous 75 mile eastern surf beach 200 creeks run into the Pacific Ocean; some large, some appearing as just wet sand from fore dune to surf. The largest and most attractive on the eastern shore is Eli Creek, which winds from many kilometres inland to carve its bed through the beach and pour 8 million litres of water a day into the Pacific Ocean.
Eli Creek is the largest freshwater creek on the eastern coast of the island. It is an area of exceptional and pristine beauty. This creak is very popular in the late afternoon on hot days, with kids particularly loving this destination. There are a number of wooden walkways and a short, circular route runs up one side of the creek and down the other. It is possible to swim in the lower reaches of the creek.
One of the few genuine rocky out crops on the island, Indian Head is at the northern end of the Fraser Islands famous 75 mile long eastern surf beach. Once it becomes visible, on your drive north along the beach it appears to take forever to reach it. Visitors climb to the top to take in possibly the best panoramic vista of Fraser Islands Beaches. On clear days you can see Manta Rays, Sharks, Dolphins and Turtles swimming and hunting in the water below.
During whale season you have to be unlucky not to see the Humpback Whales passing by.
Champagne Pools are located just North of Indian Head, at the northern end of the famous 75-mile long eastern surf beach. These pools provide a very popular swimming hole with the ocean crashing over the rocks into shallow sandy bottom pools. The foaming water is where the name Champagne Pools comes from. Take a dip or relax and sun bath at these very popular, naturally formed volcanic rock recreational pools.
It is the most popular salt-water swimming destination on the Island. There are timber walking tracks and steps to enable easier access.
Please note that there are extremely strong currents along this part of the island and swimming around the rocks is not encouraged. Caution should also be taken walking on the sharp rocks as well.