Fraser Island. For the rest of my life those words will remind me of two magnificent and beautiful days that will stay persevered and perfect in my memory.
Fraser Island is the largest sand island in the world. It’s a World Heritage site. It is the only place where rainforest grows on sand. It’s called K’Gari by the Butchulla people, which means paradise. I would agree.
The purest strain of dingo are found here. And 6 of the 10 deadliest snake breeds in the world. Not to be upstaged by the snakes, there are also great white sharks, sea crocodiles, and assorted poisonous spiders. Luckily I only saw dingos (many), dolphins, a kookaburra, a Fraser Island Short Neck turtle (found only on Fraser Island), a frog, and many beautiful birds. There was a giant horrible spider in the food shed, but it was not poisonous. There are also flies that are so big they make you feel like you’re in Honey I Shrunk the Kids. Here’s a dingo hanging out at our campsite.
So – our journey. From Rainbow Beach we piled into two 4x4s and took a ferry across to the Island. On the way we saw several dolphins. It always feels magical and special to see a dolphin.
Once we landed on Fraser Island we sped along the beach in our 4x4s. The smile I had from flying across the beach with the wind in my hair and the sun shining in through the windows is still on my face. The sand stretches out endlessly before and after you and the waves crash onto the shore. I had never rode across the beach in a 4×4 before but now I never want to do anything else.
Our first stop was Lake McKenzie – a freshwater lake that made for excellent swimming. (The snakes don’t like freshwater.) It felt so good to swim in the late afternoon sunshine.
After the swim we went to our camp – we had big beautiful canvas tents that held four people each. We had real beds inside. I loved everything about it. Down the hill from the tents was our camp kitchen – with electricity! We had two grills, a fridge, and a sink with running water. 100% glamping. We had divine steaks and potatoes for dinner. The full moon rose up from behind the trees during dinner and it was big and golden in the sky. The stars were diminished slightly because the moon was so bright, but you could still see so many. In the tents at night you could hear the ocean waves crashing on the beach and see the stars out of the windows of the tent.
Thursday morning we swam in Eli Creek – 100 year old water that has filtered through the sand to become some of the purest water in the world. It’s only ever about knee deep, sometimes shallower, and the bottom is soft sand so you can drop down and dog paddle or shimmy along the creek until it deposits you onto the sandy beach. Few experiences in my life have been as refreshing and magnificent as floating down Eli Creek.
Here is a selfie I took in Eli Creek on my GoPro.
Along the drive back down the beach we stopped at the wreckage of Maheno – a passenger liner that was shipwrecked in a Cyclone in 1935 while being towed to a scrapyard. It was the second steam turbine engine ever built – the first was the Titanic.
We hiked up Indian Head and enjoyed some amazing views of the coast line. It felt amazing to stand at the top with the wind rushing by me, keeping me cool in the hot sunlight.
From there we went to the Champaign Pools – the only safe place to swim in saltwater on the Island. You can’t really swim in the ocean because of sharks, jellyfish, and sea crocodiles. The Champaign Pools are just about the most picturesque swimming holes you could imagine.
Then another great dinner at the campsite – stir fry. Corey played the guitar and sang us into the warm night.
I didn’t want to leave Fraser Island. But next up is two days and two nights sailing in the Whitsunday Islands, where I will get to dive and snorkel in the Great Barrier Reef – which has been on my bucket list for a long time.