Fraser Island is a large sand island located off the southern coast of Queensland, Australia. It is spread over an area of 184,000 hectares. The island is 122 km long and 22 km at its widest point. It is a very popular travel destination among people and also the largest sand island in the world. It was also listed as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in the year 1992. It is a place with extraordinary beauty having long incessant white beaches bordered by stunningly coloured sand cliffs, tall rainforests and many freshwater lakes having crystal clear water. Fraser Island is the only place in the world where the tall rainforests appear to be growing on sand dunes at elevations of over 200 metres. The enormous sand dunes that make up the island are a continuous record of climatic and sea level changes over the past 700,000 years. It has a very complex dune system which is still evolving. The highest dunes reach up to 260 m above the sea level. There are also many dune lakes to be found on the island.
FLORA AND FAUNA
Birds are most abundantly found on the island. This place is home to more than 350 species of birds. It is also a very important site for the migratory birds which use this place as a resting area during their flight from Southern Australia and their breeding grounds in Siberia. You can also spot the ground parrot which is one of the most endangered birds in Australia. There are about 25 species of mammals found here which included the possums, flying foxes, echidnas, etc. Dingoes which were once very common are now endangered on the island. This is the only place in Australia where they are considered as dangerous due to frequent attacks on humans. This place is a very poor habitat for fish and other aquatic animals due to the acidity and low nutrient levels of the water. Though there are some frogs that have adapted to this environment called as acidic frogs. You can also spot whales here during the months of July and August.
The only way to reach Fraser Island is by a ferry. There are ferry services available. Sunstate and Flight West airlines have daily flights coming to Hervey Bay. So you could fly to Hervey Bay and then take a ferry from there to reach Fraser Island or there are some charter flights and helicopter services that offer travel to Fraser Island. These helicopters land on the main beach only at the time of low tide. However, once at the island the only way to travel around is by taking a four wheel drive vehicle as there are no paved roads.
THINGS TO SEE
This is one of the jewels of Fraser Island. It is one of the most famous places so it gets really crowded during the middle of the day in the peak season. It is a large perched lake with crustal clear blue water having white sands. Here you can exfoliate your skin with the mineral sand and soften your hair using the clear water.
It is a green coloured freshwater lake which is about 30 minutes walk from the beach. You can spot the freshwater turtles and catfish swimming in this lake. The lake is adjacent to a sand blow which is now moving into the lake making it eventually disappear under the sand. It is also one of the deepest lakes in the Island having a depth of 12 metres.
Indian Head is located at the northern end of the main beach. It is situated at one end of the beach. It is a rocky outcrop on which you can climb and get the spectacular 360 degree view of the entire island and also spot some wildlife from here. It is a major tourist spot on the island. However, camping is restricted in this area.
In the year of 1935, the retired passenger steamer Maheno was being taken to Japan for scrapping when a storm forced it towards the shore. It was one of the fastest ships in the world. During World War II it was used for target practicing by the Australian Air force. It is situated a few kms away from the Eli Creek.
Central station used to be the main quarter of the loggers and forestry station from the year 1920 to 1959. You can find several displays on the history and ecology of the island here. This place is surrounded by pine trees on all sides. Some of the rarest ferns grow here too. There are also picnic facilities available at the Central Station.
Apart from these places there are many other places like Eli Creek, Wanggoolba Creek, Champagne pools which can be visited. This place is also very famous for trekking. There are many possibilities for overnight hiking on the island. The most famous trek here is the 90 km trek called the Fraser Island Great Walk. There are also various camping areas however permits are required for the same. Thus, made from the wind and sand, beautiful blue freshwater lakes, giant sand dunes and the rainforests this place is like a floating paradise which is a must visit for ever traveler.