I am always looking out for new experiences, wherever I may find myself.
Published November 30th 2014
Fraser Island. It's the biggest sand island in the world. But there's more to this natural anomaly that the fact it isn't dirt and rock under your feet. Far more than you can see in a day or even a weekend without the right tour to get you around (and a friend to tag along, because those dingoes have their eye out for lone explorers).
The Fraser Explorer Tours are one of the most popular ways to see all the main sites on the island. You can choose whether you want to do a day trip or an overnight stay, but whichever you choose, you'll be whipped around in a nice comfy bus.
Our Fraser Explorer Tours bus
I did a day trip from Hervey Bay, but they can also be taken from Rainbow Beach. On my route the first stop was an old logging camp, Central Station. I wouldn't have expected it to be interesting, but our bus driver had me enthralled in the story of Americans determined to establish a sustainable industry. It is no longer operating, but the uniformity in the rows of trees around the area betrays its history.
A walk at Central Station takes you over the freshwater Wanggoolba Creek
Other attractions not to be missed on the island that this tour enables you to see include the famous Maheno shipwreck and the freshwater Lake Mackenzie, one of a few lakes here that are really just ever-expanding pools of rainwater.
It was hard to get a photo of the shipwreck that wasn't full of people
The lake is good for a swim if you visit at the right time (my visit was late in the day during winter)
The notorious Great Sandy Highway stretches along the east side of Fraser Island, providing access to most of the sites you want to see. I was impressed to find it actually had speed signs, and it provided my only sighting of a dingo, as well as many whales off the beach (I had to wait till I got much further north on my trip up the Queensland coast to see them any closer).
The Great Sandy Highway is actually one of the better-known attractions
At one point along the beach the people on my tour were offered the chance to go on a short scenic flight to the next stop for an additional cost (you don't miss any attractions, just get to the next one by a more exiting route). I didn't take up the offer, but regretted it later, especially with the whales off the beach.
Eli Creek, the largest creek on the eastern side, is one stop everyone makes along the beach
On the day tour you go as far north as The Pinnacles, but on a two -day tour you go all the way up to the Champagne Pools and Indian Heads.
The different coloured sand and the interesting erosion are the attraction at The Pinnacles
I can't say you spend much time at each of the sites you stop at on a tour but you do get a chance to go in the water a few times and Fraser Island is massive so one of these trips is a good way to cram all the best stuff into a short period. Being a World Heritage site, the island is a place you should visit at some stage anyway, especially if you live so close. If you find one trip doesn't satisfy you, you might have to head back another time.