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Published December 28th 2022
Enjoy turtle spotting and wild swimming here
Visitors to K'gari (Fraser Island) World Heritage Area are spoilt for choice when it comes to wild swimming options, as the island boasts over one hundred freshwater lakes and lagoons.
Two of the most popular lakes on the island are Boorangoora (Lake McKenzie) and Lake Wabby, which are known for their clear water and white sandy beaches. But if you're interested in experiencing a lake of a different kind, you can't go wrong with a visit to Lake Allom.
Lake Allom is located in the middle of the island, not on the coast, and is an example of a freshwater perched lake. It is "perched" high above the island's natural water table and is dependent on rainfall to maintain the water levels, as the lake has no inlets or outgoing streams. Unlike Boorangoora or Lake Wabby, Lake Allom is surrounded by both rainforest and eucalypt forest and is known as the home of a species of cute freshwater turtles called Krefft's turtles (Emydura krefftii).
Access to Lake Allom is via the Northern Forests Scenic Drive. The southern starting point for this drive is from Happy Valley. Alternatively, you can start from the northern access point, the Woralie Road entrance on 75 Mile Beach, just south of The Pinnacles, which is what we did.
On Woralie Road the distance to the lake from the beach is a mere 8km, however it is a slow trip as the track is very bumpy. It took us around 30 minutes to drive the 8km to Lake Allom.
The stunning scenery is a welcome distraction from the bumpy ride, as you pass through the lush green canopy of rainforest, with trees such as Fraser Island satinay, Brush Box, Hoop pine, Piccabeen palm and Kauri pine.
Enjoy the lush green canopy of rainforest on the track to Lake Allom
On arrival at Lake Allom, you will find a picnic area adjacent to the carpark. From here it is just a short walk down from the car park to the lake.
The only access to the lake is from a timber viewing platform which has a staircase allowing you to walk straight into the water.
On a quiet day, you may be lucky enough to spot the turtles swimming around at the base of the stairs, their little heads popping up to greet you. Unfortunately on the day we visited, there was already a group of people swimming in the lake so we didn't see any turtles in the water.
From the viewing platform you can walk straight into the water (Image Credit: QLD Parks and Forests)
While the water may not look as inviting as some of K'gari's other lakes, as it is stained by organic matter, swimming in Lake Allom is permitted and we found the water to be cool and refreshing. We swam out past the reeds at the entrance to get a better view of the lake.
While we weren't lucky enough to see any turtles while we were in the water, we did see one turtle basking on a log, amongst the reeds, at the edge of the lake.
Keep an eye out for turtles both in and out of the water
Other wildlife you might encounter in this area includes monitor lizards, bats, carpet pythons, cockatoos, noisy pittas and eastern yellow robins.
In fact, while we were there one of the other visitors showed us a photo he had taken of a very large python having a snooze on top of one of the tables in the picnic area. Now that is one guest I wouldn't want showing up at my picnic!
In addition to turtle spotting and swimming at Lake Allom, there is also a nature walk you can do, comprising a 1.4km circuit passing through rainforest, eucalypt forest and paperbark trees.
The nature walk circuit passes through rainforest, eucalypt forest and paperbark trees.
At the lake, visitors are reminded to never feed the turtles as this will upset the natural balance of life in the lake. Similarly, it is important to refrain from using sunscreen or insect repellent before swimming in the lake. This is to protect the natural habitat by not contaminating the water. You must also take all rubbish and food scraps with you when you leave.
Of course, when visiting K'gari, it is always necessary to be dingo-safe by never feeding wongari (dingoes), always staying within arms reach of children, securing all rubbish, fish and bait and never taking food to the lakeshores.
You can access Lake Allom via the Northern Forests Scenic Drive, which is around 42km in total length. Visitors are advised to allow 4 hours for this drive which is recommended for experienced four-wheel drivers only. For more information about this drive, please click here,