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Published September 9th 2016
A perfect place to take only photos & leave only footprints
We all know Fraser Island as one of our World Heritage Listed natural wonders and as the largest sand island in the world. But you may not be aware of the diverse landscapes that can be found here. Apart from sand dunes and beaches, Fraser Island is also home to magnificent rainforests and over one hundred freshwater lakes and lagoons. The natural beauty of this island is abundant and there are numerous opportunities to get your Instagram on.
A trip to Fraser Island is not complete without a visit to beautiful Lake McKenzie
Lake McKenzie is a pristine natural beauty and one of many freshwater lakes on the island which are perched high above sea level in the tops of sand dunes. The setting of this lake is exquisite and it is a fair bet that you have never seen water so clear before. This is because a fine layer of decomposing vegetation seals the basin of the lake formed by sand dunes to create what is known as a "perched lake".
It is a closed system where the lake is only filled by rain water and where there is no outlet stream, meaning that what goes in to the lake stays in the lake. For this reason there are strict rules about what you can and can't take with you when visiting Lake McKenzie. Visitors are asked not to take food to the lake and to keep soap, insect repellent, sunscreen and litter out of the water.
From the pure white, soft sand, to the dazzling water featuring a kaleidoscope of blues, and the surrounding bushland, the views at Lake McKenzie are spectacular and the photo opportunities are endless. This has to be one of the top Instagrammable attractions of the island.
Another surprising feature of Fraser island is the small pockets of rainforest in the interior of the island. Not only are they a striking feature but they are also significant because this is the only place in the world where tall rainforests are found growing on sand dunes at elevations over 200 metres.
Rainforest plants such as hoop pine, king fern, tree ferns, strangler fig, blue quandong trees and Cypress pine can be found on Fraser Island.
The interior of Fraser Island is only accessible by 4WD and getting from one side of the island to the other takes time due to the slow and difficult sand tracks. Even though the distance is not far you should allow plenty of time to get across.
A great place to experience the rainforests of Fraser Island is the clearing known as Central Station which was used as a headquarters for the QLD Forestry Service and their logging operations from 1920. (Thankfully logging operations ceased on Fraser Island in 1992)
The tall trees and amazing ferns of Central Station are certainly spectacular to view and photograph.
You can also learn about the history of the island at Central Station via informational displays. Toilets and picnic areas are also provided. From here you can take numerous walks including a short walk through the rainforest to Wanggoolba Creek.
There are numerous creeks and streams on Fraser Island which flow in to the ocean such as Eli Creek, which is often described as an oasis on the east coast of the island. Eli Creek is a fast flowing stream that begins as a spring in the central dunes. As the water passes down through the sand dunes, organic matter is removed, leaving the water of this creek crystal clear. In fact the waters of Eli Creek are considered one of the world's purest, as it takes over 100 years for the water to be filtered through the sand.
A picturesque boardwalk through pandanus palms allows visitors to explore the lower part of the creek and as the water is only waist deep you can wade, swim or float down it. It is definitely one of the prettiest creeks I have ever had the pleasure of visitng.
The SS Maheno is not a natural beauty but it is certainly a landmark attraction on the east coast of the island. It is a fantastic place to stop for some spectacular photos along 75 Mile Beach.
The rusting remains of the Maheno shipwreck are a great photo opportunity
The SS Maheno was a luxury liner with an interesting history of service from 1905 - 1935. The SS Maheno was the first turbine steamer to cross the Pacific Ocean and she was used as a luxury passenger ship transporting first class passengers between Sydney, Melbourne, Hobart and Wellington. During WWI she was used as a New Zealand hospital ship at Gallipoli and the Western Front. After she was removed from service she was sold for scrap to a Japanese company and it was while being towed from Sydney to Japan in 1935 that the Maheno was beached on Fraser Island, due to an "out of season" cyclone.
The rusting remains of the ship are juxtaposed against the natural beauty of the white sand, pounding surf and clear blue skies.
For a stunning sunrise or sunset photo over the beach you are spoilt for choice on Fraser Island. You can watch the sunrise over 75 Mile Beach on the east coast. Just be careful as this beach is a registered highway (and runway) so you need to watch out for traffic. It is also important to check tide times when driving on the beach on Fraser Island.
What Instagram account is complete without a spectacular jetty shot. The Kingfisher Bay Jetty is located on the west coast of the island at Kingfisher Bay Resort. It is a dazzling location both by day and by night. The Jetty also features the Sunset Bar, offering food and refreshments and is the perfect place to end a day of exploring on Fraser Island.
Of course this list is just the tip of the iceberg in regards to photo opportunities on Fraser Island. There are many other places on the island worth visiting where you can embrace nature and get a stunning Instagram photo, such as the coloured sands of the Pinnacles, the rainforest of Pile Valley, wildlife photos of birds, dingos and whales, Lake Wabby, Sandy Cape Lighthouse and Champagne Pools to name just a few. You could easily spend a couple of weeks exploring this magnificent island and not see everything on offer. For me it is a great reason to return on another trip in the not too distant future to see everything we missed this time.
Fraser Island is located on Queensland's Sunshine Coast, just off Hervey Bay. For information on how to get there please click here.