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One of the many stunning pristine freshwater lakes on Fraser Island
The island was created a long time ago over a period of
800 000 years when winds and currents transported vast quantities of sand
from New South Wales. It is very popular with Australians who come fishing
and camping here, and international visitors on tours, school holidays
can get a little crowded on this island, try to visit outside peak times.
This is considered to be the only place in the world where lush rainforests
grow on sand. Every year humpback whales come to mate in the protected
waters between Fraser Island and the mainland, whale watching is a popular
activity in Hervey Bay.
Fraser Island is just about the only place in the world where lush rainforest grows on sand;
Aborigines have lived on Fraser Island for at least 5000
years and their name for this island was K'gari, which means 'paradise'
in their language. The last ones left the island around 1904.
Europeans have been around for about 500 years or so, Portuges and Dutch sailors are believed to have visited, and James Cook passed by in 1770, not even realizing the coast he saw was an island. Explorer Matthew Flinders also called in in 1802 and in 1836 the ship Sterling Castle ran aground. The survivors spent six weeks here before rescue arrived, not getting on very well with Aborigines who were not impressed with these early tourists. The captains wife Eliza Fraser was one of this group and the reason for the island now being known as Fraser Island. In 1870 the first permanent European settlement on the islandstarted with the construction of a lighthouse at Sandy Cape as ships kept on getting wrecked on the island.
From 1863 till 1991 trees were being logged on the island, some went all the way to Egypt to be used in the construction of the Suez Canal. Sandmining occurred from 1950 till 1977.
In 1992 Fraser Island was placed under World Heritage listing by UNESCO, less than 400 places worldwide are on this list, and at least 15 of them in Australia!
Rainforest and sand don't usually go together but the World Heritage listed Fraser Island is an enigma. Fraser Island is a giant sand island famous for its dingos, wildlife, native birds, rainforests, creeks, lakes, fishing, and scenery. It attained its World Heritage Listing in December 1992 in recognition of the island's exceptional sand dune systems, its rainforests on sand and its beautiful freshwater lakes.Its natural beauty and purity will touch you like few other places can. Stroll along sandy beaches and through unique rainforest. Swim in incredible freshwater lakes. See wild dingos in their natural habitat. This is an amazing day in an amazing place! More info...
You can also spend a few days exploring this magnificent natural wonderland by 4WD and overnight at the famous eco-resort, Kingfisher Bay. More info....
Unless you live in Queensland you will probably have to
fly to the nearest airport Brisbane or Noosa first.
Cheap flights are readily available on the internet now as competition along the east coast is tough, try the site below or see more cheap flights to Brisbane and Noosa here.
Fraser Island is the perfect place to travel with a 4WD
camper van! Wide open beaches, countless beautiful spots to pull over
and camp, the freedom to go where and when you want.
Nothing beats finding your own camping spot in the wild, having a cold beer admiring a wildly coloured outback sunset and a dinner cooked on the campfire under the magnificent starry skies.
There is a wide choice of car rental companies where you can book your car or campervan online to be assured of a car on your arrival in Sydney , and most offer one way rentals between major cities. Nothing beats the freedom of having your own car to explore and stop when and where you want.
Budget Car Hire needs little introduction, the name says it all: car hire at Budget Prices with a car hire company with an international reputation, and this sites makes it even easier to find yourself a cheap hire car, or anything else with wheels: trucks,buses, campervans, utes, four wheel drives etc.
Barges or ferries run between Inskip Point and Hook Point
, (the southern point of the island to Rainbow Beach) and from the west
side of the island to River Heads / Hervey Bay.
River Heads to Kingfisher Bay Resort and vice versa phone
1800 072 555
River Heads to Wanggoolba Creek and Wanggoolba Creek to River Head phone 07 4125 4444
Rainbow Beach runs continuously between Inskip Point and Hook Point between 0600 and 1730.
phone 1800 227 437
Urangan Boat Harbour to Moon Point and vice versa phone 07 4125 4444
Kingfisher Fast Catamaran Passenger Service:
Urangan Boat Harbour to Kingfisher Bay Resort and vice versa phone 1800 072 555
Fraser Island is strictly four wheel drive country, inland
there are sandy tracks and along the coast the beach is the highway,
but take care as the beach is also the airport and planes land
Though you may not be on the road there are still rules;
speed limits are 35km/h on inland roads and 80km/h on the Seventy-Five
Mile Beach. Normal road rules apply. Make sure you carry the normal
essential spares as well as a towrope, spade, water and first aid kit.
Some places are only passable at low tide, which is also the best time to drive anywhere on the beach as hard sand is a lot easier to drive on. On the inland tracks give way to buses and downhill traffic and stay on existing tracks. You will need to get a vehicle access permit and camping permit that you can get from Queensland National Parks and Wildlife Service offices including Brisbane, Hervey Bay, Maryborough, Bundaberg and Rainbow Beach, and also at River Head Barge landing and Kingfisher Bay Resort reception.
Some other common sense rules;
- Do not use soaps, detergents, toothpaste or sunscreens
in lakes and streams as this will contaminate these water ways.
- Apply sunscreen AFTER swimming in the lakes. The lakes do not get flushed regularly - they are a closed environment and therefore concentrations of pollutants can build up over a period of time.
- Use the firewood provided at campsites. Gathering timber from the park is prohibited.
- Observe fire bans and extinguish all embers of your campsite upon leaving your site.
You'll probably find that before and after your Fraser Island adventure you will need to stay in one of the two ferry departure points for at least a night, either Hervey Bay or Rainbow Beach. Here are a couple of accommodation choices;