The Joys of Fraser Island

Imagine water so pure that no fish can sustain life.  Then walking up sand dunes with a perfectly clear blue sky above and as you past over the crest, you discover an emerald green lake.  Now you’ve come across an old shipwreck washed ashore, rusted red and broken in half thanks to practice raids by the RAAF. A dip in the champagne pools, followed by the view from Indian Head Point is just another day on the island.  You’ve walked through the only rainforest in the world grown in sand dunes and taken pictures of the dingoes on the beach.  These are just some of the highlights of Fraser Island, the world’s largest sand island and a World Heritage Site.

Marjan and I left Brisbane and headed to Hervey Bay, to hit up Fraser Island.  Since a 4WD is required to drive the island, we knew we had to hook up with a tour (definitely cheaper than renting our own 4WD).  We also knew that it wasn’t worth doing a day trip and that we wanted to be there for at least 2 days, if not 3, to get the most out of the island.  Our hostel set us up with Palace Adventures for a tag-a-long tour. That night we met our guide Craig and the 3 other girls we would be spending the next 2 nights/3 days with.  Normally, there are a lot more people, but we were glad to have a small group—pretty much once we started shopping for our food, we knew we would be getting along well the next few days.

The girls and I got pretty lucky with the small group and an amazing guide in Craig.  Seriously, he was awesome—full of information, great stories, ever-willing to run us to the bathroom, versus us using the porta-potty and we even got him to play cards with us.  It seemed that every place we went, either everyone else was leaving, letting us have the place to ourselves, or else the
place was empty and no one showed up until we started to leave.  For awhile, we even had Lake McKenzie to ourselves—the most popular spot on the island.

Honestly though, it’s hard to describe how great Fraser Island is.  It’s consistently recommended as one of the must-see’s in Australia and I couldn’t agree more.  I was constantly amazed how much diversity the island packed in.  It’d be hard to pick one part that stood out above the rest.  I loved floating down Eli Creek, which flowed into the sea (all that was missing was friends on tubes and a cooler between us).  The 45-minute hike to Lake Wabby over the sand dunes was amazing (I could have done without the catfish in the lake).  The view from Indian Head Point was
spectacular (we were disappointed though that we didn’t see any sharks, dolphins or whales though).

The highlights aside, I think the best part of the island were the girls and Craig.  We had an absolute blast each day/night. Conversation was never lacking with us.  Kat had worked for Hasbro in England, so we got into playing a card game called Monopoly Deal each night.  It’s a quick version of Monopoly where the object is to be the first to collect 3 full property sets.  Then there was Craig—let’s just say he raises the bar when it comes to tour guides.  When we got back to Hervey Bay, we met up with Craig and his wife Tanya for dinner.  We were sad to say goodbye to Craig (who claimed we were his best group ever, but even I would rank the group with the guy who got bit in the ass by a dingo while having sex on the beach as more entertaining), but the three girls were going to be joining Marjan and I in the car to make our way to Airlie Beach, so we had a few more days together to look forward to.

More photos can be found at:

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