“Have you been to Fraser yet?” “You’ll love it on Fraser” “Fraser is definitely our favourite place” Before long comments like these drove us off the mainland, onto a barge and heading towards Fraser.
We booked a villa at Kingfisher Bay Resort but were so eager to experience the magic of Fraser that we took the barge over from Inskip Point. That we could start exploring the island on our way to our accommodation.
The beach driving was such a breeze and delight. The sand is compact and hard at low tide, which makes for easy driving. However, venturing inland was a whole different kettle of fish. It was bone dry, resulting in fine powdery sand with no grip for the tyres. But that is all part and parcel of the off road adventures and gaining experience.
The resort itself is an absolute delight and feels luxurious, yet close to nature right from the moment you enter the foyer.
Very modern with a restaurant and heated pools to relax your aching body after a day out and about. Situated behind the resort is a little shopping village (I am using the term village very liberally here!) housing a fuel station, general store and café.
However beautiful, the resort was just an added bonus. We came to Fraser to indulge in the natural beauty of the largest sand island in the world. Apart from the stunning beached, Fraser also houses amazing lakes like Lake Birrabeen. We had it all to ourselves and could splash about to our heart’s content to get some relieve from the midday sun.
And the of course, almost synonymous with Fraser there is Lake McKenzie. We had to share this gem with a few other holiday makers, but did not mind in the slightest. The beauty and serenity of this place restores your joy for life. It is pure bliss drifting in the crystal clear waters of this lake. There are fenced picnic areas to safeguard against dingoes while picnicking.
Although not as well-known as Lake McKenzie, you cannot visit Fraser without going to Lake Wabby. It is a helluva trek getting to it, but well worth it. Unlike the previous two lakes with their high acidity levels, Lake Wabby houses a few fish species. Therefore you should not be freaked out if something brushes against you in the murky green waters of this lake – although I should mention that the Department of National Parks does not recommend swimming in this lake. It is also the deepest lake (11.4m) on the island.
Fraser is not just waterholes though, there are also magnificent rainforests to marvel at.
Which brings us to my second most favourite spot on the island: Central Station. This oasis is the historic heart of Fraser situated on Wanggoolba Creek. From the 1920s to the late 1950s it was the headquarters of the forestry operations on the island. During its heyday it was home to about 30 houses and a school. Today it is wonderful picnic spot among the Kauri and Bunya Pines.
This island is like the gift that keeps on giving. The shoreline offers so many things and places to explore, like the small plane using the beach as a landing strip. Air Fraser (http://www.airfraserisland.com.au/fraser-island) offers scenic flights over the island as well as day packages from Harvey Bay or the Sunshine Coast.
The beach also provides the shipwreck of the Maheno to explore. She was built in 1905 as one of the first turbine-driven steamers. After an industrious life she was sold to Japan for scrap in 1935. With her rudders removed she was being towed to Japan when they got caught in a cyclonic storm in Queensland waters. The tow chain snapped and the Maheno drifted onto the beach at Fraser.
Like a good story teller I have left the best for last. Our most favourite place on the island: Eli Creek. It is situated just a short distance from the Maheno along Seventy Five Mile Beach. The water is unbelievably clear, but also also unbelievably cold, even on a hot summer’s day! But don’t let a bit of cold water stand between you and a great time. Follow the boardwalk to take you upstream from where you can float along the fast flowing creek. Believe me, once is definitely not enough – you can spend hours at this magnificent spot.