Smithsdownunder
Our journeys around Australia

26-Mar-2005
   
We had a day trip to Fraser Island but we cheated a little as we went on an organised tour. Frazer Island is the world's biggest sand island and is World Heritage listed. It stretches about 140km and averages 16km wide. It has a lush rainforest growing on sand; there is no topsoil anywhere. There are no roads on the island, just a few sandy tracks and the beach, which is the main highway. The beach also doubles up as a runway for light aircraft so as you can imagine, with cars, coaches, aircraft, fishermen and people playing cricket on a busy Easter holiday, things can get a bit chaotic. Just to make things more interesting, there were also spring tides and parts of the beach were very narrow in fact just as we drove off the ferry, there was no beach at all! To get to the island, there was a fleet of ferries shipping cars across from Inskip Point. Fraser Island Ferries
Lake McKenzie

The island has over 100 lakes and most are filled with fresh water, which is very clear. We visited Lake McKenzie and swam in the warm crystal clear water from a white sandy beach.

Lake McKenzie on Frazer Island

Many of the trees in the forests have these Elkhorn ferns; the one in the picture below was well over a metre across. Imagine what you would have to pay for something like this in the UK?

Elkhorn fern

Elkhorn Fern
Wanggoolba Creek

The water from the lakes flowed through small creeks out to the sea; some of the ferns in the creek are very rare and have been carbon dated as being over 2500 years old.

Wanggoolba Creek

The island is famous (or infamous) for its dingoes. Unfortunately, one child was killed by one a year or two ago and there have been other scares recently which has resulted in them being culled to reduce numbers. The dingoes here are fairly unique though as they are pure bred being on an island. There have been far more people killed driving on the beach than being eaten by dingoes! We spotted a couple on the beach scavenging for tit bits brought in by the tide.

Frazer Island Dingo

Frazer Island Dingo
Rainbow Beach

On the return journey, we drove along Teewah beach after getting off the ferry. There is an area called Rainbow Beach where the sands are coloured, a bit like Alum Bay on the Isle of Wight but over a much longer stretch.

Rainbow Beach

It was more like driving north on the M3 on Sunday after a hot weekend!

Traffic on Teewah beach

Rainbow Beach Traffic
A bit further along there was an area, which allowed camping on a 15km stretch of the beach, and it was full of tents of all shapes and sizes. The beach ends at Noosa where there is a chain ferry across an inlet. The coach driver said that he would take an alternative route on Easter Monday, as there is usually a traffic jam on the beach with people waiting to cross on the ferry. Ahh well, it is Easter!