Fraser Island is the world’s largest sand island, measuring over 120 km in length and approximately 30 km across at its widest point. It lies off the Fraser Coast
and the state capital of Brisbane is some 175 km south. Some of the most spectacular beaches, headlands, lakes, creeks and rainforests found in Queensland are to be seen on Fraser, and it is little wonder that in 1992 it was World Heritage-listed.
In the same way as other southern Queensland sand islands, Fraser’s sands originate from materials weathered from the mountain ranges of Northern New South Wales. Over the centuries, eastward-flowing rivers, ocean currents and winds have driven large amounts of sand northwards, depositing them at rock outcrops such as those found two-thirds of the way up the east coast of Fraser Island. These outcrops - of volcanic origin - include the landmarks now referred to as Indian Head, Waddy Point and Middle Rocks, and are the only true rock found on the entire island.
The sand that constitutes the island makes for an excellent base for a water table - and Fraser has the second largest concentration of lakes in Australia (after Tasmania). There are over 100 freshwater lakes and more than 40 perched lakes.
Fraser Island has superb white sandy beaches, stretching for miles on end. In fact, the main stretch of beach on the eastern side of the island is known as Seventy Five Mile Beach and stretches into an endless horizon of whiteness fringed by a blue ocean.
This is also the only place in the world where tall rainforests grow on sand dunes at elevations of over 200 metres (the tallest sand dunes on the island reach up to 240 metres above sea level). Here, and on the adjacent mainland - but nowhere else - has soil developed to a depth capable of supporting tall rainforest. In addition to rainforest there grows also coastal and wallum heath, and during spring and summer multitudes of wildflowers dot the island.
Surprisingly for all the water on the island there are few aquatic species, as the water is too pure and too acidic, and is also low in nutrients. Of course the ocean is a different matter, with an abundance of life, though as man-eating sharks inhabit the surrounding waters swimming is not at all recommended. More than 350 species of birds have been recorded on the island, including the endangered ground parrot, bats are also common, as are dingoes, which should be treated with caution.
The only vehicles allowed on the island are 4WD, for which you'll need a permit. Driving instructions will also be issued, which should be adhered to as driving on sand can be a tricky proposition. Visitors to Fraser can either enjoy day cruises, camping safaris, or can stay on the island overnight. There are three premium properties to choose from - Kingfisher Bay Resort, Fraser Island Retreat and Eurong Beach Resort.
Find out more about the Fraser Coast