Fraser Island

When we found out we were heading south to the freezing landlocked town of Orange for the winter we thought now was the time to visit the largest sand island in the world. Fraser Island or the Aboriginal name which is K’gari is 120km long & has over 72 different shades of sand.
I called the ferry & found out that you can not take all wheel drives on the island, only four wheel drive vehicles are permitted & the higher the clearance the better.
Getting ready to board.

Getting ready to board for a 3o min ride at $160 return with a vehicle & 4 ppl.

Seeing as we don’t own a 4×4 I started calling all the car hire places in the area & was quoted $725 or more, this was not including the ferry or vehicle permit which would then bring us to nearly $1000 for 4 days!
Absolute insanity & without that kind ofdosh we nearly let go of the plan altogether. ThenMigs had the wonderful idea to ask my brother if we could borrow histroopy for the trip, which happenedto be inBrissy (Brisbane) 281km away.

Felt like it was gonna tip over!

New to the island it felt like it was gonna tip over!

At first we had to discuss the logistics of how we could make this idea happen as we would need to travel to Brisbane to pick up and return the borrowed vehicle & still make it back up (to Howard) in time to grab the bus & our own vehicle (a Rav4 which we aren’t towing)  to then drive a vehicle each the 1,207km to Orange.
We then decided to drop off the Rav in Brissy so that when we passed by on the trip south we’d be able to swap out the troopy & carry on our way.
So we had figured out how to make it work. Now all we needed to do was call my brother and ask the question. Of course as newbie 4 wheel drivers asking to take his much beloved troopy on a sand island adventure was a big ask… but thankfully he said yes and we are forever grateful!

Absolutely stunning & a little scary at first.

Migs went to collect the 4×4 while I spent the day packing up camp, getting ideas about the island from a friend who’d been there & shopping for everything we needed. I didn’t want to buy food/drinks on Fraser as it would be a lot more expensive then on the mainland.
 We decided not to camp out in the troopy (even tho it has space to sleep 4) as we wanted to just up & go in the mornings without having to pack up & put the car seats back in etc.
The famous 75 mile beach. Seems to stretch on forever.

The famous 75 mile beach. Seems to stretch on forever.

I called “Cathedrals on Fraser” about their permanently erected tents & being low season they had a deal on that if you stayed two nights you’d get the 3rd free. After thinking on it some more I asked Migs if he could leave his job a day early to give us more time as once one factored in the ferry ride, the tides & getting to camp there wasn’t much time left to explore.
The beach is lined with these beautiful multi coloured hills

The beach is lined with these beautiful multi coloured formations.

The Pinnacles

Stunning

The Pinnacles

So we showed up a day earlier than our booking & I asked about staying one night on a powered site (which would have cost $30) and  then asked if the permanent tent we had booked was available a day early. To my surprise she then tells me they are having another deal on, this being that if we were to stay 3 nights we’d get the 4th free, but she didn’t charge us any extra!
So all up we paid only $32 per night for the four of us.. just 2 bucks more per night than if we were to camp out.
Very cool, with a double bed & two singles. But no power outlet. :/

Very cool, with a double bed & two singles. But no power outlet.

We hadn’t really done any research prior to visiting as it was all very last minute & spontaneous, so we decided to hang out with some other campers & ask them what they recommended & if they thought we should avoid any spots as we were newbie four wheel drivers. After the 2nd day  we were quite confident & set out to explore the other side.
Strolling along we found this ship wreck

Strolling along we found this wreck. Pretty fun listening to the kids ideas on how it happened.

There was this absolutely stunning stretch of beach that was completely deserted with the exception of a solitary man who was living in his boat on the southernmost end & just happened to be showering on the beach with his makeshift bucket in the tree. Kids didn’t see a thing but I may be scarred for life!

remote & peaceful.

remote & peaceful

Driving on the beach is a little nerve wracking at first. But when Migs figured it all out & got some cool tips from the other 4×4 enthusiasts we were all well onto our way having fun with out gripping the car seat with every bump.

Fraser Island

freedom!

One place that came highly recommended was Eli Creek which as it happens can’t be crossed during high tide, so you need to keep that in mind when planning the ferry back. In low tide its a great little swimming hole. Shallow enough for the kids to splash about.

Beautiful clear water

Beautiful clear water.

D taking it all in.

They put in some stairs so you can walk from the top downstream.

Close by (Eli Creek) is the Maheno. It was the first turbine steamer to cross the Pacific Ocean as a passenger ship. It was then converted into a hospital & helped out in the 1st world war efforts for 5 yrs. Afterwards it was decommissioned & heading to the wreckers in Japan when a cyclone hit the ties & it got detached. It was later found stranded on Fraser where it was then used for bombing practice during the 2nd world war!
Now it’s just a tourist attraction. Being nearly 110 yrs old not much is left.. but it was great reading the history to the kids.

Maheno

Maheno which is Maori for “island”

Sadly can not be walked on anymore.

Sadly can not be walked on anymore.

Another fun thing to do (which of course was a highlight for the kids) is the sand dunes. We brought our boogy board to slide on. Not a quick ride but fun non the less!

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eyes, nose & mouth full of sand

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Miss P went the fastest.. Maybe cause she’s light enough not sink half way down.

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Run, roll, slide.. you name it they did it.

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hours of fun!

On to the exploring and we came across a skeleton!  Have no idea the story behind it.. scared the bejesus out of the kids tho.
real, fake, planted?? Who knows..

real, fake, planted?? Who knows..

The track changes throughout the island. Some bush, some rainforest.

The track changes throughout the island. Some bush, some rainforest.

Kids love to explore & the island is perfect for it.

Kids love to explore & the island is perfect for it.

Lots of hiking with fabulous views.

The island is well known for its dingos but a lot of campers we talked to hadn’t seen any. The kids were dying to see the wild dogs & lucky for them we did come across one and I’m happy to say we were able to study it from the safety of our car.

Very skinny thing.

Very skinny  & quite disinterested in us.

And of course the usual Goannas in the campsite looking for food.

How can that be comfortable?

How can that be comfortable?

When we stopped to get an ice-cream I saw the Champagne Pools on a post card. It looked pretty amazing so we decided to check it out. Upon first arriving there were bus loads of Europeans but once they moved on it was a lovely experience.
Beautiful golden sand, calm crystals clear waters and rock pools to explore full of little fish & crabs. It is also the only saltwater on the Eastern side of Fraser that is recommend to swim in for safety reasons.

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Pretty amazing colours.

Crabs!

Champagne Pools

Naturally protected pools made by volcanic rocks.

Not to worry if you’d like to swim somewhere else on Fraser as it has 100 fresh water lakes that are perfectly safe, stunning & quite interesting. Lake Mckenzie was the highlight for me! Absolute magic.

Breathtaking isn’t it?

Quite cold as we visited during winter but that didn’t stop little miss from going swimming.

Another lake we checked out that the caretaker recommended was Lake Allom which they say has healing powers in the water due to the tea tree oil from the surrounding trees which have also turned  the water a tinge red. This lakeis full of cute little turtles which pop their heads out when they hear you coming.

Hoping the turtles will nibble her toes.

Another spot the caretaker told us about were some sand dunes which are only accessible to those staying at Cathedrals on Fraser. They are sacred grounds to the original owners who have done ceremonies there & she said to keep our eyes out for any unusual formations as when lightning hits the sand it makes something beautiful. Unfortunately we didn’t see any but the silence & majesty of the place was awe-inspiring. It reminded me a little of the silence you feel when in the snow.

Sand Dunes

Hiking up this glorious dune.

We found 3 different shades of sand on the one dune. Fascinating.

Sunset over the dunes

The climb was well worth it to see the sun set.

On our last day there we stopped off at Central Station which was an old logging camp & has a lovely board walk along Wanggoolba Creek which is known as a silent creek as it is fresh water flowing over sand & surrounded by rainforest. Nature is seriously awesome.

Wanggoolba Creek

It was an amazing 5 days & I wish we had more time on the Island as there was plenty we didn’t get to see. But very happy to have had the chance to explore some of this outdoor lovers paradise.

 Sadly our camera died on the island so most of the pics were taken on my phone & I uploaded them with NO filter. (except for the sepia one of me & the kids running)
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Amber Luna

I'm a long term traveller, dedicated mum of 2 & passionate about living life full of adventure. I love living my dreams & helping others live theirs as well. I hope you enjoy our informative journey!

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