An Endless beach and an island covered with rainforests, clear blue rain water lakes and all kind of wildlife… welcome to Fraser Island
For my last and final tour in Australia I booked a tour with a small group for 2 days and 1 night of camping. I could not go on a tour with an extra since I arrived a day to late but I was really happy about mine.
Before the tour I went to Caloundra which is an hour north of Brisbane. Never heard about it? Well, neither did I but I saw that there was only one backpackers and I thought it would be a town not so crowed by tourist and I was right. The Backpacker itself was only half booked and I had 2 great chill days, exploring the area, running along the beach and spending a day at the beach with an Australian pilot I met at the hostel.
I got picked up in the morning by one of two 4w cars which are driven by Craig and Cleyton who also would be our tour guides. Most of the tours start from the beaches in front of Fraser Island but mine started early morning from Brisbane and picks up people on the way up. Since Fraser Island is not connected to the main island, we drove to a pick up zone on the beach where a ferry ship over everybody.
Arriving on Fraser, we directly went to the 90miles beach which seems more like a highway. Every cars drives along the beach because it is the fastest way to get from A to B.
Our plan for the day was first to get to the camp to drop our stuff, visit a shipwreck which was half the distance of the island, drive back and stop at a creek to refresh, walks 30min to a beautiful lake behind sand dunes and finish the day having barbecue at our campground.
The SS Maheno was an ocean liner used as hospital ship during the World War I. During cyclone in 1935, it drifted over to Fraser Island and disappeared. 3 days later it was found by a pilot and the crew on board survived.
Over the year, it disappears more and more under the sand. Fraser Island increases his size due to a strong offshore current northwards along the coast. This current forms two more island which are located east of Brisbane and also accessible.
The creek which was the 2nd stop, reminded me a lot of the “Eisbach” in Munich, a mountain wanter stream going through the english garden. Both of them, you can start at one point and just let your self floating to the end. Only difference, in Munich it takes about 15min and you can take the bus to get back to your spot, the one on Fraser you arrive after 1 min back at the beach.
After this short refreshment we parked the car at the entrance to the forrest, where we walked 30min to a beautiful clear lake behind sand dunes. I was happy to have some time to swim around the lake. On of our tour guided showed us also a special plant which only grows on Fraser and you can use the leaves to clean your skin and hair.
Returning to the campground, we had some time to take a shower and enjoy the beach which was just a couple minutes away. Includes in the tour were the meals and already set up tents. Since I had all my gear with me, I decided to sleep in my tent so I can watch the stars at night.
Craig, who took care of the cars during our hikes is also the cook for our meals and he made a really tasty and fulfilling barbecue. Clayton, who knows almost everything of the island and wildlife was always our guide on the daily trips.
After dinner he showed us some more magic the Island. The wet sand close to the water is full of micro tiny ALGEN which start to shine when you rub the surface. We turned off all our lights, waited till our eyes got used to the low light and started shaving over the sand until we saw little green lights. Really magical
As we returned to the camp, Craig already started a fire and we all enjoyed the time by the bonfire. After the last piece of wood burned down, Christopher (Canadian guy) and I get the mattresses out of the tents and lay down to watch the stars. It was the first time for me seeing the milky way clear and in his whole beauty.
My alarm rang at 4:15 and some of our group wanted to enjoy the sunrise on Fraser Island and it was worth it getting up so early. There were some clouds on the horizon but they bring a nice colour in the view. It was so nice that we even didn’t noticed that one couple got engaged (not a bad moment 😉
As we returned, I packed up my tent and Craig served us a nice breakfast with pancakes. We left the camp really early since our first stop would be Lake McKenzie and they wanted to let us enjoy it with less people. And indeed, it was nice and quite as we arrived.
The water in Lake McKenzie is 100% rain water (so called “perched” lack) and the water drowns so slowly through the sand that it keeps its level.
Our last stop of the tour was the Central Station which is well know for its Aboriginal Women Creek (Wanggoolba Creek). In the Aboriginal culture, only women were allowed to go to the creek,wash themselves or drink form the water. And this water is really special. Scientist discovered that it is the 2nd clearest water in the world (after glacier water). It is not allowed to take water out of the creek but the water tap goes down to the reservoir and it really tastes good 🙂 (You would definitely find people paying for it since part of the humans thinks they have to pay 10$/L for Fiji rain water. I still drink tab water in Australia which tastes a bit different but it don’t make sense to me to pay for water)
As we drove back to the pick up location, I just looked out to the water and enjoyed the ride along the beach. Thinking of the beautiful island and how whether and time creates such places.