We drove back out to the southern coast of Queensland and took a ferry from Harvey Bay across the Great Sandy Strait to Fraser Island. A UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1992, Fraser Island stretches for 123km (76mi) in length and is the largest sand island in the world. The island’s Aboriginal name is “K’Gari” which means “paradise” – a fitting name for this spectacular place of beauty. Fraser Island’s long uninterrupted white beaches are bordered by strikingly multicolored sand cliffs. The island also boasts lush, tropical rainforests, crystal clear freshwater streams, and over 100 crystal clear mirror lakes.
We stayed at the eco-friendly Kingfisher Bay Resort in the Wilderness Lodge section, which was nestled a 15min walk away from the main hotel (meaning we could party as loudly as we wanted). Our first night, we had a joint costume party with the OZ Experience group at Dingo Bar. Oz Experience is a flexible hop on hop off tour company that is also geared towards younger travelers; the travelers we met from here all had good things to say about it.
The next morning, I went four wheel driving with 6 other tourmates. Instead of paying for the tour bus around the island, we decided to rent our own 4WD so that we could explore the island at our own pace. Plus getting to drive over all the miles of sand dunes was an irresistible adventure! We rented a 7 passenger 4WD vehicle from Fraser Magic 4WD Hire for the day (A$200 approx + insurance). After a brief safety video about how to avoid getting the car stuck in the sand and how to avoid an attack by a wild dingo (fold your arms, maintain eye contact and stand still) or sharks (just don’t go in the water) – we were ready to roll!
It was an extremely bumpy but fun ride across the glistening white sands of 75 Mile Beach. We all took turns driving, although we left it to the token male driver Dave of the group to help navigate across very rocky areas and Eli Creek. Our first stop was the Maheno ship wreck, which drifted ashore Fraser Island in 1935 after getting caught in a cyclone. The S.S. Maheno was built in 1905 and served as a luxury passenger liner between Australia and New Zealand, a hospital ship during WWI, and later as a beached ship – target bombing practice during WWII.
The colored sand cliffs were particularly unique and beautiful.
We made our way to the northern part of 75 Mile Beach to Indian Head, a popular lookout spot. The view from the top is quite breathtaking as you can see the expanse of the island, as well as look down into the ocean and spot the marine life.
Unfortunately, we didn’t have enough time to check out the Champagne Pools, which are located north of Indian Head. We decided to head back south to check out the famous Lake McKenzie and Lake Wabby before we had to return the car. However, we ended up running into a bit of trouble…
Luckily, Chanelle knew how to fix the flat tire (I tried to learn and help!) and our journey was only delayed by half an hour. I think we tried to find Lake Wabby but were not successful… we ended up just pigging out on the picnic lunch we had packed somewhere in the wilderness. However, we did finally find Lake McKenzie and had time to enjoy playing in its crystal blue waters before heading back to Kingfisher Bay.