Fraser Island, Great Sandy National Park

Fraser Island is quite an exotic sounding destination for westerners like us so we were quite excited to visit it for the first time. We paid our $11 per day vehicle access fee, $11 per day camping fee and $100 barge fee and headed across on the barge from Inskip Point, near the town of Rainbow Beach. Fraser Island is a sand island. Needless to say, after a week’s worth of camping, us and our vehicle had collected half an island’s worth of sand. Nevertheless we thoroughly enjoyed it. There’s fishing, more beach driving than I thought possible in the whole world, swimming, beautiful natural attractions like beaches, bays, lakes, forest, plus a few other attractions. Sharni really enjoyed the swimming in the numerous lakes and creeks and stuff. The fishing didn’t go so well – more darts. Dart after dart. I was chasing tailor but failed to catch one despite several nights of fishing.

What an experience it was to be camping on a world class beach in complete isolation, with the beach your own, then walking down the beach a few hundred meters and rocking up to a pub / resort for an evening beer. There’s no where else that I know of where this can be done in the same arrangement as on Fraser Island. The villages and resorts around the island can only be accessed from the beach or via inland 4WD tracks. Pretty unique. The buildings are just plonked there in the sand, completely isolated. The entire island is 4WD only.

The beaches are swept clean and flat by the tides and are perfect for driving and walking on. Cruising at 80km/h is easy on the firm sand. Four wheel drive trucks and buses can easily travel on it. However because the beach is so firm, not many people let down their tyres and the inland tracks are badly cut up which makes them really slow going and annoying. I saw several people unnecessarily snatching their vehicles after becoming bogged in slightly soft sand. Sand that could be easily traversed with reduced tyre pressures.

The beaches are covered in tiny sand crabs. The crabs live in small tunnels that they excavate by rolling the sand into a ball and bringing it to the surface. They must be a special type of sand crab. We call them sand-ball crabs. There’s also artistic sand snails that make patterns in the sand.

We’ll publish a few more posts on some of the specific attractions we visited, as well as the great bogging that took place on our final day.

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