Our First Peak at Fraser
For years, Ben and I have had a burning desire to explore Fraser and now that we live in Hervey Bay this magical place is well within our regular reach. We have visited the very outskirts, in the form of Kingfisher Bay previously but we hadn’t yet had a great opportunity to delve too deeply into its true beauty. We decided to join the tourists and go on a four-wheel drive bus tour of this magical Island. When I say “the tourists” I’m talking about our family, who are visiting from Victoria. My Uncle Bok, from Bendigo and Ben’s brother George, with his fiance, Ebony and our newphews, Alix, 12, and Lachie, 2.
The most well-known truth about Fraser Island (K’gari) is that it is the world’s largest sand island. In 1992 it was heritage listed. The best way to understand why it is so special, it seems, is to either do a hell of a lot of historical reading or to do what we did… take a guided tour of the island.
As most news watching Aussie’s are aware, our part of Queensland, including the nearby town, Maryborough, have been battling flood waters over the last couple of weeks. This made our barge ride to Fraser Island a little different. The water at River Head’s wasn’t the blue we are used to. The water expelled from the Mary River, the overflow and the muck had washed into the ocean, creating mud-brown water that reminded me of milk with too much Chocolate flavouring in it.
When we arrived at Fraser, a big blue four-wheel drive bus awaited us #fraserislandexplorer. https://www.fraserexplorertours.com.au/fraser-island-tours/fraser-explorer-day-tour.html.
The bus was surprisingly comfortable, it was air conditioned and with a limit of 25 on the bus, it gave us more than enough space to put belongings without needing to be cramped up. (Just a side note for people thinking about following in our footsteps with a young child, definitely bring a car seat/booster seat for the bus.) Our tour guide was David, he started offering interesting information straight off the bat. We headed to Maheno Bay to start with where a well known shipwreck gradually erodes away.
She is now a rusty shell, trying with all she has left to hold her shape. She is still, by all means, something to behold. She grabs your imagination and now, instead of carrying soldiers injured in World War One, she provides photo opportunities for travellers and locals alike.
From there, we went to The Pinnacles, a place that holds a lot of significance to the indigenous residents of Fraser, in particular, the women.
Eli Creek was next and, for me, this is where the wonder of Fraser started to deepen. Here, in this crystal clear, tranquil creek, over four million litres of fresh water gently runs to the ocean every hour. It filters through sand dunes and plants in Frasers middle. The natural filtration creates some of the freshest and coolest water I’ve ever walked in and tasted. It is so beautiful that it attracts millions of visitors each year.
We visited the rainforest and went on a short walk, where David took us on a historical journey through the logging years that Fraser endured. He told stories of the trees like the were old friends.
Over the buffet lunch my mind kept going over the beauty we’d already seen. Little did I know, Fraser had not yet shown us her heart.
As we drove to Lake Mackenzie, David told us how it formed and tried to make us understand how special of a place it really was. The thing is that words really can’t explain its charm, even if they come from the most knowledgeable tour guide. You’ve got to see it… Feel the freshness of the water… See how blue it is to understand. The silica sand, the fresh water with the dark inner… it’s just breathtakingly, out of this world, beautiful.
A refreshing swim in this most wonderful place was the perfect way to end our tour. I’d like to thank Ben for making this fantastic day happen. George for being his comical self. Ebony for enjoying the natural beauty treatments as much as I did. Alex for sleeping on the bus and being the best “incognito”. Lachie for being super good all day long. Boka for being my bus buddy and for putting his pro photographer hat on. You all made the day that bit more magical.
The barge ride home was a time to plan. Plan a trip where Ben and I can take our Prado on the barge and have a good, long camp trip on Fraser. We highly recommend the tour for Fraser first timers as it gives you a decent look around without needing to worry about navigating the sand highway yourself.
I also want to credit most of the photos on this post to Ben, as you can see, he has an eye for a good shot.