It has been a month since I moved to Melbourne. This is a beautiful cosmopolitan city with unpredictable weather. It is the melting pot of world cuisines. The city has many hidden lanes where numerous restaurants offering variety of gourmet romance my insatiable palate. One can choose to soak up the sun at St. Kilda beach on a weekend, haunt the shopping outlets and malls in CBD during the weekdays, have delicious brunches or dinners in the hardware lane or enjoy sunsets from the South Wharf or splurge at the DFO or walk along the Yarra trail. The Yarra river flows through CBD (Central Business District). This city reminds me of London. I am still exploring Melbourne and the scenic spots in the state of Victoria. I will soon be writing a ‘Must Explore in Melbourne’ blog post. However, this post is about my long weekend trip to Fraser Island in Queensland, ‘The Sunshine State’.
Fraser Island is a unique destination in Australia. It is the largest sand island in the world and the only place on the planet where rainforest grows on sand! The island stretches over 120 km. It also has perched lakes – lakes formed when depressions in dunes fill permanently with rainwater.
The state highway (only 4×4 drive) and the airplane runway is the beach on the island. Yes, you read it right, “The Beach”. If you don’t believe me, check out the YouTube video links below:
- Flight Path video: https://youtu.be/1OBusppKD-I
- 4-wheel drive Path video: https://youtu.be/GkyiTDNQ7w0
How to get to Fraser Island?
One can choose to get to the island via Rainbow Beach or Hervey Bay. The island can be accessed only by 4-wheel drive (4WD). To access via rainbow beach, international travellers need to arrive in Brisbane, like we did. However, one can also choose to travel by charter flights to the island. But where is the fun in that? Locals prefer to drive themselves in 4WDs. For international travellers I would recommend taking a guided tour. There are one-day, 2-day or 3-daytrip options. We took the 2-day trip option from Sun Rover Tours and are extremely satisfied with their service. Thanks to our tour guide Mr. Jai Black, we had amazing fun. Jai is knowledgeable, humorous and a 4WD enthusiast.
We flew to Brisbane from Melbourne on a Friday Morning. Let’s call it day 1. In Australia, domestic flights are quite reasonable. There are 2 economic airlines – Tiger and Jetstar. We took Tiger Airways and we are their happy customers. They are punctual with spacious seats (my height: 179 cm).
We stayed at Hotel Jen by Shangri-La. Considering their economical pricing, they offer a lot of luxury amenities. My travel/life partner and I love exploring any destination by foot. So, we both deposited our back packs at the hotel and ventured out to walk by the Brisbane River Loop Path. I was amazed when we crossed an artificially created beach in the middle of the city. We happened to be in the city on a day before the Police Remembrance day, so we could see Fighter Jets flying low over the river- rehearsing for next day. We spent the rest of the day walking around in the city.
Must do in Brisbane in a day:
- Watching sunset from Mount Coot-Tha view point
2. Walk/ cycle along the River Loop path
3. A quiet walk by the Story Bridge at night
We left for Fraser Island at 0700 hrs in our landcruiser with our tour group. After few hours on the road we reached Inskip point in Rainbow beach. From Inskip point we took the barge to cross the sea to reach Fraser Island.
On reaching Fraser island, Jai drove us through the beach to our camping site in the 4WD. Our camping site was at the Dilli Village. We spent the rest of the day on the island visiting the central station and lake McKenzie. Post our return, we had a bbq dinner and then headed out for a late-night beach walk.
Central Station: We got to see the rare King Fern, only found on this island.
These zigzag tracks are tunnels made by the larvae of the Scribbly Gum Moth on the bark and tell a story of the insect’s life cycle.
Lake McKenzie: Pure white sands meets clear blue freshwater.
Before checking out from our camp, we went to watch the sunrise.
After a quick breakfast we drove to the lake wabby hiking point in our 4WD.
Lake Wabby: This is my favourite part of the island. It is a 45 min hike from the beach- going through a rain forest and sand dunes. So, it is highly recommended that you do it in the first hour of the day to avoid exertion from heat. (Carry 1 litre waster per person).
On our way to the lake, I saw impressions of wild life on two tree trunks resembling a lion and a baby deer. Let me know if you can see too.
The hike path through the rain forest:
After lake Wabby, our next destination was Eli creek.
Eli Creek: This is a fun creek where you can either walk or float through knee deep cold and clean water.
Then we proceeded to the farthest point on the island to see a ship wreck.
SS Maheno Shipwreck: I did not find its history very fascinating.
From here on we began our return jouney to Brisbane. We saw dolphins and a dingo along the beach of Fraser island hop-off point.
This is our awesome group.