As I told you in my latest post, Fraser Island was one of the three spots I wanted to see for sure during my trip here in Australia, despite the town of Nimbin and the Whitsundays. These last two played hard to get with me because of the weather conditions, but I'll catch them some day for sure ;)
Fraser Island can be visited from different places on the Sunshine Coast, Noosa or Rainbow Beach are two of them. Since I've been to Noosa already, I decided to do my day trip from Hervey Bay, a quiet town on the Pacific Ocean, which offers one of the best Piers on the water I've seen so far.
I booked my tour with Fraser Free. This company offers a one or two day tour on Fraser, depending on what you want to see. My time here in Hervey Bay got pretty limited so I opted for the day trip.
Your day will start pretty early, so make sure you didn't hit the bars town last night, otherwise it's not going to be a happy day for you. The tour operators usually pick you up around 7:30 in the morning in your hotel/hostel, so all you need to do is be ready by that time. After a short ride to the harbour, you will switch almost immediately to the ferry that takes you on Fraser Island in about one hour.
PS: If you didn't follow the bar rule above, this might be your hour to rest out your hangover...
|The 75 Mile Beach|
Bumpy Roads and Deep Forest
Fraser Island is a 123 km long stretch of sand and forest and on the World Heritage's listing with Australia's Uluru, Kakadu and the Great Barrier Reef. We were greeted by our guide Bryan, who had a pleasantly great sense of humour while he was telling us the stories about the forest we were about to visit, and what to expect from our day. Be aware that you might should eat a good breakfast in the morning in order to handle the bumpy, sandy roads you'll about to hit the whole day. It could get unpleasant if you have some issues with your stomach, so some bread should be on you're menue while you're still on the ferry.
The rides between the places can be pretty fun, like being on a mini rollercoaster. The huge van is well equipped with seatbelts, so your safety is not on a risk. We stopped at one of the loads of rainforests, enjoying trees and nature that only grows on Fraser Island. There are plenty of creeks flowing across the island, which preserves the green despite the heat.
The 75 Mile Beach and the Maheno Shipwreck
After enjoying the shades of the forest, your ride will continue on the world famous 75 mile beach, between the wide sandy beach and the Pacific ocean, you can lay back and relax by looking at this amazing view. The four wheeled 4WD Bus will take you to one of the most visited attractions on a Fraser Tour: The Maheno Wreck. This shipwreck was build in Scotland as a luxury passenger ship for the Trans-Tasman crossing. However, things changed and it was used later as a floating hospital during World War I, to be sold afterwards to a ship-breaker in Japan. The ship was caught in a cyclone while it being towed to Osaka, and became beached on Fraser in 1935.
|72 shades of sand|
Dingoes and Eli's Creek
Dingoes are one of the different animals you'll might face if you're lucky. Dingoes might look like cute dogs to you, but if you really should face one, the rule is to avoid eye contact and move away SLOWLY - otherwise they will chase you because they think you wanna play. Dingoes were brought to Fraser by Asian sailors, as a source of meat for their travels. Some of them managed to escape, so that's how they ended in this beautiful part of Queensland.
You'll get the chance to step off at Eli's Creek for a refreshment break, which I highly reccomend especially if you have children: they can play safely in the fresh and clear waters without being in danger. The creek flows directly in the Pacific and pours four millions litres of water an hour. If you're not a big water rat, you'll enjoy a walk over the bridges for sure.
After our lunch break in one of the first built resorts on Fraser Island, we spent a great 2 hours break on our last stop, which was Lake McKenzie. It was very strange for me to swim in non salty water for the first time in ages! It might be weird also because you have white sand under your feet and the waters are like on a postcard of a tropical paradise. It's also a nice spot for snorkeling, since the water is very calm out here, or for great photographs - even if it's hard to get any picture without having a big crowd on the background ;)
Where to Stay in Hervey Bay: I opted for the Aussie Woolshed Backpackers, which is a family owned place. It's located in central Hervey Bay, steps away from the beach, and the gardens look like you'll in the middle of the outback. I'm enjoying the shades of the trees and the hammocks while writing, which is very nice if you could use some relaxing time on your own.
Fraser Island Tours: Fraserfree offers a various range of tours. Mine was the Fraser Island Explorer, which can be upgraded to the Fraser Island Premium Tour: this might be a good one if you don't wanna mind about carrying around extra water from home or similar things, everything is a little bit more comfortable. Prices starting from AUD 170 (1 Day Tour)
Getting to Hervey Bay: Greyhound Australia brings you easily everywhere on the Sunshine Coast. If you plan different stops, this might be a good option because the distances are no more than 3-4 hours between the most popular towns. Otherwise Hervey Bay has an airport, which can be reached directly from Sydney.