Lake McKenzie, Eli Crk, Lake Wabby, Champagne Pool
I think most people have detailed most of the spots on Fraser already so no point going over that all again. I made a video of a trip I had to Fraser with a hire 4wd and covers most of the key places people visit.. Some people like videos. Anyway, enjoy
- National/State Park
Wanggoolba Creek Walk
One of the many things to do on Fraser Island is to take one of the many walks on offer. As we were camping on Central station we choose to do the Wanggoolba Creek Walk - about a kilometre long return. It shows you a different side to Fraser Island - the route goes via the natural rainforest as well of following Wanggoolba Creek. There are information points along the way to you can learn more about the area.
- Jungle and Rain Forest
Lake Mackenzie is a must do if you come to Fraser Island. Not only is it stunninly beautiful, this huge lake only holds rainwater and does not run into the ocean. The turquoise waters makes it look like some tropical destination and the sand is white as white and is really soft to walk on.
- National/State Park
We did the 4x4 full day "Beauty Spots Tour" run by the Kingfisher Bay crowd, where we were staying. As none of us are used to driving 4x4s, it was a great way to see some of the highlights of the island without the stress of navigating the sandy tracks! As the island is only sandy tracks and beaches, it was quite rough in parts, so expect to be bounced around a lot. A really good buffet lunch is included (with lots of food for vegetarians). Full day tour cost Aus$155 per person (April 2007).
- Adventure Travel
See an old rusted up Shipwreck
Before being what it is today, the Maheno was built as a luxury passenger steam ship in 1905 (so now it's over 100 years old... what's left of it anyhow). She was used as a hospital ship in World War 1. In 1935, she was decommissioned
and sold to a Japanese company for scrap metal but, she never reach her destination.
During a storm in 1935, her tow rope broke and she became shipwrecked on Fraser Island.
Here her skeletal remains continue to waste away.
If you look carefully at my pictures, you'll see some greater evidence of human stupidity.
I never like to miss the chance to take pictures of dump people and I don't care about being
pc about it. Even though there are warning signs about people do stupid things. Notice the moronic father allowing his boys to play about the inner hull of the rust bucket ship (Tetnus anyone?). Rangers will also highly fine violaters if caught.
- Historical Travel
The Pinnacles (Colored Sands)
This has been made into a 'popular' tourist destination. Perhaps, for some people it is.
For me, I really didn't get what was so special about 'colored' sandstone. I must be biased being from California where we have colored sandstone all over the place along the California coastline.
But, it does have to be listed as something to do and here it is.
Luckily the tour groups don't stay here too long.
Send an E mail home
Communications on Fraser island are fairly primitive.
Lots of 4x4 drivers have UHF citizens band radios in their cars and the carriage of a hand-held UHF CB is a good idea if you are spending more than a couple of weeks driving during your visit to Australia.
There are public phones at a few of the villages on Fraser. We were told they are often un-serviceable.
There are a couple of post office letter boxes at the villages in which to mail good old post cards home to mum and dad. Stamps? What's a stamp? I'd buy some before going to Fraser.
There is an Internet Point at the Happy Valley Backpackers Centre just inside the pub/dining area.
The best of all worlds: eat, drink and surf the world wide web.
Happy Valley village is located about halfway up the 75 mile beach.
Another service offered by the hostel at Backpackers : Lockers and Luggage Storage have not used the service but imagine it could be handy for some visitors to Fraser!??
photo 1: public communications centre Happy Valley
photo 2: Internet point at H. Valley backpackers
photo 3: internet charges
- Road Trip
Go beach Fishing for Tailor
With the exception of overseas backpackers, the majority of visitors to Fraser Island are Australian recreational fishermen. Is that sexist? Sorry ladies: "fisher-folk"!
From time immemorial, there has been an annual migration of schools of Tailor fish to spawn around the headlands and rocky out crops of Fraser Island. (Tailor are called “Blue Backs” in USA).
In the past, fisher-folk would arrive with the migrating fish to kill hundreds of them by fishing in the gutters* along 75 Mile Beach and further north and around the headlands.
*Gutters are the channels parallel to the ocean beach formed between the beach and offshore sand banks.
During peak fishing times, July to November, it is not unusual to see up to a hundred fisher-folk standing shoulder to shoulder fishing the same gutter with the water black with thousands and thousands of Tailor ( and attendant sharks).
It goes without saying, lots of angst is involved in too many people all fishing together. Tangled lines, occasional physical contact with bodies by fishing poles , lures, baits, hooks etc during the casting process make the overall mellee even more “interesting”.
My advice to “new chums” is to stay well away and find a less populated gutter.
These days bag limits apply (30 fish : total – not daily).
There is also a closed season during August and September around the Headlands to allow spawning to take place.(see photo)
My personal bag limit is 3 fish in a session and I limit fishing to one session a day: typically at dawn or dusk & elect not to fish on some days or catch and release in the interest of long term sustainability of the resource.
The Tailor fish is great eating and a fine sporting fish but it does not keep well. It has to be bled and skinned as soon as it is caught to get rid of lots of dark bloody areas in the flesh. It is best eaten within hours of capture back at camp on the BBQ with a touch of lemon juice and washed down with an Australian Clare or Eden Valley Riesling.
Getting up before dawn to arrive at the beach to fish as the sun rises from the Pacific Ocean , fishing mates at you side. Hitting that first bite from a 3 or 4 kilo Tailor and then playing it on a light breaking strain line. Carrying it up the beach with sand between your toes to dispatch and bleed it before taking off the fillets and skinning it. Then heading back to camp for a BBQ fish breakfast. It doesn’t get any better than that for us hunters and gatherers.
photo1: Tailor Fish
photo2: Just the right number of fisher-folk in this gutter
Photo 3: Find the right spot where the 4x4's are parked at dawn or dusk
photo 4: No Fishing Zone Sign
Visit Indian Head
Drive north along the fabulous 75 mile Beach on the ocean side of Fraser Island and the first major headland you will reach is Indian Head at the northern end of the beach. Aboriginal name “Tuckee “( meaning: stone).
There are minor rock outcrops along the way best passed along the beach at low tide or via marked bypass tracks inland. Never enter the water to try to get past rocks.
Once you get to Indian Head (named by Captain Cook in 1770), you might like to climb to the top if only to work up a thirst. This is probably best done from the northern side by driving along the inland road that bypasses the headland.
It is a popular activity. Don’t expect to find yourself alone experiencing direct communion with nature. You’ll probably find a bus load of fellow tourists perched amongst the rocks both in the area designated for access and another half bus load occupying the “No Go” region designated on signs on the tracks leading to the top.
Please don’t fall off the rocks onto the foreshore below. It’s difficult to get blood off the rocks.
Time your visit correctly and you may see migrating whales passing the headland. July to October is traditionally whale watching season. However, if whale watching is your primary mission, you are better off taking a boat trip specializing in the activity at Hervey Bay while you are in the area.
Having worked up a thirst, you will find a very cold beer and a snack or two at the hotel/fuel stop nearby at Orchid Beach Village. (approx 8kms away).
photo 1: view of Indian head from the north
photo 2: nearly at the top of the head
photo 3: view of wave cut platform northern side of heads
photo 4: sign warning of restricted access area
photo 5: track to top is rough and steep. Normal fitness level required
- Whale Watching
- Road Trip
Have a Beer at Orchid Beach Pub
Having worked up a thirst, by climbing Indian Head and Waddy Point, you will find a very cold beer and a snack or two at the hotel/fuel stop nearby at Orchid Beach Village. (approx 8kms away from Indian Head).
Hopefully you were wearing suitable footwear to climb the headland so if you put on a shirt you’ll meet the dress standards required to visit licensed premises in Queensland.
Arriving in bare feet?? There is a collection of footwear for those without stuff on their feet. No need to draw two black straps on the top of your feet with a felt pen. Take a left and right thong from the box. You may even find a matching pair.
photo 1: Orchid Beach Pub
photo 2: Footwear is essential to enter the bar. Bare footed? - grab some thongs from a box.
- Road Trip
- Beer Tasting
Drive on the island
If you do not rent a 4x4 I am not sure how you can travel from the little port where the boat arrives to go inland to the fresh water lakes like the one on the picture.
I flew from Hervey Bay, the package included flight on a small plane, like a Cessna, and the 4x4 for a few hours on the island. We had enough time to drive to the lake, have a swim and lay there for an hour and then drive up to the ship wreck.
Fraser's perched lakes contain some of the purest drinking water found anywhere in the world, even though some of it is stained the colour of tea by tannin from plants. Rain and underground springs also fuel a number of pristine streams that flow to the coasts. The biggest is Eli Creek, which runs onto the eastern beach south of the Maheno wreck.
Bushwalkers can hike for miles along the magnificent beaches and also explore numerous delightful forest trails in the interior. The 6-km (3.7-mile) Lake Birrabeen to Central Station walk, which takes about two and a half hours, meanders through varied vegetation, including banksia heathland, eucalypt woodland and, near Central Station, subtropical rainforest. You can explore this last habitat more fully on a short walking track at Central Station (requiring 25 minutes each way), which follows crystal-clear Wanggoolba Creek through towering stands of brush box, hoop pine, white beech, ribbonwood and strangler figs. Often, you will be accompanied by conspicuous rainforest birds such as the eastern yellow robin and rufous fantail, and you may also come across less common bird species such as the noisy pitta, emerald dove, white-headed pigeon and wompoo pigeon.
- Hiking and Walking
Lake wobby is well worth the 25-30 min walk in the heat just to so you can jump into the cold green water, also there is a huge sand dunne right beside that lake that you can roll, run or slide down into the lake.
Dingoes are all over the shop on Fraser.....watch out. They may look cute but they randomly savage helpless children left right and centre.
A classic Dingo story of mine was when we were staying on a campsite, and the showers had different keys to get in (one for male, one for female). At 6am I got up to go have a shower, groggily grabbed a key, and made the short walk barefoot to the shower block up the path (a bit of a walk). All this time I was being stalked by a Dingo. I then get to the shower block to realise I have the key to the FEMALE SHOWERS!!!! ARGHHHH! i AM NOT A FEMALE! Therefore off I go back to the camp area and back again, and avoid being ripped apart! Yay!
- Road Trip
- Budget Travel
Visit this old rusty shipwreck stranded on a beach on Fraser Island. It was beached in 1935 during a cyclone, on the way to a Japanese wrecking yard. It is deteriorating slowly. One of the highlights of Fraser Island!
- Road Trip
- Budget Travel
Australian Goannas Love BBQ's
Whilst having our bbq lunch at Lake McKenzie I noticed a large goanna at the other end of the picnic area, just waiting until the people on the nearest table move away for a few minutes and then move in and take the food off the BBQ. We were very wary and made sure we did not give scraps to these animals.