Fraser Island General Information - Discover the Beauty

Located just off the coast from Hervey Bay, World Heritage Listed Fraser Island will leave you feeling charmed and captivated. Over 120 kilometres long and over 30 kilometres across at its widest point, World Heritage Listed Fraser Island has developed over 8000,000 years. It is a unique natural environment - the largest sand island in the world and the only place on the planet where rainforest grows on sand.

Fraser Island's Aboriginal name 'k' Gari' appropriately means paradise. Rich Aboriginal heritage and a colourful European history are integral to the island. Fraser Island was home to Aboriginal people who lived there for over 5,500 years, the native flora and fauna providing a bounty of fish and seafood, nuts, fruits and a plentiful supply of water. Their heritage is evident in archaeological sites, midden heaps, ceremonial bora rings, and stone implements.

European history credits Fraser's discovery to Captain James Cook. The Island was named after Eliza Fraser in remembrance of her dramatic shipwreck. This combination makes Fraser Island one of the most rare and mysterious features of Queensland's Coastline.

For accommodation in resorts around the island try here: Fraser Island accommodation

Fraser Island's abundant pristine fresh water lakes and crystal clear creeks are great spots to view flora and fauna and also provide a welcome oasis on hot summer days. Scenic 4wds circuits and walking tracks take in some of the largest of the lakes including McKenzie, Birrabeen, Benaroon, Boomanjin and the spectacular Lake Wabby. An exceptional range of flora is found on Fraser Island. Cool and peaceful rainforests of towering satinay and brush box trees, some over 1,000 years old, contrast with swampy wetlands, heathlands full of wild flowers and coastal strands of pandanus palms.

There is prolific wildlife throughout the Island: visitors can expect to see some of the 325 species of birds including Australia's stork, the jabiru, several species of wallaby, possums, flying foxes, echidnas and eastern Australia's purest population of dingo. In addition, a unique species of tortoise can be found in many of the freshwater lakes, while the warm waters surrounding the island attract dugong, dolphins and turtles. The magnificent humpback whales, with their young, pass on the western side of the island between August and November. Also nearby is the amazing Great Barrier Reef.

Fraser Island Attractions

The Wreck of the Maheno is located just north of Happy Valley on the eastern beach. The vessel had been a well-known trans-Tasman liner and was heading for a Japanese wrecking yard when she was driven ashore during a cyclone in 1935. Today the hull lies slowly deteriorating in the harsh salt environment.

Central Station was originally established as a forestry camp when there was logging on the Island. Nowadays, this beautiful rainforest area houses a display explaining the development of the island and its various flora and fauna, information centre and picnic area. Central station has a short boardwalk around Wanggoolba Creek and through the rainforest.

Lake McKenzie is one of Island's best-known freshwater lakes. It is a refreshing swimming spot and has good camping and picnic facilities nearby. Lake Wabby is the deepest of the Island's lakes and is surrounded by a massive sand-blow. Lake Allom is an attractive small lake with a forest backdrop. If you are lucky, you may encounter its special inhabitants - tortoises.

Eli Creek is the largest freshwater creek along the east coast, with over four million litres of water flowing from its mouth onto the eastern beach and into the ocean every hour! The swift current makes for an invigorating swim.

The Cathedrals are towering cliffs of multicoloured sands sculptured by the wind into huge peaks.

The Champagne Pools, beautiful rock pools filled with bubbling seawater, are excellent swimming holes at low tide and are located at Middle Rocks, just north of Indian Head.

Vehicles and Camping

All vehicles traveling to Fraser Island must first have a valid permit to drive on the island, which should be affixed to the windscreen. Campers (other than those using commercial campsites) must have a camping permit that should be attached to the tent for inspection by the Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service (QPWS) Ranger.

These permits can be purchased well ahead of time by directly contacting the Queensland Parks and Wildlife Services.

Facilities

There are restaurants on the Island, which are integral to the resorts, located at Kingfisher Bay, Eurong Beach and Happy Valley. Convenience stores, fuel, gas and ice are available at Kingfisher Bay, Eurong Beach, Happy Valley, Cathedral Beach and Orchid Beach. Public telephones are available at all major campgrounds and at Kingfisher Bay, Eurong Beach Happy Valley and Cathedral Beach.

Emergencies

There is no pharmacy or resident doctor on the island. All visitors are encouraged to bring adequate supplies of first aid materials and prescription drugs. During Queensland school holidays and ambulance station is staffed at Happy valley. In an emergency, a helicopter rescue service is arranged through Queensland Emergency Service by dialing 000.

Touring Tips

When planning a self-drive trip to Fraser Island, be sure to consider the tides. The eastern beach at tide is the quickest way to get along the Island.

A 4wd is essential on Fraser Island as the sand found inland can be very fine and loose. Reasonable clearance underneath your vehicle is required to negotiate these areas. 4wd hire is available from Hervey Bay, and other areas including Brisbane.

Access to Fraser Island is by vehicular barge form Hervey Bay (Urangan Boat Harbour or River Heads) or Rainbow Beach. One, two, three and seven - day escorted tours are available! If you choose to self-drive, a four-wheel drive vehicle is essential as all roads are sand tracks. Air charters operate from Hervey Bay to airstrips on the island or beach landings (all by prior arrangement).

As a precious part of Queensland's natural and cultural heritage, it is protected for all to appreciate, enjoy and respect.

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