Taking a dip in the clearest freshwater lake, getting up on a paddle-board and attempting to keep your balance while your friends banter and threaten to push you off. When you’re all worn out, soak up the sun on the pristine white sand that surrounds the water.
Imagine driving down stretches of uninterrupted beach, with the sun setting in the distant horizon; the warm pastels of sunset filling the skies and reflecting off the wet sand.
Imagine walking barefoot on soft, cool sand to absolute darkness, looking up the skies to see countless stars, pinpricks of light streaming down to the earth. Constellations all clear in sight – the brilliant Milky Way, Orion’s belt, the Southern Cross. Brush your feet across the shore to activate bioluminescent phytoplankton; blue sparkles are sprinkled around the sand below your feet, and for a fleeting moment it’s almost as brilliant as the sky.
If you yearn for these experiences, you can do it all on a large sand island located along the southern coast of Queensland – Fraser Island.
Hendric and I visited the island via Australian Sunset Safaris, that offered a quick 2D1N tour of Fraser, perfect if you don’t have much time; but since the place is amazingly beautiful I’d definitely suggest extending it to a 3D2N tour. Here’s a quick summary:
Pick up from Noosa Bus Station
A red 4-wheel drive trudges over to pick us up, with wheels almost as big as I am.
It’s only when we get out of Noosa and head further towards Fraser Island I understand why this is necessary: to navigate the sandy irregular unmarked roads on the way to Fraser and on Fraser itself. Our guide Barry tweaks settings and changes gears effortlessly while giving us an introduction of Fraser Island.
Our 4WD rolls up to a sandy plane where we wait for the Stingray, a ferry that will bring us over to Fraser Island. Barry warns us about Dingos and how they might look cute but are not to be messed with. The consequences are not cute at all.
The Stingray arrives, we ride it over. Slightly more afraid of Dingos. But you can’t tell in this picture.
We arrive on Fraser Island and drive along the Seventy-Five mile beach. It seems to go on forever – but there’s something really tranquil about being sandwiched between the shore and the sea.
We stop by Eli Creek for a dip, a much needed break from the long journey! The water’s perfect – clean and clear. Some other tourists take turns floating down the creek. Some others are grilling meat on the beach at the end of the creek. It smells amazing.
We admire the beautiful, 110-year old Maheno Shipwreck; the uncomplicated ruins of a ship originally from New Zealand.
It’s an easy climb up Indian Head; where we take in a bird’s eye view of the beach and spot a few sharks.
We’re headed back to Eurong Resort. Dingo spotted!
Doesn’t it resemble a Shiba Inu? Pretty glad I was in the safety of our vehicle.
We arrive at Eurong Resort, dump our belongings and head out to the beach. A beautiful sunset awaits and we watch as it descends behind the trees.
We head back in for dinner. The food is so good. I scoff down a tortilla.
Our group heads out for a guided beach walk, under the stars. I’m in awe – never seen anything like this before. This is probably the first time I’m in a place that’s devoid of light pollution. I stand amazed, in silence for a while.
We head back in for drinks and a pool competition. I lose (by one point, may I add) to a new friend from Dublin. That concludes the night! Sleep time.
Up and about again! We get ready for a walk in Pile Valley. Barry tells us to watch out for Drop Bears – vicious marsupials that drop onto the heads of humans and kill them by going for the jugular. He tells us to avoid getting killed by pointing our index fingers up to the sky and placing them on our heads. (I later learn that it is fictitious.)
We head into Pile Valley, which has an impressive stand of Satinay Trees. It’s amazing how a rainforest can grow on sand! The walk gets a little more exciting when we battle some leeches.
Lake Birabeen. It’s beautiful. I don’t want to leave. We soak in the sun and do a bit of paddle-boarding.
If you’re wondering about Hendric’s fabulous trunks, here’s an explanation.
Simple but scrumptious lunch prepared by Barry: DIY sandwiches, with ingredients served buffet-style.
Our tummies are filled. We trudge along the Seventy-Five mile beach one last time before returning to the mainland.
Being a city girl, here’s what I prioritize when I pick places to travel to: vastness and slowness. I love being in places where nature takes precedence and engulfs you. It reminds you how insignificant you really are and how big and wonderful the world really is. And in places like these I love just slowing down and taking it all in at my own time. This is what Fraser Island offers: the immense beauty of nature, and in it, an opportunity to get lost in it.
If I ever need another break from city life, I’m definitely coming back!