We can only relax so much, so after a few days in Noosa we moved on and drove three hours north, to the small town of Hervey Bay. This town is the gateway to Fraser Island, the world’s largest sand island. We went on a one-day tour exploring the unique sights of this unique island.
Before heading to Fraser Island, we opted to explore Hervey Bay itself. Since it was Good Friday (the Friday before Easter), most shops were closed. Luckily, we found a few restaurants that were still open, but the wait was long: it took almost two hours before we got served a plate of mediocre fish and chips.
Our one-day tour to Fraser Island started in the early morning the next day with the ferry from Hervey Bay to Fraser Island. Once on the island, we followed the few sand roads towards our first stop of the day: Lake McKenzie.
We disembarked our jeep for a swim in the lake. To our surprise, the water made for one of the clearest lakes we have ever seen. Clearblue, about 30 degrees, with the sun shining: it made for a perfect refreshing swim. It is one of the few places one can swim on the island, as the sea itself is home to a strong current and sharks.
There are not many roads on Fraser Island, but it does have one highway: the beach. Since the beach is not swimmable, there are not many people walking on the beach, making it perfect to use as a highway to travel the 120km long island in a faster fashion. It was an unreal experience, driving 80 kilometers per hour on the beach!
Our second stop was at the Maheno Shipwreck. Back in 1935 the ship, which was getting towed to Japan, got adrift after a cyclone hit the area. Over the years, the ship rusted away on the beach of Fraser Island. Today, only a small part of the hulk remains, but definitely worth the stop.
Quickly we were on our way again, to the northernmost part of the Island. Since it was getting warm, it was time for another swim! The Champagne Pools are formed by volcanic rocks, and fed by the incoming waves. Safe from the current and sharks, it made for a great swim.
After lunch, we started to make our way back south. We stopped and climbed Indian Head, a hill that natives used to use to spot boats off the coast. After the steep 10-minute climb, we were greeted with a great view over the never-ending beach of Fraser Island. In the water, we were able to spot a turtle battling against the smashing waves.
Our last stop was Eli Creek, popular among children because of the shallowness of the creek. Since the creek transports rainwater to the ocean, the water temperature is surprisingly cold, but still enjoyable.
We hurried to make it back in time for the last ferry back to Hervey Bay. While boarding the ferry we were attacked by sand flies, which come out to feed on tourists when the tide is low. Even though we were only out for a few minutes, the flies left dozens of (harmless) bites on our legs and arms, making them very itchy. It was a minor thing after such a fantastic day on Fraser Island. This island really is one of the most unique islands in the world.
We, Mark & Herta, are currently backpacking through Europe, and eventually planning to settle in London. Beyond that? The possibilities are endless.Read Mark & Herta’s full story.