Fraser Island – Escape Forever
For all its conveniences, modern living leaves a lot to be desired. We spend our days enduring the ever-increasing pressures of work, the city’s oppressive unfriendliness, the daily commuter grind and the aggressive reality of impatient road-ragers. Is something missing? Unfortunately, work is a reality for most of us. So too is city and suburban living, dreary weather, pollution, traffic… But it doesn’t have to be all there is to life. Try something that puts you in touch with who you really are. Try something elemental.
Try something that soothes your soul. Try Fraser Island. Fraser Island isn’t just an island paradise. It’s a unique and luxurious combination of Australia’s rich natural heritage, its earthy roots, its wholesome majesty, and its refreshingly simple essentials. It’s a chance to touch the fine sands, to drift in the temperate water, to bask in the sun that seems all yours… It’s your chance to partake of a life that most Australians have forgotten.
Spend a week on and in turquoise waters, a week without shoes with the sand between your toes, a week fishing and perhaps living off your catch. Your perspective can’t help but change. It’s not a mere fleeting appreciation. It’s something you take with you. Fraser can help remind you that you’re not your job. How important are the forms and the filing, the meetings and memorandums? You can learn a lot about yourself when you take away all the things that don’t matter. And really… is there any better way to experience this epiphany than in paradise? Fraser Island certainly is a paradise, no matter which way you look at it. At the southern end of the Great Barrier Reef, and a short boat ride from Hervey Bay in South-East Queensland, Fraser is 124 km from tip to toe and 16 km across the middle. At 163,000 hectares, it’s the world’s biggest sand island. Of course, that doesn’t mean it’s all just sand.
Not by a long shot! The whole island is laced with crystal clear fresh water streams, and deep midnight blue fresh water lakes. In fact, with over 40 fresh water lakes – it’s home to half of the world’s known ‘perched’ lakes. It also boasts a dazzling diversity of plants and animals (including Australia’s purest strain of dingo), and an amazing variety of spectacular landscapes, from 120 km of non-stop tropical beach to dense and towering rainforest, weathered headland to ochre gorge, inspiring cliffs to wandering dunes, eerie mangroves to wind-blown salt pans. What’s more, you have your choice of accommodation, so you can choose your own level of ‘communion with nature’. From 4½ star luxury resorts to rental retreats to motels and units, right through to the good ‘ole campsite. Whether you’re a sucker for a bit of pampering, or you’re perfectly at home with a tent and a campfire on the beach, Fraser is a great provider. And great accommodation is just the start… The island boasts average temperatures of 29°c in summer and 22°c in winter, so it’s no surprise that outdoor activities feature prominently on the agenda. Adrenalin addicts and dedicated sunbathers alike will appreciate the vast range available. From sunrise to sunset (and beyond), there’s always something for everyone. The only problem is choosing! Fishing, 4-wheel-driving, eating, sailing, bird-watching, bush-walking, swimming, eating, whale & dolphin-watching, shipwreck exploration, eating, beauty therapy, massage, lazing in the sun, eating, beach volleyball, tennis, cricket, eating, canoeing, sailboarding, snorkelling, eating… And needless to say, a few quiet drinks might make their way onto the agenda as well… With so much to offer, it’s no surprise that the Fraser Island was originally known as K’gari – or ‘Paradise’ – by local Aboriginal peoples.
Fraser Island certainly is “paradise for everyone”! Four Wheel Driving Being a sand island, the only mode of land transport is 4WD. Of course, for many visitors, that’s the main attraction. 4WD enthusiasts from all around the world visit Fraser Island to pit themselves and their vehicles against the rugged terrain found all over the island. From the hard-packed seashore to the shifting dune to the forests of the interior, Fraser Island is the ideal 4WD location. Don’t be scared though – it’s not all about extreme driving for experts! Whether you’re an novice, or you just prefer a more leisured pace of life, you’ll find a much more sedate satisfaction in one of the many organised 4WD tours offered around the island. Or if you just want to get out on your own, you can hire a 4WD for a day, and indulge in a bit of quiet exploring. No matter which option you choose, though, there are a few ‘ground rules’ you should observe. Remember the dangers of driving on the beach. The further you adventure from the shoreline, the softer the sand. The softer the sand, the more likely you are to get into trouble.
Generally speaking, keep your speed down, and remember you’re in a World Heritage listed environment… so be careful. Fishing No island holiday would be complete without a lazy day or two spent fishing. Beach fishing is the big drawcard for Fraser Island. And with 150 km of ocean beach to choose from, why wouldn’t it be? Middle Rocks, Sandy Cape, Waddy Point, and Seventy Five Mile Beach are just a few of the choice locations available for you to finally get the better of ‘the one that got away’. The famed ‘tailor run’ occurs on the eastern (ocean) side of the island between July and October each year. In the angling world, this time – known as ‘tailor season’ – is a much anticipated event, with huge schools of big fish working the beaches. But if you can’t make it between late winter and early spring, rest assured, tailor season is just one date to mark in your calendar. The western side of Fraser has been known to reward the odd angler with a fine bag of bream, whiting and flathead. Angler’s Advice Pick the fish you’re after, and take advantage of the handy hints below to make the most of your fishing trip.