“If you see a dingo, whatever you do, don’t feed them or try to pat them,” says the cab driver in Hervey Bay. “They are wild dogs and they will bite.”
We’re making our way to the ferry where we will set sail for Fraser Island, the world’s largest sand island and one of the shining stars on the UNESCO’s World Heritage List.
It’s an ominous start to the trip, and one that is synonymous with Fraser Island, with tales told by all whom have ventured there. However, my trepidation is completely washed away once we arrive and take a pew by the pool at the Kingfisher Bay Resort. Turns out the traditional owners of the land, the Butchulla people, called the island ‘K’gari’ meaning ‘paradise’. I couldn’t agree more.
But, I’m not here to spend my whole time lounging around (unfortunately), and so instead, I try out Fraser Island’s top five activities…
Taking a dip
Eli Creek is freshwater creek that juts out into the ocean. Equipped with some rubber tubes we make our way upstream and dip into the chilly water where we peacefully float down towards groups of people setting up lunch, drinking beers and blaring music from their 4WDs. It feels like the Australian version of Spring Break.
Before we get lured in by a wet T-shirt competition, we head off north of Indian Head lookout in search of a more natural Girls Gone Wild experience – the champagne pools. These rock pools are perched by the ocean, and as the waves crash over the rocks a foamy layer of water glazes over the pools. It’s like a natural Jacuzzi, and possibly the most perfect way to spend an afternoon.
Combine the Top 5 (apart from the sunset Segway tour) by joining the Cool Dingo Tour, cooldingotour.com
Take to the skies
Like most impressive sights, Fraser Island is even more astounding when seen from the air.
Six of us are welcomed on board by Air Fraser for a 15-minute joy ride over the island, and up here I am amazed by its sheer size. It’s completely massive, with so many different eco-systems to take in at once, from the broccoli-looking rainforest to the epic sand dunes and the chilling ocean which gives us a rare opportunity to spot stingrays. This is topped off by seeing a double rainbow in the distance. We are all amazed upon landing, our smiles and stories lasting all day long.
Nope, we’re not catching a train out of here; we’re going to explore the rainforest and the remains of an old rail system used by the logging industry.
Fraser Island is the only known place to have a rainforest growing out of sand dunes. And what an impressive forestry it is. We see ancient trees that are 40m high, we see rough barked satinay and palms and – oh my god – someone has just spotted a dingo. We all race towards it, cameras in hand, but it’s too late. The dingo has scuttled off into the forest. Instead we have a sip from the so-fresh-it’s-drinkable water of Wanggoolba Creek and wrap our arms (unsuccessfully) around the gigantic trees.
The stunning Lake Mackenzie is definitely one of Fraser’s crowning jewels. The freshwater lake is postcard perfect with white sandy shores and crystal clear blue waters.
We relax by the water’s edge and, even though it’s probably the most visited spot on the island, it’s strangely quiet – but then I am used to Bondi Beach on a summer’s day. The water is crisp and clean, with the advantage of only containing rain water. The sun is out, people are happy and there are children playing with colourful beach balls. If there wasn’t so much skin on show I would think I had been transported back into the glory days of yesteryear.
Sunset segway tour
Once the means of transportation of Chicago police officers and ‘hip’ office workers, Segways have been welcomed onto Fraser Island. Kingfisher Bay Resort has its own spin on the two-wheeled electric vehicles, by letting guests scoot around on the sandy shores.
We get given a quick run-down before we’re let loose on the beach. Being my first time, the speeds of 11km/hr feel like lightning speed and I let off a girlish scream as I roll over the wet sand, trying to avoid the natural pot holes made by crabs. It’s a lot of fun and once I have the knack we set off around the island as the sun goes down creating a gorgeous pink sunset.