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Australia's Fraser Island – Your Island Paradise

Escape to Fraser Island and spend a week in heaven!

For all its wonderful conveniences, modern living leaves a lot to be desired. We spend endless days enduring the ever-increasing pressures of work, the city’s oppressive unfriendliness, the daily commuter grind and, aggressive, impatient road-ragers.

Is something missing from our lives?

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 in and on Fraser Island's beautiful 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 Island 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.

Fraser Island 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 4˝ 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 Island 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 At Its Best!

Being a sand island, the only mode of land transport on Fraser Island is 4WD. Of course, for many visitors, that’s the main attraction. 4WD enthusiasts from all around the world visit Fraser 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 afraid 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 organized 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 In An Australian Paradise

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.

Advice For Angler’s

Pick the fish you’re after, and take advantage of the handy hints below to make the most of your fishing trip:

  • Tailor

    Bait: Pilchard, 3 hook gang, lure
    Timing: Late July to October 
    Location: Eastern Beaches 
  • Dart

    Bait: Pippies or worms
    Timing: All year 
    Location: Eastern Beaches 
  • Bream

    Bait: Flesh strips, mullet gut, fowl gut, pippies
    Timing: May to September 
    Location: Rocky outcrops on east coast or 
    creeks on the west
  • Whiting

    Bait: Worms, yabbies, pippies, prawns
    Timing: All year 
    Location: Low tide on the east, creeks on 
    the west
  • Flathead

    Bait: Live baits, pilchards, lures
    Timing: All year 
    Location: Rocky outcrops on east coast or 
    creeks on the west
  • Jewfish

    Bait: Whole mullet, tailor fillets, beach worms
    Timing: May to September at night on the full 
    moon, low or high tide
    Location: Deep gutters and rocky outcrops 
Of course, many more varieties are there for the taking, including mackerel, tuna, and reef fish. And if you’re not indisposed to a bit of sea fishing, you can book a berth on one of the larger boats launched to take advantage of the red emperor, coral trout, maori cod and parrot to be found off the Continental Shelf and local reefs.

Water Sports

As you’d expect, Fraser Island plays host to a vast array of water sports. Whether you’re after a lazy drifting afternoon – cocktail in hand, or an invigorating workout, there’s a water sport for you. All fitness levels (and energy levels!) are catered for.

Ease yourself into the aqua-life with a refreshing dip at one of the most beautiful beaches in the world. Surrounded by pure white sandy beaches, the clear blue waters of Lake McKenzie are without doubt amongst the most idyllic to be found. Alternatively, exercise your imagination with a visit to the ghostly shipwreck of the “Maheno”, then submerge yourself in the crystal clear waters of Eli Creek.

Fraser Island sits on a huge reservoir of fresh water, and is home to numerous spectacular fresh water lakes, including some perched high above sea level. You have your choice of over 40 lakes… Lake Wabby, Champagne Pools, Basin Lake… to name but a few. Clearly, Fraser Island is amply equipped to pamper even the fussiest fresh water connoisseur.

For something a little more strenuous, why not hire paddle ski or canoe and paddle yourself up Dundonga Creek. It’s generally a 1 hour round trip, so by the time you return, you’ll be ready to settle back into some more relaxed pastimes.

Whale and Dolphin Watching

Every year from August to October, you can book a berth on a whale watch cruise. Enjoy a fantastic half day of sun, salt, and ocean breezes while keeping your eyes peeled for Fraser’s famous migrating humpbacks.

The annual humpback migration is truly an awesome spectacle. Family pods take a well earned rest in the waters west of Fraser Island after traveling 5000 km from the icy waters of the Antarctic. The sight of a 15 ton adult female humpback rearing out of the ocean is absolutely awe-inspiring.

And don’t worry… if your holiday doesn’t coincide with the migration, you can still catch a cruise questing for dolphins, dugongs, turtles and the odd Indo Pacific Humpback.

Speak to your hotel or resort for information about organizing a whale or dolphin watching cruise. Alternatively, contact Kingfisher Bay Resort and ask about their tours.

Useful Tips & Reminders
  • Access to Fraser Island is via vehicular barge or catamaran
  • 4WDs only on Fraser Island (there are no paved roads except in resorts)
  • Don’t feed or pet the dingoes or other animals
  • No domestic animals allowed
  • Most activities on the island can be enjoyed individually or as part of a booked tour group
  • You’ll need permits to 4WD or camp
  • 4WDs can be hired on the mainland or on the island
  • Don’t leave food unattended
  • All but the hardest sand can be unpredictable and perilous for a 4WD
  • High and low tide gutters around dawn or dusk are best for fishing
  • If four wheel driving, take a good map and a tyre pressure gauge
For more information about Fraser Island, including accommodations, hire guides, and barge booking details and timetables, visit boxatrix.com.

About the Author:

Glenn Murray heads advertising copywriting studio Divine Write.

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