Living on a Sand Castle

Date: Sunday 22nd to Tuesday 24th November 2015

Location: Fraser Island, Queensland, Australia

As you’re travelling down the East Coast of Australia it becomes apparent that the main attraction is the beach, so when you get half way through Queensland and the next thing to see is the biggest island in the world made purely of sand it’s not a huge surprise. However when you get to the island itself, it is a surprise to see that this island is not only huge (it includes ‘75 Mile Beach’), it’s full of forest and has resorts built on it. I don’t know, in my head any building on a sand island just sunk … apparently that doesn’t happen.

There are several ways of seeing Fraser Island . You can take your own car over to the island, hope it doesn’t get stuck in the sand and then buy a few nights at a hotel. You can go on a ‘tag along’ tour where you and a group of strangers are put in a 4×4 together to drive in convoy with one leader. Or you can go on a tour in a 4×4 coach. All right, I chickened out of driving the four by fours myself but only because anyone I had met who did it said they spent more time digging the cars out than they did seeing the island and as I didn’t have my own car the only way left was on a tour. I chose a company called ‘Cool Dingo’s’. Partly because their 3 day tour sounded really good and had been recommended to me by lots of friends and partly because by the time I came to book my trip it was one of the only ones with space left on it …

The main attraction of Fraser Island is its beautiful fresh water lakes (yes it is a sand island with lakes on it). During the tour you visit several which are crystal clear and beautifully warm and perfect for swimming in. (Which is a good thing as the sea surrounding Fraser Island is prime shark territory and you’d be pretty mad to swim in it). The most beautiful and famous of these is Lake McKenzie, more blue than any other water you’ve seen and surrounded by a perfect white sand beach, you could stay there forever and be pretty happy.

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But you can’t rest at Lake McKenzie for too long as there are plenty of other things to see and do. One of the best things you can do on Fraser Island is go on a plane tour with Air Fraser Island. These little 6 seater planes drive up and down 75 Mile Beach taking off for a 20 minute flight, coming back down and picking up the next lot of people. The view you get of the island as a whole is amazing with the beach stretching out on either side of you and a broccoli style forest stretching out underneath you. If you’re lucky you may even see the shadow of a whale or a shark in the water below you. Unfortunately I wasn’t lucky enough to see any wildlife on my flight but we did spot two turtles and a shark from the top of Indian Head. This is one of the highest points on Fraser Island, a section of the sand so old and compressed it has turned into a form of rock. From the top of this cliff you have a brilliant view out over the water and into the champagne pools. These are rock pools right on the edge of the beach meaning that, depending on the tide, the waves just about crash into them making the water bubble and giving them their name. As they are rock pools they’ve been heated by the sun and make a lovely place to kill an afternoon chatting away and looking at the view.

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But one of the best things about the Cool Dingo’s Tour is the people you meet. As you’re on a bus with the same 25 people for 3 days you get to know them all pretty well. You all stay in a resort in cabins that take up to 16 people each and all have their own kitchen/living room … meaning they make a great place for an after party once the bar on site has closed, and you have dinner as a group together every evening. I met some truly lovely people on Fraser Island that made all the swimming, flying, hiking, running over hot sand, floating down rivers, drinking and partying so much more fun.

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