Fraser Island is the largest sand island in the world. It has beautiful beaches, rainforests, and dingos and is a popular spot for tourists to visit. Travelling in early September meant taking advantage of the slow tourist season. With little confidence in our abilities to drive a 4 x 4 vehicle across the island, my friend and I decided to take a guided tour on the island. We were on a limited time frame and wanted to pack in as much as possible and the Fraser Explorer tour took us on a two-day trip around the island. We saw some beautiful few freshwater lakes, Eli Creek, colourful sand dunes and we had an overnight stay at Eurong Beach Resort. The bus broke down on the way to the ferry in the morning, which is always an exciting way to start the day. But, our tour guide was quick to fix it.
Travelling out of season may not give you the best weather, but it means you won’t be battling crowds. Our tour bus fit 50, but there were only about 7 people on the tour. This means a bit more time at each stop, and a chance to really talk to your tour guide, ask questions, and learn more about the places you visit.
We met some locals at the bar and chatted with them all night. These guys were camping and fishing for the weekend. Walking back to our room that night, we had a distant (but close enough) encouter with a dingo. The warnings about dingoes makes them sound as dangerous as a grizzly bear and we did not get closer than we needed to. The second dingo sighting was from the safety of the bus! Fraser island might be the only place left to see a pure dingo so keep your eyes peeled for one.
Driving on the sand in a 4 x 4 vehicle was pretty cool. It reminded me of driving on the snow in Canada. There are deep tire tracks that you have to follow, and you could easily get stuck. Driving along the beach also had its excitement. Vehicles need to stay close to the water to have a flat surface. BUT, you also need to dodge the ebbs and flows of the water. After experiencing that, I was 100% certain we made the right decision in taking a guided tour! Although Fraser Island is protects, the environmentalist in me wonders if all of this driving on the island is going to have a negative impact over the long term.
Fraser Island has it all, including a rainforest, growing in the sand. In fact, this is the only place in the world where this happens. The rainy weather left the silver bark of the gum trees shimmering as the water flowed down. You feel like you are in a completely different world from the coast of the island.
All in all, a great experience. The weather was not fantastic, but Fraser Island was still beautiful.
If you are looking for a similar experience that is a bit more off the beaten path, check out my post about Moreton Island.