The world’s largest sand island, K’gari (Fraser Island), has long been a playground for the adventurous.
Its list of visitors even includes Prince Harry, the Duke of Sussex, and his Duchess Meghan who visited in October 2018 during their first official Australian tour.
Whether you're looking to see and do Fraser Island like royalty or have a more rugged off road adventure, here are 10 things not to miss with a visit to Queensland's favourite sand pit, Fraser Island.
1. The vanishing lake
Green-coloured freshwater Lake Wabby is the deepest lake on Fraser Island but is slowly being swallowed by the colossal sand dune Hammerstone Sandblow with reports that it may completely overtake the lake sometime in the next century. Lake Wabby is home to several species of native fish and turtles and makes a great picnic spot, but be prepared for a 45-minute walk from the One Tree Rocks car park to get there.
2. Butterfly Lake from the air
The only way to see the twin wings of Butterfly Lake is from above on a scenic flight with Air Fraser Island, taking off and landing on 75 Mile Beach.
3. Free water ride
Up to four million litres of fresh water flow out from Eli Creek to the beach every hour and the current creates a natural water ride. Bring a tyre tube, blow-up pink flamingo or your floaty of choice and drift downstream to the beach. There’s a boardwalk alongside the creek that connects you with the starting point.
4. Silent creek
Winding through a rainforest valley filled with tall trees and palms, Wanggoolba Creek is a little bit different to streams you’re likely to encounter elsewhere. It sounds eerily quiet as the clear water flows across white sands, rather than rocks in a creek bed, making this one of Fraser Island's ‘silent creeks’.
5. Bubbly dip
Fraser Island’s eastern beaches are pounded by surf and strong currents and not recommended for swimming, so the only safe spot for an ocean dip are the Champagne Pools between Waddy Point and Indian Head at the northern end of 75 Mile Beach. The volcanic ‘coffee rock’ formation creates natural pools fed by the crashing waves for some frothy fun.
6. Military trail
During World War II, high-level training missions were conducted on the western side of Fraser Island. The 900 men in the Z Special Unit trained in the island’s bush, sub-tropical rainforests and on its beaches and formed part of Australia’s first Special Forces. Known only to the Prime Minister and High Command, this unit completed more than 260 operations behind enemy lines during the war. Kingfisher Bay Resort offers a three-hour guided tour of the Z Commando School site.
7. Jewel in the crown
Lake McKenzie is Fraser Island’s most popular lake with pure silica sand that's not only dazzling white, but also perfect for cleaning jewellery. For a quieter swim in the clear waters away from the crowds, head to the hidden beach just around the corner on the west side.
8. Best sunset view
For a truly memorable sunset view it is hard to find a better spot on the island than the jetty at Kingfisher Bay Resort. It's one of the island’s gateways and a favourite fishing spot too. Grab a glass of wine from the jetty bar and settle in for a dramatic red sunset across the calm western bay. This also is an excellent place to see the island’s wild dingoes at sunset or sunrise.
9. Under a majestic canopy
Be awed by the majestic Fraser Island satinay trees (that can grow to be 1,000 years old) on a stroll through the Pile Valley. The trees once were used in the construction of the Suez Canal and London docks, but logging has long been prohibited and the forests of Fraser Island have been designated part of the Queen’s Commonwealth Canopy initiative, officially commemorated by Prince Harry and Meghan on their 2018 tour.
10. Dine on bush tucker
Nibble on native berries bursting with flavour, relish in the refreshing citrus of lemon myrtle and discover how these and other locally sourced ingredients can be used in cooking as part of Kingfisher Bay Resort’s Tastes of Australia program, guided by their chef.
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