On Monday, November 25th, we spent the day on Fraser Island.
We booked a Day-Tour with Fraser Explorer Tours for an amount of 324,08 AUD or 220€.
Fraser Island is considered to be the largest sand island in the world at 1840 km², its length is 123 kilometres, its width is 25 kilometres and an altitude of 260 meters.
The sand accumulated on this coast of Queensland during 750 000 years, partly because the volcanic bedrock is some sort of natural barrier for the sediments carried to the Eastern coastline by a powerful current. In 1992, the island was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
7:30 am, a shuttle came to pick us up in front of our campsite to drop us off at the ferry. The driver gives us a blue ticket whitout explaining what it is for, but we keep it safe.
Once we got there, we went to pay the rest of the amount at the ticket office (we only paid a 48$ deposit to the campsite person who booked the tour for us).
The, we went to the ferry. No one told us anything, we had to wait but most people were already on board, in one word, it is a mess. Finally we get on the ferry, it was 8:30 am and it was leaving to Fraser Island. Almost one hour to get there!
We finally arrived, and get in a 4WD bus (but like a real bus, not a minibus!), the blue ticket was useful to know in which bus we should get in.
Here is the tour that we were supposed to to during the day:
The tour started, the first stop was in Central Station. We walked around 20 minutes on a boardwalk along the Wanggoolba Creek, which is waterway very clear, so clear that it seems that there is no water. But basically, we mostly saw gum trees and pine trees…
Back in the bus, and we had a pretty long drive on the 75-Mile Beach, direction The Pinnacles Coloured Sands. We stopped there, a plane pilot get in the bus and we understood why we stopped: we were offered a plane tour to see Fraser Island from the sky for 75$ per person during 15 minutes. Some people were interested, so they went on the plane while we watched at the landscape for 5 minutes. Come on, no time to hang around, back in the bus!
We went to Maheno shipwreck, who ran aground in 1935 because of a cyclone. There, we had more time (15 minutes) but it was only because we were waiting for the people who went on the plane… Good, that way we were able to take some pictures of the shipwreck. Let’s go, back in the bus.
Next stop: Eli Creek. We stayed there for half an hour, we went to visit and we have to admit that this place is gorgeous, water is really pure and it is really pleasant. We wish we would have stayed longer but no, back in the bus.
We went to lunch, in 45 minutes flat. We hurried up to be the first ones because there were a lot of people, and we did well. Well, about the buffet, nothing out of the ordinary, not bad but not good either. We did not have time to catch our breath that we already left again to Lake Mc Kenzie. About one hour in the bus to get there… But we have to say that it was really worth it.
It was really beautiful, the water was once again crystal clear, bathing in it was a delight. This time, we had more than one jour ahead of us so we were able to really enjoy it.
At 4:30 pm, we took the bus again to catch the last ferry at 5:15 pm. Arrival on the other side at 6 pm, back at our campsite at 6:30 pm.
To sum up this day: a really georgeous island, we were dazzled, but if we had to do it again we would totally avoid the touristic tour by bus: they wanted to show us a lot of things in a very short time and we spent way too much time in the bus, consequently, on an 11-hour tour, we spent less than 3 hours to actually see things. So if we had to choose, we would take more time (at least 2 days, probably 3), and we would rent our own 4WD to be able to stop wherever we want, and skip the places that we are not interested in. It is way more expensive but we really think that it would be better than the tour that we did.