Fraser Island

My favourite place on Earth, Fraser Island, the largest sand island in the world, situated just north of Noosa.

Fraser Island aerial shot INTRODUCTION

Named after shipwreck victim Eliza Fraser, the World Heritage listed sub-tropical Fraser Island has a truly amazing array of natural wonders including beautiful rainforests, pristine lakes, endless surf beaches, immense sand blows, cliffs of coloured sands, crystal clear streams and vast stretches of mangroves.

Fraser Island is 125km long and over 160,000 hectares in area. It was formed during the ice age when the prevailing winds transported vast quantities of sand from New South Wales and deposited it along the coast of Queensland forming Fraser Island as we know it today.

In this fragile eco-system the rainforest consists of huge satinay and brush box, kauri pines, piccabeen palms and the rare angiopteris fern which is one of the largest ferns in the world. All this growing in pure sand! There are some wonderful walking tracks through these areas to enable visitors to appreciate the unique beauty of Fraser Island.

There are several lakes on Fraser Island each with its own individual character - from lakes stained red with tannin to others with pure white sand and crystal clear water. Swimming in these lakes is a memorable experience.

Sugar glider (Pictured left is a sugar glider and, right, a dingo)

Fraser Island is also home to over 200 species of birds along with a variety of mammals, wallabies, snakes, possums, turtles and flying foxes. Dingo
Now listed as a World Heritage site, Fraser Island joins the ranks of the Great Barrier Reef, Uluru and Kakadu National Parks as being of universal significance as the largest coastal dune system and sand island in the world and for its special environments. As a precious part of Queensland's natural and cultural heritage, it is protected for all to appreciate, enjoy and respect.



Fraser Island is part of the Great Sandy Region, the section of coastline stretching from the north shore of the Noosa River below Lake Cooroibah and Cooloola National Park, to Sandy Cape at the northern tip of Fraser Island.

About half of Fraser Island is currently national park. The Great Sandy National Park occupies the northern half of the island. The southern half is almost entirely crown land and state forests, proposed for national park, subject to resolution of Aboriginal land interests.


Fraser Island's forests are among the island's most remarkable and controversial features. Though the island was heavily logged, large stands of satinays and brush box still remain. Pile Valley, between Central Station and Lake McKenzie, where much of the logging took place, has the tallest of the towering satinay and brush box.

Satinay and brush box form part of Fraser Island's sub-tropical rainforests together with piccabeen palms and kauri pines. Fraser's rainforest are home to rare and ancient species including the angiopteris fern. The angiopteris fern is notable due to its use of water pressure rather than structural tissue to keep its fronds erect. The walkways along Wanggoolba Creek at Central Station, inland from Eurong, pass several of the magnificent ferns. Road through forest
Further north and inland from Happy Valley, the Yidney Scrub is home to a forest of 200 year old kauri pines.

Fraser Island's vegetation is not all tall forest. Wallum heathlands occupy much of the lowlands. They consist of shrublands, scribbly gum trees and wallum banksia. The heathlands spring to colour during August and September with a profusion of wildflowers.

The western coastline of the island is fringed with mangroves backed by areas of cypress pine.


Fraser Island sand photo


The dune systems of the Great Sandy Region, which include Fraser Island, are the largest and oldest in the world dating back more than 30,000 years. Fraser is the world's largest sand island. Along the ocean coastline, the dunes take on sculptured shapes at times, giving rise to the names 'The Cathedrals' and 'The Pinnacles'.

There are 72 different coloured sands that occur on Fraser Island. The best coloured sands can be seen along a 35km stretch of the ocean beach north of Happy Valley.

Sandblows are the other major sand formation, caused through the gradual action of shifting sand across the island. The Knifeblade, just north of the wreck of the "Maheno", is the largest of Fraser Island's sandblows. A lookout provides excellent views.


Fraser Island's build up of sands and dune systems hinges on the rocky headlands of Indian Head, Middle Rocks and Waddy Point. Indian Head (right) is the true anchor for the island. It stands at the end of Seventy-Five Mile Beach and in addition to being a major landmark, it provides an excellent lookout onto the beaches and dunes.

Indian Head
Further north, Middle Rocks' Champagne Pools are deep natural rock pools, ideal for swimming. Waddy Point is a popular base for anglers and provides good views from atop the lookout.


Aboriginal flagThe Coloured Sands

Driving by 4-wheel drive along the beach north of Noosa Heads you come across the Coloured Sands - 200 metre high cliffs in unbelievable shapes and with over 70 colours in them.

Coloured Sands Aboriginal legend tells us that The Coloured Sands were formed as follows:

"Way back in dream-time, there lived on the banks of the Noosa River a beautiful black maiden called Murrawar who fell in love with the Rainbow, which came to visit her here every morning. She would clap her hands and sing to this lovely rainbow.

"One day the Burwilla, a very bad man from a distant tribe, stole Murrawar for his slave wife, beating her cruelly and making her do all his work, while he sat in the shade admiring his terrible killing boomerang. This boomerang was bigger than the biggest tree and full of evil spirit.

"One day Murrawar ran away and as she hurried along the beach, which was all flat in those days, she looked back and saw Burwilla's boomerang coming to kill her. Calling out for help, she fell to the ground too frightened to run.

"Suddenly she heard a loud noise in the sky and saw her faithful Rainbow racing towards her across the sea. The wicked boomerang attacked the brave Rainbow and they met with a roar like thunder, killing the boomerang instantly and shattering the Rainbow into many small pieces.

"Alas, the poor sick and shattered Rainbow lay on the beach to die and is still there with all its colours, forming the hills along the beach."

Geologists say that the sands are stained by decaying vegetable matter as it seeps through. Geologists are full of shit.


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