I actually visited Fraser Island on the 17th June, but have only now had time to post about it. (In fact this is attempt 2 as IE just ate my first post — stupid program.)
Fraser Island, at around 125km long, is the world’s largest sand island. This sounds like a fairly dull fact until you realise that this is an island that is composed entirely of sand — no soil at all — and has just three rocks, yet supports a large and diverse ecosystem consisting of three different types of rainforest, a number of sizeable freshwater lakes, and a lot of wildlife. Furthermore, the sand is also moving east to west, at a rate of about 2m per year, burying older forests which then decompose to provide nutrients for newer rainforests to form on top. Pretty interesting stuff, and it’s also quite pretty too, especially from the air.
The “usual” backpacker way to see Fraser Island is a three-day 4-wheel drive (self-drive) safari. Unfortunately I didn’t have three days left in my itinerary so I had to make do with a one day guided bus tour which provided all the interesting information in the previous paragraph, but by all accounts is no where near as much fun! I have to say I also wasn’t overwhelmed by the scenery I saw from the bus: it’s pretty but perhaps because the tour was so short everything was a bit rushed and there wasn’t much time to appreciate things. However, I also did a 30 minute flight over the island which was much more spectacular so I’d like to visit again sometime and explore a bit further: if nothing else, four-wheel driving on a beach looks like a lot of fun!