After leaving the Gold Coast, friends and family behind we decided to head to Noosa and figure out where we wanted to go from there. We were nearly going to give Fraser Island a miss, it all seemed a bit too hard and expensive to organise. But after a few days in Noosa we decided while we were so close it made sense to make the effort. So we booked all our passes, ferry tickets and camping and set off on our way.
From Noosa we caught the ferry over the Noosa River and drove along the beach all the way to Rainbow Beach and then on to Inskip point. It was a really cool drive and well worth it. We camped at Inskip Point for three nights at a lovely spot right on the beach, where we could see Fraser Island in the distance over the channel.
Inskip Point is one of the places you can catch the barge over to Fraser Island. It is the quickest and therefore the cheapest way of getting over to the Island. After three lovely relaxing days at Inskip Point we jumped on the barge and headed over.
Getting on and off the barge with the car and trailer can be an experience in itself. You drive on from the beach and off on the beach so a 4wd and good timing of the tides was pretty important. We had no dramas though and, once off the ferry, headed off on the drive up Seventy Five Mile Beach to get to our campground at Cathedral Beach.
The beach it is actually a gazetted road with speed limit signs and police patrols. In quite a few stretches it also served as an airstrip. Needless to say quite a few people don’t follow the rules, which makes for a pretty hairy drive dodging crazy drivers, 4wd tour buses, planes, washouts as well as fisherman parked up for the day! All the while trying to get to Eli Creek in time to cross it before the tide gets too high! We were having fun already!
We made our campsite in plenty of time though, getting through Eli Creek unscathed and also passing the Maheno Shipwreck along the way. The Catherdral Beach Campground was fully fenced off for dingoes so it made it a little easier to relax with the kids. Funnily enough we have seen quite a few dingoes on our travels and never really worried about them too much. But there are soooo many warnings about Dingo safety on Fraser, you start to get a bit paranoid. There have been people attacked and killed by dingoes on the island in the past though so they are carefully managed at all times.
Our second day on Fraser we went across the middle of the island to visit Lake Mackenzie. It is a beautiful blue freshwater lake. We didn’t get much of a swim as it started pelting down with rain not long after we arrived. But on a warmer day it would have been lovely.
We then continued across the island stopping at Central Station for a look. In earlier times logging was one of the industries on Fraser Island and Central Station was where it all happened. We had a look around the old buildings and displays set amongst the rainforest.
From there we continued across to the West coast of the island, stopping for a quick look at the old Jetty before making our way to Kingfisher Bay.
Kingfisher Bay is where you land if you catch the ferry from Hervey Bay to Fraser Island and also where the resort is located. So we made the most of it and had burgers at the bistro for lunch. With full bellies it was time to journey back across to the East Coast before Eli Creek got too high to cross.
The next day we headed to the northern most point of the island, Sandy Cape. On the way up we stopped at Champagne Pools, natural rock pools that bubble and fill with the tides. Even early in the morning when we arrived it was filling up fast with people armed with their deck chairs and eskies for the day. We made a dash for the much quieter northern end of Fraser Island!
We arrived at Sandy Cape in time for a bit of lunch. The drive to Sandy Cape involves crossing a tricky beach bypass over Ngkala Rocks. A lot of people don’t bother going any further so we found Sandy Cape and the North of the island to be relaxing and peaceful, just the way we like it! There was a little tidal lagoon where the kids were able to swim and we were able to have a fish and relax on the beach without fear of being mowed down by a four wheel drive. We were also able to spot sea turtles coming quite close into shore, but not quick enough to get any photographic evidence. After a blissful few hours we piled back in the car and drove further around the cape to see the lighthouse.
In the two days that followed we were treated to some of the best weather we’ve had for a while. So with a few of the Fraser must see sights out of the way we decided to spend it relaxing on the beach and fishing. These were two of our most memorable days on the trip. We spent lots of time fishing and managed to get ourselves several feeds of fresh tailor for lunch and dinner. We were shown how to find pippis and beach worms for bait by a couple of regulars to the island, and while our efforts weren’t that successful, we still managed to score a few worms for bait off others who actually knew what they were doing and took pity on us! We also saw our one and only dingo for the whole trip. It came down to the beach from the bush and dug up few fish scraps that were buried there (not by us). The kids immediately assumed the defensive dingo stance they read about on the way over but the dingo wasn’t the slightest bit interested in us, slinking off with its feed as quickly as it arrived. Again I wasn’t quick enough with the camera, so no pics of that either!
On the day we were leaving we had to wait till the afternoon before the tides were okay to drive to the ferry. We decided to wait it out at Eli Creek after packing up camp. We went for a walk up the creek and back down in the water. It was beautiful and clear and lots of people were floating down in tubes with the current. We kicked back on the beach with a sausage sizzle and a swim in the creek while we waited for the tide to turn.
And then we were on our way back down the beach to the ferry. We had the most amazing time on Fraser Island and we were sad to say goodbye. However our next adventure was to get out to Birdsville and we were pretty excited about that too.
So stay tuned!