13 hours of bus of bus between Airlie Beach and Hervey Bay. And what do I want to see in Hevey Bay ? Nothing ! What I want is take a boat to Frazer Island. An appealing name, isn’t it ?
Discovered by Cook in 1770, Fraser Island is the largest sand island in the world: 120 km (75 mi) long, 24 km large (15 mi), 1840 km². The island has rainforests, eucalyptus woodland, mangrove forests, wallum and peat swamps, sand dunes and coastal heaths.
It is made up of sand that has been accumulating for approximately 750,000 years on volcanic bedrock that provides a natural catchment for the sediment which is carried on a strong offshore current northwards along the coast.
Unlike on many sand dunes, plant life is abundant due to the naturally occurring fungi present in the sand, which release nutrients in a form that can be absorbed by the plants.
And then, on the beach, I finally get to meet a Dingo, an Australian icon. He is a free-ranging dog, sub-specie of the grey wolf… Even though he is the largest terrestrial predator in Australia, this one seems harmless: according to my guide and 4×4 driver, he doesn’t belong to a group.
The beach runs along most of the east coast of Fraser Island. It is used as a landing strip for planes and an informal highway for vehicles… Highway rules state that vehicles must give way to aircraft if they are oncoming!
The name Fraser Island comes from Eliza Frazer and her story of survival from a shipwreck on the island in 1836. The survivors died due to disease, hunger, exhaustion or battles with the native population. All of them but Eliza. She was rescued 6 weeks after being shipwrecked by a convict who had lived in the bush as an escapee, and who spoke the Aboriginal language…