Confession: Fraser Island isn’t on our bucket list for a holiday – it has the incredible 75 Mile Beach, but you can’t swim there because of all the sharks. The Thirsty Travellers prefer our beaches swimable, but it’s a glorious place to visit on a day trip.
We were staying at Harvey Bay after visiting Lady Elliot Island for the weekend, so we booked a four-wheel drive bus tour of the island. And we scored Pete as our bus driver, who added a special something to the trip by totally gunning it along the sandy roads and being quite the character.
Pete took us to an amazing shipwreck – the SS Maheno, which was forced ashore just north of Happy Valley during a cyclone in 1935. The Maheno was a photographer’s dream, all rusty and beautiful on the sand. We had heaps of fun taking arty snaps.
Then we headed to Eli Creek, the largest creek on the eastern beach of Fraser Island, which pours around four million litres of clear, fresh water into the ocean every hour. It’s like a natural lazy river, but we weren’t in the mood for full immersion before lunch, so we rolled up our pants and walked our way down the beautiful stretch.
After a buffet lunch at Eurong Beach Resort, where the German tourists went berserk over the all-you-can-eat selection, we headed to one of the most glorious places we have ever visited together, Lake McKenzie. Lake McKenzie is a ‘perched’ lake, meaning it contains only rainwater, is not fed by streams and doesn’t flow to the ocean.
The sand is pure, white silica and Pete advised us that it was perfect for buffing your rough skin. Three generations of European tourists stripped to their bikinis and got down to scrubbing … as did The Thirsty Travellers between experimenting with our new waterproof camera.
Throughout the day, Pete provided excellent commentary on the fascinating history of the island, including how it was named after an ornery shipwrecked captain and saved from devastating logging by a stubborn bloke from Maryborough, who even survived having his house burnt down during his controversial quest.
We love a bit of history.
Actually, we loved every minute of our visit to Fraser Island, it was a lot of fun.
At the end of the day, we perched on the balcony of the ferry back to Hervey Bay, sipping ciders in the late afternoon sun and feeling very zen about life.