A trip to Fraser Island isn’t complete without a drive (in 4x4s) along the sandy highway, a dingo sighting and a visit to the beautiful lakes in the middle of this island made entirely of sand.
There are a few different ways to stay on Fraser, camping, not really for me, a luxury hotel resort (where Harry and Meghan stayed), not quite the same experience or glamping at the Beachcamp Eco resort, now that is a happy medium!
Our lovely tent had a super comfy double bed, and en-suite bathroom, although the shower does come with a 3 minute timer attached. There was a communal kitchen and outside is all set up for alfresco dining and toasting marshmallows over the fire!
To arrive on Fraser, you have to hit the highway from Noosa to Rainbow beach, sand or asphalt, the choice is yours. You’ll need a permit for the island and sandy highway and a permit to go across on the ferry. The ferry is a super short trip, just enough time to get out of the car and back in again, and it takes about 15 cars!
And then you’re on the sandy highway of Fraser, timing is key when it comes to travelling here, you can’t just hop in the car when you feel like it, do that and you run the risk of ending up on the evening news as the car floats away into the sea.
You can basically only travel 2 hours either side of low tide or you could be in trouble, but there’s plenty to be discovered going inland rather than round the coast. They also use this as a runway for small planes too.
We arrived on a Friday afternoon after getting a flat in one of the 4x4s, and turns out in Rainbow Beach, it’s a challenge to either find a mechanic, tyre or machine that works on these new fangled wheels!
You have to lower your tyre pressures to drive on the sand, and it’s a balance between them being low enough and staying on the rims. We took the risk and decided getting towed off was cheaper than hiring another 4x4 for 3 days! The 4x4 we hired was nicknamed Sweaty Betty as it had old school air-con (ie open windows) and she hit 400,000km while we had her, quite an achievement.
We quickly unpacked and headed to the beach to fish and play cricket, although there wasn’t much biting (that could have been the fishermen though!). My little nephew seemed right at home here but then he is half Aussie.
You really can’t beat the smell of the beach and sea air, it’s why we love our Summer Haze candles so much, so fresh and clean.
Anyway back to Fraser, our site had dingo fencing but on the beach, you’re obviously exposed and lo and behold, a little dingo appears. It was a skinny little thing but doesn’t stop one sister legging it in the other direction (not supposed to do that). He didn’t seem too interested and wandered off.
Dingos are known to be dangerous though and can hunt out food from miles away, and you need to keep the kids close as they’ve been known to attack in packs.
Dinner was followed by time around the campfire, toasting marshmallows and trying to decipher which stars were which, perfectly magical.
The next day we headed to Lake McKenzie which means travelling inland, across tracks that are definitely meant for a 4x4, after about an hour of this, my nephew announced he was bored of the bumps and just wanted to sleep.
Lake McKenzie is an entirely natural lake of rainwater, the base of the lake is made from sand and organic matter which keeps the water in. It’s a beautiful spot.
We then headed to champagne falls along the beach, after beers and pies for lunch from the shop near our glamping site. This again was beautiful but was a little busy for our tastes (it is summer here so to be expected).
Dinner the second night was steak, cooked by our resident chef (my brother-in-law), delicious with boxed red wine (no bottles allowed). Somehow after the 3rd glass, it tastes ok.
Early nights were had by all, after some cards.
Then up for more fishing and a visit to Lake Birrabeen, this was more relaxed than McKenzie and the water was the perfect temperature too. We had a laze about, swim around and a walk along the beach.
We had a visit from a rather large lizard in the morning, he smelt the rubbish someone left out and seemed quite happy tucking into it for his breakfast. He whipped his tail against my brother-in-law’s leg in his displeasure at being disturbed!
After all our exertions, we headed back the way we came through the forest, and back to the ferry.
We were all rather elated that we managed 3 days of sand driving in two 4x4s without anyone getting stuck, and no more flat tyres either!
We made it safely back across to the main land and headed down the beach highway to Noosa and a cold beer!