The Fraser Island
The Fraser Island is a world heritage site, the largest sand island in the world and stretches over 120km. Sitting off of Australia’s eastern Queensland coast. In 1992 UNESCO protected the island.
Winds, Waves and ocean currents formed this land by carrying sands over hundreds of thousands of years from as far away as Antarctica out to the continental shelf, and in towards the land in a zigzag pattern, this created a string of sand islands all along the east coast including the strand broke islands, the largest member being the Fraser island. Fraser islands sand dunes have the longest and most complete age sequence of coastal dune systems in the world.
A tour of the Fraser Island
I booked a combination tour on bookme.com.au for both the Whitsundays and the Fraser Island. This allowed us to book both tours in one, also offering a great saving.
Fraser Island – this part of the combo was to be with Fraser Dingo tag along tours, where we would take part in a 2 day 1 night tour in 4×4’s on the Fraser Island.
Whitsundays – operated by Oz Sail, a 2 night 3 day tour aboard the Mandrake.
This tour requires passenger drivers, there is one lead vehicle with the guide, and the following tag along vehicles are driven by the tour participants . To drive, you are required to hold a valid drivers license, be over 21 years of age and also attend a vehicle training session on the morning of the tour around an hour prior to the tour starting. I decided not to drive, as I am not particularly experienced in driving 4×4’s although I’m sure it would be a lot of fun!
Combination Price: $508 AUD
What is included with Fraser Dingo:
Two days on Fraser Island
Beach house accommodation, with dorm rooms – 3 or 4 bed rooms
Barbecue at lunch time
A visit to Eli Creek with swimming rings
The Maheno ship wreck and the pinnacles
Driving on 75 mile beach
Not included: $25 food levy for 1x breakfast, 2x lunch, 1x dinner.
Also no bedding is provided you can hire bedding, or bring your own. Only a blow up pillow is provided.
We were collected from our accommodation at 8:30am by the lead car and also two tag along cars. Our guide was named Graham, at first he came across a little abrupt almost rude, making borderline sexist jokes, but teasing he was just winding us up. We made a stop at the office where we were required to pay a $25 food levy, we also were given the option of hiring bedding such as a sheet and sleeping bag for $10.
Next we moved on to a local street of shops, including a small supermarket, a bottle shop and a coffee shop. We all stocked up on snacks and beers as they aren’t provided on the tour. Then we left to travel to the barge to take us over to the Fraser Island.
The vehicles reversed onto the barge and the rest of us boarded as foot passengers, the 35-40 minute journey was fine, we saw some dolphins which was nice but the weather was turning on us a little due to the local cyclone heading down the coast line and there was some rain.
When we got to the Fraser Island we started our bumpy sandy journey down the main ‘highway‘ which despite being wide enough for one vehicle and having fairly deep tracks in places was actually a two way road. The rule is that you give way to anything larger than yourself, should it approach. The three pink 4×4’s we travelled in made our way in to the central station, unfortunately due to the bumpy drive and being sat right in the back of our car I got very nauseous and was sick when we got out the car. Graham told me I was to sit in the front when we got back in.
We went for a guided walk around the station and saw beautiful trees, Wanggoolba Creek that had a pretty green algae growing in it and learnt about the local fauna and flora of the island. We got a energy type bar for a snack from Graham.
Next we took the journey to our Creature Comforts lodge in the happy valley, and chose a room which had either a three or four bed occupancy. We all helped to make a salad for lunch and were given burgers and sausages, they cooked me a separate veggie burger and sausage in a pan which was very nice.
After lunch we cleaned up our plates and then headed out to Eli Creek where we spent over an hour enjoying floating down the creek in the current in inner tube tyres and rubber rings. This was so much fun and so relaxing. When you got to the end you just walked the short distance into the bush to the beginning and drifted slowly down again. There was also footballs and frisbees and plenty of other groups around.
We then made a short drive to the pinnacles, beautifully coloured sand formations.
Then we visited the infamous Maheno shipwreck, we were given a very short amount of time to take photos, considering how busy this gets it wasn’t really long enough and I didn’t get time to explore all of the ship, or read the historical information located next to the recently installed memorial. This was disappointing. However as this was the last stop of the day, hence maybe why a little rushed.
We headed back to the lodge, where we arrived at 4pm and then we were to wait until 6:45pm for our dinner and then it would be quiet time at 10:00pm. We were given this time to head to down to the beach if we chose to.
The evening meal provided was spaghetti Bolognese with a vegetarian version provided. Sadly our room didn’t have a fan and it was extremely warm in the rooms, in addition to the inflatable pillow, it didn’t make for a great nights sleep.
We had an early start on the second day, breakfast was available from 6:30 – 7:30am, a selection of cereals, milk, yogurt, bread, spreads, bananas and peaches. We loaded up the cars and headed to a lake for swimming, we spend two hours here, then headed back to the hostel for a lunch of wraps at 11:15am before heading back out towards Lake Mckenzie. Lake Mckenzie only allows visitors to stay for 1 hour slots, but it is beautiful! Our group enjoyed swimming, playing frizbee and generally chilling here.
After this visit, we headed to the ferry where we had a 45 minute wait until we boarded the ferry to return the members of the group with cars to the Fraser Dingo HQ, and the rest of us were dropped to our hostels in the Lead car by graham, around 6pm.
What to bring on a tour on the Fraser Island
Camera/and or GoPro
Bedding/Ear Plugs – Pillow if you can stretch to it
Sun cream/ sunglasses/ sun hat
I enjoyed my time with Fraser Dingo, the cars were fine, the hostel was ok, but I did not get a great nights sleep due to the lack of a fan or air conditioning, and the inflatable pillow was awful, this is a budget option tour and you are expected to help prepare salad for meal times and clean up your own dishes, if you are ok with this, this tour is a great option for you. However you get what you pay for, and if you want a less budget option there are alternative tours available.
Our guide Graham was great, however our tour group made up of 21 were pretty well behaved, but I felt were were told off and reprimanded before we had done anything wrong because he had maybe experienced worse behaved groups before. We were continuously told tales of all the things other individuals had done wrong, such as bad driving, or getting lost, but there weren’t tales of the fun they’d had. I think a less regimented approach could have been more fun. Saying that he was full of great local and historical knowledge which was really interesting, and kept all of us safe! Thank you Graham.
If you are planning a trip to the Fraser Island, I would probably recommend Fraser Dingo 4×4 tours, they also offer car hire, hiking tours which they can help you plan and 3 day tours!
If you want to make a booking, or have any questions about the tours you can view their website here.
Enjoy the beautiful sandy paradise that is Fraser Island
Love B x