Fraser Island a top choice for four-wheel-drivers

The view from Indian Head is worth the effort getting there.
The view from Indian Head is worth the effort getting there.

CHRISTMAS holidays lend themselves to many options on getting out and about for a relaxing holiday.

An extended trip to Fraser Island, the world's largest sand island, was the choice for members of the Bundaberg Four Wheel Drive Club this year.

Based at our campsite at Waddy Point, near Orchid Beach, we spent our days checking out the tourist spots at the top end of the island with a bit of fishing thrown in to fill in the days.

Sandy Cape Lighthouse, built in 1870, was worth the walk to take in the spectacular views from its site perched atop one of the highest points looking out over the break sea spit, a sand bar that runs from the tip of the island some 40 kilometres out to sea.

At this time of year the unmanned lighthouse and buildings is host to volunteers who do nightly patrols along the beaches to log the landing sites of nesting turtles.

Nests are moved to higher grounds if need be and also covered with an aluminium frame that prevents dingoes from digging up the eggs.

The opportunity to once again access the track to Platypus Bay was a highlight for the group, as the track was closed in 2001 but has been reopened recently.

Although driving along the beach is restricted to about 500m, it is an idyllic spot to rest and refresh in the calm, clear waters of the sheltered bay.

The contrast from the open beach on the eastern side of the island to what the western side offers is amazing.

MUDDY WATERS: John Horan traversing a creek crossing.
MUDDY WATERS: John Horan traversing a creek crossing. Contributed

Multitudes of stingrays cruise in and out with the tide, chasing the schools of fish that can be seen on the sand flats, just hope they had more luck with the fish than we did.

Ocean Lake, the closest freshwater lake to the sea on the island, was a popular spot for a swim.

The lake has the island's highest population of breeding and roosting water birds, including pelicans, pied cormorants, musk ducks and black swans.

The rope swing kept the young and not-so-young entertained for ages on our visit.

The Champagne Pools are a tourist hot spot.

The sand has filled up the main rock pools but the bubble effect caused by the waves breaking over the rocks was still in full swing.

Heavy seas and strong winds will have the sand cleared out and the pools will be once again back to being deep enough to swim in.

Jeff Skilton and Glen Gollschewsky trying to catch beach worms.
Jeff Skilton and Glen Gollschewsky trying to catch beach worms.

This is the beauty of the island; it changes from day to day, with massive amounts of sand being moved from spot to spot, depending on the weather.

The climb to the top of Indian Head is also another favourite pastime when on the island, with views across the bay to Waddy Point and down the main beach. An F18 jet doing a "fly-by" over Indian Head while we were up there was something that we will probably never experience again.

Talk about being in the right place at the right time. We felt like we could reach out and touch it from our elevated spot.

The noise and sight of the plane banking as it turned to head down the main beach was breathtaking.

There are many more spots on Fraser to see and explore.

Being on our doorstep, we will return to this piece of paradise.

Topics:  4wd four wheel driving outdoor-living

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