Overnight stays: Alan & June Brown Carpark, Maryborough; Kingfisher Bay Resort, Fraser Island (3 nights)
I dream of Fraser
For reasons unknown, Fraser Island has been on my to-do list since I can remember. I didn’t know much about it, except that you needed a 4WD to get around and there were wild dingoes about. I had been told tales of swimming at Lake McKenzie, floating down Eli Creek, and resisting the temptation for an ocean dip, just in-case Jaws is floating about; but underneath any deep knowledge of the place was an underlying desire to go.
No better opportunity would present itself outside this trip, so we started doing our research. Tours, camping, AirBnB, resort; so many, too many options. We agreed to hire a 4WD from the mainland for a few days, loaded with our tent, BBQ, and bedding, until we scared ourselves out of it – what about the dingoes?!
Eventually Kingfisher Bay Resort reared its head as the clear front runner, so we booked 3 nights a week ahead; enough time to relax, explore, and a buffer for the weather. At least if it was going to rain we would be in a resort, swimming, relaxing, eating.
When we finally left Noosa we had a week until Fraser check-in, and a bunch of potential stopovers along the way – Tin Can Bay, Rainbow Beach, Hervey Bay, Burrum Heads etc. But the weather was unpredictable, and we figured, rather than waiting around for the weather to improve, let’s just bring the booking forward and get to Fraser, tomorrow; done.
With the WomBatmobile parked up, resting for a few days at River Heads, we hopped in the Kingfisher boat on the lookout for rays, sharks, dolphins, crocs, and basically anything that can hurt you on the way over.
Kingfisher Resort, on the western side of the island, is the best place to be. It’s nicely protected from the easterly swells and south-easterly winds, giving it a paradise feel regardless of the weather. Speaking of which, the weather continued its remarkable acts of disguise; sunny one minute, drizzly the next.
Our first two days were spent largely relaxing, mostly in the resort spa, allowing time for the rain to pass. We were spoilt with buffet breakfasts, and pub dinners – both a luxury and change from van-life.
The dingo stole my beach
At sunset we would wander down to the beach for a wander, on the hunt for dingoes, followed by a bucket of beers at the Sunset Bar. On the second day we were lucky enough to see a few, as they drifted the sand at sunset. Although they’re effectively just dogs, it’s pretty special seeing these elusive animals in the wild.
Undoubtably the best (and only) way to explore Fraser is by 4WD. We tossed up 4WD bus tours and guided convoys, but ultimately decided we’d try it on our own, and rented a Hilux for our final day, to explore on our own.
It was incredible!
What started as cautious driving over endless potholes, quickly turned into driving flat-stick over whatever the road could turn out. Driving yourself is just so bloody fun, and you quickly realise it’s not about the destinations on this island; it’s the driving itself that makes it so much fun, especially when you’re not four-wheel-drivers, like us.
Fraser’s most famous draw-card, and a truly spectacular beach, only seen to be believed. In the middle of the island exists this freshwater beach paradise. The water is clearer than Shorten’s Adani stance, and warmer than Dutton’s welcome to refugees. We’re unsure if it technically classifies as a beach, but regardless it’s one of the nicest we’ve ever been to. We were also lucky enough to catch a break in the clouds for our session ☀️.
The absolute highlight of Fraser was getting out onto 75 Mile Beach (quite possibly the ugliest beach in the world) and letting loose. The feeling of wind in the hair, tyres gliding on the sand, and sound of hundreds of popping blue-bottles underneath is astonishing.
Add to that keeping an eye out of deep gullies (to avoid rolling), landing planes (not even kidding – planes seem to take-off and land all along the beach), and dingoes adds to the adventure.
Along the way we stopped at The Pinnacles, Maheno Wreck and had a couple of floats down Eli Creek.
We cut it fine getting home so went hammer-and-tongs over bumps wider than the wealth distribution in Brunei, and made it home just in time.
I feel sorry for places like Fraser Island, with so much expectation from punters like me. But Ol’ Frase-dog delivered in spades, and I can safely say it’s an itch now scratched, and an experience hard to top.