A visit to the world's largest sand island is a "must do" for everyone. To truly appreciate the remarkable natural beauty of Fraser Island, you must experience it first hand.
Words cannot really capture the emotion of seeing the stark contrast of talc-like white sand and blue-green window lakes, the ancient dignity of the towering rainforests growing in seemingly infertile sands, the purity of the water flowing in its many creeks … it is possible to go on and on, just like the seemingly endless beaches.
Fraser Island lies just south of the last of the Great Barrier Reef's coral cays and stretches for 123km and spans 166,000 hectares. The island is composed almost entirely of sand built up from tidal action over more than 700,000 years – the world's oldest recorded dune building sequence.
The sand clings to the island's two rocky outcrops – Indian Head and Waddy Point – creating vast beaches and dunal systems, including remarkable cliffs of coloured sands. Fraser's unique landscapes and evolving dune, lake, soil and forest systems led to the island being listed as a world heritage area in 1992.
Freshwater fills more than 40 pristine lakes, swampy wetlands and flows over sandy creek beds. The largest of these is Eli Creek, which pumps over 4 million litres an hour into the ocean.
The abundance of freshwater gives rise to rainforests of towering hardwood trees. The island also has expanses of wetland and wallum heath which bloom in spring into a garden of wildfl owers.
The beaches, forests and swamp are the habitat for around 350 species of birds and some 25 species of mammals, including kangaroos, possums, sugar gliders, echidnas and one of Australia's purest dingo breeds.
Many archaeological remains on Fraser Island record thousands of years of culture and traditions. Middens, artifact scatters, scarred trees and campsites bear witness to the lifestyles of the Butchulla people who have inhabited the island and the mainland for over 5000 years.
Paradise is such an overworked and over rated term used in glossy tourist brochures the world over but on the Fraser Coast, our claim on paradise is lodged in the sands of time.
"K'gari" is the name given by the Butchulla Aborigines to their Fraser Island home of more than 5,500 years. It means paradise.
Many places around the Fraser Coast have Aboriginal names. Tiaro means "withered tree" while the Wongi waterholes mean "deep water".
Simple and descriptive, places were names with little exaggeration.
So to call Fraser Island paradise was - simply - because it is.