The Road Ahead : October 2013
ROADAHEAD.COM.AU 42 IMAGES: THE RUSTING HULL OF THE MAHENO NOW FORMS A LANDMARK ON SEVENTY FIVE MILE BEACH, MCKENZIES JETTY AT SUNSET (BLUEDOG PHOTOGRAPHY & JOURNALISM). TRAVEL | QLD GREAT ESCAPE THE ROAD AHEAD OCT/NOV 2013 TRAVEL AUTHOR/ PHOTOGRAPHER DANIELLE LANCASTER GIVES AN INSIGHT TO THE 'MUST SEES' OF OUR WORLD-RENOWNED FRASER ISLAND. 1. McKenzie Jetty Logging began on Fraser Island in the 1860s and swiftly grew into a lucrative industry before finishing in 1991, the year Fraser attained World Heritage listing. Timber from Fraser was highly sought after and used in many large projects including the Suez Canal and London docks. Amongst the first timber merchants on the island was the McKenzie family and all that now remains of the jetty built by the family are rotting pylons jutting out into the sea. It's an excellent place to enjoy sunset; just don't forget the camera and insect repellent. The jetty is an easy five kilometre return walk from Kingfisher Bay Resort. 2. Central Station to Pile Valley Central Station once supported a large community during Fraser's logging days. The walk starts via a boardwalk following Wanggoolba Creek. This section has the most prolific specimens of ancient Angiopteris ferns, the largest single frond fern in the world. The walk continues via a well formed track to Pile Valley and its gigantic satinay trees. At Central Station, there is a day-use area with picnic tables, gas barbecues, toilets and camp ground. There are no facilities at Pile Valley. 3. Lake McKenzie One of 40 perched lakes on the island, Lake McKenzie's clear blue water and white sandy beach makes it the most visited lake. Fraser boasts the world's largest perched lake -- Boomanjin -- and the world's highest perched dune lake -- Boomerang. Swimming is allowed and while walking along its shores, you are likely to see wildflowers, such as the fiery red sundew. PLAN: PREPARE YOUR TRIP TO FRASER ISLAND OR OTHER QUEENSLAND DESTINATIONS BY VISITING RACQ'S TRIP PLANNER AT RACQ.COM. seven fraser's magnificent 4. Seventy Five Mile Beach A designated road that you share with planes landing and taking off. Taking a run north you'll cross Eli Creek, the largest freshwater creek on the eastern coast, spilling around four million litres of water per hour into the ocean. There are walkways along the creek, along with toilet facilities and it's a terrific place to stop for a swim and picnic. A little further north lays the rusting hull of the Maheno, one of 23 shipwrecks recorded around Fraser between 1856 and 1935. From the top of Indian Head, the most easterly point on the island, you have outstanding 360-degree views with many visitors fortunate enough to see whales, turtles and sharks swimming below. The exit around the head may be very soft, so best to engage low range when driving. All normal road rules apply -- aircraft have right-of-way -- and time your drive to the tide. 5. Ungowa Nestled on the south-western side of Fraser, Ungowa is a top location for anglers. The campground has a food safe, toilets and washing-up facilities. 6. Champagne Pools On the north-eastern side of the island, a timber walkway leads to these naturally formed salt water pools which are perfect for a swim. 7. Playtypus Bay It's estimated four to five thousand humpback whales venture into the Platypus Bay from August to October each year. The bay's deep, calm waters make it a popular resting location for mothers and their calves on the return journey south. Getting up close can almost be guaranteed on the whale watching tours departing Kingfisher Bay Resort daily during the whale- watching season.