Whenever I asked anyone travelling the East Coast what the highlight of their trip was, most people said Fraser Island. It’s the largest sand island in the World and home to some amazing lakes and scenery. There are no roads on the island so the main way to explore is by hiring a 4WD and driving along the beach. Most backpackers do the 2 day 2 night camping trip, this is what we chose to do and we had so much fun.
The 4WDs fit eight people in them and as we were travelling as a group of three, we were put with another group of five Irish people. There were a total of four cars in our tour and the first car is always driven by the tour guide so this is the car that you’d be put in if you can’t drive as the others were driven in rotation by us. A lot of time is spent in the cars and driving on sand is a lot of fun. It’s up to the people in your car as to who drives when but everyone managed to get a good deal of time behind the wheel.
All the cooking is also done with the group of people in your car, they’re basically like your crew for the whole weekend and you get to make some really good friends. Although you’re camping for two nights, the tents are already set up for you and there’s a little hut with stoves in it for cooking so this is camping made easy. Every day was planned and we stuck to a fairly tight schedule as there’s a rule that only two tour groups can be at one lake at any given time. This makes the experience much better for everyone.
For me, the best part was visiting Lake McKenzie. It’s got the most amazing pure water and was nothing like any lake I’ve seen before. I also opted to pay for a plane ride over the island and was shocked at how big it is. Another favourite for me was Eli Creek which is essentially a lazy river. It was really hot when we did our tour and the freshwater lakes are saviours for this.
There are a considerable amount of wild dingos on the island and you’ll probably hear a few horror stories prior to your trip about them. You’ll have a safety briefing the day before you leave for the island and as long as you’re not stupid then there’s nothing to worry about. Although the island is surrounded by turquoise ocean, you’re not allowed to swim in it because of sharks! We spent both evenings around the campfire and on the beach stargazing. For some travellers this is a really boozy trip but it’s completely dependent on you and how much alcohol you decide to bring. Fraser Island is definitely a must do on the East Coast!