Fraser Island, Australia

Fraser Island is the largest sand island in the world and a designated UNESCO World Heritage site. It is approximately 120 kilometres long and 20 kilometres at its widest point and is located on the southern coast of Queensland.

The island itself is a place of extraordinary natural beauty with over 100 freshwater lakes surrounded by white sandy beaches, a stunning coastline and verdant green rainforest. It is the only place on Earth where rainforests grow on sand dunes with elevations of 200 metres; the highest dunes on the island rise up to over 240 metres above sea level.

Mangrove forests, wallum and peat swaps intersperse the rainforest and sand dunes to create a unique and precious eco-system that is home to a number of rare, vulnerable and endangered species, including dugongs, turtles and eastern curlews. Off-shore, dolphins, whales and sharks roam the coastline (swimming is best confined to the fresh water lakes as in addition to sharks the currents are treacherous) and the island has a large dingo population which should be given a wide berth as feeding by tourists has made them more aggressive in recent years.

Visitors travel to the island via ferry and a four wheel vehicle is mandatory as there are no roads as such on Fraser Island, just rough sand tracks. The main ‘highway’ is along 75 Mile Beach, which acts as beach, main road and occasional light aircraft landing strip. There are many guided island safaris available or those confident with their four wheel driving skills can opt to hire vehicles on the mainland or join a group self-drive safari.

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