Fraser Island Attractions
Fraser Island, lying off the coast between Bundaberg and Brisbane, was formerly called Great Sandy (it is Australia's largest sand island). Over 120km long and between 7km and 25km across, it was formerly occupied by Aborigines of the Butchulla tribe. On the east side of the island there are numerous Aboriginal ceremonial sites.In the interior of the island there are numbers of freshwater lakes, either 'window lakes' of clear ground water or 'perched lakes' of brownish water in depressions in the dunes over impermeable rock strata. There is a very varied flora and fauna (mangrove forests, subtropical rain forests and forests managed for timber; wild horses, dingoes and over 200 species of birds, including migratory birds in passage). The sand of which the island consists, apart from a few volcanic formations and layers of sedimentary rock, was formed over many millions of years from detritus eroded from the Great Dividing Range, carried down to the sea by rivers and deposited and piled up in dunes up to 250m high by the prevailing southeasterly trade winds. The dunes have been stabilized by vegetation. The minerals (iron oxides) in the sand have given the sandstone cliffs on the east coast (Cathedral Sandcliffs) their variegated coloring. Access by ferry and boat services from Rainbow Beach, Hervey Bay and River Heads.The climate is maritime subtropical, with rain (up to 1800mm annually) falling mainly between December and May. July is the coldest month (14-21°C); in summer the temperature rarely rises above 30°C.In the last few decades timber felling and the extraction of mineral sand have made important contributions to the island's economy. There has been some controversy over the working of sand.Tourism is now of increasing importance. There are numerous resort complexes and motels, as well as campsites in Great Sandy National Park and in the state-owned forests.There is a boating harbor in Wathumba Creek on the west side of island. Good fishing at can be found at Waddy Point on the east side.
Woody Island (Little Woody Island)
Between Fraser Island and Hervey Bay are Woody Island and Little Woody Island, the two together forming a National Park with an area of 660ha. Bush camping allowed on Woody island with permit; campers must take all their supplies, including water, with them.
Great Sandy National Park
52,000ha.Great Sandy National Park (established in 1971) contains areas of eucalyptus forest and bush, heathland, lagoons and marshland. Good walking.