Your Exotic
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Australia's
Exotic Island Getaways.....

 

 
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Four Wheel Driving

Being a sand island, the only mode of land transport is 4WD. Of course, for many visitors, that’s the main attraction. 4WD enthusiasts from all around the world visit Fraser Island to pit themselves and their vehicles against the rugged terrain found all over the island. From the hard-packed seashore to the shifting dune to the forests of the interior, Fraser Island is the ideal 4WD location.

Fraser Island for a tropical island vacation imageDon’t be scared though – it’s not all about extreme driving for experts! Whether you’re an novice, or you just prefer a more leisured pace of life, you’ll find a much more sedate satisfaction in one of the many organised 4WD tours offered around the island. Or if you just want to get out on your own, you can hire a 4WD for a day, and indulge in a bit of quiet exploring.

No matter which option you choose, though, there are a few ‘ground rules’ you should observe. Remember the dangers of driving on the beach. The further you adventure from the shoreline, the softer the sand. The softer the sand, the more likely you are to get into trouble. Generally speaking, keep your speed down, and remember you’re in a World Heritage listed environment… so be careful.

Fishing

No tropical island holiday would be complete without a lazy day or two spent fishing. Beach fishing is the big drawcard for Fraser Island. And with 150 km of ocean beach to choose from, why wouldn’t it be? Middle Rocks, Sandy Cape, Waddy Point, and Seventy Five Mile Beach are just a few of the choice locations available for you to finally get the better of ‘the one that got away’.

The famed ‘tailor run’ occurs on the eastern (ocean) side of the island between July and October each year. In the angling world, this time – known as ‘tailor season’ – is a much anticipated event, with huge schools of big fish working the beaches. But if you can’t make it between late winter and early spring, rest assured, tailor season is just one date to mark in your calendar. The western side of Fraser has been known to reward the odd angler with a fine bag of bream, whiting and flathead.

Angler’s Advice

Pick the fish you’re after, and take advantage of the handy hints below to make the most of your fishing trip.

Fish: Tailor
Bait: Pilchard, 3 hook gang, lure
Timing: Late July to October
Location: Eastern Beaches

Fish: Dart
Bait: Pippies or worms
Timing: All year
Location: Eastern Beaches

Fish: Bream
Bait: Flesh strips, mullet gut, fowl gut, pippies
Timing: May to September
Location: Rocky outcrops on east coast or creeks on the west

Fish: Whiting
Bait: Worms, yabbies, pippies, prawns
Timing: All year
Location: Low tide on the east, creeks on the west

Fish: Flathead
Bait: Live baits, pilchards, lures
Timing: All year
Location: Rocky outcrops on east coast or creeks on the west

Fish: Jewfish
Bait: Whole mullet, tailor fillets, beach worms
Timing: May to September at night on the full moon, low or high tide
Location: Deep gutters and rocky outcrops

Of course, many more varieties are there for the taking, including mackerel, tuna, and reef fish. And if you’re not indisposed to a bit of sea fishing, you can book a berth on one of the larger boats launched to take advantage of the red emperor, coral trout, maori cod and parrot to be found off the Continental Shelf and local reefs.

Water Sports

As you’d expect, Fraser Island plays host to a vast array of water sports. Whether you’re after a lazy drifting afternoon – cocktail in hand, or an invigorating workout, there’s a water sport for you. All fitness levels (and energy levels!) are catered for.

Ease yourself into the aqua-life with a refreshing dip at one of the most beautiful beaches in the world. Surrounded by pure white sandy beaches, the clear blue waters of Lake McKenzie are without doubt amongst the most idyllic to be found. Alternatively, exercise your imagination with a visit to the ghostly shipwreck of the “Maheno”, then submerge yourself in the crystal clear waters of Eli Creek.

Fraser Island sits on a huge reservoir of fresh water, and is home to numerous spectacular fresh water lakes, including some perched high above sea level. You have your choice of over 40 lakes… Lake Wabby, Champagne Pools, Basin Lake… to name but a few. Clearly, Fraser Island is amply equipped to pamper even the fussiest fresh water connoisseur.

For something a little more strenuous, why not hire paddle ski or canoe and paddle yourself up Dundonga Creek. It’s generally a 1 hour round trip, so by the time you return, you’ll be ready to settle back into some more relaxed pastimes.

Whale and Dolphin Watching

Every year from August to October, you can book a berth on a whale watch cruise. Enjoy a fantastic half day of sun, salt, and ocean breezes while keeping your eyes peeled for Fraser’s famous migrating humpbacks.

The annual humpback migration is truly an awesome spectacle. Family pods take a well earned rest in the waters west of Fraser Island after travelling 5000 km from the icy waters of the Antarctic. The sight of a 15 tonne (that’s the weight of 11 elephants!) adult female humpback rearing out of the ocean is absolutely awe-inspiring.

And don’t worry… if your tropical island's holiday doesn’t coincide with the migration, you can still catch a cruise questing for dolphins, dugongs, turtles and the odd Indo Pacific Humpback.

Speak to your hotel or resort for information about organising a whale or dolphin watching cruise. Alternatively, contact Kingfisher Bay Resort and ask about their tours.

Tips & Reminders

  • Access to Fraser Island is via vehicular barge or catamaran
  • 4WDs only on Fraser Island (there are no paved roads except in resorts)
  • Don’t feed or pet the dingoes (or any other animals)
  • No domestic animals allowed
  • Most activities on the island can be enjoyed individually or as part of a booked tour group
  • You’ll need permits to 4WD or camp
  • 4WDs can be hired on the mainland or on the island
  • Don’t leave food unattended
  • All but the hardest sand can be unpredictable and perilous for a 4WD
  • High and low tide gutters around dawn or dusk are best for fishing
  • If four wheel driving, take a good map and a tyre pressure gauge

For further information about all aspects of Fraser Island, including accommodation, hire guides, and barge booking details and timetables, see http://www.boxatrix.com/.

About The Author

Glenn Murray heads advertising copywriting studio Divine Write. He can be contacted on Sydney +612 4334 6222 or at glenn@divinewrite.com. Visit http://www.divinewrite.com for further details or more FREE articles.

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