As some of you may know it was my birthday last Friday and my amazing husband whisked me away for a surprise birthday 4 day getaway.
We usually religiously go on holidays every year but for the last 2 years we have both been hustling our butts of in our careers and have not had the funds or the time to take a break. I am definitely the type of person that does not run well on empty and so for the last 6 months we have tried to do day trips and small weekend trips to get our holiday fix and get some well deserved rest but nothing has quite filled our cup up like our recent escape from the big smoke.
The amazing 4 day surprise getaway my hubby planned was amazing and definitely filled my cup up that little bit more, it also made us realize just how important it is that we actually go on a 2 week holiday early in 2014 and do nothing but rest!
I wanted to share some of the amazing trip with you. The beauty that we where surrounded with was awe inspiring. And as you know beauty is a really important part of my life. Natural beauty takes my breath away!
If you are wanting to plan a holiday or getaway to somewhere almost completely untouched and appreciate the amazing country we live in, Fraser Island is definitely a place to go and explore.
Fraser Island was World Heritage listed in 1992 and is the world’s largest sand Island. It is a giant sandmass that is 123 km long and 25km at it’s widest point. Pretty impressive right?
To be world heritage listed it had to satisfy the following 3 selection criteria:
1. Superlative natural phenomena or areas of exceptional beauty & aesthetic importance: It was found that its 250km of sandy beaches with long uninterrupted sweeps of ocean beach, it’s 40km and more of strikingly beautiful colourful sand cliffs, as well as incredible sand blow outs, tall rainforests on sand, dune lakes & mosaic of landscapes met this criteria nicely.
2. Outstanding examples which represent major stages of earth’s history, including record of life, significant ongoing geological processes in the development of landforms, or significant geomorphic or physiographic features: The island is actually still evolving, it has complex dune formations & an array of dunes & dune lakes, exceptional in number, diversity and age. These features provided evidence of dynamic & developmental stages in soil development, plant succession & retrogression.
And 3. Outstanding examples representing significant ecological & biological processes in the evolution & development of terrestrial, fresh water, coastal & marine ecosystems & communities of plants & animals: They found that their rainforests growing tall on sand dunes, species of flora & fauna that has adapted to nutrient poor acidic sands on the island, acid frogs & the diversity of plant & animal species satisfied this criteria nicely also.
Wow right! This place is incredible and every nature loving junkies dream location! The moment you step foot on the island, just a short barge ride from the mainland of Maryborough you can feel the majesty of it all. The tall hundreds of year old trees looming over you, the beautiful crystal clear air that has hints of pine, salt & spicy woods aromas to it, the amazing bird life that dart in & out of the trees, the ever changing forest scenery. My gosh, take me back to heaven!
To venture around Fraser Island you will need a 4WD though there are many tour companies that operate on the island and you can choose taking day trips on tour buses, 4WD tours and there are even 4WD taxis on the Island. You can also treck around the island, there were over 90km of walking tracks opened in 2004 over there, though the ‘Fraser Island Great Walk’ had many parts of it closed whilst we where there due to high fire danger, which we were pretty disappointed about.
If you don’t have a 4WD do not worry you can still visit. Kingfisher Bay Resort is a small walk from the barge or Eurong Beach Resort can be accessed via the islands 4WD taxi’s I mentioned above. Kingfisher Bay Resort is stunning, but pretty pricey! Eurong is on the Eastern side of the island right on the beach and close to all of the inland lakes, and walking tracks.
I was blown away by the amazing fresh water dune lakes. I learnt that the island had 3 types of lakes.
1. Perched Lakes: develop when a hard plain or soil and organic debris forms in a depression between dunes, run off from rainwater then collects. Perched lakes are separate from the influence of ground water, which is just amazing because Lake Mackenzie is this type of lake and it was huge! Lake Birrabeen is a perched lake also (picture right). During long periods of dry, these type of lakes can diminish and even evaporate completely!
2. Window Lakes: are generally found in low elevations of the land, where the ground dips into a watertable.
3. Barrage Lakes: these form where a mobile sand dune dams a watercourse or encroaches on a lake. Lake Wabby (pictured below) is both a window lake and barrage lake.
The sand blows where amazing also! The sand blows are mobile and due to south-easterly winds move large amounts of sand along the eastern coastline. They bury forests and many plants in their wake. Below is a picture of a sand blow near Lake Wabby. You can see how high it is (we are at a look out) and the poor trees that have died. The rate of movement of these sands blows depend of the wind strength, amount of moisture in the sand and the plant colonization. Amazing huh!
The island is abundant with animal life. We saw so many beautiful colourful birds and insects including dragonflies and butterflies, the hugest march flies I have ever seen, weird looking marsupials and dingos! I must admit I was a little scared of the dingos. There were a lot of signs around about viscious ones being reported in areas. We pulled up in a vacant camp area for a lunch stop and discovered a mum dingo and her tribe of 5 pups there! She was great and moved her family on as soon as we stopped for a little while in the car. We also heard dingos howling at night outside our resort yikes! The security in the resorts are really great, you are fenced in to keep the dingos out, but please note that you are going into the wild and wild animals do live there. You just need to respect and honor that and you will be fine, plus it is exciting seeing amazing animals in there natural habitat.
I am a HUGE tree hugger and I must admit my favourite part of the trip was gazing at all of the amazing trees! My fave tree (picture below) was
the Fraser Island Satinay tree reaching up to 40 metres high & up to one metre in diametre!! Gosh if only trees could talk, I would love to hear their stories about what they have experienced and seen! The trees and forests of Fraser are centuries old and it really does feel that way, when you are driving and walking through the many forest landscapes, rich with colour and texture.
The beaches were beautiful too, stretching for kilometres, lined with beautiful sea birds, washed up jelly fish and beach front camp sites. The island really offers so much. Everything really, all of my true loves, beach, forest, trees, animals & lots of adventures to be had exploring!
Well that is my round up of our little getaway to Fraser Island. I would totally recommend planning a trip. A bonus of staying on the Eastern Beaches side is there is no phone reception (unless you are with Telstra) so it was black out bliss for us! You can still get Wi-Fi if you need it at the resort for all you work junkies!