When my guy and I visited Australia a few years back, we didn’t have too much money to spend. So instead of taking the four-wheel drive excursion to Fraser Island offered by all the tour operators, we decided to take the budget option and go hiking there.
Most visitors to Fraser Island take some kind of four-wheel drive tour. Fun, but rather expensive. Fortunately, you can just take a ferry there, and go hiking on the island as well. This budget option proved to be a wonderful experience for us.
At first, it was a rather tiring experience, though. These days I am a hardened hiker, but back then, it was actually our first hike ever. We were totally clueless. The first night, camping on a deserted beach, was wonderful. Next morning, when we discovered the existence of sand fleas and their bites, was less wonderful.
Struggling in the heat over the island — the largest sand island in the world, by the way — we quickly saw the wisdom in rising early in the morning, arriving in the early afternoon at our destination (the next camp site), and spending the rest of the day cooling off in one of Fraser Islands crystal clear lakes.
We had decided to cook our meals on open fire (allowed on the campsites) in the tins our food came in, and quickly became a source of amusement to the other campers. Our fire making skills were, let’s say, less then perfect. The natives proved very friendly though, and we soon found ourselves being taught how to make a fire, given a spare frying pan, and offered a lift to our next stop.
So we ended up getting a semi-private four-wheel drive tour of the island, being finally dropped on a gorgeous beach where we camped again. Next morning, we found out that this wasn’t just a beach, but an airport as well. A strange discovery when you think you’re alone, walking naked to the sea for a wash.
Walking along the beach to our next camping spot, we quickly got offered another lift. We ended up seeing a lot more of the island than we had expected. Lucky for us, because Fraser Island is gorgeous. Tropical rainforests, sparkling white beaches, deep blue lakes, it’s got it all. It’s no wonder an old name for the island — K’gari — means paradise.