FRASER ISLAND - NATIONAL PARKS, FOREST & SAND
Island is part of the Great Sandy Region, a section of coastline
stretching from the north shore of the Noosa River below Lake Cooroibah
and Cooloola National Park, to Sandy Cape at the northern tip of
About half of Fraser Island is currently national park. The Great Sandy National Park occupies the northern half of Fraser Island. The southern half is almost entirely crown land and state forests, proposed for national park, subject to resolution of Aboriginal land interests.
Fraser Island Information Centres
Fraser has various centres providing information about the Fraser Island and Great Sandy National Park. Information Centres can be found at Eurong National Parks and Wildlife Office, Central Station, Dundubara and Waddy Point.
Fraser Island Sand Formations
dune systems of the Great Sandy Region, which include Fraser Island,
are the largest and oldest in the world
more than 30,000
years. Fraser Island is the world's largest sand island.
Along the ocean coastline, the dunes take on at times sculptured shapes, giving rise to the names "The Cathedrals" and "The Pinnacles".
There are 72 different coloured sands that occur on Fraser Island. The best coloured sands can be seen along a 35km stretch of the ocean beach north of Happy Valley.
Sandblows are the other major sand formation, caused through the gradual action of shifting sand across Fraser Island. The Knifeblade, just north of the wreck of the "Maheno", is the largest of the island's sandblows. A lookout provides excellent views.
Fraser's Rocky Headlands
Fraser Island's build up of sands and dune systems hinges on the rocky headlands of Indian Head, Middle Rocks and Waddy Point. Indian Head is the true anchor for Fraser Island. It stands at the end of Seventy-Five Mile Beach and in addition to being a major landmark, it provides an excellent lookout onto the beaches and dunes. Further north, Middle Rocks' Champagne Pools are deep natural rock pools, ideal for swimming. Waddy Point is a popular base for anglers and provides good views from atop the lookout.
Fraser Island Forests
Fraser Island's forests are one of the island's most remarkable and controversial features. Though Fraser Island was heavily logged, large stands of satinays and brush box still remain. Pile Valley, between Central Station and Lake McKenzie, where much of the logging took place, has the tallest of the towering satinay and brush box.
Satinay and brush box form part of the island's sub-tropical rainforests together with piccabeen palms and kauri pines. Fraser's rainforest are home to rare and ancient species including the angiopteris fern, which has the largest fern fronds in the world. The angiopteris fern is notable due to its use of water pressure rather than structural tissue to keep its fronds erect. The walkways along Wanggoolba Creek at Central Station, inland from Eurong, pass several of the magnificent ferns.
Further north and inland from Happy Valley, the Yidney Scrub is home to a forest of 200-year-old kauri pines.
Fraser Island's vegetation is not all tall forest. Wallum heathlands occupy much of the lowlands. They consist of shrublands, scribbly gum trees and wallum banksia. The heathlands spring to colour during August and September with a profusion of wildflowers.
The western coastline of the island is fringed with mangroves backed by areas of cypress pine.