Seventy Five Mile Beach (QLD30519)

Beach trip report

General Location Fraser Island
Aboriginal Tribe/Language Group Butchulla people
Access to beach Mantaray car barge
Beach Classification Wave Dominated – Intermediate – Transverse bar and rip
Start Date/Time 6 June 2017 13:20
Start Location (inc Lat/Log) S25° 47.737’ E153° 04.415’
End Date/Time 7 June 2017 11:58
End Location (inc Lat/Log) S24° 41.822’ E153° 15.317’
Mode of Travel Drive
Distance Travelled 134.9km
Location of Sand Sample (lat/Long) S25° 16.026’ E153° 14.272’

It was a pleasure to again travel to this magnificent and majestic place. Fraser Island is truly one of the best places I have been on this planet.

Seventy Five Mile beach is the longest beach on the island and Queensland, also is one of the longest in Australia. The beach is a very popular destination of campers, fishers, and tourists who arrive by their thousands in all manner of 4WD vehicles.

This trip to Fraser Island commenced with a very pleasant voyage aboard the Mantaray barge from Inskip Point to the southern end of Seventy Five Mile Beach, we had left the Digger (caravan) at Rainbow Beach so it was bush camping on Fraser. It was mild but sunny day and as the tide was out the driving conditions were ideal. Joanne and I made a few quick stops along the way up the beach. It was getting late in the day when we reach the Maheno (ship wreck) which is just over half way along the beach. It was here we stopped for some photos, exploring the surroundings and I also decided to collect the sand sample. That fateful decision and my negligence resulted in the loss of five previously collected sand samples. Oh well, such a place like this you can’t get to upset.

We camped the first night at Ocean Lake Campground, north of Orchid Beach village in the dunes behind the beach.

Warning: The price of fuel at Orchid Beach village is more frightening than the resident dingoes.

The next morning, we completed the drive north to the end of Fraser Island to spectacular Sandy Cape, which is I think the meeting place or boundary of the Tasman and Coral Seas. We then had a pleasant drive back down the beach stopping at Champagne Pools, Eli Creek before heading inland to camp near Central Station. It was extremely cold, freezing would be a better description, night in our swag stretchers. Jo wished she had packed hot water bottles for this trip.

After defrosting the next morning we proceed down to Lake Birrabeen, a crystal clear lake surrounded by a pure white sandy shoreline, which melts into the bush.  This is a perched lake, which means it has been formed on an impermeable layer of rock and is self-contained, not fed by rivers or flowing to the sea. Despite this the water is super clean because the organic colloids are filtered out by the sand. Fraser Island’s traditional name is K’gari and the Traditional Owners are the Butchulla. They have a long and ongoing relationship with the area and ask that ‘Wanya nyin yangu, wanai djinang djaa.’ ‘Wherever you go, leave only footprints.’

We managed to fit in some excellent Kayaking on the Lake that day, luck for us we had this expansive lake all to ourselves, certainly not what you get with the more popular Lake McKenzie just north.

Some repairs to the roof racks had to be made before we loaded the Kayaks back onto the D-Max for the final journey back down to catch the last barge on sunset back to collect the Caravan at Rainbow beach.

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