Take a Fraser Island day trip to discover the mysteries around Pile Valley and Central Station on World Heritage Listed Fraser Island. Silent streams, ancient rainforest and vibrant blue lakes are some of the wonders you will see on this Queensland island just off the coastline from Hervey Bay, 285 km (3 hours and 24 minutes drive) from Brisbane.
Duke and Duchess of Sussex, Harry and Meghan visited World Heritage Area listed Fraser Island to commemorate the Queen’s Commonwealth Canopy initiative, announced by Prince Charles in April 2018. The island was included for its diverse forests, including glorious 1,000-year-old satinay trees, towering kauri pines, and ancient giant ferns.
World Heritage Listed Fraser Island. Photo: Kerry Heaney
Fraser Island is also known as K’Gari
The local Butchulla people call Fraser Island K’Gari, meaning paradise, and they certainly got it right. This is a beautiful, mysterious place where you can’t help but feel wrapped in Mother Nature’s arms.
The largest sand island in the world, Fraser Island is the only known place in the world where rainforest grows on sand. Some trees grow on sand dunes at elevations of more than 200 metres.
Fraser also has half the world’s perched lakes. These are lakes that formed when depressions in dunes permanently filled with rainwater.
What you will see on a Fraser Island daytrip. Photo: Kerry Heaney
Walk through Pile Valley on Fraser Island
When you walk through the tall satinay trees of the island’s Pile Valley, there is a mysterious earthy tranquillity and serenity that you can only find deep in the rainforest.
Amongst the towering satinay trees, which are the distinctive feature of Pile Valley’s tall forests, runs a silent creek. The water here is so clear over the bright white sand it is almost invisible. When I walk this path I cannot help but marvel at the beautiful trees, mossy logs and tall canopy.
Also known as the Fraser Island turpentine, the satinay tree is easily recognised by its deeply furrowed bark and tall, straight trunk. It is mainly found on Fraser, although there are isolated stands near Coolangatta on the Gold Coast.
Satinay can be finished with a brilliant blood-red look, similar to a strawberry. A prized timber, it was used in Canberra’s Old Parliament House and the then Prime Minister’s cottage.
During the late 1800s and early 1900s, the massive trunks were used in heavy construction work. This included wharf decking and marine piles, however, the trees needed to be handled carefully so the bark was not damaged.
Central Station Fraser Island. Photo: Kerry Heaney
Fraser Island is located on Australia’s eastern Queensland coastline. You can access the island via a barge from Hervey Bay or Rainbow Beach. Things to do at Rainbow Beach include horseriding on the beach and watching a magical sunset at Carlo Sandblow.
A guided tour is a great introduction to the area as it is only accessible via a four-wheel-drive vehicle. The sand track can be difficult to manage if you don’t know what you are doing!
From Central Station, there is a four-kilometre circuit walking track through Pile Valley which takes about two hours to stroll.
More to do around Fraser Island
Try whale watching or you can also see Fraser Island from the air on a joy flight.
Disclaimer: Ed+bK was a guest of Kingfisher Bay Resort.