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A visit to Fraser Island, the world's largest sand island

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The largest sand island in the world, Fraser Island, is a World Heritage Listing on the Great Barrier Reef in Australia. This is the only place in the world where one will find a rainforests growing on sand dunes at elevations of over 656 feet. On Fraser Island the topography varies in many ways, there are white sand beaches flanked by colored sand cliffs the highest of which is about 787 feet; over 100 freshwater lakes which are either tea colored or clear and blue and ringed by sandy beaches; ancient rainforests growing along the banks of fast flowing crystal clear creeks; and in the spring and summer the low heaths provide a colorful display of wildflowers. All this beauty and varity on an island a little over 76 by 12 miles.

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Fraser Island is north of Brisbane with a variety of ways for visitors to get there. There are daily flights to Hervey Bay, a ferry that is provided by the Kingfisher Resort for their guests, and daily Barge service to different parts of the island. The island is strictly for four-wheel driving, as the Seventy-five mile beach is an actual highway which they share with Air Fraser planes taking people on joy flights.

Accommodations on the island include the 'purpose-built Ecotourism resort' which has 109 two and three bedroom self-contained villas, a restaurants, cafes, nightclub, tennis courts, water sports. a kids club and a general store. Or there is the 'Eurong Beach Resort' which is near seventy-five mile beach and the southern lakes, whose accommodations range from backpacker beds to one and two bedroom apartments, a free form swimming pool, restaurant and bakery.

Visitors to the island can see a wide range of native wildlife, some of which are uncommon, such as the prehistoric looking lizard climbing a tree; a dingo running along the shores; swamp wallaby, small eared mountain possum; and what is known as a sugar glider a most unusual creature.

The bird population includes 354 species; there are 79 species of reptiles, including the large monitor lizards which are often seen in the picnic areas; rare frog species such as the "acid frog" which lives in the swamps; and from July to November migrating humpback whales frequent the waters around the island. One of the unusual sights seen on the island is the Brumbies, wild horses, descendants of the Arab Horses brought to the island by the army and bred with the Clydesdales which were used in the loggin industry.

While it is possible to get a permit to bring a 4-wheel drive to the island, the best way to see this unique sand island is taking one of the many tours offered. These can be a one-day tour from Hervey Bay, for those who cannot stay longer or the 2 and 3 tours for those with more time. Once on the island half-day and full-day tours are also offered from the resort areas.

Some of the unusual activities include fishing from the surf gutter on seventyfive-mile beach, and seeing over 1500 humpback whales, between July and November, who stay for weeks during their migration to the Antartica.

Australia is in the Southern Hemisphere where the seasons are opposite to ours, however due to the location of Fraser Island the climate is mild during their winter so it can be visited at any time. Visitors to Australia need to get a Visa before leaving home.

Recommended sites: Sunrover Tours; Fraser Island

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