How was Fraser Island Formed?

The famous sand island spans 123 kilometres down and 23 kilometres across, making it the largest sand island in the entire world. It is a world heritage listed sight and is the only sand island to have a full rainforest growing on top of it. But how was this wonderland island created?

The Formation of the Island

Fraser Island is ancient, estimated to be millions of years old. It was formed during the Ice Age; The formation was due to years of wind, ocean currents, and waves pushed the deep siliceous sand from the far south-east coast of Australia. The sand is pushed up onto the dunes and is moulded into a magnificent island sculpture. This formed a string of islands along the Queensland coast, with Fraser Island being the largest. Why the island is so unique is the rainforest growing from the sand itself, which is usually a rare ability as sand is notorious for its low nutrients essential for plants. Fraser Island’s sand has a mycorrhizal fungus present, which gives the proper nutrients for plant growth.

The History of the Island

The Island is thousands of years old, with a long history with humans. Its original name was ‘K’gari,’ an aboriginal word meaning paradise. The Butchulla people were the local aboriginal community on this island, living in the sand for over 5,500 years. Europeans sighted the land in 1770, but the name ‘Fraser’ did not arise until 1836. The island was renamed after Captain James Fraser. The captain and his crew endured a shipwreck to the north of the island, surviving the crash by swimming ashore. Unfortunately, Captain Fraser never made it off the island, with two stories of his death. Eliza Fraser, the captain’s wife who was present on the island, stated the Aboriginal people murdered him. Whereas another survivor stated that the captain’s death was from natural causes. To this day we still do not know the truth to this matter. Nevertheless, since then the island has been known as Fraser Island.

What to do on the Island

The island is bursting with interesting activities for any kind of traveller. Take a day, a weekend, or even a couple weeks to discover the sandy island. Regardless of whether you’re looking for a relaxing break amongst the spectacular backdrop or a more upbeat adventure, the Island has you covered. Trek out and adventure into the lush rainforest, plunge into the crystal-clear swimming spots, or simply marvel at the stunning scenery and native wildlife flooding the land.

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