The Coloured Sands of Fraser Island

Written by: Cameron Ward

Published: 09/06/2019

Reading time: 3 mins

See a hundred colours within the natural scenery of Fraser Island!

Fraser Island, Australia

A UNESCO protected landscape, Fraser Island is the world’s largest sand island spanning over 123 kilometres in length. With pure white silica sand and turquoise waters, what’s not to love at one of the most beautiful destinations in all of Australia? A 50-minute ferry ride from Hervey Bay on the mainland will see you face to face with the island of 100 freshwater lakes and natural rock pools. With a plethora of activities to do on the island including bushwalking, swimming, wildlife viewing and camping, there is something for the whole family to enjoy on Fraser Island.

The Coloured Sands

Located on Fraser Island’s 75 Mile beach, sandy peaks rise from the ground in an array of different colours that tower high above. The colour shifting sand structures named ‘The Pinnacles’ are a clear indicator of different moments in Earth’s evolution and how climate change has evolved them over time. They’re especially beautiful just as the sun rises in the morning, as the pinnacles catch the light, creating a colour changing effect.

Sacred to the Butchulla people, the islands traditional inhabitants, the belief is that the site is full of good luck for women. The Dreamtime story associated with the coloured sands recounts the tale of a young woman named Waru who was promised to an older man named Winyer. She was secretly in love with the Rainbow Serpent though, and so would regularly meet at the site to see him in secret. When Winyer finds the two on the beach one day, he becomes enraged and throws his boomerang at her. The Rainbow Serpent steps in front of Waru, and as the boomerang hits him, the impact leaves shattered rainbow pieces from his broken heart into a thousand pieces, thus creating the pinnacles.

Lake Mckenzie

Prepare yourself for a bumpy 4WD ride as you make your way to the one of the most visited attractions on the entire island. Pristine white sand, so pure you could exfoliate with it, leads out to the jet blue and green waters of Lake Mckenzie. Residing in a large sand dune 100 metres above sea level, Lake Mckenzie is one of 40 perched lakes on Fraser Island. Essentially this means that the water in the lake is pure rainwater, kept in the basin by sand at the bottom of the lake which stops the rainwater from draining out.

Located in the Great Sandy National Park, the water is too pure for all but 3 fish species or plant life to exist in the lake, making it the perfect swimming spot due to its crystal-clear waters and warm water temperature. If you do plan on swimming here, it is preferred that you don’t use sunscreen or tanning oils as tainting the water with impurities from the cream and oils is currently the greatest threat that Lake Mckenzie is facing.

Related article: How do plants grow on Fraser Island?

Cameron Ward
Cameron Ward
Managing Director at Sightseeing Tours Australia

Cameron Ward turned his travel passion into a thriving Australian tourism business. Before he co-founded his own business, Sightseeing Tours Australia, he was enjoying being a Melbourne tour guide. Even now, Cameron delights in helping visitors from all around the world get the most out of their incredible Australian trip. You’ll see Cameron leading tours or writing about his favourite Australian places where he shares his local insights.

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