Fraser Island is a popular tourism destination situated along the southern coast of Queensland, Australia. 123 km long and approximately 24 kilometers at wide, Fraser Island is considered to be the largest sand island in the world.
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The island draws attention with its special natural beauty. One can find here many different ecosystems. There are tall rainforest growing on tall sand dunes, wallum forests (open woodlands formed by fire tolerant species), sand dunes, clear sandy beaches, coastal communities. The spectacular landscape is enriched by more than 100 freshwater lakes.
On Fraser Island lakes are some of the most heavily visited sites, both by camping enthusiasts and naturalists. The lakes have low acidity and mineral content and are classified in three types: perched, window and barrage.
The perched dune lakes form when leaves, dead plants and other organic matter gradually build up in small craters or valleys created by the moving sand dunes. The moving dunes are continuously shaping the island. Lake Boomanjin is the largest perched lake in the world with a surface of 200 hectares.
The barrage lakes form when moving sand dunes block a watercourse. The most famous barrage lake is Lake Wabby.
Window lakes form when the ground level drops below the water table. As the name suggests these are windows into the aquifer or water table. An example of a beautiful window lake is Basin Lake.
Butterfly Lake. All rights reserved by |Nicolas|
All the hills on the Fraser Island have been formed by sandblowing dunes which move across the island via the wind. The sand on Fraser Island can reach up to 200 meters above sea level and 60 meters below sea level. The oldest dune system is considered to have 700,000 years. This dune is also the world’s oldest recorded sequence.
More than 40 kilometers are colored sands formed during thousands of years through conglomeration of sand with clay.
There are few species of mammals that populates the island, dingoes being the most famous. The Fraser Island is considered the last place in Eastern Australia where pure dingoes can be seen.
Fraser Island was inscribed as a World Heritage site in 1992 after a strong fight between sand mining, conservationists, and logging interests. At the 2011 Australian Census the resident population was 194.
Would you like to visit such a unique island?
Photograph by Andrew Watson/Photo Library
Photo source: amusingplanet