Fun Facts about Fraser Island:
- It is completely made of sand, that was transported through the ocean currents and deposited here.
- Mackenzie Lake is completely made of rain water. Because the island is made of sand only and the lake is made of rain water only, you can see straight to the bottom and the bottom is pristine!
- It’s also home to a rain forest. I’m not surehow an entire rainforest is able to grow on an island made only of sand.
- Finally, it’s home to one of the longest beach highways in the world, 75 Mile Beach. The beach is so long and flat that rather than pave a highway, with the appropriate vehicle, you just drive right across the sand and hope for the best as regards the waves and the tides. These were the largest waves I’ve ever seen, but I think maybe they’re illegal to surf being alongside a highway.
The Flora and Fauna of Fraser Island:
Let’s start with the Fauna. Fraser Island has strict laws aboutfood ie you can’t hardly have any — absolutely no picnics on the beach! This is on account of the wild dingos. There was a tragic incident years ago of a child being abducted by a dingo who had grown too accustomed to being fed by humans. Our dingo sighting included a wild dingo hunting down an enormous snake!
Other wildlife sightings include a kookaburra serenading us during our lunch (hosted strictly in a defined and gated food area), as well as manatees and dolphins on the ferry crossing. According to local lore, the curves of the manatees and dolphins used to confuse the drunken sailors, inspiring them to jump overboard in an attempt to swim with the “mermaids.” Thankfully, no one on board made that same mistake or I’d have been forced to resurrect my lifeguard training!
Now the Flora. Considering it’s a whole rainforest, I don’t have too much to say on this except “Hug a Tree!”
The last thing is not specifically Flora or Fauna, but Fraser Island has a stream through the middle of the rainforest, which is sacred and is considered a “River of Life.” All the babies born on this island were born in this stream, and they had a 100% head-first delivery rate! As a physician assistant, this is sort of a medical miracle. (If you didn’t know, you want your baby to be born head first, but nowadays, loads of babies are born breech, or foot first, which makes for a much more complicated birth and typically requires a C-section for delivery.)
After their birth, each person is assigned an aspect of nature that they will forever be tied to and responsible for. For example, someone would be responsible for bees. They study the bees and are intimately aware of all that is going on, and act as a liason between the bees and their community. For example, if anyone wants to collect honey, they must check with the person who is responsible for the bees to make sure there isn’t over-harvesting or practices that endanger the bees.
Fraser Island was named after Captain and Mrs. Fraser who allegedly discovered the island when their boat sank nearby, killing Captain Fraser. Mrs. Fraser made her way to the island where she was taken in by the aboriginal people living there and cared for until she made her way back to Europe, where she wrote an early adventure novel/”biography” pronouncing the aboriginals to be savage. In light of this misrepresentation, the island is currently being restored to it’s aboriginal name, K’gari (pronounced gurri).