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Fraser Island: Family, Fun, Fishing

Fraser Island: Family, Fun, Fishing

Up before the crack of dawn with excitement, the day has finally arrived. The car is packed the night before for the 5am kick-off. The family in the car, and my mate Matt and his family pulled up out the front right on time. We swing past my parents’ house and they join the convoy with a quick stop to the servo for a coffee, and one more pick-up added to our Fraser Island crew, my cousin and her husband and young daughter. Four cars now headed up the highway with great anticipation.

Fraser Island is such a pristine, spiritual place. For this trip, my wife and I and three young boys stayed at Eurong in a house shared with my parents. The village is a fenced community so it’s safer for the kids. The house we stayed in was called the Taxi House. This place had all the mod-cons we needed for our stay, even a pool. Matt and his family stayed not too far from us, just around the corner, and my cousin and her family were at the Eurong Resort. With a first night BBQ and catch- up, the call was made to spend the first few days sightseeing as the wind was up. This made fishing tough but the sights of Fraser definitely did not disappoint.

The grand old wreck, the SS Maheno was a sight to behold, and there is not much left of the old girl – definitely one of the big attractions to Fraser island with a lot of cars and busloads of people stopping by. It is located about 10kms north of Happy Valley.

We then ventured inland on some tracks. The speed limit for driving on the  beach is 80kms per hour, but on the tracks, it is only 30km per hour. That suited us fine, as we did not want to rush because some of the tree roots can be very unforgiving to the car. The tracks on and around Fraser Island are slow-going, and ample time should be given to really take in the sights. The different types of forests we encountered were really awe-inspiring. Some of the old trees were absolutely massive with diameters of about 2.5m.

Central Station, the old logging village, was a trip back in time. A short stroll away was a crystal-clear little stream that at first glance did not look like it had water because it was so clear. The car park getting here had very soft sand but was easy to get through with low air pressure in the tyres, approximately 18psi.

Lake Mackenzie is a place that everyone must get to at least once in a lifetime. The sand here is so light, soft and white, and the water is very cleansing and blue. Absolutely stunning!

Champagne Rock Pools is a magnificent place to spend a few hours with big bream and whiting getting trapped in there and not able to get out. They are very used to people and swim right up to you. Everywhere you look is a spectacular post-card shot.

The fishing was fun with tailor, beam flathead, whiting and dart being the main species we caught. I have done boys’ trips to Fraser Island before with epic catches of tailor, but this trip was more about the family having an enjoyable and memorable trip.

The dingoes were very inquisitive, but you must always keep your wits about you, especially if you have young kids. I saw no aggression shown by these majestic creatures, but we gave them their space and they gave us ours. A good tip is, if you are fishing, to have a bucket with a lid. Also, it is wise to close the windows in the car if you are down by the water. I went out fishing early one morning and I left the window down. I looked back and could see a dingo with its paws up on the door trying to look in the car. The scratch marks down the door now serve as a permanent reminder about this moment.

Remember the surf beach is a busy road. If you are driving along at pace (80kms) and see cars pulled up with families playing, slow down a bit because kids will be kids and will be running about back and forth to the water. Our kids had many eyes on them at all times, but some of the cars still went past us at high speed and it is quite frightening.

If you have not been to Fraser Island, you should definitely include this in your bucket list – just breathtaking! Talks of us doing it all again next year are well underway, probably with more of us, as friends who have heard our stories are super keen to join. The more the merrier!

Catch more photos on my Facebook page and website www.fishflickers.com. au, and watch our video on You Tube – Fish Flickers.

Keep livin’ the dream.

 

By Matty Savas

 

 

Published in the Jan-Mar 2020 edition.

 

 

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