Tag Archives: Ferry

Fraser Island, A Queensland Gem

Roughly 200km North of Brisbane is Fraser Island. A peaceful island listed on the Australia National Heritage List that is protected because of the islands significance to the country. Essentially, it’s an important landmark whose value is seen beyond just physically being there. I had the privilege of traveling to the island on a day trip back in November 2007. It was very easy to coordinate travel – booked a spot with the company, arrived at the Roma Street station and hopped on a bus that took us out to the island.

I admit to sleeping some of the way on the way out because it was rather early, but I was awake when we came upon the ferry that would take us to and from the island. Our bus drove right on and we were allowed to walk around and marvel at the scenery.

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Once on the island our bus took us on a ride. The vehicles are equipped to handle the sandy surface of the island and while there were, naturally, a few bumps along the way it was a pleasant experience.

Our first stop was to the Wanggoolba Creek and Boardwalk. A lush, dense area of the island that is surrounded by ferns and other native plants. It says that there is a creek there, and it’s there, you can hear it, but upon first inspection you see nothing. It looks as if it is just sandy, dry creek bed. When in fact, the water is so pure and clear that you have to physically change your perspective in order to see it flowing.

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Even now, I look at that above photo and wonder where the water is.

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From here we traveled up a sandy path to possibly one of the most beautiful places I have ever been, Lake McKenzie. It is a pure, freshwater lake that is filled only by rainwater. As soon as you step onto the main beach you hear the difference, a suction-like sound with each step. That is due to the pure-silica sand. The sand is what gives the lake its shine and glimmer. I was told that if I were to take the pure-silica sand and rub it on my body that it would smooth out my skin. It was an odd sensation at first but I could not deny that my skin felt softer and more refreshed after I was finished.

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Swimming in pure water like that of Lake McKenzie was unlike any other swimming experience I’ve ever had. There aren’t any impurities in the water, no animal byproducts, and no plant life of any kind because the lake cannot sustain it. When I opened my eyes underwater I could see forever. I still haven’t experienced anything like it since.

As I reclined on my towel, taking in the scenery, I knew that this was the perfect way to end the day on Fraser Island.

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Getting Around Brisbane

I found Brisbane to be a very easy city to navigate. I chose QUT as my university to study at because it was a big city, but not too big, and it appeared to have a decent public transportation system. I was right. You can get around via water, road or track.

The most idyllic form of transportation is by CityCat ferry. It navigates the Brisbane River with ease and on, even a moderate weather day, it’s a great way to take in the city without the hassle of traffic. The ferry hops from both banks of the river and I found it a very efficient way to get around. The only negative is that there are some days when the water is being occupied by races, but those are few and far between and there is plenty of advance notice for you. Some call it a bit touristy but I found it more efficient to go from my apartment in Toowong to QUT via CityCat than to take the bus or train.

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Like just about every city in the world, Brisbane has a bus system. I found it to be efficient and just like a lot of other bus systems I have used over the years. There are some places that, if you don’t have a car, you can only get to by bus and that’s where it comes in handy. Other than that, there is not much else to write about it.

Queensland Rail, or QR, runs right into the heart of the CBD and stretches out to the airport, toward the coast and to the inland suburbs. I never encountered a problem while I rode QR, you just have to make sure you are on the correct platform (like most trains) or else you’ll end up in the wrong place. As I was getting bored with taking the CityCat to and from school, I started riding QR home and taking in a different view of the city. I would take the bus to Roma Street, get on the train and then get off at Toowong. It was very simple, and somewhat idiot proof to follow.

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