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Castaway in Oz: Exploring the chic seashores of Australia’s resident-free Ok’gari, the biggest sand island on this planet

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The affable recommendation at Aussie Trax, the four-wheel drive rent firm positioned at Kingfisher Bay Resort, is: ‘No worries if yer run into strife, however attempt to not, mate.’

After which we set off to discover Ok’gari, the world’s largest sand island, 9 miles off Queensland’s southeastern coast and 160 miles north of Brisbane.

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With simply a few campsites, one resort and no everlasting residents, these 75 miles by 14 miles of rainforest rising on sand (the one place on this planet the place this occurs) supply one in all Australia’s greatest eco-tourism adventures.

Previously Fraser Island, the title Ok’gari means paradise and was given by the native Butchulla folks some 5,000 years in the past. With my husband Neil and our three teenage sons, we arrive by ferry from the city of River Heads and stroll up the jetty in the direction of a powdery seashore, the shadow of a inexperienced sea turtle gliding within the water.

All appears to be like peaceable, however when the ‘what to do should you meet a dingo’ leaflet is thrust into my hand, I realise that the island just isn’t with out its risks.

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Wondrous: Kate Wickers explores K’gari, the world’s largest sand island, which lies nine miles off Queensland’s southeastern coast. Above is a vast and pristine beach on the isle

Wondrous: Kate Wickers explores Ok’gari, the world’s largest sand island, which lies 9 miles off Queensland’s southeastern coast. Above is an enormous and pristine seashore on the isle 

Our spacious picket villa blends into the forest, saved cool by cooloola pines and pandanus palms. Standing guard on the roof is a household of cockatoos.

Over dinner on the terrace of Dune Restaurant (previously referred to as Seabelle), we dine on tea-smoked kangaroo loin and crocodile ‘calamari’. Cicadas and frogs present the background music.

The Lemon myrtle butter (taken from the leaves of a local tree) is a success with my sons. ‘Bear Grylls would love this,’ sighs my youngest, Freddie.

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Kate explores K’gari in a four-wheel drive, stopping at Lake Wabby (above) to admire the scenery

Kate explores Ok’gari in a four-wheel drive, stopping at Lake Wabby (above) to admire the surroundings  

The island's Eli Creek (above) pumps 120 million litres of fresh water into the sea daily, Kate reveals

The island’s Eli Creek (above) pumps 120 million litres of contemporary water into the ocean each day, Kate reveals 

Jermaine La Rocca is of Butchulla descent and works as an eco ranger. ‘Preserve an eye fixed out for Goat’s foot (ipomoea pes-caprae), a coastal creeper vine with a pink to purple flower while you’re exploring,’ he says. ‘My ancestors used the leaves for bites and stings from stingrays, jellyfish, stone fish, spiders and snakes.’

We hum the theme to Jurassic Park as we navigate the slippery tracks in our 4WD, stopping first on the lookout over crystalline Lake Wabby. From right here it’s only a quick bounce to the ‘freeway’ — a 75-mile seashore, slashed with freshwater streams that trickle into the ocean. Eli Creek pumps 120 million litres of contemporary water into the ocean each day and we play a sport of Pooh Sticks, watching our twigs race again to shore alongside this pure lazy river.

‘Can we climb on it?’ asks Freddie. He’s referring to the immense rusting skeleton of the 5,300-ton SS Maheno shipwreck, however this isn’t a secure body. In-built 1905, in its heyday it loved an illustrious profession (setting a report ferry crossing time from Sydney to Wellington). When a cyclone hit, it washed up right here in 1935.

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Kate marvels over the immense rusting skeleton of the 5,300-ton SS Maheno shipwreck (above) 

At Indian Head lookout (above), Kate spots three manta rays flying through the water at the foot of the cliffs

At Indian Head lookout (above), Kate spots three manta rays flying by means of the water on the foot of the cliffs 

'All looks peaceful, but when the

‘All appears to be like peaceable, however when the “what to do should you meet a dingo” leaflet is thrust into my hand, I realise that the island just isn’t with out its risks,’ writes Kate. Above is a dingo on the island  

TRAVEL FACTS

Two-bedroom villas at Kingfisher Bay Resort from £139 (kingfisherbay.com). Heathrow to Brisbane by way of Dubai returns with Emirates from £879 (emirates.com).

At Indian Head lookout we scour the horizon. Between August and October, these waters turn out to be a resting place for humpback whales on their migration from the Antarctic to southern Australia. Three manta rays fly by means of the water on the foot of the cliffs, however farther out a fountain of water catches our eye. As a breeching humpback slaps the ocean with its colossal fin, we whoop on the luck of what we’re seeing. Our ultimate cease is Boorangoora lake, the place we wade into icy menthol blue water to look at the sundown.

Again on the resort’s Sundown Bar, we hear a holler: ‘Dingo!’ A good-looking male canine, with almond eyes and a smooth coat that glows burnt orange within the sundown, comes trotting by. The Butchulla as soon as saved wat’dha (camp dingoes) to assist them observe prey. Nowadays there are solely wongari (wild dingoes) left on the island.

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We freeze, remembering to remain calm, and watch because it fishes for a crab supper within the shallows.

‘He’ll be gone quickly. No worries,’ the barman tells us, and after just a few days solid away on Ok’gari, I realise that that is completely true. We now have no worries in any respect.

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