Indian Head

This volcanic outcrop is the only rock formation on Fraser Island jutting out approximately 200ft above sea level and lies approximately 95kms north of Hook Point (ferry access point via Rainbow Beach).  Sailing past in 1770 Captain Cook named it Indian Head as he observed native Aboriginals on its peak.  Today it continues to be a vantage point for fishermen (hunting in the protective waters the rock provides for prey) as well as keen sightseers wishing to glimpse migrating humpback whales between August and November (heading north from the antarctic to have their young in the calm waters of Hervey Bay).


The only rock formation on Fraser Island Indian Head provides an excellent lookout vantage point.

The only rock formation on Fraser Island Indian Head provides an excellent lookout vantage point.

Wanggoolba Creek

Thirty minutes inland at Central Station awaits the magical experience of Wanggoolba Creek.  A twenty minute walk along the purpose built board walk allows visitors to marvel at the slow flowing crystal clear freshwater introducing a number of species of fish, turtles and eels.  Flora lovers will enjoy stopping at the viewing platform of the Angiopteris evecta King Fern growing directly in the creek, its root structure supported by the water (due to its primitive origins).  This specimen is extremely rare and cannot be found anywhere else on Fraser Island, providing a unique opportunity to observe prehistoric plant life.  Those with more time can continue to Pile Valley and Lake McKenzie for the full walking experience deep into the tropical rainforest.

As Fraser Island’s creeks flow silently over sandy beds, they spring from a huge underground acquifer which holds about 30 times more water than Sydney Harbour.  The creek water remains at a reasonably constant temperature of 18 degrees celsius.  Hundreds of creeks spill over the beaches of Fraser Island one of the biggest and most beautiful being Wanggoolba Creek which flows from the rainforest near Central Station to the west coast of the island, south of Kingfisher Bay Resort.


Wanggoolba Creek at Central Station gives you an idea of how pristine this environment actually is.

Wanggoolba Creek at Central Station gives you an idea of how pristine this environment actually is.

Eli Creek

Eli Creek is the largest freshwater creek flowing freely out on to Seventy-Five Mile Beach at a rate of approximately 4.2 million litres of water every hour.  Situated on the east coast of Fraser Island, north of Happy Valley it provides the ideal freshwater dip and exploration opportunity.  A timber walk-way and bridge make for easy access and is extremely popular with day trip visitors.


The largest of freshwater creeks flowing into the Pacific Ocean is Eli Creek - excellent spot for a cool water dip.

The largest of freshwater creeks flowing into the Pacific Ocean is Eli Creek – excellent spot for a cool water dip.

The Maheno Shipwreck

The SS Maheno, a shipwreck on Seventy Five Mile Beach at Fraser Island connects Australia and New Zealand with the ANZAC’s at Gallipoli.  ANZAC Day was borne out of the campaign on the Gallipoli Peninsula in 1915 when the Australian and New Zealand armed forces combined their efforts to overrun the Turkish army.

While the campaign did not achieve the intended goal the conduct of the ANZAC’s indelibly shaped the Australian and New Zealand nations.

Before her tours of duty the Maheno was owned by the Union Steamship Company of New Zealand and more significantly for 2015, it marks the centenary of the landing at Gallipoli, as it was the New Zealand Hospital Ship Maheno (NZHS Hospital Ship No 1) in WWI.

The New Zealand Hospital Ship Maheno collected both Australians and New Zealanders from ANZAC beach in 1915.  After the withdrawal from Gallipoli and for the duration of WWI the Maheno collected the wounded of all nationalities from the major battle fields of France and transported them to Britain for further care.  So many owe their lives to the dedication and efforts of the medical teams and the hospital ships including the Maheno.

The SS Maheno, launched in 1905 operated as a passenger ship primarily on the cross Tasman run between Australia and New Zealand.  The Maheno held the speed records for almost two decades.  Following the start of WWI, the Maheno was chartered by the New Zealand government and converted to be HMNZ Hospital Ship No 1.  Much of the medical equipment on board came from public appeal.  The first voyage of the Maheno as a hospital ship was from 7 July 1915 to 1 January 1916, arriving at ANZAC beach in Gallipoli for the first time on 26 August 1915.  Normal service duties resumed after the war.

On 3 July 1935 the Maheno left Sydney under tow after having being sold to a Japanese shipbreaker.  On the afternoon of 7 July while about 50 miles from the coast the towline parted during a severe cyclone.  Attempts to reattach the towline failed in the heavy seas and the Maheno with eight men aboard drifted off and disappeared.  The Oonah, the former Bass Strait ferry towing the Maheno and also destined for the Japanese shipbreaker, broadcast a radio message requesting assistance for the Maheno, whose propellers had been removed.

The ship was finally found on 10 July by an aircraft piloted by Keith Virtue beached off the coast of Fraser Island.  The crew of the Maheno set up camp onshore, waiting for the Oonah to arrive, which it eventually did on 12 July. The ship was subsequently stripped of her fittings but attempts to refloat her failed and eventually the wreck was offered for sale but found no buyers.

The SS Maheno is named after a small New Zealand community between Dunedin and Christchurch.  The original SS Maheno ship’s bell has hung at the Maheno (Primary) School in New Zealand since 1967.  The bell was removed before the ship was sold to be scrapped and retained by the former owners of the ship Union Steamship Company of New Zealand until the bell was donated to Maheno School.

And so the gallant shipwreck of the SS Maheno has been resting on the eastern beach of Fraser Island since 1935.  No doubt many have memories of its early landing and the subsequent ‘land mark’ it created.  It has been the subject of many an avid photographer with literally dozens of postcard designs having been produced over the years.

One of our facebook fans, Steve Gilbert, recalls fond childhood memories clambering over the wreck on his Fraser Island camping holidays.

“Great memories of that ship. It had 3 levels when I was a kid and we camped on the beach next to it. I knew every inch of it lol.”

Thanks Steve for your insight…what a fantastic adventure, camping AND a shipwreck, Ahoy Matey!


The SS Maheno - shipwrecked on Fraser Island since 1935.

The SS Maheno – shipwrecked on Fraser Island since 1935.

Fraser Island Dingoes

Fraser Island Dingoes are acclaimed as one of the purest breeds on Australia’s eastern seaboard.  They are wild animals and should be admired from afar.  They look cute but can become dangerous if guidelines provided by Department of National Parks (Queensland Government) are not adhered to.


Taking a rest.

Taking a rest.

Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service warning:

Some dingoes are dangerous because people have fed or encouraged them.

Be dingo-safe!

  • Always stay very close (within arm’s reach) to children, even small teenagers.
  • NEVER feed dingoes.
  • Walk in groups.
  • Bin all rubbish and secure food.
  • Know what to do if a dingo approaches.

In the scrub.

In the scrub.

It is an offence to feed or make food available to a dingo, or intentionally attract or disturb a dingo anywhere on Fraser Island, whether on public or private land.  Never leave food or rubbish unattended.  Remove plates and scraps from tables, keep food and rubbish in strong lockable containers, keep iceboxes and picnic containers in your vehicle when not in use and never take food or drinks, except water, to lake shores.  Penalties apply.

Double trouble.

Double trouble.

Central Station Rainforest

Magnificent Staghorn specimen - Central Station, Fraser Island

Magnificent Staghorn specimen – Central Station, Fraser Island

Only thirty minutes inland from Eurong Beach Resort lies Central Station.  So named as logging families built their housing and school here in the 1920’s – well before the island was heritage listed.  Today it is a majestic public camp ground with all the trimmings.  Its location is ideal as it offers the best vantage point to Lakes McKenzie and Birrabeen as well as Wanggoolba Creek, home of the giant King Fern.  Further breathtaking specimens of kauri pine, brush box, Fraser Island satinay and piccabeen palms are also found in this area.

This tropical rainforest area includes unmanned information displays explaining the history of the island, its development and of course various forms of flora and fauna, some unique to the micro-climate of Fraser Island.

Close up of bug on a Staghorn tree fern - Fraser Island

Close up of bug on a Staghorn tree fern – Fraser Island

Staghorn and Elkhorn tree fern canopy - Fraser Island

Staghorn and Elkhorn tree fern canopy – Fraser Island

Champagne Pools

Just north of Indian Head lie stunning Champagne Pools.  Safe for swimming (beware of water breaking over the volcanic rock barrier) a timber stairway leads down to these natural water havens.  Panoramic views make for a must see destination.


A stairway to heaven - Champagne Pools offer safe beach side swimming holes.  Beach swimming anywhere else is not recommended - rips and undercurrents are too dangerous.

A stairway to heaven – Champagne Pools offer safe beach side swimming holes.  Beach swimming anywhere else is not recommended – rips and undercurrents are too dangerous.

Lake McKenzie

Fraser Island, surrounded by salt water and formed entirely by sand, supports over 100 freshwater lakes and numerous creeks.  The most visited lakes are perched dune lakes such as Lake McKenzie and Lake Birrabeen, which have sparkling blue water ringed by white sandy beaches and eucalypt forests.  Perched lakes sit upon a layer of humus impregnated sand or “coffee rock” formed from accumulating organic matter and sand cementing together into a largely impervious seal.  Perched lakes are dependent on rainfall for the maintenance of water level.  There is a slow loss of water from perched lakes due to evaporation and seepage through the coffee rock.

Most lakes are only visible by air – but Lake McKenzie is ideally situated approximately 25 minutes inland track drive north from Central Station rainforest.

This pristine perched lake is approximately 65,000 years old and a wonder to behold and relax in.  A designated picnic area along with showers and washrooms allow for a fantastic experience at one of Fraser Island’s most popular destinations.


One of the most popular destinations on Fraser Island, Lake McKenzie can be visited on a one day trip.

One of the most popular destinations on Fraser Island, Lake McKenzie can be visited on a one day trip.