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Fraser Island Information
Fraser Island (a brief history)
Fraser Island was first called K'gari (or Paradise) by its inhabitants the Butchulla people, before being discovered by Captain James Cook on the 29th of May 1770. He skirted Fraser Islands eastern shore & supposed it to be a long headland. Cook named Indian Head (after the number of Aborigines he saw assembled on this huge rock formation), Sandy Cape & Breaksea Spit.
On the night of 22nd of May 1836, the ship "Stirling Castle" struck a coral reef hundreds of kilometres north of Fraser Island. On board were 18 people including Captain James Fraser & his wife Eliza. The crew launched a longboat, towing behind them Captain James Fraser & his wife in a separate vessel, which was eventually cut loose by desperate rowers in an attempt to hasten the boats progress.
Landing in the vicinity of Waddy Point the crew abandoned thier vessel in search of drinking water and were then captured by the aborigines. Stripped of thier clothes, they were kept with the aborigines and forced to live a native existence, suffering extreme hardship which they were forced to endure for several weeks. An aborigine speared Captain Fraser when he was unable to carry wood due to his ill health. The Captain did not recover from his wound & died 8 or 9 days later. Another account of Captain Frasers death indicated he died from starvation.
Eliza Fraser did survive & returned to England in 1837. Her ability to tell a good yarn became very profitable & the much sensationalised account of her ordeal was sold in bookstores all over London. The Butchulla people suffered greatly as a result.
The ordeals of Captain Fraser & Eliza Fraser became legendary & the island, the worlds largest Island sand mass, was renamed "Fraser Island.
How to get there
Fraser Island is accessed from Hervey Bay which is around a 4 hour drive north of Brisbane. Travelling north on the Bruce Highway you turn right off the Bruce Highway at the town of Maryborough. You can also access Fraser Island from Rainbow Beach however nearly all major tour operators depart from Hervey Bay which is also the whale watching capital of Australia between the months of late July to early November.
Hervey Bay is serviced by air, road and rail. Virgin Blue and Jet Star airlines fly into Hervey Bay and Greyhound Coaches have a daily service to Hervey Bay. Queensland railways go to Maryborough where you can transfer to Hervey Bay.