Fraser Island is a 25km wide sand bar which stretches some 130km up the Queensland coast centred on the tourist town of Hervey Bay.
Fraser is a gigantic desert island, complete with prints (tyre prints) on the beach, palm (and Eucalypt) trees and even the odd shipwreck.
Yet despite being a sand island, it is host to a wide variety of plants and trees which have adapted to the low nutrient content of the 'soil' - they leech these from the decaying remains of their compatriots or through highly adapted leaves which trap airborne goodness.
To get to Fraser, we get on a ferry - reservations essential as its a busy place and its school holidays. Once there however, some 30 minutes later, the crowd rapidly dissipates and we find ourselves on deserted one way 'roads' pushed through the forest by tractors and dug up by a thousand inexperienced rental car drivers.
Its strictly four wheel drive territory and The Beast comes into its own here - no longer the oil and water sucking piece of s*it we'd come to loathe on the open highway, the Beast earns our respect and, dare I say it, admiration.
The roads are rough and, since we're on sand, its important to keep the momentum going to prevent getting bogged down. Its rough, tough and heaps of fun.
Reaching the Pacific side of the Island, we experience the exhilaration of beach driving - here the moist sand left by the receding tide provides a makeshift road - welcome to '75 mile beach'. Here there are no red lights, no roadsigns and few rules (it helps to indicate which side of the oncoming vehicles you wish to pass however).
We hack North and find a place to stay for the night - just off the beach behind a sand blow. Just in time - the sun is setting and the sky is lit a dusky pink which contrasts beautifully with the light blue of the ocean - all reflected by the water logged white sands near the surf.
That evening, as we attempt to cook dinner without a gas stove (which turns out to have a blocked valve) and a meagre campfire (we forgot to get wood) we are visited by one of the islands indigenous animals - a Dingo. Wild and wily, he gets right into our camp but discovers nothing but our totally inedible mixture of lettuce, peanuts and pringles. With salsa dip.
Next morning we make tracks North again. We're progressively more adventurous as we gain confidence on the sand - no water inlet is a challenge, no little ridge of sand a concern. That is... until we hit Eli Creek.
Not far north of Eli is the islands only visible shipwreck - the Menaho.
Then some thirty kilometres further up the beach we reach the outstanding headland of Indian Heads - so named by Capt Cook when he found a group of natives assembled there.
We camp again by the beach - its addictive... tonight however we are prepared - a large amount of firewood and a cleared nozzle on the gas burner. Its campfire tacos tonight - the dingos kept at bay by a roaring blaze.
Fraser Island. Verdict? Two thumbs up and a cheesy grin.