Fraser Island Rainforest
Fraser Island is over 1800 kilometres squared and is mostly covered in dense trees, bushes, ferns and other native plants that make up its rainforest. It’s home to a vast variety of flora and fauna, much of which visitors can enjoy while visiting the island.
One of the many reasons Fraser Island is unique is that is not only the world’s largest sand island but also hosts a huge rainforest that grows right out of the sand! It is the largest of its kind in the world and huge ancient trees have taken root in the sand base of the island, forming the basis of a thriving and vibrant rainforest.
The rainforest on Fraser Island grows at elevations of up to 200m, and are also found in the low, moist gullies, where you will see trees reaching tall and straight into the sun as the forest floor remains dark and damp, providing shelter for smaller species and plants. The huge roots of the native trees reach far into the dunes to absorb nutrients, buried deep in the sand.
One of the rainforest types on Fraser Island is considered to be a ‘vine forest.’ Tree species that make up the forests include eucalypt trees, red gums, scribbly gums, bloodwoods, string-barked satinays, kuari, hoop pine, strangler figs and blackbutts. They support a huge array of animals including dingoes, frogs, king parrots, yellow-tailed black cockatoos, sulphur-crested cockatoos, brushtail possums, sugar gliders and flying foxes. They are one of the many special parts of the island and hold a special significance to the traditional owners of the island and its first inhabitants, the Butchulla. If you are visiting Fraser Island for yourself, you will get to enjoy the dense rainforest from the sandy inland tracks or from the various sites around the island, such as that at Central Station, the island’s former logging camp.
Despite the vast size of the rainforest on Fraser Island, you will also find sand blows, lakes, swamps, woodlands, mangroves and of course, beaches. Every part of the island is special and unique and should be treated with care. Be careful where you walk when in the forest (or anywhere) making sure to stick to set paths and to avoid walking on any plants, animals or insects that may cross your path! The delicate ecosystem is part of the Great Sandy National Park and is protected as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.