The Maheno Shipwreck sits starkly rusting against the pristine sands of Cathedral Beach, a majestic and haunting site. The S.S Maheno was built in 1904 in Scotland and was originally a world-class luxury liner. She became a hospital ship in the Mediterranean during WW1 after which she was purchased for the run between New Zealand and Australia.
In 1935, while being towed to Japan for scrap metal, a cyclone blew her ashore onto Fraser Island. Luckily, there were only a few crew members on board, who tried unsuccessfully to free her. Since then, three and a half stories of the ship have been buried below the sand.
After being used for bombing practice during WW2, the Maheno was in pretty bad shape and has since rusted away. Still, she is an impressive site and is occasionally used as a kooky, lopsided wedding venue.
Visitors are not allowed to touch the wreck but it is possible to get a very good close-up look.
The wreck sits on the beach north of Happy Valley. It’s accessible only by 4WD, just find the beach on the west coast and keep heading north, the Maheno will be on your right.
Address: Cathedral Beach, Fraser Island, QLD, Australia
Central Station Rainforest, once the central hub for the forestry department on Fraser Island, is a stunning and lush forest located on Wanggoolba Creek of Fraser Island - one of the most scenic areas on the island!
Since the logging industry's departure in the late 1950s, Central Station is a popular picnic and camping spot for tourists with an information center which provides a history of the island and tips on the flora and fauna in the area.
Home to many specifies of plants, Central Station rainforest houses the massive Angiopteris ferns, which has the largest fern fronds in the world. Giant satinay and kauri trees also grow around the forest
The massive kauris have a soaring trunk and branches only start at the very top; these trees were prized as masts in the days of sailing boats. Satinay trees are regarded as biological marvels since the sand they grow in contain very little nutrients.
The area around Wanggoolba Creek not far from Central Station is one of the loveliest swathes of rainforest. There are paths in the surrounding rainforest where you can get up close to the palms and learn about the creatures and plants that inhabit the area.
As Fraser Island is a sand island the only way to get around is by 4WD. Tour groups do travel around the island and most visit Central Station.
Address: Great Sand National Park, Fraser Island, QLD, Australia
The rainbow layers of sand that make up The Pinnacles are a spectacular site on the east coast of Fraser Island. They are one of the reasons why Fraser Island has UNESCO World Heritage listing.
Over the last 2 million years sand has been blowing onto the island and formed fascinating geological sites such as the “perched” lakes, the remarkable dunes and these colorful cliffs. The cliffs change in color throughout the day and are particularly startling early morning and sunset when the reds become beautifully vibrant. The Pinnacles get their color from the iron compounds in the silica sands that are blown across the island.
The traditional owners of the land tell a story about a wife running away with the rainbow man and her hunter husband deciding to kill her with a boomerang. He throws the boomerang but the rainbow man stands in front of the woman to protect her, the boomerang hits the rainbow man and he shatters into a million pieces that cover the dunes and become the Pinnacles.
This remarkable geological spectacle of the Pinnacles, also known as the Cathedrals, is just north of Rainbow Gorge along the east coast beach, it is accessible by 4WD or on foot.
Address: Great Sandy National Park, Fraser Island, QLD, Australia