Lakes on Fraser Island
Fraser Island is covered in beautiful lakes, including: Lake McKenzie, Lake Wabby, Lake Boomanjin and Lake Garawongera to name a few.
Lake Mckenzie is one of our all time faves and is where we did our first ever photo shoot.
There are so many different aspects to Fraser Island, but the awe-inspiring beauty of Lake McKenzie makes it probably the most visited natural site on the island. It is a ‘perched’ lake, which means it contains only rainwater, no groundwater, is not fed by streams and does not flow to the ocean. The sand and organic matter at the base of the lake form an impervious layer, preventing rainwater from draining away.
The sand is pure, white silica and is not only beautiful to look at but feels beautifully soft to walk on. The sand acts as a filter, giving the water its clarity and helping to make the water so pure it can support very little life. The blues and greens of the lake are endlessly fascinating and it’s well worth getting up early to look across it in the soft light of dawn.
Lake Wabby is relatively close to the ocean side of Fraser Island and unlike the other lakes, it supports several varieties of fish. It is known as both a window lake and a barrage lake. Window lakes form when the ground level falls below the water table. Barrage lakes form when a sand blow blocks the waters of a natural spring. This phenomenon is easy to see at Lake Wabby. On one side its deep green waters are bordered by a giant sand dune that is slowly moving into the lake. In a century or so, the sand dune’s inexorable march westward across Fraser Island will see it completely swallow the lake.
At 200 hectares, Lake Boomanjin is the largest perched lake in the world. Perched lakes are formed when a build up of organic matter raises the lake floor above sea level. The waters of Lake Boomanjin are stained Tea Tree red and the ripples of red are due to very small creeks that carry in water which has been heavily discoloured by tannin from Tea Trees. There are significantly smaller crowds compared to Lake Wabby or Lake McKenzie, so you can relax in the water and take time to feel the fine, white sand between your toes. Because this sand is made of tiny bits of quartz there are very few plants that survive, and those that do have adapted to the environment by finding food outside the soil.
Lake Garawongera is easily recognisable because of its large Paperbark tree, providing plenty of shade for swimmers on its large single sandy bank. The surrounding tree-line also provides ample shelter from coastal winds, creating a calm and peaceful landscape. Its shallow waters are warmed well by the sun, yet the centre of the lake can still remain refreshing. Keep an eye out for King Parrots, with their green wings and bright red bodies, they will most likely be chirping in a nearby Paperbark.