Logistically, this has been our most difficult walk. With no mobile base kit like we had for the Great South Coast Walk and no vehicle to take us from one tramp to another, as was the case in New Zealand, we have had to plan the Great Sandy Walk in one hit. Apart from a few food drops, we will have to carry everything for the next 20 days on our backs. Even getting to our starting point has been an interesting exercise, but after a plane flight, hire car, bus and taxi trip, we crossed the narrow strait separating Fraser Island from the mainland by barge and finally arrived. The islands one and only 4WD taxi was waiting for us on the sandy beach, and after we had buried our first food cache in the nearby scrub, we were soon away and cruising up the 93 km long Seventy Five Mile Beach (work that one out), the world's only designated highway whose width varies with the phases of the moon. At low tide, the hard sand of the beach is the only north-south route on the island and well-used by 4WDs, mainly fishermen (indicated by the racks of large surf rods), young backpackers (in their 10-seater rented "troop-carriers" loaded with camping gear) or, soon to appear, the odd crazy bushwalkers, intent on walking most of the length of the Island.

But why wouldn't you do it - saved from the designs of sandminers and foresters through a concerted campaign by environmentalists, Fraser Island or K'gari (as its original indigenous inhabitants called it) was listed as a World Heritage Area in 1992. At 124 km long (and comprising over 100 billion cubic metres of sand!), it is the world's largest sand island. Separated from mainland Australia to its south-west by a long meandering channel, lined by immense stretches of beach backed by tall, multi-coloured sand cliffs and desert-like dunes, and possessing a lush interior of tall rainforest trees, beautiful perched lakes and crystal-clear freshwater creeks, this is definitely an environment worth experiencing from the slow and personal perspective of a walker.

Together with the smaller Cooloola wilderness area on the mainland to its south, Fraser Island forms the Great Sandy National Park. The Cooloola Section of the Park comprises the largest mainland sandmass and boasts its own rainforest, rainbow-hued sandcliffs, lakes and the dark still waters of the Noosa River Everglades. By combining several of the tracks of the National Park and adding a few beach links, we hope that the Great Sandy Walk will take us through the great variety of landscapes that have evolved in this beautiful part of the world, all linked by one common feature - sand!

So, finally after making further food drops at Dilli Village and Happy Valley, we find ourselves at our starting point; a fisherman's cabin nestled into the pandanus palms on the side of Indian Head, one of the few rocky outcrops on the island. If you are interested in exploring these landscapes with us, please browse on.

Welcome to the world of sand!

Fraser Island and the Cooloola Section
of the Great Sandy National Park