Ever shifting: The sands and landscapes of Fraser Island [gallery]

Jun 17, 2013 No Comments by

FRASER ISLAND, sitting 200km north of Brisbane along Queensland’s east coast, is the world’s largest sand island at 122km long and ranging between 5 and 25km wide.

Its 400,000 acres are home to eight distinct ecosystems — moving from the mangrove, wallum, and banksia forests of the west and into the subtropical rainforest of the interior, skirting clear dune lakes and bouncing through ‘wet’ and ‘dry’ eucalyptus forests, before finally emerging on the wind-lashed coastal dunes of the expansive eastern beach, is literally a trip through time.

Fraser’s dunes comprise “the longest and most complete age sequence of coastal dune systems in the world,” with the sand mass of the island being at least 800,000 years old. A single grain of sand, driven ashore by the prevailing southeasterly wind, will take 60,000 years to move from Fraser’s east coast to its west, a journey that takes just over an hour in our Land Cruiser.

Passing towering satinay trees, the crystal waters of Lake McKenzie, and the intricate patterns of wind and sand on the eastern dunes, I get the feeling that through the windshield I’m watching a geological and evolutionary time-lapse.

The indigenous Butchulla people call the place K’gari, which translates roughly as “paradise.”

This article originally appeared on Matador Network.

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About

Cody Forest Doucette has spent the past eight years circling the globe in pursuit of images and experiences which capture both the beauty of the natural world and the complexity of the human condition in the 21st century. His work has been published in numerous national and international publications including Rolling Sone, Mens Journal, and The Surfers Journal to name a few. Cody is currently an editor at large for Matador (http://matadornetwork.com) and their ambassador team manager (http://matadornetwork.com/ambassadors) You can find more of his work on his website, www.codyforestdoucette.com.