The Sunshine State

It is always fascinating to know how a particular place gets its name. While naming their children people take several factors into consideration like the meaning of the name, the initial letter etc. So there is always a special kind of bond between people and the places they love and that is evident from the history of nomenclature. Australia is one such country which has a range of interesting names given to its places. The names are a wonderful mix of Aboriginal and European languages. Sometimes there is a hidden story behind it, one such story is that of Fraser Island, which is located in Queensland, the Sunshine State. In the 18th century a boat named Sterling Castle capsized and its captain, James Fraser drowned to his death but his wife Eliza Fraser somehow survived and stayed with the local Aboriginal people. Her tales of cannibalism and the survival of slavery became renowned in England and hence the island came to be known as Fraser Island.

The Aboriginal people believe that when man was born, a God known as Beral sent Goddess Guri on Earth in order to create land, mountains, rivers and the seas but Goddess Guri ultimately fell head over heels in love with the Earth and didn’t wish to return. So God Beral sent his angel Yendingi to transform Goddess Guri into a beautiful island & hence Fraser Island came to be known as ‘Guri’ which actually means paradise. The powder soft beaches coupled with the crystal clear lakes add to the beautiful aura of Fraser Island. This sand island which is spread across 1980 sq. km is now recognized as a world heritage site. It is quite clear as to why the Aboriginal people named the island ‘Guri’ after looking at its rainforest, Eucalyptus ,woodlands, mountains exhibiting different hues, pure white beaches and more than 100 fresh water lakes, the beauty is breathtaking. Towards the north, the Hervey beach is roughly at a distance of 300 kms from the island and we can reach the latter from Hervey by means of a boat ride. At any time of the year the Hervey beach provides easy access to awesome outdoor activities such as swimming, snorkeling, scuba diving and fishing. The winters here have special visitors in the form of one of the largest mammals in the world-the humpback whales. One can see these amazing creatures in the months of July & August in the Hervey bay, they call it the Hervey Bay Whale Festival. Concerts and street parades fill the air with excitement during this period of time.

After enjoying whale watching & load of water sports, one automatically heads towards Fraser Island. The speciality of Fraser Island is evident the moment when one witnesses its beach which spreads across 75 miles! The use of this beach is not just limited for recreation but it also serves as an important route for vehicular traffic and it also consists of an airport. The scenic flights take off from this very beach and priority is always given to the flights over vehicular traffic. Taking the beach highway, one can drive a 4WD car to reach the champagne pools. Renowned for swimming, the champagne pools are Fraser Island’s natural Jacuzzi. The name of these pools is derived from the frothy appearance that is naturally created as result of sea waves lashing out in the region. You must definitely try activities such as hiking & trekking in the rainforest of Fraser Island. A 4WD drive tour is also recommended. Tall pine trees, Eucalyptus trees, Fern trees and other such rare vegetation thrives in the rainforest and that too on sand! Hence, it is the only rainforest in the world which has such a unique feature. The most popular places on Fraser Island to go for a swim are not its beaches but they are the lakes which attract visitors. With more than a 100 lakes to choose from but the most famous one is Lake McKenzie. The crystal clear water and its proximity to the beach creates an illusion in the mind of the swimmer of swimming in the sea.

The most beautiful & natural attraction of Australia is the Great Barrier Reef. It is the world’s largest coral reef which can even be seen from the sky. It is one of the 7 wonders of the world & its size is bigger than the Great Wall of China. Comprising of 3000 independent reef systems, The Great Barrier Reef is inundated with beautiful tropical islands & golden beaches. It also boasts of fun activities such as snorkeling, scuba diving, glass boats, semi submersibles, cruise ships & much more. You can also go for helicopter rides, sea plane rides, whale watching tours & even swim with the dolphins. You can visit the Great Barrier Reef which is spread across 300 sq. km from a number of coastal cities spread across Queensland, such as Cairns, Port Douglas, Rock Hampton and Townsville.

For all of you who are visiting with families, there are a host of sporting activities such as go-karting, car racing, mini golf, bowling alley, bush walking and quad biking in addition to a variety of water sports. Breakfast with Koalas is another popular activity here. In Queens you can enjoy to your heart’s content in theme parks such as Dream World in Gold coast, Sea World & other such entertainment parks. On the Tangalooma Island near Brisbane there are more 40 free activities for children. It doesn’t matter where you stay in Queensland, you will truly fall in love with this Sunshine State no matter what.

Team Veena World