Tea time at Fraser Island's International Airport

Welcome to Fraser Island's international airport says the fresh-faced pilot as he smoothly lands the plane.

I've been in some unusual airports - Birdsville's dusty track where the plane pulls up opposite the pub for the shortest stroll to the bar and another on Koh Samui in Thailand where it was free food and cordial for all in high-backed cane chairs as we waited for the plane in an open air pavilion- but this one is in a class of its own.

There's no luggage trolleys or even a coffee kiosk at Fraser's airport but the view of the long stretch of eastern coastline at 75 Mile Beach with its blue sky and rolling lines of waves is hard to beat. It's simply the best patch of hard-packed sand that could be scouted out this morning by the Air Fraser beach spotter.

We've been driving Fraser's sand tracks in a hired four wheel drive from our weekend accommodation at Kingfisher Bay Resort to reach the beach. It was a bouncy journey made more interesting by our lack of four wheel drive experience, but fun!

Scooting up the smooth beach was a huge pleasure after the 20km per hour crawl over the soft white sand tracks. It was only 60 km per hour but it felt like speeding. However, when we hit the first bump the words of the instruction video came back strongly. The beach is not as smooth and flat as you think.

Heading for the wreck of the Maheno, we track down the 'airport' and our potential flight. Time for a cuppa and morning tea courtesy of our Kingfisher Bay Resort picnic pack and a bit of sight seeing while we wait for the aircraft to return.

The small plane takes off lightly over the sand 'runway' stained a rusty red by the decaying iron of the stranded ship, quickly gaining height as the pilot starts his commentary - there's the coloured sands, that's the butterfly lake, this is the biggest sand blow on Fraser, see the tourists swimming in Eli Creek and campers on the sand dunes.

It's 15 minutes of flying time but it feels like five as we drop down through the sky to land again safely on the beach.

There's plenty of chances a visitor to pick up a joy flight. It's just a matter of a quick chat with the Air Fraser spotter and wait your turn.

Best tip: A perfect trip highlight to put the island in perspective.


Kerry Heaney

Here's another Fraser Island experience you won't want to miss -

There she blows - whale watching from Fraser Island

Disclaimer: Ed+bK flew courtesy of Air Fraser