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Long-Distance Walks with Mark Moxon

Fraser Island: Day 1: Central Station

A typical Fraser Island road near Pile Valley
A typical Fraser Island road near Pile Valley, lined with satinay

The first day on the island, I took it easy. The secret of a long tramp is not to rush it; as you get further into the expedition, the pack gets lighter, you get fitter, you get used to sleeping on the ground and it generally gets easier to walk all day. However, the first days are always tough, and this was no exception. From the ferry, the only track leading into the island is the road, and with Fraser Island being entirely made out of sand (with only three small outcrops of bedrock on the whole island), the road walking is very hard, as you're basically traipsing through dune systems. The 8km walk to Central Station – a grand-sounding name for nothing more than a ranger station, toilet block and campground – took me a good couple of hours, and I just collapsed into my tent on arrival. I have to admit I was a little worried; if all the walking was going to be this tough, this was going to be a very long visit.