Fraser Island © Judith Duk
This is the world's largest sand island, situated a two-hour drive north of Brisbane, which provides a unique ecological system of giant dunes, forests, streams and freshwater lakes. In 1993 it was placed on the World Heritage List and draws visitors wishing to explore the unique elevated lakes (there are more than 200 of them) which contain pure, acidic water that is so low in nutrients that few fish survive in them. The island, well covered in vegetation, is inhabited by bats, dingoes and more than 350 species of birds. It also features giant satinay trees that stand 60 metres high as well as several other rare and ancient botanical species. The island is 75 miles (120km) long and about nine miles (15km) wide, and can be explored on walking trails or by four-wheel drive. Accommodation is plentiful on the island in ecologically sensitive resorts.