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Fraser Island Cathedrals

Fraser Island Cathedrals

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The unique topographical gem of Fraser Island, dubbed as “Cathedrals” or “Pinnacles” is visually stunning
The unique topographical gem of Fraser Island, dubbed as “Cathedrals” or “Pinnacles” is visually stunning

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Published by: Fraser Island Discovery on Jun 06, 2012
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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Fraser Island Discovery
:Fraser Island Tours- 186 Gympie Terrace, Noosaville QLD 4566
(07) 5449 0393, info@thediscoverygroup.com.au
Fraser Island "Cathedrals" - A Feast of Multi-coloured Breath-taking Sand Cliffs
The unique topographical gem of Fraser Island,dubbed as
is visuallystunning at 200 metres tall, amidst the natural wonders of this island-paradise found south of theQueensland state of Australia.These sand formations which are reminiscent of cathedrals in size (and beauty) are actuallycoloured sand cliffs that have been sculpted by the wind and rain blowing in and off the ocean. Onaboriginal account, the Butchulla people believed that these iconic cliffs were permanently stainedwhen the Gods brushed up against them.The Cathedrals are situated on 75 Mile Beach approximately 18 kilometres south of Indian Head. Itis best accessed with 4WD vehicles for a safe drive and then jump out for a short climb to the top.The colours red, brown, yellow and orange are spectacular and are a feast to the eyes in the earlymorning light. The size of the cliff faces are a reminder of exactly how large the sand dunes are onFraser Island.There are actually 72 different multi-coloured sands that occur on the island. The best colouredsands can also be seen along a 35km stretch of the ocean beach north of Happy Valley.The colour, layers and coffeerock all derive from concentrations of soluble minerals produced byhundreds of thousands of years of soil formation in the older and lower dunes.The rate of movement of the sand dunes each year depends on factors such as wind strength, theamount of moisture in the sand and plant colonization. These dunes will gradually stop movingwhen they reach areas protected from the winds.Sandblows and Exploring ThemSandblows are the other major sand formation, caused by the gradual action of shifting sandacross the island. These are formed when strong onshore winds break through the vegetationcover, driving sand from the eroding dunes. They engulf forests in their path, at rates up to 1meach year. At Lake Wabby, the deepest lake on the island, a massive sandblow is advancing steadilywestward (up to three metres a year), gradually filling the lake in its path. This is a dramaticexample of the way many of the island's high ridges were formed.More than 40 freshwater lakes, half the world
s perched lakes, is actually nestled among theisland
s sand dunes.New sandblows can also form when the stabilising plant cover is damaged by fire and wind,walkers and vehicles.

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