Fraser Island is a trip that all backpackers in Australia do. I had booked it when I was back in Byron Bay and had heard so much about it from other backpackers travelling down the coast that it was difficult to know if it would live up to my expectations.All up the coast you are harassed by backpacker travel agents who collar you on the street and claim to be able to offer you the best package for this trip. There are so many companies offering the same trip that its hard to know which one to choose. My advice to anyone like myself who was lost in all the choice is to book any, as all companies are offering replica experiences on the same island, for the same amount of price. And as always its not the trip but the people on your trip that will make or break it. I booked with a company called Palace. This trip was sold to me on the basis that everyone on your trip gets the night before and the night after the trip in the same apartment in the same hostel, meaning you get to know the group before the trip and you can have a night together at the end of the trip. It turns out almost all of the companies offer this anyway! We all checked into the hostel and went to our welcome briefing at 4pm. Here they tell you about what to expect on the trip, give you advice on what food to buy and make you watch an excruciatingly boring DVD on island safety. You then get in groups and go to the supermarket together to buy food and drink for the trip. Having heard that there was a BBQ on the camp site my group got in plenty of kangaroo burgers and hot dogs. We then headed back to the hostel for our final night with running water and beds for a while. The next morning is an early start. The trip is done in three 4 x 4 Toyota trucks and the front car is driven by our guide, Tony, and the following two cars are driven by anyone with a full driving licence over the age of 21 - meaning I could drive this thing. My first impression was that this vehicle was far too large for me, especially when you consider that the biggest car I have ever driven in my Corsa. I let another guy in our group take the first drive. You get a ferry over to the island. I had heard that Fraser Island was the world's biggest sand island, and so I had expected to spend the trip driving on terrain that resembled a desert. But this island is far more like a tropical rainforest, with thousands of trees everywhere. Nobody really knows how the trees grow when there is no soil. There are very narrow sand trails amongst the trees which you drive through. You would not be able to drive anything other than a 4 x 4 on this island, the trails are incredibly bumpy, narrow and there are lots of steep drops. Being in the car is the most fun. Your constantly off your seat with the bumps and occasionally someone hits there head on the roof. Very much like a theme park ride. The suspension on these trucks are incredible, meaning that the bumps are cushioned and incredibly bouncy. It was then my turn to drive. I thought I would have a quick try at in and then leave the rest of the driving to the boys for the trip. I'm not a petrol head and so didn't think I would be that bothered about it. But as soon as I got in the driving seat I didn't want to leave. The driving is so much fun and completely incomparable to on-road driving. I got to drive through a rainforest and on the beach. It was awesome. Plus I can now say that I have driven on a 75km stretch of beach, the only beach in the world that is both a highway and a plane runway. Throughout the trip you see some completely incredible places. We went to three lakes, saw the Bohenio ship wreck and climbed Indian Head. The highlight of the trip for me was the lazy river, a natural spring that runs out into the ocean. You start at its source and lie down, letting the water carry you out to the beach. The camping was truly basic. No toilets, no showers, no pillows. But it was nice as it was just our group on our own little site and so the evenings are spent around a big table together. On the safety DVD there is a lot of talk about the Dingo's that live on the island and the dangers of them. I have to admit that I thought the DVD was being over-dramatic and didn't actually think we would see any. But on our first night in the camp site we saw five. Dingo's are dangerous, they remind me of a cross between a dog and a wolf. The problem with them is that if they see a human on there own they want to go over to "play" with it, but this can become violent. For safety you therefore have to go everywhere in pairs as they are less likely to approach a group and you have to carry a large pole with you everywhere to fend them off. If you see one you are not meant to run as they see this as a game and run after you. Its a bit awkward as every time you want to go to the toilet you have to bring a friend with you. I was on look out for a friend one night when I saw one right ahead. She screamed mid pee and ran off to the camp while still pulling up her shorts! Not running when you see one is most definitely easier said then done. After that we started going on girly toilet trips in even bigger groups in the hope that would prevent us from coming in such close contact with them again. I couldn't have asked for a better group on this trip, and our guide Tony absolutely made it. Far more then just the lead driver, Tony had plenty of stories everywhere we went about the history of he island. He must have told those stories hundreds of times but still manages to maintain his enthusiasm, which I guess comes from the unmistakable love that he has for the island. Many people choose to do Fraser without a guide, and just rent out a four by four and explore the island with only their friends or partner. I think doing this would be a huge mistake as you would miss out on the best places to go, the amazing stories and would inevitably end up very lost. For those not wanting to camp and wanting to avoid the Dingo's (that only really come out at night) day trips are available.