Take a drive along Seventy Five Mile Beach on the east coast of Fraser Island and it doesn’t matter which side of the car you’re sitting on, because the view is spectacular no matter where you look. The vast, blue expanse of the Pacific Ocean stretches to the horizon on one side…
…while the steep, ochre coloured cliffs of the Pinnacles reach to the sky on the other.
The coloured sands of the Pinnacles are rich in hematite, a mineral which causes the sand to become hard and allows the cliffs to form. It also creates the vibrant bands of colour which have built up over thousands of years. Seventy-two shades of colour have been identified in these cliffs.
To the indigenous inhabitants of Fraser Island, the Butchulla people, the Pinnacles are a sacred women’s place. The dreaming story of their creation tells of the young woman Wuru, who although pledged to an older man Winyer, fell in love with Wiberigan, the Rainbow Serpent. Winyer followed her along the beach one day when she went to visit Wiberigan. In a jealous rage, he threw his boomerang at Wuru but Wiberigan protected her and took the blow. The Rainbow Serpent shattered into thousands of pieces which fell to earth colouring the cliffs. Wuru was saved and the coloured sands of the Pinnacles became a place of good luck for the Butchulla women.
Today visitors who spend time on Fraser Island may well consider themselves lucky too.