Coloured red sands of Red Canyon, Fraser Island
Another interesting place to stop along your journey on 75mile beach is Red Canyon.
It’s located on the east coast of Fraser Island, where you will find a large pile of red ochre coloured sand. The red oxide formation and the weathering gives the side of this hill a strange aspect.
Its a common spot for tourist to stop and take some photos, however, calling it a canyon is a bit of a stretch.
Like the Pinnacles, Red Canyon is another place where you can admire the ancient coloured sands of Fraser Island.
How Are They Formed?
Ancient sand lay buried deep beneath these wind-blown dunes of oceanic sand have presently been revealed.
For more than 700,000 years, the wind and water have eroded the quartz sand out of the dunes revealing their soft, ochre-coloured cores.
The earthly hues visible today are the leached and weathered remains of this slow geologic process. Another one of the features of the island that secured its world heritage listing in 1992.
The Butchulla people are believed to have lived on Fraser Island and adjacent mainland areas for many thousands of years.
These peoples believe the coloured sands were created at the dawn of time. For them Red canyon holds special significance to their culture.
Since its creation, the Bucthulla people have lived by three lores:
- What is good for the land comes first.
- If you have plenty you must share.
- Do not take or touch something that does not belong to you.
Respect for the rights of others was and still remains, integral to the Butchulla way of life. This place deserves your respect.
How you can help preserve the canyon for future generations
- Never carve or dig holes into the coloured sand cliffs
- Stay clear, sand cliffs and pillars are not stable and can collapse without warning. Serious injury or death may occur.
- Your care will help to protect these fragile formations and prevent injuries.
- Collecting of sand, vandalism, and climbing can destroy the fragile red dunes.
- Be aware that it is illegal to climb on, or collect coloured sands. Penalties apply.
- Help protect these fragile formations – they are world heritage listed.
- Admire them from a distance so they don’t disappear forever.