13 AWESOME Things To Do On Fraser Island (K’Gari) – A Complete Guide

lake mckenzie Aerial Fraser Island

There are so many things to do on Fraser Island, originally known as K’gari by the traditional owners of the land – the Butchella People, which is arguably one of the most epic and beautiful places you can visit on Australia’s East Coast. 

Fraser Island is a world heritage listed island in southern Queensland, made of entirely sand and is officially renown as ‘the largest sand island in the world‘.

From 4WD driving on wide open beaches and epic inland tracks, to swimming in natural waters offered by the many lakes, rivers and ocean pools; camping, stargazing, hiking and admiring the vast variety of wildlife and marine life – Fraser Island has something for everyone.

I have been on a few trips to Fraser Island recently and have put together this guide on my most recommended things to do on Fraser Island, as well as other helpful information to help plan your trip; including how to get to Fraser Island, 4WD on Fraser Island, camping on Fraser Island and options for accommodation in Fraser Island

Things to do on Fraser Island

Where is Fraser Island

Fraser Island is located off the southeastern coast of Queensland, Australia. It is about 3.5-4 hours drive (Approximately 250km) north from the state capital city of Brisbane and sits just above Rainbow Beach and to the East of Hervey Bay

Click here to see the location on Google Maps

How to get to Fraser Island

Since Fraser Island is located off the mainland of South Eastern Queensland, the only two ways to get to the Island is by sea or air from either Rainbow Beach or Hervey Bay.

The most common way people get to Fraser Island is by 4WD and catching the ferry/barge over to the Island. You can also jump on these ferries as a foot passenger as well (if departing from Hervey bay).

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Best time to visit Fraser Island

Best times to visit Fraser Island is during Spring (September-November ) and Autumn (March-May) each year. These time periods offer good weather, whereby temperature wise it is still warm. You will also get a reduced number of tourists during these months as well.

Unless otherwise, I would personally avoid going to Fraser Island during school holidays and public holidays, especially over the summer, as these periods attract a lot of visitors, particularly from the locals, and you can expect large crowds at most attractions.

13 AWESOME Things To Do On Fraser Island

Swim and relax at Lake Mckenzie

Lake Mckenzie, Fraser Island
Lake Mckenzie
Lake Mckenzie

Lake Mckenzie on Fraser Island is one of the most visited natural spots on the Island and is arguably one of the most stunning swimming spots in Australia’s East Coast.

The most obvious and beautiful feature of the Lake is its white sand surrounding the clear, bright blue water, which almost makes you feel like you are at Whitehaven Beach in the Whitsundays. The sand is 98% silica, giving it that extremely fine, soft feel. It also acts as a filter, contributing to the high clarity and purity of the water.

Lake Mckenzie
Lake Mckenzie

The lake is also a ‘Perched Lake’, meaning that it is completely filled with rain water (as opposed to ground water), streams do not flow into the lake, nor does water from the lake flow into oceans. Over time, sand and organic matter have formed an impervious layer at the base of the lake, which prevents the water from draining away.

Lake Mckenzie is located in the middle of the southern half of Fraser Island. You can drive here by 4WD from either Kingfisher Bay or Eurong.

There is a large carpark for visitors, barbecue facilities, toilets and showers as well as camping facilities.

View S.S Maheno Shipwreck

The S.S Maheno Shipwreck is one of the most famous and historical landmark on Fraser Island, making it extremely popular to visit by tourists. It is located along the shores of 75 Mile Beach, and just a few minutes drive north from Eli Creek.

If you’re a drone operator or photographer, the shipwreck is known for getting awesome aerial shots, particularly topdown shots, as well as a beautiful location for sunrise photos.

This shipwreck had been operated for over 30 years as both a passenger and hospital ship around the world. During its final journey to Japan, it got caught in a cyclone and drifted towards the East Coast of Australia. The ship eventually beached on Fraser Island, where it sits today.

S.S Maheno Shipwreck, Fraser Island
Topdown Aerial of S.S Maheno Shipwreck
S.S Maheno Shipwreck up close
S.S Maheno Shipwreck up close

Float down Eli Creek

Eli Creek is another popular tourist attraction and swim spot on the Island. The creeks pours on average four million litres of fresh, clear water into the ocean every hour.

Whilst Eli Creek is a very popular swimming location, visitors mainly flock here with various of different floats and float down the creek from the far end of the board walk, back towards the ocean. The current of the water is very calm and is therefore highly safe for kids to use as well.

As well as swimming and floating down the creek, visitors also spend a large part of their day at this location on the beach. There are also picnic facilities and toilet facilities as well.

Eli Creek, Fraser Island
Entering Eli Creek from far end

Watch turtles at Lake Allom

Lake Allom is another Perched lake, located along the Northern Forests Scenic Drive, within the top half of Fraser Island, inland and inline with the Cathedrals. Whilst this lake is less touristy compared to Lake Mckenzie, many tourists still flock to this lake to take in all its beauty.

One of the of most well-known features of this lake is that it is filled with hundreds of turtles. The lake has a viewing platform with steps, enabling you to get up and close to these turtles, watching them as they swim around and peep their heads up. Whilst the clarity of the water is relatively low, and not exactly clear, the water is perfectly safe to swim in as well.

The Lake Allom day use area also contains a picnic area to set up lunch, nestled within the towering rainforests. It also contains a picturesque circuit walk to hike and adventure around the lake.

Lake Allom
Lake Allom

Walk to Lake Wabby

Lake Wabby is another lake in the lower half of Fraser Island and is the deepest dune lake on the Island. The walk to the lake is 4.1km one way starting from 75 mile beach at One Tree Rocks camping area. The walk is relatively easy most of the way, containing only a few steep sections.

At the end of the walk, you will end up at Hammerstone Sandblow. You can continue to Lake Wabby lookout on the other side of the sand blow, which gives you breathtaking 360 views of the lake and the ocean. Walk down the dune to the lake for a refreshing dip in the cool, fresh water.

When you reach the lake, you will instantly notice all the fish that swim up and back. The lake contains 12 species of fish, including the rare Honey-Blue Eye.

The lake was formed by migrating sands exposing and creating the dunes, which eventually blocked a coastal creek. It is said that within the next century the lake will be swallowed by the dunes as sand constantly blows down and fills the lake.

Lake Wabby, Fraser Island
Lake Wabby

Take a Dip at Champagne Pools

Champagne Pools
Champagne Pools

The Champagne Pools are naturally formed rock pools on the edge of the ocean and is one of the best natural attractions and things to do on Fraser Island.

Located at the North East section of the Island between Waddy Point and Indian Head, these pools offer the safest place to swim in the ocean on Fraser Island. This is widely due to the strong current and riptides, as well as a huge abundance of sharks, whereby these pool create a natural barrier to these threats.

Swimming in the the Champagne Pools is described as sitting in a pool of bubbly champagne. Each time a wave hits these pools, they are renewed with fresh new salt water, creating a jacuzzi like feeling with sea foam surrounding those within them.

Despite these pools offering the safest place to swim in salt water, the Champagne Pools can be quite dangerous if caution isn’t taken.

During low tide the pools are calm and safe to swim in. However, during high tide the pools are extremely rough from large waves crashing in, creating a strong current. This can cause danger to those in them from crashing into the surrounding rocks. My advice is to therefore only attend these pools during low tide, especially if you wish to take a dip in them.

Champagne Pools
Champagne Pools

Explore Unique Tropical Rainforests

When you think of Fraser Island, you think of sand – as it is the largest sand island in the world after all. However, what makes Fraser Island even more special and unique are the huge abundance of rainforests across the island grown on top of this sand.

What makes these rainforests even more unique is that despite being grown on sand, which typically lack necessary nutrients to grow trees, they are the largest of its kind in the world, with some growing upwards of 200m tall.

These large ancient trees have managed to form roots on the base of the island, which creates a vibrant rainforest stretching across the vast majority of the inner Island.

Amongst these rainforests are epic 4WD tracks, beautiful scenic walks and even secret fresh water swimming holes to explore.

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Visit Indian Head

Indian Head is the most easterly point on Fraser Island, located north, at the end of 75 Mile Beach, just before Champagne Pools.

It got the name ‘Indian Head’ because when James Cook sailed passed the Island in 1770, he claims to have seen native people on top of the headland. It is therefore used as a reference to the local population.

Indian Head provides panoramic, breathtaking views of the Island, ocean and coastline; whereby you can also spot a vast variety of wildlife in the ocean close by, such as dolphins, manta stingrays, fishes, sharks and whales (during their migration season).

One of the most unique features of Indian Head is that it is one of the only view spots on the Island whereby it isn’t made of sand. Instead, it is made from volcanic rock, said to have formed millions of years ago.

Indian Head
Indian Head

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Visit the Sandy Cape Lighthouse

Sandy Cape Lighthouse is located at the northernmost point of Fraser Island, offering stunning ocean views, as well as views of the wider coastline of the Australian mainland.

The lighthouse itself is the tallest lighthouse in all of Queensland, and the second ever to be built. It was built and placed at Sandy Cape, specifically due to the breaksea split, whereby the waters that surround the cape claimed over 20 ships – almost destroying James Cook’s ship during his journey.

As well as the views the lighthouse and Sandy Cape offers, today it remains a popular attraction to visit on Fraser Island. There are a few walking tracks around, including the 1.2km hike to the lighthouse itself from Orchid Beach. There is also a museum located at the bottom floor of the lighthouse.

Stargazing on the beach

One of the biggest features of Fraser Island, which would appeal to stargazers and photographers, are the abundance of stargazing spots, with some of the most popular being at Lake Mckenzie, S.S Maheno Shipwreck and Champagne Pools. However, can be witnessed from almost all parts of the Island with open space.

Due to the lack of pollution around Fraser Island, as well as lights, this significantly increases the transparency and clarity of the stars and constellations, making stargazing an incredible event to witness almost every night on the Island.

Some of the most notable attractions you will see in the night sky include the widely known Southern Cross, or ‘The Crux’ as it is formally known as. You can also see the a dark nebula known as ‘Coalsack Nebula’, which is known as the head of the emu in Aboriginal culture. You can also witness the ‘Centaurus Constellation’, which contains Alpha Centauri – the nearest star system to Earth

Stargazing at Fraser Island
Stargazing at Fraser Island

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4WD on Fraser Island

When it comes to things to do on Fraser Island, the most obvious one would be to 4WD, because this is literally the only way you can get around the Island. That being said, there are specific 4X4 tracks, which I recommend and are an absolute must when getting around and exploring Fraser Island.

Firstly, known as the highway of Fraser Island , is 75 Mile Beach. This starts from Hook Point, the drop off point from the barge when travelling from Rainbow beach, and ends near Orchard Beach. This is an easy drive along the sand, which takes you to a lot of the locations mentioned already, including Eli Creek, S.S Maheno, start of bush track to Lake Wabby and Champagne Pools.

4x4 on Fraser Island
4WD on Fraser Island

Next highly recommended are the Northern Forests & Lake Garawongera tracks. These tracks combine together to form an adventure-filled loop, taking you through breathtaking sights inland of Fraser Island. These tracks do have a difficult rating, with a mix of low and high clearances. Starting at Worali Road, you will firstly come across a beautiful lookout overlooking Knifeblade Sand blow, before taking you deep into the rainforest. You will eventually lead to Lake Allom and Boomerang Lakes.

Last (but not least) recommended is the Southern & Central Lakes Scenic Drive. This drive is a difficult drive that does consist of low range and high ground clearances, with many sandy and winding sections. This 75 km return scenic drive will take you to unique, freshwater perched lakes, including Lake Boomanjin, Lake Barga, Lake Birrabeen and the most famous Lake Mckenzie. Nearby is Central Station, which is the most popular camping location and also an ideal midpoint to camp overnight.

Sandy 4x4 tracks
Sandy 4×4 tracks

Camping on Fraser Island

If you are planning to stay overnight or multiple nights, then camping on Fraser Island is an absolute must. Not only is it the most common and cheapest option of places to stay on Fraser Island, but it is the best way in term of fully immersing yourself and connecting with what the Island has to offer. 

The most popular campsite is Central Station, which is right near Lake Mckenzie. This campsite is fenced, allowing it to be family-friendly. Other family-friendly sites include Lake Boomanjin, Dundubara and Waddy Point.

There are many campsites along 75 mile beach, which are ideal if you are someone wanting to wake up to a stunning sunrise. 

 

Whale Watching

Fraser Island is arguably the best location for whale watching. This is because when whales travel up from the Antarctic along Australia’s East Coast, they end their journey in Hervey Bay, which is right next to Fraser Island.

It is here that offers warm sheltered waters for the mothers to rest and teach their newborns the necessary survival skills they will need to survive back in the Antarctic waters.

Whales off Fraser Island

Between July and October every year, you can therefore expect to see many whales resting, frolicking and playing in the ocean surrounding the Island. The first time I went to Fraser Island was in September, to which I witnessed many whales breaching while travelling up 75 mile beach. So if you choose to travel to Fraser Island during this period, don’t forget to keep a lookout on the ocean!

Whales off Fraser Island
Whales off Fraser Island

Things To Consider When Travelling To Fraser Island

Dingoes are widely spread across Fraser Island. Dingos come from the wolf family but easily looks like a cute dog walking around. It is for this reason that people, particularly kids, are easily enticed to go up and feed or pat them. However, extreme caution needs to be taken as they are wild animals who can be quite vicious unexpectedly, with many incidents reported each year to authorities

They have been known to roam the beaches, bushes and even campsites scavenging for food. It is for this reason that you should never walk alone when at Fraser Island, as you could be at risk of being threatened and attacked. 

Dingoes at Fraser Island
Dingoes at Fraser Island

As mentioned, camping on Fraser Island is the cheapest and most common way for staying on the Island. However, an important thing to know is that camping permits do apply for camping on Fraser Island. It is $6.95 AUD per person, per night. There are family rates available as well. These are purchased at information centres before going onto the Island.

Swimming in the ocean waters is strictly a no go zone for a few reasons. Firstly, the ocean waters surrounding Fraser Island consists of extremely rough currents. Secondly, there are no lifeguard patrolled beaches on Fraser Island, therefore you run risking your own life and safety by swimming in the ocean. Thirdly, Sharks are highly prevalent and regularly seen; we all know how dangerous they can be. Lastly, dangerous stingers, such as Irukandji Jellyfish and Blue Bottles, are prevalent in the ocean It is therefore advised to only swim in the beautiful lakes and creeks on the Island, as well as the west side on Platypus Bay. 

Buying food on Fraser Island is extremely expensive, with only a a couple of food store options on the Island. It is therefore highly recommended you pack your own food to bring on the Island during your stay. 

Since 4WD is the only way to get around the island, I should emphasise that you will need a permit to 4WD on Fraser Island, which you can obtain here.

Accommodation In Fraser Island

As mentioned before, camping on Fraser Island is by far the cheapest and most common way for staying and on the Island. 

However, if camping isn’t your thing and you are looking for other accommodation in Fraser Island options, then there are a few hotels and holiday homes to choose from. 

Kingfisher Bay Resort

A luxury, eco-friendly resort, which offers self-contained rooms featuring air conditioning, washing machine, a balcony overlooking breathtaking views, bath and kitchen. 

The resort itself contains 4 swimming pools, wellness centre, restaurant and bar and beach front

Orchard Beach Retreat

A 5 bedroom, 3 bathroom holiday home situated on 1.25 acres of land, offering everything you need to have a pleasant stay whilst on Fraser Island. 

Fraser Island Beach Houses

These beach houses are situated in Eurong and only 200 metres from 75 mile beach. Rooms come fitted with everything you need to have a relaxing stay, as well as a swimming pool, free private parking and barbeque facilities. 

FOR ALL OTHER ACCOMMODATION IN FRASER ISLAND, SEARCH ON BOOKING.COM 

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More Guides

For years I have been adventuring to some of the most incredible places nature has to offer. From locations in my own backyard, to epic road trips, all the way to breathtaking travel destinations.

The goal of my blog is to ultimately inspire you to step outside of your comfort zone to get outdoors and immerse yourself in so much that mother nature has to offer.

You can check out my most recent blogs by clicking the links:

Final Thoughts

I hope you enjoyed reading this blog on my highly recommended 13 AWESOME things to do on Fraser Island. When it comes to places to visit along Australia’s East Coast, Fraser Island is an absolute must with so many unique and natural wonders for everyone to explore. There is simply no place on Earth like Fraser Island.

If you have any questions or queries about things to do in Fraser Island, please leave a comment below and I will get back to you. 

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