Fraser Island or ‘K’Gari’ will always be one of the most memorable experiences in my travelling life. Not only is visiting Fraser Island a ‘once in a lifetime’ experience. Fraser Island is also the worlds BIGGEST sand island. It’s also one of the most stunning locations in the world. Now, that may just be one traveller’s opinion but others who have stepped onto this island would also agree. Fraser Island is one of the most popular places to explore in Australia especially for those travelling the East Coast. The island is also hugely popular with locals which speaks volumes for itself. From fishing to driving along the 75-mile highway the things to do on Fraser Island are endless and each experience is so unique to the island. There are things to do on Fraser Island that you literally can’t do anywhere else in the world.
Why Visit Fraser Island?
Fraser Island is one of Australias UNESCO world heritage sights. Fraser Island has been as a world heritage site since 1992 because of sheer beauty and incredible nature. The Island is home to some fascinating natural elements which continue to evolve year after year. As the worlds largest sand island Fraser Island is constantly changing with the movement of the sand. A variety of unique landscapes can be seen on Fraser Island from sand dunes surrounding the lakes. Freshwater lakes, sacred forests, swamp heaths, coloured sands and fast-flowing freshwater creeks are just some of the other elements that make up the land on the island.
There’s also plenty of life on Fraser Island. Fraser Island is home to an array of different wildlife species including mammals, reptiles and sea-life. The Dingo is the most famous animal on Fraser but not the friendliest of predators. It’s not uncommon to see a Dingo roaming the beaches in packs or solo. We saw a solo Dingo on our very last day on the Island which was amazing but I’m glad I was watching him from a coach window. There are over 350 types of bird and 19 species of snakes can also be found on the island as well as lots of different sea life in the ocean. We were lucky enough to see turtles, dolphins and a shark off the coast of Fraser.
From nature to wildlife there is so much to see on Fraser Island. What also makes Fraser Island unique is that it’s made up of 98% sand and 2% rock. This island is one of a kind and with so many things to do on Fraser Island you simply don’t want to miss it on your trip to Australia.
How To Visit Fraser Island
Fraser Island is located just a 45-minute ferry journey off the Sunshine Coast in Australia’s sunshine state, Queensland. It’s easy to get to and ferries depart from Hervey Bay, Rainbow Beach and Noosa. You can visit Fraser Island as part of a tour group or solo but I really recommend going with a group. The only vehicles allowed into the national park are those that have a 4WD.
That said, even if you do have a 4WD I’d only recommend taking your own car if you have a lot of sand driving experience. The tracks on Fraser Island are rough and not for the faint-hearted. The first track into the Great Sandy National Park the first stretch of track is called ‘the rollercoaster’ so I’ll let you work that one out for yourself.
Group Tours on Fraser Island
The most popular way for travellers to explore Fraser Island is via a group tour. There are heaps of different tours to choose from. For a list of tours that run on Fraser Island check out this website. Choose from large tours or more intimate, coach or 4WD, be driven around the island, go on a piggyback tour where you can drive the 4WD behind the leader, go on a private tour there are just so many.
When we visited Fraser Island in 2018 we decided on a group coach tour with the tour company Cool Dingo. I’d read about this tour online and it had a lot of great reviews. Our tour is aimed specifically at ages 18-35 which was perfect for us. The tour included all the epic things to do on Fraser Island that I’d read about before arriving. For more information about the Cool Dingo tour click here.
How Much Does it Cost to Visit Fraser Island
Budgeting Fraser Island can be tricky which why it’s a lot easier to book a group tour where everything is inclusive in the price. Our 3 night 2-day tour cost just under $500 per person or 250 GBP. But that included all meals and snacks, ferry crossing, accommodation and all the activities we enjoyed on Fraser Island. It may be expensive but I guarantee that it’s worth it. Fraser Island is incredible and I would hands down pay the exact same if I were to visit the island again which I definitely hope to do!
Best Time of Year to Visit Fraser Island
The Sunshine Coast is lucky enough to get a lot of sunny days all year round. The winters are mild and the temperature rarely drops below 20 degrees in the daytime hours. That said, Queensland does experience a lot of tropical storms as well. We visited Fraser Island in October which was perfect because it wasn’t too hot yet. I’m the height of summer the Island can reach staggering temperatures. October was also fairly quiet as well. There were lots of other tours but I didn’t feel like we were crossing them a lot. Most of the time it was just our group and possibly one other at the different locations throughout the island.
Unforgettable Things to Do on Fraser Island
Whether you decide to visit this amazing island alone or on a tour, there are so many things to do on Fraser Island. If you do book a tour I recommend going to Fraser for 3 days and 2 nights so you can fit all the exciting things to do into your visit. Here’s a list of incredible unforgettable things to do on Fraser Island.
Swim in Lake Mackenzie
Lake Mackenzie was one of my Fraser Island highlights. Lake Mackenzie is awe-inspiring. The beauty of this lake will blow you away and what’s more incredible is that it’s a perched lake. A perched lake essentially means that the water you see if rainwater only. No groundwater, stream or path that leads to the ocean. The water contains high levels of acidity making the conditions unsuitable for most plant and sea life making the water extremely pure.
Make sure you wet your hair in the water as it drys out so soft. The sand surrounding the lake is also extremely pure made up mostly of Silica but not quite as pure as that found on Whitehaven Beach in the Whitsundays. Another great tip when swimming in Lake Mackenzie is to rub the sand all over your body and wash it off in the lake for a nature exfoliation! Take a float and relax in the tranquil waters. We stayed for hours in Lake Mackenzie and it was so peaceful.
There are facilities for picnics, toilets, changing rooms and cold showers near the lake. Read more about Lake Mackenzie.
Rainforest Walk – Wanggoolba Creek
Wanggoolba Creek is a vital component here on Fraser Island and sacred to the aboriginal people of the land. The Butchella people were the traditional owners of K’gari and this creek is sacred to their people. This creek would be where the women of the tribe would come and give birth to their children. The creek is still sacred to Butchella people and even now Butchella men won’t go down to the creek.
The trees that tower above Fraser Island are incredible. The walk through this part of the island is tranquil. This track is easy to follow and our tour guide left us to walk it whilst he drove the coach to the other side. The only thing to watch out whilst walking around on Fraser Island is, of course, snakes and spiders but luckily for us, we saw neither!
Cruise Down 75 Mile Beach Highway
Driving high speed down a beach sounds like a lot of fun and I can tell you it certainly is! The main beach that runs down the coast of Fraser is also known as the 75-mile beach highway. Driving along the beach is insane being so close to the water is just a crazy experience. What’s also crazy is that this beach is classed as a national highway on Fraser Island.
That means that normal road rule applies. Speed limits, wearing seat belts, using an indicator, it all applies on the highway. There are even police that patrols the highway and other areas of Fraser Island to ensure everyone is playing by the rules. Of course, since it is a beach there are pedestrians to look out for and fishing rods! Cruising down the beach in a 4WD is definitely one of the best things to do on Fraser Island.
Swim in the Champagne Pools
There’s a lot of swimming to be had on Fraser Island so swimmers are essential! The Champagne pools on Fraser Island are natural ocean rock pools created when the waves come crashing in over the rocks. They kind of create a natural hot tub! We all got taken out a fair few times when a big wave came tumbling over the edge. These pools are a lot of fun and there’s plenty of room for sunbathing too in case getting soaked by freezing cold ocean water isn’t your thing. The views around the champagne pools are awesome too. The walk from the car park is about 10 minutes so not long but the views are insane, everywhere you look on Fraser Island is just BEAUTIFUL.
Laze away in Eli Creek
Eli Creek is one of the many freshwater creeks on Fraser Island. This was actually one of the best afternoons we spent on the island. Our tour guide had brought rubber rings which we blew up so we could float down the river. We were even allowed to take a beer with us. Albeit that may slightly ruin the scenery but boy was it relaxing.
You can just relax in your float whilst the river takes you away. It actually flows at a decent speed too. If you book a tour on Fraser Island then Eli Creek is a must-have on the itinerary. One thing I will say about Eli Creek is that it will be crowded. Most of the time during our tour I didn’t feel like we’re swamped with other tourists but Eli Creek was definitely one of the more popular areas on the island. That said it still didn’t ruin the atmosphere and a lot of fun was had!
Hike over Sand Dunes to reach Lake Wabby
Fraser Island is full of ever-changing sand dunes. Because of the wind and ocean tides, the dunes on are constantly changing and Lake Wabby is nestled in the middle of some great sand dunes. In fact, the sand dunes are getting nearer and nearer to the lake that in a few years time the lake won’t even exist anymore. The sand dune that surrounds the lake is called the Hammerstone Sandblow. This freshwater lake is green colour and unlike the rest of the freshwater lakes on the island, this one houses 13 different species of fish including catfish and rainbow fish.
If you visit Fraser Island over the next few years then Lake Wabby is a great place to visit as I mentioned above in a few years time it will completely disappear under the sand dunes. A little word of warning is that this lake does take some strenuous walking up and over the dunes to get to and get away from so allow plenty of time!
Watch out for Marine Life from Indian Head
Indian Head is one of the peaks along the coast of Fraser Island. During our trip, we were amazed to spot two sea turtles, a shark and some dolphins off the coast. The views of the pristine beaches are magnificent and the views out to the ocean are gorgeous. The ocean is so clear and sea life is pretty easy to spot! The only thing about the ocean that surrounds Fraser Island is that it attracts a lot of sharks, therefore, swimming is not advised. That said we did see a surfer on the same day that we saw the shark in the water – very scary. If you’re lucky enough to be visiting between June – October you might even see some humpback whales!
It is a bit of scramble to get up to and back down from Indian Head through a lot of long grass so keep an eye for snakes. Apparently, a couple of girls in front of us did see a snake but luckily I didn’t catch a glimpse – it would’ve freaked me out!
Awesome Things to Do on Fraser Island – The Pinnacle Coloured Sands
The Pinnacles on the east coast of Fraser Island are also an impressive element to this beautiful island. The pinnacles sand cliffs have developed over thousands of years by being exposed to the elements. The layers make up over 72 different colours making them pretty special. The pinnacles are also sacred to the Butchella women – read the story here. Though the pinnacles were quite impressive they are quite far out of the way. We drove for almost 2 hours to reach them and I must admit I was a little underwhelmed.
Keep Your Eye Out for a Dingo
Dingoes on Fraser Island are a native wild animal. They look a little like a cross between a fox and a dog. These animals are wild and not like domesticated dogs. Though they are great to study and watch they can be dangerous. There have been numerous attacks on children and adults by Dingoes over the years.
These animals are a vital part of the ecosystem on the island and are protected by the Queensland Government. It is really cool to keep your eyes peeled for dingoes on the island as they are so cool to see. But make sure you follow the advice of your tour leader at all times to ensure you can stay safe in the presence of a Dingo.
Explore the Maheno Shipwreck
The Maheno Shipwreck is one of the coolest thins to do on Fraser Island. The story of this ship dates all the way back to 1915 where it was first called into duty. The Maheno Ship was first used in the first world war as a hospital ship. The ship worked on the shores on Australia taking casualties back and forth between Melbourne and Sydney before working on the English Channel.
After the Maheno had served the war the ship was sold to a Japanese company but as they towed the ship they got hit by a Cyclone as wash up on the shores of Fraser Island where it remains to this day. There is a still a decent amount of wreckage that you can explore around on the island which is fascinating but it is unsafe. The wreckage is so old now that visitors are urged to keep a safe distance away and not touch the vessel. It’s pretty cool to see.
Paddle Board on Lake Garawongera
The final lake that we got to swim in was Lake Garawongera. This lake was again another beautiful addition to this island. Paddle Boarding is one of the best things to do on Fraser Island especially if you aren’t very good! Honestly, the waters are so clear that the only thing there is to be afraid of is your fellow travellers! The lakes are so still that no waves are going to push you off balance but I’m sure your fellow travellers on the tour might! Lake Garawongera is super chilled and one of the less popular lakes on the island making it a scenic retreat for those that visit.
Take a Scenic Flight
Fraser Island also offers Scenic Flights above the island. We didn’t take this opportunity because it was quite expensive but the guys who did it – loved it! I can only imagine how spectacular the sand island looks from above. In the right seasons being in the sky is also a great way to try spot some of those humpback whales!
A Few Other Things to Know Before Visiting Fraser Island
- Swimming in the ocean is not advised – lots of sharks
- Every species of poisonous snake in Australia is found on Fraser Island
- The fines for feeding Dingoe can be more than $10,000
- Never turn your back on a Dingo and always walk around the island in groups in case you come across one.
- Always take all litter with you and don’t leave any food around thus not to attract a Dingo
- There are no koalas on Fraser Island as it does not have all 7 types of eucalyptus koalas need to survive.
Fraser Island is honestly one of the most fabulous places in Australia. There are so many awesome things to do on Fraser Island that you just can’t do anywhere else in the world. If you’re visiting Australia then it just has to make your itinerary. The best way to see the east coast of Australia is by taking one big road trip! Check out my Cairns to Sydney itinerary in this post for all the things you need to know about driving the east coast of Australia! I hope enjoyed this post all about the best things to do on Fraser Island!
If you did enjoy this post then I would love it if you could share it with your friends! You might also enjoy my other blog posts on Sailing the Whitsundays and if you do hire a camper-van for this road trip then my Ultimate List of East Coast Campsites will also come in handy!
Wishing you happy and healthy travels!