How to plan the perfect Fraser Island day trip from Noosa

Want to go on a Fraser Island day trip from Noosa? We are here to help!

It’s the largest sand island in the world and has so much to offer! It’s a must-see on the East Coast of Australia. Often compared to the Whitsunday Islands, it’s actually completely different. They are both amazing places to visit in Australia but offer a very different experience.

Visiting Fraser Island is a popular day trip from Hervey Bay, Rainbow Beach and Noosa.

There are various ways to get there and make the best of your day.

In this article, we tell you exactly how to go on a Fraser Island day trip from Noosa and make the best of your time and money.

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Fraser island day trip from Noosa


Where is Fraser Island and why is it a good day trip from Noosa?

Fraser Island is located 150 km from Noosa Heads. It takes about 2h30 to get there.

Going on a day trip from Noosa to Fraser Island is entirely doable, however, let’s be honest, it will be a bit of a tiring day. Especially if you are driving yourself!


How to get to Fraser Island from Noosa

First things first, let’s set the basics. Fraser Island is entirely made of sand which means you must have a 4WD vehicle to get around the island.

You won’t be allowed to even get on the ferry without a 4WD.


Self-driving and ferry

If you own a 4WD, you can take it to Fraser Island however you must get a permit for Fraser. It costs $53.65 for up to a month. You can buy it on the official website.

If you don’t have your own 4WD, you can rent one from Noosa. Noosa2Fraser 4WD hire specialises in 4WD vehicles for Fraser Island.

Although I haven’t used them myself, it’s quite a good place to choose as they know how to go on a Fraser Island day trip from Noosa better than anyone.

Please note, even with a rental, you still need to get your permit!

From Noosa, drive up to Rainbow Beach and head to Inskip Point. There, you will find the Manta Ray Fraser Island Barges which is the ferry to Fraser Island.

Make sure to pop by the office first to buy your ticket. If you are visiting during the high season, you can also give them a ring beforehand at +61 7 5486 3935.

The ferry service operates from 6.00 am to 5.15 pm.

The return ticket to Fraser Island costs $130 for a 4WD and its passengers. It’s a bit more expensive if you have a trailer but if you are only coming for a day, you shouldn’t have one.

The ferry ride lasts 15 minutes. You will arrive at the Southern end of Fraser Island. From there, you can head north and start exploring!


Fraser Island Tours from Noosa

If you want to go to Fraser Island from Noosa for a day trip, I highly recommend opting for a tour.

Although self-driving gives you more freedom, it’s also a lot of hassle and money. It will cost you at least $250 and that’s if you have your own car. Driving on Fraser Island can also be tricky and risky.

Fraser Island tour

Opting for a Fraser Island tour from Noosa is way easier. The tour company will organise everything for you. The only thing you have to do is having fun!

If you are travelling on your own (or 2 people) it will also work out way cheaper.

Everything is included. Ferry, petrol, lunch… everything!

The Full-Day Fraser Island Warrior Tour is ideal.

You will be meeting in Noosa and hop on a 4WD minibus. You’ll travel all the way up through the Great Sandy national park to Inskip Point where you will take the ferry to Fraser Island.

Once on Fraser Island, you will visit Lake McKenzie and Central Station. On the way back, you will also stop in Rainbow Beach.

Meals are included. Your driver will cook you an authentic Aussie barbecue on the island!

It’s the perfect way to make the best of your time, money and truly enjoy Fraser Island without stress. You can easily book the tour online and keep your ticket on your phone.

Click here to see the latest prices.


Fraser Island one day itinerary from Noosa

Fraser Island is a bigger island that it seems so one day is not that much to explore however, you can still get to see some of the most beautiful places on Fraser Island.

Here is how to plan your day.

7 am: Start driving from Noosa to Inskip Point

9 am: Take the ferry from Inskip Point to Fraser Island

9:15 am: You arrive on Fraser Island and start driving to Lake McKenzie

Lake mckenzie steps from walking path

11:30 am: You arrive at Lake McKenzie. Park your car and start walking down to Lake McKenzie.
Once at Lake McKenzie, you can go for a swim and relax on the beach for a couple of hours.

Swimming in Lake McKenzie in Fraser Island

1 pm: Go back to the carpark for lunch. You should not be taking any food to the lake as it can attract dingoes so make sure to leave any food in the car and eat at the picnic area.

1:30 pm: Start driving to Central Station

creek boardwalk central station

1:50 pm: You arrive at Central Station. Walk along the boardwalk to discover the creek and the beautiful strangling trees. This part is way better with a tour guide I must say. If you’ve opted for the tour from Noosa, your guide will give you loads of facts about Fraser Island. It’s very interesting.

Strangling trees near central station on fraser island

2:50 pm: Start driving back to the ferry.

5 pm: Take the ferry to Rainbow Beach and start driving back to Noosa.

6:45 pm: You are back in Noosa


Map of your Fraser Island 1-day itinerary from Noosa


What to wear on a day trip from Noosa

When going on a day trip from Noosa to Fraser Island, make sure you pack the following items:

– Comfortable shoes (you will be walking at Central station)
– Swimming costume
– Towel
– Eco-friendly sunscreen (Lake McKenzie does not drain so please don’t apply sunscreen before swimming)
– Camera and phone
– Shorts and t-shirts
– A jumper just in case
– A bottle of water

If you are driving, make sure to also pack a lunch that you can leave in your car. If you are on a tour, this will be included.

Now you are all set to organise your Fraser island day trip from Noosa! Have fun!


You may also be interested in:

Things to do on Fraser Island, Queensland

Fraser Island day trip from Hervey Bay

Visiting Lake McKenzie on Fraser Island: Ultimate travel guide

Visiting the Champagne Pools on Fraser Island: Ultimate Guide

Travel guide to visiting the Fairy Pools in Noosa National Park

12 Best Pet-Friendly Airbnb in Noosa

Pet-friendly accommodation in Rainbow Beach, QLD

Australia Travel Guide


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Day trip from Noosa to Fraser Island