Lake McKenzie is often referred to as Fraser Island’s most beautiful site.
Located in the middle of the island, near Eurong, it’s one of the best places to visit on Fraser Island.
As for anything on Fraser Island, you will need a 4WD vehicle to get there (or go on a tour).
Here are some tips to enjoy your visit to Lake McKenzie!
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What is Lake McKenzie?
Lake McKenzie is a freshwater perched lake on Fraser Island. It’s particularly famous for its beautifully white and soft sand and the colours of its water!
Unlike most lakes, Lake MacKenzie features a plethora of colours.
In the centre, it’s dark blue. As you get closer to the edge, it becomes a beautiful shade of turquoise before being completely see-through once you reach the shallow ends of the beach.
Although Lake McKenzie is still a popular way of naming it, it’s becoming more common to refer to it as Boorangoora. This is the name given by the native-Australian community on Fraser Island, the Butchulla people.
It means “waters of wisdom”. Quite poetic, right?
Where is Lake McKenzie?
Lake McKenzie (Boorangoora) is located inland, in the southern part of Fraser Island (K’Gari).
Driving to Lake McKenzie
First thing first, you need a 4-Wheel-Drive to go anywhere on Fraser Island. The whole island is made of sand so there is no way around it.
They won’t even let you go onto the ferry without a 4WD vehicle anyway.
You will also need to get a permit! You can find more information about that on the official website.
Tours to Fraser island (with Lake McKenzie)
If you don’t have a 4WD and don’t feel like renting one (it’s not that easy to drive on Fraser), you can opt for a guided tour. This is the easiest way to visit Fraser Island.
Most tours include a stop at Lake McKenzie. Your driver will take you there and you can stay for a couple of hours and explore.
You can either opt for a day trip, a 2-day tour or a 3-day tour.
Here are some recommendations:
I particularly recommend the 2-day tour with Fraser Island Explorer. It’s great value for money. See prices here.
How to get to Lake McKenzie?
From the ferry terminal, head to Wanggoolba Rd and drive up to Lake McKenzie. It takes about 30 minutes to get there.
From Eurong Beach Resort, go up to Eurong Rd and then turn on Northern Rd. Keep driving until you reach the carpark. It takes about 35 minutes.
Please note, this is a very bumpy road! Very bumpy! Take it easy as you can quickly feel car-sick.
If you are staying anywhere else on the island, make your back to the 75-mile beach and go south until you reach Eurong.
Carpark and facilities
Once you get to the end of the sand road, you will find the carpark for Lake MacKenzie. It’s pretty big. You may be surprised by how big it is. However, it also fills up quickly!
If you are self-driving, try to get there before 10 am to beat the crowds. If you are on a tour, you don’t have anything to worry about. There is carpark just for buses and drivers know exactly where to go.
The carpark is the only place where you will find toilets. If you need to stop or change to put your swimming costume on, make sure to go there. After that, it will be too late!
You will also find a picnic area there. If you want to eat at some point, it’s highly recommended to do it at the picnic area.
As you may know, there are dingoes everywhere on Fraser Island and walking around with food can be dangerous. It’s just asking for troubles really.
Make sure to grab your brekkie or lunch before heading down to the lake or once you come back up. Put back all your food in the car so you’re sure it won’t attract any dingoes!
Walking from the carpark to Lake McKenzie
From the carpark, take the walking path down to the lake. It only takes about 10 minutes.
The path is sandy for the most part. Once you get to the end, there are a few steps and you’re there!
Again, while walking make sure to keep an eye on your children and don’t carry food. You never know where the dingoes could be!
Things to do at Lake McKenzie
Here are some of the best things to do at Lake MacKenzie.
Soaking up the beautiful views
Lake McKenzie is popular for a reason. It’s absolutely stunning!
The moment when you first step on the sand is magical! The sand is so soft and the waters so beautiful!
It features so many shades of blue. It starts by being completely see-through, then become kind of green, then turquoise and end up being dark blue in the deepest parts of the lake.
Swimming in Lake McKenzie
Lake McKenzie is a great place to swim on Fraser island.
Firstly, the water is very clear and warm. The sand under your feet is super soft which makes it a very cool place to swim in.
It’s pretty shallow around the edges so children can go too.
Although the lake is never super deep, don’t go too far if you don’t know how to swim. It’s a pretty big lake and there are no lifeguards.
Enjoy a natural spa treatment
This one may surprise but it’s one of the best things about Boorangoora. The PH of the water is extremely low which gives it loads of benefits for your skin and hair.
It’s a bit of a youth fountain!
Make sure to swim a bit underwater as you will have very soft hair after that.
Another thing that you can do is a body scrub with the sand. Yes, I’m serious 😉
Just sit on the edge, in the water, and take a bit of sand in your hands. Put it on your skin and scrub. Your skin will be super soft!
Kayaking at Lake McKenzie
You are allowed to kayak on Lake McKenzie! If you have a kayak or a paddleboard, make sure to bring it as it will be very good fun!
Unfortunately, you can’t rent any equipment there so this is only possible if you are travelling with your car and have everything.
Hiking at Lake McKenzie
There are a few walking trails around Lake McKenzie.
It’s one of the main spots on the Fraser Island Great Walk which goes all the way from Dilli village up to Lake Garawongera. The K’Gari Great Walk is 90km long and takes up to 8 days to complete.
Going on this kike requires a bit of organisation but if you are up for a day hike, you can walk all the way down to Central Station.
This 15km hike is rated as moderate.
Admittedly, it’s a bit long for a day hike as it would be 30km return. But you don’t need to go all the way down to Central station. You can just follow the path and turn back when you feel like it’s enough.
You can also opt for the 1.8km walk in the Pile Valley.
Although it’s safe to go walking, make sure to be aware of dingoes and not to carry food around!
Taking beautiful photos!
Lake McKenzie is one of the most instagrammable places on Fraser Island. It’s beautiful and you will for sure find loads of photo opportunities so make sure to take your camera or drone!
Travel tips to enjoy your visit at Lake McKenzie
Here are a few tips to help you make the best of your time at Lake McKenzie.
Get there early!
Lake McKenzie is one of the most popular attractions on Fraser Island. This means that it can get quite crowded.
If you are exploring on your own, try to get there at about 9 am. The carpark will be empty and you will be able to enjoy the lake almost on your own. It’s also the best time to take photos!
If you are with a tour, you won’t get to choose that so just make sure to walk a bit further on the left so you get away from the crowds.
Use eco-friendly sunscreen
Lake Mckenzie is made of rainwater and does not drain. This means that any product you put on your skin will stay in the lake. Sunscreen can damage the eco-system.
It’s a beautiful place and we should all want to protect it. If you can opt for an eco-friendly or natural sunscreen like this one.
Otherwise, make sure to apply the sunscreen after swimming and not before.
Go there on a sunny day
Although Lake MacKenzie is beautiful every day of the year, it really reveals its true beauty on sunny days.
When the sun is out, you can see how white the sand is and the blue waters shimmer. It’s stunning and so much more beautiful than on a rainy day.
If at all possible, make sure to go when it’s sunny.
Luckily, Fraser island is a good place to visit all-year-round so you should be able to enjoy some sunshine.
Put your swimming costume on before getting to the lake
There are no facilities at Lake MacKenzie which means you won’t find any changing rooms. Make sure to wear your swimwear before getting there otherwise you won’t be able to swim and that would be a shame.
Do not carry food and do not feed the dingoes
Dingoes can be a real threat. I know they look like dogs but they are not! They are actually a type of Asian wolves. You will notice that they don’t bark, they howl.
It can be pretty scary.
They won’t attack you for no reasons but they might if you have food. Do not carry food to the lake or eat there.
Dingoes are also known to attack beings that are less high than them (ie children or people lying down).
Finally, no matter what, do not feed them. That’s just asking for it!
What to take and wear at Lake McKenzie
Make sure to take with you:
- Swimming costume
- Umbrella (if you are staying for the day)
- Snorkelling gear
- Eco-friendly sunscreen and mosquito repellant (to put on once you’re done swimming and not before!)
- Camera and photography gear
You also need to take food and cooking gear but this has to stay in your car. There is a picnic area by the carpark.
Fun facts about Lake McKenzie
The PH level of the water is very low
The water at Lake Mckenzie has a PH of 4.5 which is considered as acidic. That having been said, the water is considered drinkable!
Lake McKenzie is only 5 meters deep
Although the deep blue waters may make you think that the lake is very deep, it’s actually only 5 meters deep!
The sand is pure silica
Like Whitehaven Beach, the sand at Lake McKenzie is pure silica which is why it’s so white and soft!
There is no marine life
Due to the low PH level, no living being can survive in the lake. This means that you won’t find any sort of wildlife in Lake McKenzie. But don’t worry, there is plenty everywhere else on the island!
Here is all you need to know about Lake McKenzie and how to enjoy your visit! It’s one of the most beautiful places in Australia and I hope you will love it as much as I did!
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