Things to do on Fraser Island, Queensland

Pauline

19 October 2020

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Things to do on Fraser Island, Queensland

Looking for the best things to do on Fraser Island? You’ve come to the right place!

 

Fraser Island is the largest sand island in the world. It’s known for its natural beauty, beautiful lakes and whale watching!

 

You can only visit it with a 4WD vehicle. If you love 4WD driving, Fraser Island will be your paradise.

 

If you don’t have a 4WD, don’t you worry, there are loads of tours going there every day.

 

Fraser Island is also named K’Gari. This is the traditional name and it means “paradise”. This is the best way to describe this beautiful island in Australia because it truly is a paradise.

 

In this article, we tell you everything about the best things to do on Fraser Island.

 

Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links, meaning I get a commission if you decide to make a purchase through my links, at no extra cost for you!

 

Things to do on Fraser Island Australia

 

Fraser island map

 

Before we dive in, here the Fraser island map with all the attractions and activities mentioned below.

 

 

What to do on Fraser Island: Attractions and activities

 

Driving on the 75-mile beach

 

The 75-mile beach is the main beach on Fraser Island. It lies on the eastern side of the island and as the name suggests, it’s 75 miles long.

 

75 mile beach on fraser island queensland

 

This is an important landmark on Fraser Island.

 

Firstly, that’s where most Fraser island attractions are located.

 

Secondly, it’s the main highway on Fraser! Yes, you’ve heard me right! On Fraser Island, the beach is the highway.

 

This means you need to adopt the same rules than on any other road. Drive on the left, no speeding…

 

Before you hit the road, make sure to check the tides. You can only drive on the 75-mile beach when the tide is low. If not, you may be stuck! Something to definitely consider and pay attention to.

 

If you are travelling around Fraser Island with a tour guide, you have nothing to worry about. S/he will know exactly when to go.

 

Discovering the Maheno Shipwreck

 

The S.S. Maheno is one of the most famous Fraser island tourist attractions.

 

SS Maheno Fraser Island shipwreck

 

Little fun fact about the ship, Maheno means “island” in Maori. It was an important ocean liner and was even used during WWI.

 

In 1935, it was caught in a cyclone and was driven ashore, on Fraser Island.

 

It’s ideally located on the 75-mile beach, making it a great stop for people visiting Fraser island.

 

Fraser Island shipwreck Maheno

 

You can pull over on the side of the beach and go see the wreck. Please note, you shouldn’t be going too close to it. It’s recommended to stay at least 3 meters away from it as it can be dangerous.

 

There are loads of photo opportunities with the Maheno shipwreck. It’s very pretty and impressive.

 

Swimming at Eli Creek

 

Eli Creek is located by the 75-mile beach near the S.S. Maheno. It’s the largest creek on the eastern side of Fraser Island. The water is so clear and pure!

 

Eli creek on fraser island

 

The sand has been filtering the water for 100s of years which is why it’s so clear! The creek pours millions of litres of water into the ocean every hour. Quite impressive if you ask me!

 

Eli Creek is a very popular place on Fraser Island. You can stop there for a picnic before going swimming. Most people stay in the part by the beach but it’s worth walking on the boardwalk down into the rainforest. It only gets prettier!

 

Fraser Island Eli Creek

 

As you walk on the path, you will discover more vegetation and can truly appreciate how clear the water is. It’s a bit odd, to be honest, it looks almost green. In reality, it’s just completely see-through and the greenish colour comes from the reflection!

 

Swimming at the Champagne Pools

 

Situated on the Eastern side of Fraser Island, between Waggy Point and Indian Head, the Champagne Pools are the only place on the island where you can safely swim in seawater.

 

Champagne pools board walk on fraser island

 

It’s not allowed to swim on the beach as it’s particularly dangerous. There are currents and sharks!

 

The Champagne Pools are a natural rock formation lying between the ocean and the cliffs. They create natural protection and each time a wave hits the rock, the pool fills up with water.

 

Visiting champagne pools fraser island

 

The waves are so powerful when they crash against the rock that they make the water fizzy and bubbly in the pools, hence the name Champagne pools!

 

Fraser island champagne pools

 

They are a great place to swim on Fraser Island, take photos and enjoy some family time.

 

Going for a swim at Lake Mackenzie

 

Lake McKenzie is a freshwater lake situated near Eurong. It’s very famous for being one of the clearest lakes in the world and for its super white sand.

 

Lake McKenzie on Fraser Island Walking path

 

You can get there by car. There is a sand road going from the 75mile beach to Lake MacKenzie.

 

Whether you are driving yourself or are on a bus tour, please note that this road is quite bumpy. Make sure to put your seat belt on and be careful!

 

From the carpark, there is a walking path that will lead you to Lake McKenzie.

 

Fraser Island in Queensland

 

Once you step on the sand, you will discover how thin, soft and white it actually is. The colours are incredible there!

 

The lake itself features several shades of blue. On the edges, the water is crystal clear, completely see-through. As you get closer to centre it becomes this beautiful turquoise and then deep blue towards the middle.

 

It’s pretty incredible!

 

Instagram Lake McKenzie Fraser Island Australia

 

Lake McKenzie is a great place to go for a swim. The water is warm and is known for its health benefits! It gives you very soft skin and hair!

 

The beach itself is also beautiful. The sand is so white and soft! The perfect spot to lie down and work on your tan.

 

Visiting the dunes and Lake Wabby

 

Lake Wabby is a freshwater lake located on the eastern side of Fraser Island, near the 75-mile beach.

 

It’s the deepest dune lake on Fraser Island.

 

Lake Wabby on Fraser Island

 

Unlike Lake McKenzie, Lake Wabby features a deep green colour and is surrounded by sand dunes on one side, trees on the other. It’s a great place to explore as it doesn’t look like anything else on the island.

 

sand dunes near lake wabby

 

The dunes are pretty tall and it’s good fun to walk up and down. It’s not a hard walk but it takes about 45 minutes to get to Lake Wabby. Some of the dunes can be a bit steep. It’s better not to wear shoes and they will be full of sand by the end of it. Thongs (flip flops) are not a good option either as they make it way harder to walk.

 

Once you finally get to the lake, you can go for a refreshing dip!

 

This is not an acidic lake which means that you can also see fish inside.

 

Fraser island sand dunes near lake wabby

 

The great thing about Lake Wabby is that it’s not as popular as other places on the island which means it doesn’t get as busy.

 

Day tours don’t go to lake Wabby so you will only see people that opted for a multi-day tour or are self-driving.

 

Soaking up the views at Indian Head

 

Indian Head is the most easterly point on the island. It’s situated in the northern part of the 75-mile beach.

 

This coastal headland is a popular spot on Fraser Island as it features the best views on the island!

 

Indian head fraser island views

 

You can park on the beach, at the bottom of the cliff. From there, you will see a walking path going up. Take it and walk through the bush until you reach the rocks and cliffs.

 

walking path to indian head fraser island

 

From there, you will be able to admire stunning views over the beaches and coast.

 

Indian head view point on fraser island

 

It’s also a popular spot to spot whales, dolphins and turtles!

 

If you are visiting in winter, keep an eye at the horizon to see the whales.

 

whale watching from indian head fraser island

 

Pro tip: don’t forget to look at the water near the bottom of the cliffs. There are loads of turtles there. People often focus on trying to see the whales and completely miss out on the turtles!

 

turtle indian head fraser island

 

Admiring the beautiful Pinnacles

 

Situated only a few minutes away from the Maheno shipwreck, the Pinnacles are one of the most unique geological formations in Australia.

 

The sandy cliffs are known for their rainbow of colours!

 

If you’ve visited Rainbow Beach before, you will find it a bit similar except that these are like a cliff instead of a beach.

 

The Pinnacles on Fraser Island

 

The coloured sand layers are a result of thousands of years of wind, waves and rain hitting the cliff.

 

It’s a very pretty sight and is very important in the aboriginal culture. Butchulla people have loads of stories and legends about the Pinnacles on Fraser Island.

 

Visiting the pinnacles on Fraser island

 

You can stop on the side of the beach and walk to the Pinnacles. There is a small path. Make sure to keep an eye on the plants as there can be snakes and lizards there.

 

snake at the pinnacles on fraser island

 

Fraser Island is home to some of the most poisonous snakes in the world so that’s something to be aware of.

 

If you see one, don’t panic and just make your way. No matter what, do not touch it!

 

Visiting Central Station in the rainforest

 

Located in the heart of the rainforest, Central Station is an old historical site on Fraser Island.

 

Rainforest on Fraser Island Queensland

 

For a lot of time, logging was a pretty big deal on the island. A lot of people were working there and cutting trees. Central Station was the main logging camp. Fraser Island is home to a lot of timber trees that were particularly good to make ships.

 

Eventually, logging on Fraser island was finally prohibited and a reforestation scheme started.

 

Fraser Island is the only place in the world where plants and trees grow in the sand. Most of the species are native of the island so preserving it is very important!

 

Central station walk plants

 

However, because of its historical background, Central Station is now a good place to visit for travellers!

 

You can go on the Central Station walk. It’s a great way to discover the rainforest and its unique features.

 

You will be walking along a beautiful creek with crystal clear water and loads of plants around.

 

creek central station fraser island

 

Up until the early 1900s, people were allowed to drive through the creek but when Fraser island became world heritage, they decided to build the boardwalk so now we can all enjoy this beautiful place without spoiling it!

 

creek boardwalk central station

 

You will also discover the famous strangling trees on Fraser Island.

 

Strangling trees near central station on fraser island

 

What is a strangling tree and how does it work, do I hear you say? Well, here are some explanations!

 

For that to happen, you will need one big tree and a second small one. The smaller one will grow branches all around the first one up and dig roots into the ground. Over the years, the branches will completely strangle the tree and kill it to be able to get all the nutrients from the ground.

 

Hiking the Fraser Island Great Walk

 

If you want to explore the wilderness of Fraser Island, hiking the Fraser Island Great Walk is a must-do!

 

This 90km walk runs all the way from Dilli Village in the southern part of the island up to Lake Garawongera.

 

If you choose to walk the entire trail, you will need about 6-8 days to do so. You can break the walk into 6 sections of maximum 15km per day. There are campgrounds at every milestone.

 

This is a great way to truly experience Fraser Island, discover the top 5 things to do on Fraser Island and many secret spots!

 

Hiking on Fraser Island

 

Before you hit the trail, make sure to be prepared. Fraser Island is a pretty wild place. There are loads of dingoes and very few facilities. You will need camping equipment, a good backpack, walking shoes and food. Try to take food that is carefully packed so the dingoes can’t smell it.

 

Alternatively, you can choose to only do parts of it. This is a great option for people who like walking but don’t want to go on such an adventure. The best section to hike in one day is the one between Lake McKenzie and Central station. The walk is very scenic and it’s a great way to discover 2 of the most famous sites on Fraser Island.

 

Whale watching on Fraser Island

 

Whale watching is one of the most popular activities on Fraser Island in winter.

 

Each year from June to October, the whales start their migration up the coast of Australia. There are many places in Australia where you can go whale watching but Fraser Island is definitely one of the best.

 

Whale watching on fraser island

 

There are 2 ways to see the whales from Fraser Island.

 

If you are self-driving or on tour, you can go to Indian Head. This cliff is known for its beautiful views. In winter, it’s also a great spot to see the whales.

 

If you look at the horizon, you may see whales and even dolphins jumping around.

Of course, you never know if you will see some. You need to be a bit lucky but if there is one place to see them, that’s there!

 

Another option is going on a whale-watching cruise from Hervey Bay. You will be spending 4 hours on a catamaran and cruise around the Great Sandy Strait. It’s a great way to see the whales up-close. And it’s eco-certified!

 

Click here to see the latest prices.

 

Dolphin watching on Fraser Island

 

Want to see dolphins instead of whales? That’s possible!

 

Dolphins on fraser island

 

A good place to do so on the island is Indian Head. Exactly like for the whales, you can spot dolphins from there. The only issue with that is as dolphins are smaller, they can be harder to spot.

 

If you want to see it up close, you can opt for a dolphin cruise from Hervey Bay. See prices here.

 

Discovering Pelican Bank

 

If you fancy discovering one of Fraser island hidden gems, Pelican bank is the perfect place for you.

 

Located between Fraser Island and Hervey Bay, Pelican bank is a beautiful stretch of sand featuring crystal-clear blue waters. It’s a great way to explore some lesser-known parts of Fraser Island.

 

There are no facilities at Pelican Bank so make sure you are taking everything you need with you. It’s very well preserved and off-the-beaten-path!

 

It’s one of the rare places near Fraser Island where you can swim. The waters are quite shallow which is ideal for kids too!

 

The best way to get there is by boat from Hervey Bay. You can opt for a half-day tour that includes swimming, fishing and kayaking.

Click here to see the latest prices.

 

Discovering the aboriginal culture on Fraser Island

 

The traditional-owners of Fraser Island are the Butchulla people. If you want to know more about their culture, you can opt for a sunset cruise with a Butchulla guide.

 

It’s extremely interesting. The guide is passionate and will share fascinating facts about Fraser Island.

 

Learning more about the history of Fraser Island is a very interesting thing and it’s pretty unique.

 

You will also get to hear songs played with the didgeridoo. It’s the ultimate cultural experience on Fraser Island!

 

If that’s something you’d like to do, you can book the tour. It includes a cruise and the guided tour. See prices here.

 

Going on a scenic flight

 

Fraser Island is one of the only places in the world where you can take off and land on the beach!

 

If you are looking for a unique experience, taking a scenic flight on Fraser Island is a must-do!

 

Fraser island scenic flight

 

Air Fraser Island is the company operating these flights. Prices start at $80.

 

You can find the planes on the beach. During this 15 minutes flight, you will see all the main Fraser Island attractions from the sky! It’s so pretty!

 

plane landing on 75mile beach

 

If you booked the 2-day Fraser Island Explorer tour, the driver will bring you there on the first day. If you want to, you can choose to go on the flight (it’s not included in the tour though).

 

Even if you don’t take the flight, it’s a pretty cool thing to see these planes taking off and landing on the beach!

 

Watching the sunrise at Eurong Beach

 

If you are up for an early start, head to the beach for the sunrise. The 75-mile beach is located on the eastern side of Fraser Island, making it the perfect spot to watch the sunrise!

 

Sunrise on eurong beach

 

It’s so pretty and colourful! Definitely an amazing way to start the day.

 

If you are staying at Eurong Beach Resort, you only have to walk a few minutes to the beach and can make it back on time for brekkie!

 

Watching the sunset on Fraser Island

 

If you are not a morning person, then watching the sunset will be a better option for you. Unfortunately, there isn’t much to see on the eastern side of the island as the sun sets in the west but you can see it from the other side.

 

Sunset on fraser island

 

If you are staying at Kingfisher Bay resort, then you are at the perfect place!

 

Alternatively, you can opt for a sunset cruise from Hervey Bay. See prices here.

 

How to get to Fraser Island

 

Unfortunately, getting to Fraser island is not the easiest thing in the world. The island is entirely made of sand which means you need a 4WD vehicle to be able to get to take the ferry and get around.

 

If you own one, then you need to do is to get a permit for Fraser, book a ferry ticket and be very aware of the driving conditions on the island.

 

Fraser Island Ferry

 

If not, here are your options.

 

Fraser Island 4WD hire & ferry

 

If you want to explore Fraser Island on your own, you can choose to hire a 4WD. There are several options to do that. You can choose to rent a 4WD from one of the usual car rentals or opt for a company specialising in vehicles for Fraser Island.

 

Fraser Island 4WD dingo is a popular company for that.

 

Hiring a 4WD for Fraser Island is not cheap but it will give you a lot of freedom to explore the island.

 

No matter what, you will still need to get a permit (extra cost) and be aware of the tides.

 

Getting stuck in the sand on Fraser Island is a common issue so if you have no previous experience, you may want to opt for a tour instead.

 

In terms of ferries, you can either take the Fraser Island Barges ferry from Hervey Bay or the Manta Ray from Rainbow Beach.

 

Fraser Island tours

 

Booking a Fraser Island tour is the easiest way to explore the island.

 

They will take care of everything including food and accommodation. That means you don’t need to worry about being stuck, tides or even preparing your meals.

 

The tour guide (who is also your driver) has extensive knowledge of the island, its history and will give you plenty of tips.

 

Fraser Island Explorer tour

 

Going on tour is also a great way to stay safe. Fraser Island is home to a lot of things that can hurt you. Dingoes, snakes… you name it! Guides will give you instructions to stay safe.

 

Lastly, because they take care of everything, the only thing you have to do is having fun! And believe me, you will have a lot of that!

 

If you are travelling on your own, it’s also a great way to meet people!

 

Here are the best tours to Fraser Island:

 

Day tours to Fraser Island

 

If you are short in time and can only spend a day on Fraser Island. You will get to discover Lake Mckenzie, Eli Creek, Maheno shipwreck and Central Station.

 

You can opt for one of these day tours:
– From Rainbow Beach. See prices.
– From Hervey Bay. See prices.
– From Noosa. See prices.

 

2-day tour to Fraser Island

 

If you have a bit more time, I highly recommend booking the Fraser Island Explorer tour from Hervey Bay.

 

That’s the one I went on and it was amazing.

 

You will have a bit more time to discover all the sites and can enjoy one night at the Eurong Beach Resort. That also means that you can see the sunrise in the morning!

 

Here are the attractions you will visit: Lake McKenzie, Eli Creek, Champagne Pools, Lake Wabby, Pinnacles, Central Station and Indian Head.

 

For more information and see the latest prices, click here.

3-day tour on Fraser Island

 

Finally, you can also opt for a 3-day tour. It’s a great way to make the best of the island and enjoy the full experience. This tour is particularly recommended for backpackers.

 

Click here to see the latest prices.

 

Fraser island accommodation

 

If you are self-driving, you will need to book a place to stay on Fraser Island. You can either opt for the nature experience, which is camping, or one of the resorts on Fraser Island.

 

Hotels on Fraser Island

 

Eurong Beach Resort is an all-time favourite. It’s ideally located right by the 75-mile beach, making it the perfect place to start your exploration of the island.

The facilities are also amazing. There are swimming pools, a bar and plenty more! Click here to see the latest prices.

 

Kingfisher Bay Resort is a luxury accommodation situated on the western side of the island. The place is very beautiful and modern. If you are looking for a place for a retreat, it will be the perfect place for you. Click here to see the latest prices.

 

Camping on Fraser island

 

If you want to enjoy the full Fraser Island experience, going camping is a great way to do so!

 

You can either opt for bungalow parks such as:

 

– Fraser Island Retreat. This is the perfect mix between camping and resort. You will be staying in a bungalow. There are a communal kitchen and swimming pools. It’s situated on the 75-mile beach which is a very convenient location. Prices here.

 

– Orchid Beach Retreat is a 3-bedroom country home in the centre of the island. Perfect to enjoy the nature and the amenities that come with a house! Prices here.

 

Or you can camp in one of the Great Sandy National Park campgrounds. You will need a permit for that. For more information and see the full list of campgrounds on Fraser Island, check out the official website.

 

I hope this article will help you plan your travels to Fraser Island with ease! No matter what, you will have a great time! It’s such a pretty place!

 

You may also be interested in:

Visiting Lake McKenzie on Fraser Island: Ultimate travel guide

Fraser Island day trip from Hervey Bay

Fraser Island day trip from Noosa

Pet-friendly accommodation in Rainbow Beach, QLD

Best Whitsundays day trips

Things to do in the Whitsundays

How to get to Whitehaven Beach

Australia Travel Guide

Man-made landmarks in Australia

 

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Travel Guide Fraser Island Queensland Australia

About me

 

breakaways coober pedy SA

 

Hi! I’m Pauline, a French expat in the UK!

 

I’ve lived in several countries and travelled around Australia for a year!

 

Now I’m sharing all my travel tips and cultural facts with you!