For years now, I have been hearing stories from fellow travellers about the Spectacular Fraser Island, roughly 250km north of Brisbane. Fraser been dubbed a 4×4 enthusiasts dream, and was my first desitination after I decided to buy one!
There are several different ways to explore Fraser Island. You don’t necessarily need to own your own 4×4 to enjoy everything the Island has to offer, but it certainly helps. There are plenty of tour companies that depart from either Hervey Bay, or Rainbow Beach. You could also rent a high clearance 4×4 from similar companies in either town.
Since I was heading north from Brisbane, I opted to take a ferry from Rainbow beach, at Inskip Point. Manta Ray Barges offer an 125$ return ticket through their permit office in Rainbow Beach. From Inskip Point, we landed on the Southern tip of Fraser at Hook Point. The sand is extremely soft here so make sure you switch your truck to 4WD before you exit the barge or you will get stuck immediately. From there you can head northeast along the coast driving on the beach if the tide is low enough. If the tide is too high and the sand is too soft, you can take inland tracks up towards the Central Station and other campsites.
Your other option is to take the barge from River Heads on the mainland to Kingfisher Bay through Fraser Island Ferry. The price ranges from $175 for off-season, to $200 for peak-season. From Kingfisher Bay, you can head straight through the Island towards the Central Station and other campsites.
Things You Need to Know Before Departing:
- You will need to purchase a Vehicle Permit through the Queensland Government
- You will also need to book your campsites well in advance, especially in peak-season, if you wish to stay at a campsite that is equipped with fences, bathrooms and showers. The price is $6 pp/night
- The beach and inland tracks are considered roads, so speed limits are always in effect and there are plenty of police present to make sure you do.
- There is a large wild dingo presence on the Island, and can be very dangerous to leave small children, or small pets to roam about unattended.
- Everything is extremely expensive on the Island, so make sure you stock up on food, water, and gas before you arrive. I paid $1.90 per litre while on the Island :O
- It is very important to understand and study the tidal changes on the East coast. Certain areas of the Island are very rocky which makes it easy to get stranded in dangerous places. Many unprepared and naïve tourists have lost their vehicles to the unforgiving ocean.
- Learn to drive on sand. It is extremely fun, but never forget that it can be very dangerous. Ideally, you want to drive on low tide, when the beach is flat and hard, so you can enjoy longer gazes at the stunning views. Avoid at all costs turning too sharply at high speeds as your wheel could bury itself in the sand possibly resulting in a rollover.
Places to Visit:
- Eli Creek: Refresh yourself in the famous Eli Creek by swimming or floating down the roughly 1km long fresh water creek. Be careful as the creek crossing can be dangerous during high tide. Many vehicles have been lost here over the years, don’t let it happen to you!
- Maheno Shipwreck: You can read all about the interesting history about this 82 year old wreck.
- Lake Mackenzie: After a fun drive through some of the inland tracks, it’s hard to imagine your day getting any better. But then you walk down the stairs and find yourself staring at one of the most picturesque lakes in the world. Stay a while.
- Hammerstone Sandblow: Check out this massive sand dune which grows over a meter in size each year, overlooking lake Wabby.
- The Pinnacles/Red Canyon: Spectacular multi coloured sand cliffs that date back hundreds of thousands of years.
- Champagne Pools: Go for a dip in pools formed from volcanic rock while waves splash over your head, massaging you with fizzing foam.
Check out my Youtube Video of my week spent on Fraser Island!