Fraser Island Destination Guide
Set foot on Fraser for the first time and it doesn’t take long to realise why this piece of paradise off the Queensland coast is rated one of the Earth’s natural wonders. World Heritage-listed K’Gari, as it is known to the traditional owners the Butchulla people, boasts a mix of glorious uninterrupted beach, coloured sand cliffs, unique rainforest, sand dune lakes and creeks so crystal clear that they inspire a double take.
The largest sand island in the world is rich in wildlife and a haven for walkers, nature lovers, four-wheel-drive adventurers, beach explorers and anglers, with facilities ranging from resort hotel and apartment-style accommodation to genuine bush camping.
Fraser is all about the environment, whether it is taking in the wonders of the east coast 75-mile beach, which offers some of the best beach fishing in Australia, or exploring the quieter west coast on the Great Sandy Strait.
If you don’t feel confident enough to hire a 4WD vehicle (or confident enough to drive your own on the sand), there are numerous tour options available to take in the island highlights. Must-sees include the historic former settlement of Central Station and crystal-clear Wanggoolba Creek, the impossibly clear Lake McKenzie with its silica sand beach, the Cathedrals coloured sand cliffs, and the remains of the shipwrecked steamer SS Maheno.
Keep a lookout for wildlife such as dingoes, lizards, birds, wallabies, possums, turtles and dolphins.
Eat and Drink
Apart from Fraser providing you with one of the best spots in Australia to catch your dinner from the beach, there are several other alternatives. Remember, though, that visitors on camping trips should stock up on the mainland as options for purchase on the island are limited.
There are restaurants and bars at Kingfisher Bay Resort on the western side of the island, including the signature Seabelle Restaurant which focuses on the freshest local ingredients, some grown in its own nursery.
The east coast Eurong Beachfront Resort has a bar, restaurant and bakery. There is also a bar and bistro at the Fraser Island Retreat, Happy Valley.
Where to Stay
If you are looking for an island adventure safe in the knowledge you can finish the day under a roof rather than canvas, you can choose from hotel rooms, self-contained villas, apartments, lodges and cabins. There are also several private homes for rent. Note that accommodation on the east coast is accessible only by 4WD.
If you are looking for high-street type shopping, make sure you indulge on the mainland before making your way across to the island. If you are travelling up from Noosa North Shore to the barge connection at Inskip Point, Noosa and Rainbow Beach are your best shopping spots.
Alternatively, Hervey Bay is a key regional shopping centre for those travelling across from River Heads. There are shops at both Kingfisher Bay and Eurong Beach Resorts, a general store at Happy Valley and small stores at the Cathedrals campsite and Orchid Beach.
Fraser Island like a Local
Exploring by 4WD is one of the great pleasures (and privileges) of a visit to Fraser, but stick to the rules to make the most of it. The 75-mile beach is a designated highway and highway laws apply, including “keep-to-the-left” as well as a beach maximum speed limit of 80 km/h (30 km/h on inland tracks).
It is also a landing strip, so watch out for visiting light aircraft! Locals and long-time visitors know that 4WD sand driving is very different from driving on the road and the relatively inexperienced should do their research before heading out. Never drive on the beach within two hours either side of high tide.