How to Get to K’gari, Australia

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World Heritage-listed K’gari (formerly Fraser Island), the world’s largest sand island, sits roughly halfway up Australia’s east coast in Queensland, giving it a maritime subtropical climate and pleasant temperatures all year round. It’s always a popular travel destination for all ages and rightly so. Let’s have a look at getting to Fraser Island, Australia and things to do when you get there.

getting to fraser island australia

Getting to Fraser Island

To get to K’gari from Brisbane the drive is only 3.5 to 4 hours. 

If you’re travelling from New South Wales, drive north to Fraser from Sydney in around 14 hours.

Alternatively, you can fly from Brisbane, Melbourne or Sydney to Hervey Bay, the jumping-off point for trips to the island. Hervey bay is also on all the main bus and train routes along the east coast.

Once you’re in the Fraser Island coastal region, you will need to take a vehicle or pedestrian ferry from Hervey Bay, River Heads (just outside Hervey Bay) or Rainbow Beach. Each ferry lands at different locations on Fraser Island

If you don’t have your own 4WD transport, a day tour from Brisbane is a popular choice, particularly with young backpackers and gap year travellers.

Before You Visit K’Gari

Don’t forget to check your travel insurance covers you for four wheel driving if you plan to go off gazetted roads Check your car is mechanically sound. Read up on sand driving. You’ll need to change your tyre pressure. You will need some specialized sand driving and recovery equipment.
Grab your Lonely Planet Australia guide book. Or better yet, the dedicated Queensland guide book.
Check the tide times!

K’Gari Things to Do


Trek across the Hammerstone Sandbow from the beach to Lake Wabby for a refreshing swim.

Climb Indian Head to take in spectacular coastal views, maybe you will spot some marine wildlife in the clear waters.


Lake McKenzie, high in a dune, attracts swimmers to its fresh waters and sandy shores.

The Champagne Pools are a natural tide-dependent jacuzzi of waves crashing into rock pools.

Visitors float down, or up, Eli Creek depending on conditions.


Between June and October, humpback whales pass along this part of the coast and it’s possible to spot them from Seventy Five Mile Beach. Hervey Bay Marine Park lies to the West of Fraser Island, safe waters attract hundreds of humpback whales and their calves from August to the end of October. Whale watching tours are available.

354 species of birds have been recorded at Fraser Island.

Dingos are a protected species inside Australia’s national parks. It’s thought that Fraser Island’s dingos are the purest bred in the whole of Australia. Click through for more information on dingos and safety.

4 Wheel Driving

Fraser Island is a Mecca for Australian 4 wheel drive enthusiasts.

Seventy-Five Mile Beach is a gazetted highway and the natural spine of the island. If you’re bringing your own vehicle, make sure it’s up to the conditions and obtain your permit in advance. 4WD vehicles are also available for hire, but be very aware of the tides.


There are numerous camp sites on Fraser Island, book in advance. Visit the Queensland National Parks website for further information.

Fishing and Boating

Seventy Five Mile Beach has some of the best beach fishing in the world. Great fishing conditions for beginners lie in the gutters along the beach.

Fresh water fishing is prohibited on Fraser Island.

Calm water behind Indian Head and at Waddy Point are ideal for launching boats.

Maheno Ship Wreck

A great spot for photography, The Maheno was built in 1904 and she held the blue ribbon in trans-Atlantic crossing before serving as a hospital ship during World War 1. Now she lies photogenically on the shore of Fraser Island.

We have a full post on some of the adventures you can have on Fraser Island in our Things to do on Fraser Island post. If you’re looking for further information on travel in Australia, just head back to our Australia Travel Blog page.

If you'd like to hire a car during your stay, use this car rental comparison tool to find the best deal!

We also suggest you take a look at this company to get a quote for all kinds of the more tricky adventure or extended travel insurance.

Try Stayz / VRBO for an alternative way to find rentals on homes/apartments/condos in any country!

About the author
Alyson Long
Alyson Long is a British medical scientist who jumped ship to chase dreams. A former Chief Biomedical Scientist at London's West Middlesex Hospital she started in website creation and travel writing in 2011. Alyson is a full-time blogger and travel writer, a published author, and owns several websites. World Travel Family is the biggest. A lifetime of wanderlust and over 6 years of full-time travel, plus a separate 12 month gap year, has given Alyson and the family some travel expert smarts to share with you on this world travel site. Today Alyson still travels extensively to update this site and continue her mission to visit every country, but she's often at home on her farm in Australia.

1 thought on “How to Get to K’gari, Australia”

  1. Thank you Alyson for this valuable information on going to fraser Island, I want to drive for myself with my 4WD and sounds many interesting outdoor activity in there. Weather is a must for me and the weather is perfect for me. One day is not enough to explore the whole Island right? Any idea if cottages are available in the Island? For sure, there will be lots of fun and it needs more time. Definitely worth to visit the fraser island and experience it for myself.


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