Last Updated 11/12/2021.
World Heritage-listed 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
To reach Fraser Island you could drive from Brisbane in 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 Fraser
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!
Fraser Island 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.