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Fraser Island

Fraser Island (Australia)

Practical information about Fraser Island

  • Beach / Seaside Resort
  • Nature Reserve / Wildlife Observation / Safari
  • Island
  • Viewpoint
  • River
  • Lake
  • Sustainable Tourism
  • Unesco World Heritage
  • Essential
4 / 5 - 3 reviews
How to get there
It's around 15 minutes by boat to Rainbow Beach
When to go
All year round
Minimum stay
One day

Reviews of Fraser Island

David Debrincat Travel writer
459 travel articles

Just opposite Hervey Bay and 45 minutes away by boat, Fraser Island is the largest sand island in the world.

My suggestion:
You'll definitely need an all-terrain vehicle for getting around the island.

Classed as a world heritage site by UNESCO, Fraser Island is one of nature's marvels. Although almost entirely covered by vegetation, the landscape occasionally opens up onto beautiful white sand dunes.

The beaches are superb, but swimming isn't permitted everywhere. When I visited Fraser Island during my trip to Australia, I was able, looking down from a huge promontory, to spot dolphins, a ray and a turtle, and I even saw a shark from very close up. So watch out! If you can't resist those turquoise waters, I recommend heading to one of the beautiful inland lakes for a swim. The colour gradient of the water there is just as pretty, and there's no danger of ending up between the jaws of a Great White shark.

It takes a good two days on Fraser Island to appreciate all it has to offer.

Fraser Island
Sophie Liger Travel writer
53 travel articles

The largest sand island in the world.

My suggestion:
Book your road trip in a 4x4 approximately 2 to 3 days prior to taking the tour.

Fraser Island is anothermust-see in Australia . Don't forget to put make room for it in your travel plan ! For the road trip, I suggest that you rent a 4x4 and leave from Hervey Bay.

Fraser Island is the largest sand island in the world, therefore, driving 4x4 there requires skill. Driving these without experience means you're in for a truly unique experience: you may have to push the vehicle or dig it out of the sand!

I was able to drive on the beach, I camped there and woke up to the sight of magnificent landscapes, and I also met a few dingoes - Australian wild dogs that have made the island their home. There are some safety rules to be followed to avoid being attacked and to ensure a smooth visit, but that's just part of the fun at Fraser Island!

One of the beaches features a huge shipwreck and is an absolute must-see on the Island. There are many angles from which one may admire the views of the Island and the coast. In my opinion, visiting Fraser Island stands out as a fantastic experience and I cannot help but advise everyone travelling to Australia to visit it!

View of Fraser Island from Indian Head.
Lisa Gaillard Travel writer
49 travel articles

Fraser Island is the largest sand island in the world (123 km long by 24 km wide). It is part of Grand Sandy National Park and is listed by the UNESCO.

My suggestion:
Make sure you book an excursion or rent a 4WD, (experienced drivers only): you can then discover Lake Mackenzie, in the heart of the forest, for a swim and picnic. Admire the lush vegetation at Central Station.

Discovered by Captain Cook, Fraser Island was named after Captain Fraser and his wife, Eliza, whose boat ran aground there in 1836. A sand dune overgrown by rainforest, the ecosystem of Fraser Island is fragile and unique. More than 40 freshwater lakes dot the immense dunes.

If you want a vehicle to visit Fraser Island, (and I recommend it, given all the wonders to discover), rent a 4x4, the only type of vehicle authorised on the island. Personally, I am not a seasoned driver on this type of terrain, so I preferred to book a visit and let myself be guided. The tours leave either from Noosa, Hervey Bay or Rainbow Beach, where I booked with Adventure Tours. A sort of mini 4WD truck picked us up (there were 8 of us). The boat left early in the morning: looking over the sides you could see jellyfish and schools of tuna. The waters of Fraser are the most dangerous and wildest of all Australia. The strong currents, the presence of man-eating sharks (bulls and tigers) and killer jellyfish, make swimming highly discouraged.

Once on the island, the vehicles of the different tour operators all follow each other and stop at the same points of interest! The only small event was a flat tyre. While we were waiting on the beach for the guide to change the wheel, we saw a whale in the distance. We also came across some dingoes, which are a highly endangered species. We were told to hide any food because they are very aggressive and it is forbidden to feed them: they must remain wild! All during the tour, the guide made us aware of this fragile environment. He explained the vital importance of responsible behaviour towards the exceptional biodiversity of the island if we want to be able to continue to visit it. After driving for miles along 75 Mile Beach - "The Fraser highway" - we made a first stop at Eli Creek, a crystal clear freshwater stream that flows into the sea. We entered a short way into the forest on a wooden platform, as far as the mangrove where the stream narrowed and disappeared under the vegetation. We splashed around in this beautiful place. Then we headed for the beautiful rusty wreck of the Maheno, to take a few pictures of this World War 1 hospital ship. Another stop at the Pinnacles: columns of ochre sand that are evidence of the evolution of the sand over several hundreds of thousands of years. We turned back in our tracks to enter the superb rainforest. The sand became softer and the jolting truck really shook us up. It was all I could do just to avoid feeling sick. It is difficult for the drivers to avoid getting stuck in the sand on these narrow trails between the towering trees that can reach over two hundred feet high. We arrived at famous Lake Mackenzie and the climax of the visit: a rain water lake with transparent waters that change colours, in the middle of the forest and white sand. Beautiful! You feel all alone in the world in this Garden of Eden... until the next 4WD arrives with its load tourists! We swam and had a picnic: there is a barbecue area (the meal is included in the tour) and a Kookaburra (Australian bird) came to greet us! Our tour ended at the former village of Central Station, with a splendid walk along the riverbed of Wanggoolba Creek in the rainforest: the strangling trees and giant palms gave the place a real Jurassic Park ambiance. It's hardly surprising that several documentaries about dinosaurs have been filmed there!

I did not expect the island would be so wild. What a surprise!! I imagined Fraser Island to be another of those many islands where you can laze quietly on the beach and do a bit of snorkelling. It really is an interesting excursion, especially for those who love to observe nature in all its grandeur.

Elie's Creek
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