Just off the Australian east coast, about 160 miles north of Brisbane, lies the world’s largest sand island. With its raw nature, mystifying freshwater lakes and nearly untouched rainforests, Fraser Island is a must-see on your Australia trip.
First things first, if an all-inclusive 4* hotel luxury break is what you seek, then you may want to stop reading now. That‘s not what Fraser Island is about. It’s a place for thrill-seekers and nature lovers, looking for a break from civilisation. If you are tired, you camp on the beach. If you need the loo, you grab a shovel and dig a hole. That kind of place.
If now you should feel intrigued by the idea of driving a 4WD through the jungle over bumpy, sandy pathways and falling asleep under the open sky to the sound of the ocean waves, then grab your essentials and jump on the next ferry to start your adventure.
Here are some things you should know when planning your ultimate Fraser trip:
You can take the ferry from Hervey Bay and take on the island by yourself. However, with no roads, street signs or local amenities, chances are you may get lost. Join one of the many guided tours by local agents instead. Most packages stretch over two to three days and cover all the important highlights. Group travel is highly advised since there are Dingos prowling around the island and one-on-one encounters with these wild dogs can get quite uncomfortable.
So, other than feeling like Bear Grylls on Man vs. Wild, what will you be doing on your trip?
The ocean in this region of Australia is not safe for swimming, but fear not, there are plenty of ways to get wet and wild in the various freshwater lakes the island is famous for. Let’s look at a typical two-day trip:
On day one, discover crystal-clear water and dip your feet in ivory sand at beautiful Lake McKenzie. If you are feeling up to it, hike up through seemingly endless sand dunes, until you reach Lake Wabby’s deep, emerald green waters, where the desert meets the forest.
After lunch, check out the remains of the SS Maheno. The former passenger ship crossed the ocean between Australia and New Zealand from 1905 until it was sold to Japan in 1935. On its way from Sydney to Osaka, it was hit by a storm and washed ashore on Fraser Island. Today, it is not only one of the most notorious picture spots of the island, but it is also conveniently located near Eli Creek. This will give you the perfect opportunity to combine your island history lesson with a nice cool afternoon dip before heading back to base. Watch the sun disappear in the ocean and get a good night’s rest for the next day.
Start out day two by hopping in your 4WD and heading north on the highway (aka the beach stretching over 75 miles), until you reach Indian Head viewpoint. Climb to the top of the rocks and enjoy a stunning view over miles of land and sea. If you are in luck, you might even spot a whale.
When you’ve seen enough, head down just a few miles on the beach to relax in the naturally bubbling champagne pools. Embedded in rocky coves, they serve as nature’s brilliant alternative for hot tubs.
After two action-packed days on Fraser Island, you will have visited its most beautiful and diverse places and made loads of exciting memories. Enjoy your last night over a cozy campfire and BBQ before you return to the ferry that will you back to the mainland in the morning.
Want to check out Fraser Island in person? Our Australia: 5 Weeks and Australia: 6 Weeks packages both visit this amazing hidden gem.