Fraser Island Barges have two ferries that depart from River Heads which is about 20 minutes out of Hervey Bay. One lands on the island at Wanggoolba Creek and the other at Kingfisher Bay. The trip takes 30 – 45 minutes. The cost is $165 return per vehicle with up to three adults.
The Manta Ray departs from Inskip Point at Rainbow Beach and lands on Hook Point. It takes about 10 minutes and the cost is about $120 return per vehicle.
Vehicle and camping permits are essential. Purchase them in advance online or from the office at River Heads or Rainbow Beach before the ferry departs.
To drive on Fraser Island a 4 wheel drive is necessary. We take our own, but they can be hired through companies in Hervey Bay. Atlas 4WD Hire and Fraser Magic both have a good reputation and happy customers.
Drop Bear Adventures have organised 2 – 3-day tours which are very popular.
Fraser Explore Tours are known for their day trips.
Lower the tyre pressure to about 20psi before driving on the sand. We never did this until we had to shovel ourselves out after getting bogged in soft sand!
Check tide times. As a precaution driving along the beach should be done two hours either side of low tide. Driving before and after this is possible but you will have to drive higher up on the soft sand. We drove on the beach at high tide when it was going out, not coming in.
Salt can be corrosive so try not to drive into the water and give the vehicle a good hose down after.
Eli Creek can be impassable at high tide. Many vehicles have washed out to the ocean while trying to cross at high tide!
The further away from the beach the softer the sand. Driving close to the water on the darker sand is much easier.
Water is available at the ranger’s station in Eurong and campgrounds with amenities.
Small shops and fuel are available at Eurong, Happy Valley, Cathedral Beach, Orchid Beach and Kingfisher Bay.
Shopping in Hervey Bay beforehand is less expensive and has more choice.
Mobile coverage is scarce on the island but is available at Eurong, Happy Valley and the other townships. We had a strong signal while camping at Wongai and hotspots on the west coast.
It can get cold at night with the wind even in summer, so bring something warm!
There are options for fenced and unfenced camping on the Island. The unfenced is generally bush camping with no amenities. If you are concerned about the Dingoes or have children, a fenced campground is your best option.
Fenced Camping is available at Central Station, Waddy Point, Dundubara and Lake Boomanjin. These campsites have amenities, coin-operated showers and toilets. They also have timber picnic tables and seats at each campsite.
Fenced camping for hikers is available at Lake McKenzie, Lake Benaroon and Lake Boomanjin.
The sun sets on the west coast and rises on the east coast.
Coin operated showers are available at Central Station, Waddy Point and Dundubara.
The bush camping on the east coast is very basic with no facilities. There are no toilets or showers. A toilet is a hole dug in the ground with a spade. A bush shower or a swim in the lakes, creeks or ocean is perfect for refreshing! If a hot shower is necessary, have $1 coins for the coin-operated showers at the fenced camps.
Fines apply if you are caught feeding the Dingoes or don’t store food away.
Fraser Island is very busy during school holidays. November and early December is a quieter time. During May there is a good chance to see dingoes as the pups leave their dens and become independent.
We recommend staying on Fraser for at least 4-5 days. This gives enough time to see all the attractions or do a similar loop like we did.
If you prefer to pitch your tent only once, a good base in the centre of the main attractions is campsites around Happy Valley or Eli Creek.
For sunrise at Champagne Pools we camped at Marloo but if you don’t want to get up so early the best option is the campground at Waddy Point or Burad camp. From here it takes about 15 minutes.
On the last day, it is a good idea to camp at a campsite close to the ferry landing, especially if leaving early. This gives plenty of time if your vehicle gets bogged. If someone else gets bogged on the inland tracks that can hold up the vehicles behind. Fraser Island is the kind of place where everyone helps each other. If driving on Fraser long enough you will more than likely eventually get bogged! Central Station, Lake McKenzie and camps close to Eurong are good options.
There is about 20 km of choice for beachside camping on the more remote western side. Make sure you keep well above the high tide line while camping and driving!
If camping is not your thing there are other options for Accommodation on Fraser Island.
Some Driving Distances
Wanggoolba Creek Landing Ferry to Central Station 10 km – 1 hour
Central Station to Lake McKenzie 10 km
Lake McKenzie to Eurong 15 km
Eurong to Elli Creek 25 km – 1 hour
Elli Creek to Champagne Pools 35 km – 90 minutes
Eli Creek to Lake McKenzie 40 km – 90 minutes to 2 hours
K’gari to Woralie Creek on the west coast 35 km – 90 minutes to 2 hours
Hook Point to Eurong 40 km – 90 minutes to 2 hours
This is just a rough guide only. Driving times vary and depend on the tides, conditions of the tracks, traffic and how much sightseeing. One-way inland tracks such as the one from Woralie Creek to K’gari can have hold ups when there is oncoming traffic.
Our Camping Gear
Camping mattress, sheets, pillows and blanket
Camp table and chairs
Single Gas Burner
Food and Drinks!
Plastic container for washing the dishes
Cutlery, Frypan and Kettle
Lamp, torches and matches
Our mini iPads are an essential item for us even when camping. The perfect size for a kindle and great for reading in tents as no lights are necessary!
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