Fraser Island, Australia

fraser island tree-hugging, australia

Castles made of sand, stone-free and the wind cries Lake McKenzie on Fraser Island’s freshwater beach.

Things to do on Fraser Island

200 miles north of Brisbane, Fraser Island is accessible mainly from Hervey Bay by ferry, taking around an hour, but also from Rainbow Beach or Noosa.

Many visitors bring 4WD vehicles with them or rent them on the island. There are no hard roads on Fraser, mostly bumpy, deep sand tracks winding through the trees (as in the above picture) or long straight, flat stretches on the wide eastern beaches.

Possible accommodation on the island ranges from camping, through simple timber lodges up to a couple of pricey resorts.

Lake McKenzie, a brilliant beach

fraser island tree-hugging, australia

Perched on a layer of solid leaf matter Lake McKenzie deserves to be recognised as one of the best beaches in the world, with stunningly fine white, stone-free sand and warm, clear, pure freshwater to bathe in. The weather is warm, the location is totally natural, the water contains no killer critters and the sand entertains no coral lumps. Even the dingoes are friendly, trotting down the beach for a drink and to check out the visitors and their backpacks.

McKenzie Beach’s main drawback is that you need first to get to Fraser Island, then drive at least half an hour on a sand track to reach the place. Still, compared to Whitehaven Beach access is easy and cheap.

fraser island tree-hugging, australia

Hmm… that dingo doesn’t look so threatening from here, especially compared to Australia’s really dangerous animals.

Both humans and dingoes love Lake McKenzie’s powder sand and fresh clean water. We’re pretty sure this is the best sand we have ever set foot on and clearest water we have ever swum in. Pity about the time taken to get here from Hervey Bay.

Another Fraser Island option is safe seaside bathing in Champagne Pools tidal seawater.

Fraser Island inland

fraser island sand track, australia

Fraser Island, a typical track.

Popular activities – apart from sunbathing, lake fooling and digging the motor out of sand drifts, are whale watching (August-November) fishing and walks in search of flora (amazing trees and ferns) and fauna (dingoes, wallabies, possums, turtles and snakes).

This island is stunning in the right places, just don’t go there on time-wasting day-trip.

There is a reasonable selection of accommodation on the island so try to arrange at least two nights stay and three days driving.

fraser island forest track, australia

Walking a forest track from Central Station. Nice in a group, but better by yourself!

Fraser Island highway, 75 Mile Beach

Incorrectly guesstimated by Captain Cooke and actually 58 miles long, 75 mile beach is also the local small-plane runway.

This route is popular with tour buses, particularly day trip groups from Hervey Bay, which are keen to waste the punter’s morning in the easiest possible way.
Tourists shuffle morosely down a freshwater stream called Eli Creek, stand in less than awe before a rusting wreck and finally gaze blankly at a small cliff stained vaguely yellow/orange.

fraser island 75 mile beach, australia

75 Mile Beach – race track, landing strip but hardly a bathing beach unless you like sharing with toxic boxes and Tiger sharks.

fraser island shipwreck 75 mile beach, australia

One of the beaches ‘sights’. You can look but not touch.

And to cap it all punters cannot swim for fear of Tiger sharks but are encouraged to take a short $60 flight over the island. Sharks all around it seems. Just say nay!

Fraser’s magic lies inland, with walks through the rainforest, over monster dunes and swimming from white powder beaches in spectacular azure freshwater lakes.
But to focus on these you will need to avoid most of the useless tours and choose one that delivers the real thing (i. e. inland), or better use your own 4WD, rented and brought over from the mainland or rented on the island.

fraser island Pinnacles, australia

The Pinnacles (all of 15 metres high), another dead loss on the package tourist trail.