If you're looking for your next Queensland holiday destination on an Island Paradise, just a short 40 minute ferry ride from the Mainland of Hervey Bay, look no further than Fraser Island. Fraser Island is the largest all sand island in the world, home to 2 of Australia's most stunning beaches, native wildlife, ancient rainforest, impressive coloured sand dunes and so much more! If you're planning a visit here are 7 things you can't miss seeing.
How to get to K'Gari (Fraser Island): Start by getting to Hervey Bay
K'Gari (Fraser Island) is located off the coast of Hervey Bay, a short road trip from the Gold Coast, Brisbane or the Sunshine Coast. Located approximately 2 hours drive from Noosa, 3 hours from Brisbane and 4 hours from the Gold Coast. If you're driving and looking for a quick pitt stop along the way at one of Australia's 'BIG' things, we recommend a quick stop via the Big Pineapple on the Sunshine Coast or Big Matilda Kangaroo at Traverston Rest stop.
Alternatively, both Qantas and Virgin offer flights directly into Hervey Bay airport.
From Hervey Bay you have the option to either take Day trips to Fraser Island or take a ferry to the Island and say overnight there.
Fraser Island Ferry options: From Hervey Bay to Fraser Island via the Kingfisher Passenger Ferry
They Kingfisher Bay Passenger Ferry is the primary mode of transport to Fraser Island, operating 5 times daily departing from River Heads (earliest departure is 6.45 am) to Kingfisher Bay Resort, with the latest departure around 5 pm back to Hervey Bay. TheThe journey takes approximately 50 minutes, and has the option for both passengers and cars to cross on the Ferry. It includes and indoor and outdoor area as well as food and beverage outlets.
Costs: $60 return per adult, $190-$215 per vehicle return
This really depends on the style of holiday you want to have.
For an adventourus 4WD based holiday stay on K'Gari. The main accomodation option here is the Kingfisher Bay Resort, located right by the Ferry Terminal. However you can also check out the latest deals on Booking.com below. Be warned the roads are not easy to navigate through the soft sand on your own and there's high risks of getting stuck, so if you plan to drive you should have good experience. This personally wasn't the best option for us!
For easy access in getting around and to be closer to a wide selection of bars, restaurants and other day trips we recommend staying anywhere along the Hervey Bay esplanade or at the Boat Harbour Marina. We stayed in both of these 2 locations during our visit.
Our first stay was at Eden By the Bay located centrally along Esplanade at Scarness Beach. The apartment had a spacious bedroom, bathroom, laundry, kitchen, living area and balcony and was across the road from one of our favourite beachfront destinations, Enzo's sunset cocktail bar and the Scarness beach pier. The apartments also came with a car park space.
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Our second stay was at Mantra serviced apartments, located right on the Hervey Bay Boat Harbour Marina. This is the perfect location for if you have day trips booked for whale watching and Fraser Island. We loved the waterfront views, poolside and outdoor barbecue area. There are also plenty of cafes and restaurant to enjoy along the Marina without needing to drive anywhere. They have a large carpark too with free parking included.
7 Places you can't miss on Fraser Island, Queensland:
1. Lake McKenzie:
This has to be the most famous swimming spot on all of Fraser Island. The fresh water late offer crystal clear blue toned waters to enjoy a swim and pristine white silica sand. It's around a 20 minute drive from Kingfisher Bay Resort to Lake McKenzie. This is the closest main attraction to the resort.
2. the rainforests of Central Station:
The tour will stop for a lunch break including sandwiches and fruit at Central station. This stunning spot is located in the heart of Fraser Island's rainforest, where you can enjoy a scenic and relaxing forest boardwalk (no more than 1km). It's around a 30-40 minute drive from Kingfisher Bay Resort to Central Station and 10-minutes from Lake McKenzie. We recommend a lunch or afternoon stop here after spending the morning at Lake McKenzie.
3. Eli Creek:
Enjoy the clear and shallow waters of Eli Creek, arguably another of Fraser Island's most famous swimming spots. Take an inflatable floaty tube to ride the fast moving river with a drink in hand if you have time while you're here. You'll need to either bring your own or ask you hotel if you can borrow one as they don't have them for rental at the creek itself.
Eli Creek is located along 75 mile beach, on the opposite side of Fraser Island from Kingfisher Bay Resort, Lake McKenzie and Central Station. It can take up to 2 hours drive along the sand to reach Eli Creek. Be sure to check the tides along 75 mile beach before planning your visit to avoid driving into soft sands.
4. The Maheno Shipwreck:
A once luxury cruise liner now sits rusting along the shores of Fraser Island's 75 mile beach. It is the perfect stop to explore this history and watch as the waves crash through what remains of this ship.
The Maheno Shipwrek is located along 75 mile beach, close to Eli Creek and the Pinnacles. It can take up to 2 hours drive along the sand to reach Eli Creek. Be sure to check the tides along 75 mile beach before planning your visit to avoid driving into soft sands.
5. The Pinnacle Coloured sands:
Rich in K'Gari dreamtime history is the coloured sands of the Pinnacles. Plan your visit here during the same time you visit the Maheno Shipwreck and Eli Creek as they are all located close by.
To see the highlights listed above in a single day if you're staying in Hervey Bay you can take the Fraser Explorer Tours 1 Day Fraser Island tour. While you can rent a car or take your own 4WD and drive across Fraser island we would not recommend this unless you're well experienced with off-road driving! The roads are all sand and exceptionally bumpy and with fast changing tides, the island is well known for cars getting both stuck and washed away. There are also parts of the island where rental cars are not allowed.
6. Wathumba Creek
If you are looking for one of the most stunning beaches in all of Queensland and Australia - Wathumba Creek has to be up there! If you're like us and had no idea this place even existed, prepare to be blown away by its natural beauty. This location is world class.
The sand is soft pure white silica sand, just like the beaches of Whitehaven in the Whitsundays, and the water is crystal clear and calm. Best part is there's a good chance you'll have this beach all to yourself. No rental 4WD or boats are allowed in this part of Fraser Island as it's high risk with the fast changing tides. Only privately owned vessels are allowed, for this reason we recommend visiting from Hervey bay via Tasman Ventures Remote Fraser Island day trip. They are the only tour company that operates to this part of the island, so you're in for a unique experience. If you have your own 4WD it can take 5-6 hours to reach this part of the island.
And in case you're thinking Wathumba Creek looks a little familiar, it was used as a filming location for the Hollywood blockbuster Fool's Gold. Doubling as the Maldives and Caribbean. Just goes to show how incredible a location it really is.
This tour is $190 for the full day including morning tea, lunch and afternoon tea. We thought it was totally worth it given some whale watching and whale swimming tours are the same price or more, and this already includes these experiences and then some! We've also had friends who have booked whale swimming tours and given it's not a guarantee you can do it, miss out altogether.
6. Bowarrady Sand Dune
Our final afternoon stop on the Tasman Venture tour was to the Bowarrady Blow Sand Dune on Fraser Island. We climbed to the top of this soft white sand dune to witness some of the most stunning views over Platypus Bay and the Great Sandy Straits. Don't worry, it's only a couple of minutes walk to reach the top.
We hope you enjoyed our travel guide to K'Gari Fraser Island, Queensland, Australia. To see more of our other Australian destination guides click here.
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