Off Roading on Fraser Island

By Nomadic Matt | Published April 15th, 2010

Fraser Island, located in Queensland, Australia, is the world’s largest sand island. Moreover, it’s one of those “must sees” on Australia’s east coast travel trail. The majority of people who visit do a 4WD self-drive tour around the island. You’ll spend 3 days camping, getting sand everywhere, swimming in lakes and streams, eating, avoiding dingoes, and drinking by the campfire.

Travel Tips for Fraser Island

  • If you do a self-drive tour, you need to bring your own food and alcohol. While there is a small store at the island’s resort, it’s very expensive and should only really be used in an emergency.
  • If you do a self-drive tour, don’t worry if you are traveling alone. You will be placed with a group of other travelers and share a car with them. A self drive tour costs around $300 AUD and lasts 3 days, 2 nights.
  • If 3 days camping with strangers isn’t your thing, you can do a 1 or 2 day guided tour.  Guided tours will take you to all the major sites on the island. I’d save your money and do a day tour though. I found the two day tour to be way too long.  Only a few extra sites were added in but you have a lot of “dead” time sitting in places. I mean how long does it really take to see the shipwreck?
  • Tours leave from Hervey Bay (northern entry point onto the island) or Rainbow Beach (southern entry point).  Hervey Bay is a lot bigger than Rainbow Beach with more things to do.  Rainbow Beach is a small, small town with a nice beach, a few hostels, and some restaurants. It’s supposed to be the “main backpacker destination” but I found that just as many people planned to stay in Hervey Bay. If given the choice again, I’d stay in Hervey Bay. There’s just more to do there.

I had a ton of fun on my trip to Fraser Island and I recommend that anyone who goes does so for more than one day. While I was short on time, I think it is much better if you go camping there for a few days than just go for one day and see the highlights.

For more information on planning a trip, you can visit my Australia travel guide for what to do, see, how to get there, and more ways to save money.

Disclaimer: King Fisher Tours gave me 50% off my guided tour.

comments 10 Comments

NomadicMatt

At least someone does!

Well done! Thank you so much for the tips. Can’t wait to get over there.

I spent four months studying abroad in Australia but never made it to Fraser Island! I heard it’s amazing, and I definitely need to go someday. I might have to add it to the journey.

NomadicMatt

You should if you like to camp!

PetePajor

I was there over the summer, it’s a crazy place. I love the creeks that are so clear you can’t even tell the water is there. We did a one day tour and it worked excellently, we just got driven around in a 4 wheel drive bus all day and got to see all the major attractions.

Natalie

I went there when I was 15. My group went diving and I got violently ill after the dive. I was sick the whole time! It was terrible and it was because I used a community mask to dive. SO, the moral of the story is – Buy your own mask or suffer the consequences! Also bring your own food and DO not try to sneak into the club/bar that is on the island when you are 15….not a good idea :p

i have got one of my 5 best time in Fraser island! indian head was nice i saw from far away whale, mata, turtle and a shark!

Gryffin

What company did you use? $150 for 3 days? I can’t find that deal anywhere!

NomadicMatt

Yeah looks like prices have doubled these days! Inflation!

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