Fraser Island

fraser island Australia
Fraser Island is an island located in Queensland, Australia approximately 190 miles north of Brisbane and is the largest sand island in the world. Fraser is a place of exceptional beauty, with its long uninterrupted white beaches flanked by strikingly colored sand cliffs and filled with over 100 freshwater lakes, all ringed by white sandy beaches. It is a very popular destination of backpackers and locals alike for 4×4 drives and multi-day camping activities. Just watch out for all the wild dingos!

Typical Costs

  • Hostel Prices: There are no hostels, only resorts, on the island, which are stupidly overpriced. The majority of people come here to camp, which you can do all over the island. You’ll need a camping permit though. It’s $5 USD per night.
  • Budget Hotel Prices: Rooms at the resorts are around $60 USD per night.
  • Average Cost of Food: You bring your own food unless you are staying at the resorts, where it is provided for you. Groceries in Australia cost about $50 USD a week but if you are splitting the cost of a few days camping, it shouldn’t cost you much at all. You’ll also need to bring your own water too.
  • Transportation Costs: You can only travel around is on a self-drive 4WD or with a guided tour. See the end of this article for costs.

Read more on the costs of traveling around Australia.

Top Things to See and Do

  • Lake MacKenzie – The jewel of the island, Lake MacKenzie is a large lake with crystal blue waters and white sand. The lake is the most popular on the island so it can get crowded during the middle of the day during peak season.
  • Lake Wabby – A green colored lake some 20 min walk from the beach, with a large sand blow that is slowly encroaching upon the lake. Freshwater turtles and fish can sometimes be seen swimming in the lake.
  • Indian Heads – The rocky outcrop at the northern end of the main beach. Climb to the top to look down into the ocean and spot sharks, rays and turtles.
  • Champagne Pools – North of Indian Heads, these rock pools provide a safe place to bathe in the ocean (there’s too many sharks around to do so safely otherwise!). Their name is derived from the froth created when waves break over the edge and into the pools.
  • Eli Creek – A freshwater creek midway along the main beach where bathers can float down with the current. A boardwalk provides access to the top of the creek.
  • Maheno Shipwreck – In 1935, the retired passenger steamer Maheno was being towed to Japan for scrap when a storm forced it ashore. It was used for bombing tests during World War Two. This now rusty hunk of metal is best seen during low tide.
  • Seventy Five Mile Beach – This length of beach stretches along the entire eastern side of the island and is considered the main road of the area. Many of the island’s best sights, such as the Coloured Sands, Eli Creek, and the Maheno Ship Wreck can be seen along the beach. You can see the entire stretch, from Indian Head, or up close while 4WD driving.
  • Hammerstone Sandblow – This huge sand dune will make you suddenly feel like you are in a desert. From start to finish, your adventure begins in a section of rainforest and ends at Lake Wabby. This trek is definitely one better suited for the athletic and fit.
  • Wanggoolba Creek – In the middle of the rainforest, the Wanggoolba Creek runs crystalline clear and is surrounded by rare King ferns. Beautiful and all together amazing, these ferns are said to have existed here for over 2500 years. Due to human destruction, only 60 are left. Walk along the boardwalk of the creek and take it all in.

Budget Tips

There are only two ways to see Fraser Island:

  • You can visit the island through a 1 or 2 day guided tour. These tours leave from Hervey Bay or Rainbow Beach. The tour drives you around in a 4WD bus to see all the major sites. They typically cost between $150 – $250 USD. They include hotel picks, food, accommodation, park fees, and a guide. You can read about my island tour here.
  • The other, and most popular way, to visit the island is through a 4WD self-drive. For about $150 USD, you’ll join a group of other travelers for a 3 day, 2 night driving tour of the island. These tours let you choose where and when you go. If you are traveling alone – don’t worry as you’ll be put into a group of other travelers. You will need to bring your own food and alcohol with you. These tours can be arranged at any hostel or travel agency in the tours and will include any applicable fees. They are a cheaper and more fun option than the organized tours.

Other Destinations in Australia

Alice Springs Brisbane Cairns Gold Coast Melbourne Perth Sydney