Fraser Island "the world's largest sand island is a magnificent place and a must do for any 4WDer"
Access to Fraser Island
Vehicle access to Fraser Island is by Ferry (Barge) only. Barges can be boarded from the West or South of the Island.
From River Heads
Fraser Island Barges depart at set times from River Heads. Cost is roughly $160 return per vehicle with 3 passengers Additional charges apply for more passengers and those towing boats or trailers.
From River Heads you can choose Barges to either Wanggoolba Creek or Kingfisher Bay Resort. Advanced bookings are required: Ph: 1800 227 437.
From Inskip Point
Ferries depart from Inskip Point via Rainbow Beach from 6:00am to 5:30pm every day and carry vehicles to Hook Point, the southern point of the island. Crossing takes approximately 10 minutes. Charges do apply but bookings are not necessary. If you need somewhere to camp before embarking on your adventure, Ross Hendry also recommends camping at Inskip Point. Great inexpensive camping and excellent fishing spot.
If you have a limited time to spend on the Island, getting on and off from the West is reccommended as you will enter directly in the centre of the Island, accessing some of the best attractions and conserving petrol. However, if you have a good amont of time to explore and are planning an epic Fraser Trip coming in from the South will also allow you to explore Ranibow Beach and surroding areas.
Fraser Island Maps and Navigation
All maps featured in this guide are available offline from the Billy Goat 4WD mapping app for iPhone and iPad.
Beach Driving at Fraser Island
Top Ten Tips when 4WDing at Fraser:
1) Permits are required for beach driving at Fraser Island. They can be obtained from the Queensland Parks Booking Website and should be obtained in advance.
2) Give your vehicle a very good service before heading off. Check and grease EVERYTHING under your vehicle before going. Replacing parts or repairing your vehicle can be an expensive exercise on Fraser and can ruin your long anticipated trip.
3) Vehicle preparation: Ground clearance enhancement would be highly recommended. In terms of tyres, a good set of all terrains will serve you better than an aggressive set of Muddies. Ensure you have recovery points both front and back.
4) Ensure you pack all of the recovery gear needed. For more info on recovery gear needed read MUDMAP BEACH DRIVING GUIDE
5) Before you head off check track conditions and closures thoroughly. Fraser is prone to sever weather impact and conditions can change rapidly. Hazards are common as are track closures. To check current conditions: DOWNLOAD THE PDF and READ PARK ALERTS.
6) Be familiar with tide times and have plans on timing to ensure you have clear access to and from your destination. Simply only drive on the beach at low tide. The risk of a rollover or falling into a deep wash-away is too great at high tide.
7) Make sure you know where you can and can't drive before you get somewhere (ie. top end you can't drive further than the lighthouse.) Makes for a decent effort to get up there, then nowhere to go but back. Which you can't do if you get the tide wrong. If you do drive to sandy camp/light house leave as the tides is going out and dont linger too long or be prepared to camp somewhere.
8) Get decent mapping and GPS navigation equipment. We recommend the Billy Goat 4WD mapping app for iPhone and iPad. It highlights all camping areas and facilities, including relevant 4WD tracks and no driving zones of Fraser Island. Giving you the ability to plan your trip and navigate in confidence.
9) Look out for planes landing and taking off on the beach. Above photo sent in by Stephen Andrews shows just how close they can get to 4WDs on the beach.
10) As soon as you have finished beach driving give your vehicle a very good wash. Ensure you use a strong blaster and remove all excess sand and salt water. This will be easier on your mechanic and your wallet in the long run as serious damage can result from the residue. - Richard Cluley and Tim Dudes
Fraser Island Attractions
Maheno Ship wreck
The grand Maheno was built in 1904, weighing a massive 5, 323 tonnes. After she was launched she held the blue ribbon in trans-Atlantic crossing. She then served as a hospital ship during World War 1. Now this magnificent wreck rests on the coast of Fraser Island providing a portal into the past. Capturing a photo of your beloved 4WD next to this towering ship is a must.
These naturally formed shallow rock pools provide a popular swimming spot. The ocean crashes into the surrounding rocks and fills the pools with bubbly foamy water, hence the name 'Champagne Pools'. The pools are located just north of Indian Heads, along 75 mile beach and are certainly worth adding to the 'To Do' list while on Fraser Island.
Out of all of Fraser Island's beautiful landmarks, the Pinnacle Coloured Sands are one of the most breathtaking. Best viewed in morning light, the sands are a photographer's delight. They have formed over hundreds of thousands of years as the elements interacted with minerals on the exposed sand dunes.
Lake McKenzie is one of the most iconic destinations of Fraser Island. This stunning fresh water lake with crystal clear water and perfect white sand makes for the ideal spot to relax and gaze in ore at the magnificent beauty Fraser has to offer.
"Don't drive dad's 3 week old BMW on Fraser. Just because all wheels turn does not make it a 4WD. Just ask the 18 year old I scull dragged back to the shore from lake Mckenzie. It was a write off"
- James Thomo Thompson
Eli Creek is the largest freshwater stream on the east coast of Fraser Island. It can be viewed via wooden walkways that snake around the edges of its immaculate natural beauty. The swiftly flowing creek is a popular spot for walks, picnics and swimming. Swimming at the far end on the boardwalk can make for a very refreshing experience of a hot day.
Fraser Island is renowned for it's rich and diverse fish population. Freshwater fishing is prohibited on the island but ocean fishing is welcomed.
Popular fishing spots on Fraser Island include: Indian Head, Sandy Cape, Waddy Point and Middle Rocks, north-east of the Island. These spots are home to bream, mackrel, shark and tailor and are very popular with anglers in particular between July and October when tailor are abundant. During peak times fishing can become quite crowded so you may wish to explore around and find your own sweet fishing spot.
Over to the west of the island toward Wathumba flathead, bream and whiting may be your catch of the day.
Whether you are new to fishing or a seasoned angler, bes sure to pack your rod. As no Fraser trip is complete without a little spot of fishing.
CAMPING AT FRASER ISLAND
According to Chris Yeo permits are required for camping at Fraser Island. It is recommended that you book your campsites well in advance by visiting the Queensland Parks Booking Website.
According to Adam Peter Hinchliff fires are not permitted in majority of camp sites around Fraser Island. Fines of up to $500 apply to those lighting fires in restricted areas. Hence it is recommended that you bring a portable BBQ or camper stove with you. There are a small number of sites that do allow you to light fires in designated fire rings such as Waddy Point and Dundubara. If you do book one of these sites make sure you bring your own fire wood as collecting fire wood on Fraser Island is prohibited and purchasing fire wood on the Island can be quite pricey.
Keep it clean
Elena Leong suggests taking all rubbish out of the island as litter can be harmful to the environment and spoil the natural beauty of the island.
Drinking Water on Fraser Island
Ensure you bring your own drinking water and containers when camping on Fraser Island. All water collected from the island must be treated prior to drinking. This includes water collected from taps, lakes or streams. There are water taps at Central Station, Dundubara and Waddy Point Campgrounds and at day use areas. There is also a water collection tap in front of Eurong Information Centre. To treat collected water you can use water treatment tablets or boli the water for 10-15 minutes.
FRASER ISLAND NATIONAL PARK CAMPING SITES
National Park Campsites and Fraser Island require pre-booking via the Queensland National Parks and Wildlife Website. These sites provide basic facilities such as toilets, picnic areas, BBQs, running water and showers. Make sure you bring plenty of dollar coins with you if you want hot showers. There are also numerous signed campsites along the beach which make for beautiful spots to set up for the night. These sites do not provide the same facilities as National Park Campsites and require visitors to take all rubbish back with them.
Waddy Point is situated on the northern edge of Fraser Island and according to Darren Magor it is a great place to camp. Pre-booking a site here is well worth it as it one of the few places on Fraser Island that allows for fires to be lit in concrete pots at each camp spot. Darren recommends bringing your own fire wood as collecting and burning of wood from Fraser Island is not permitted, and can be extremely expensive to purchase at Orchid Beach. Waddy point is only one 1km away from Indian Head, which is an awesome fishing spot. Also a great place to camp when visiting Champagne Pools.
Set in costal woodland, Dundaburra is one of the few fenced-off camp grounds around Fraser. Some of the facilities here include hot showers, gas barbecues, phone access and a rangers station. There are large areas for big groups as well as access for camper trailers. There are also communal fire pots that can can be used to light fires, however no fires are permitted outside of these fire rings. Advanced booking well in advance is essential.
Great camping spot for boat owners. With boat access and boat camping available.
Central Stations is the site of an old logging station. The area is rich in history and there are many interesting historical landmarks to explore in the area. Central Station has a beautiful walk that takes you into Basin Lake. Visitors can follow the winding boardwalk and take in the surrounding sub-tropical vegetation and marvel at the stunning crystal clear water of Wanggoolba Creek which runs along side.
CHECK PUDDLES before you drive into them. I had one mate submarine his vehicle and put a wave OVER his roof & snorkel. Thankfully it was short and smooth bottom in and out. He was able to momentum through it, but definitely a scare.
Lake Boomanjin Camping Area is set in open forrest surrounds. Facilities include: toilets, cold showers and day use area.
FRASER ISLAND PRIVATE CAMP GROUNDS
Frasers at Cathedral Beach
Frasers at Cathedral Beach is one of the few privatey owned camp grounds on the Island. It provides a range of accommodation from basic non-powered campsites to cabins. Unlike Dilli Village it is not fenced off against dingoes. Here you will find a well stocked store, laundry facilities, camp oven, toilet and shower blocks.
Dilli Village provides guests with cabin accommodation, bunk accommodation, powered and unpowered camp sites. Clean amenities blocks with hot and cold showers. Picnic tables, barbeques and shaded areas enable guests to make the most of outdoor dining and entertaining. Dilli Village is also fenced off against dingoes. However, being a private campground sites are more expensive than National Park Camping Grounds.
Fraser Island Maps and Navigation
All maps featured in this guide are available offline from the Billy Goat 4WD mapping app for iPhone and iPad.
DINGOES ON FRASER ISLAND
The infamous local residents of the island, the Fraser Island dingoes, are to be treated with respect, but also with caution.
Handy Dingo tips
Keep all of your food in sealed containers, preferably with metal latches.
Keep your campsite tidy, it reduces the temptation for dingoes to sniff around.
Never store food inside your tent.
Ensure human waste is buried very deeply as dingoes have a habit of digging it back up. Consider bringing a porta potty, or use a camp site with assigned toilets.
Keep all children under 12 years old in sight at all times.
Prepare your children on appropriate behaviour around dingoes well in advance.
If you are very worried about your children's safety around dingoes at night you may consider camping at one of the fenced off camping areas around Fraser Island.
If you feel threatened by a dingo
Stand to your full height and fold your arms in front of you.
Face the dingoes at all time. If you are in a group stand back to back.
Do not run or wave your arms as dingoes may see this as a cue to attack.
Back away slowly.
If a dingo does attack you
According to the Queensland Government's recommendations if a dingo does attack, you should:
Defend yourself aggressively as you are fighting for your life
Try to strike the dingo with an object within reach such as a large stick or your backpack.
If you are bitten seek medical help as soon as possible and report the incident to a ranger.
Dingo Mating Season
Negative dingo behaviour tends to increase during dingo mating season. Be particularly cautious around easter school holiday period. If you are with young children and are worried you may choose to stay at one of the fenced off camp grounds at Fraser Island.
Last words from the Muddies:
Have a great time! -Rod Nash
Enjoy. Smell the roses. -Ron Kalsar
RELAX and enjoy this beautiful part of Australia! - Bruce Fuller
What an unforgettable experience!! I cant wait to go back!! - Ashley Lipus
A big thank you to everyone that sent in their amazing pics: Stephen Andrews, Kellie Smith, Peter Thomas, Stuart Freer, Ashley Lipus, James Thomo Thompson and Kyle Young. Also, special thank you to our friends at Austrail 4X4 for their fantastic contribution.
A huge thank you to all the Muddies that contributed to writing this Blog:
Halee Mxx, Garry Freeman, Chris Nesbit, Brett Degney, Edward Bramich, Carl Sullivan, Trevor Tricky Buchanan, Jacob Scrivener, Brett Degney, Ian Don, Brody Dilligaf Neill, Adam Peter Hinchliff Doucea Usatov, Jordan Paterson, Martin Henderson, Chris Yeo, Dion Hetherington, Paul Kelly, Dallas Ryan, Brett Degney, Darren Magor, Stuart Freer, Dave Smith, Bec 'Mitchell' Milne, Ashley Lipus, Julie East, Matt Flynn, Terrie Parker, Peter Owens, Stephen Colley, Sarah Colley, Stuart Jones, Ron Mcculloch, Rod Nash, Elena Leong, Ross Hendry, Tracey Stewart, Ryan Lynch, Todd Moyle, Richard Cluley, Rod Hewish, Scott Hissey, Peter Thomas, Dylan Berglund, Cheryl Yeoman, Ron Kaisar, Tim Dudes, Daniel Bush, Damien Walters, Pat Evans, Stephen Andrews, Kelly Cameron, Greg Gall, Daniel Ivins, Dan Ahlsen, Bruce Fuller, Brett Degney, James Thomo Thompson, Kyle Young
Have something to add? We would love to hear from you. We are constantly updating our Blog content so if you feel you have any more tips please leave a comment here or on our Facebook page and we will add them with the rest of the tips.