Fraser Island Queensland Australia
Photo by Liam Edwards
Discover Fraser Island
Welcome to one of the earth’s greatest discoveries – Fraser Island, a place where we leave only footprints and take memories from.
Our earth’s largest sand island and world heritage listed in 1992, with 123 kilometres of golden sands to explore and with the island is around 22 kilometres wide there are over 1,200 kilometres of tracks to explore within this ecosystem consisting of many sand types, rainforests and multiple vegetations, plants, flora and fauna, animals and rare creatures along with the lakes and creeks within.
This marvellous island attracts an incredible 400,000 people from around the world that visit each and every year and is also home to a rather small number of 100 permanent residence and some 50 experienced Fraser Island rangers.
There is no place on earth like Fraser Island and with so much to see, do and learn it really is a marvel to the eye when you land on what is known to the world as one of the greatest, most iconic and pristine sand islands ever known to man.
Come join the island lifestyle for a day tour or pack for longer as stay for weeks as you gain knowledge on one of the most fascinating places on earth. Take souvenirs, photographs, memories and knowledge with you as you leave and be astounded at what your eyes will see!
- World’s largest sand island
- World heritage-listed
- 123 kilometres of sand
- 1,200 kilometres of exploring tracks
- 2 world-class resorts
- 50 experienced rangers
- Rarest animals in the world
- Phenomenal destinations
- Beaches/Fishing/ Boating
Fraser Island History
- Founded by Captain Cook
- Year founded 1770
This magnificent and enormous sand island was first discovered way back in 1770 by none other than Captain Cook himself.
At the time this wondrous discovery had him assuming it was attached to the mainland and this is where the title the “Great Sandy Strait Peninsula” arose from.
It would not be until 1799 when Matthew Flinders ventured upon the exact same peninsula and discover it, in fact, was not attached to any of the mainland of what would be Australia and was one large sand island sitting out on the waters alone. Visit our Fraser Island history page for more info.
- K’gari – meaning ‘paradise’
- 3000 aboriginals lived on Fraser Island
- 500 archaeological sites remain
What would later tell a remarkable story was to understand that the Butchulla tribe – Australia’s original ancestors to the land, had called what we now know as “Fraser Island” their home.
Around 500 to an astonishing 3000 aboriginals would live on what we now know to be the world’s largest sand island and from here they would worship the sands and waters surrounding them calling their unique slice of paradise a fitting title- K’gari – meaning, “paradise”.
The life on the island we now all know and love was definitely different back then with the Butchulla tribe living freely off the land and eating fresh seafood every day from the now Great Sandy Straits waters.
This lifestyle they had become use to, was to be undone when the European settlers arrived and over time, the number of Butchulla people diminished from the island whether that was due to weapons or disease brought in by the Europeans.
Fraser is home to many archaeological sites, around 500 to be exact and shares in showcasing it’s original heritage to the world as we remember the Butchulla tribe and the lifestyle that made Fraser island an iconic piece of world heritage listed land.
Eliza Anne Fraser
- Wife of Capitan James Fraser
- Shipwrecked in 1836
- How Fraser got its name
When people speak of Eliza Anne Fraser they either understand what her presence is to Fraser Island or are curious to know more.
Eliza was wife to Captain James Fraser who was on board a ship that found itself wrecked upon the island in 1836 and from here she claims to have been captured by the islands Butchulla people.
Her then-husband, Captain James Fraser was believed to have died from some of his injuries and perhaps starvation also.
Eliza, however, went on to live her life and was assumed to have been rescued by a convict that had been on the run for many years and had taken up residency with the Butchulla tribe and as he knew how to speak their language, this is how Eliza was rescued from the island lifestyle and made her way back onto the mainland.
From here she would presumably make her way to a lifestyle down south of Australia and eventually pass away in 1858 after re-marrying and having herself some children with her new husband.
Mining Fraser Island
- 1800’s timber logging began
- 1991 timber logging ceased
- 1996 sand mining ceased
After the European settlers emerged themselves on Fraser Island it was discovered the island played home to a money-minefield.
By the mid-1800s logging would begin to take place and timber transported from Fraser Island to the mainland by vessels that would dock at the end of a 1.1-kilometre pier and here, via train, the export of the timber logs were transported across the mainland of the small fishing village we now recognise as Hervey Bay.
Logging would cease in 1991 due to the impact it had incurred on the environment. Flora and Fauna were heavily impacted along with many, many native animals to the island.
By removing timber trees in the enormous fashion the European’s had done and for the time duration it had continued, this placed a heavy impact on the soil depreciation also.
When they disturbed the ground to such a vast capacity as they had done for so long, civilisation at that time became increasingly aware that the nutrient-rich soils that had been tampered with were now deficient and therefore this changes the entire ecosystem on Fraser Island dictating it’s future growth pace and sustainability.
After the realisation of the impacts logging had on the environment, by 1996 sand mining, which had been another industry removing vital nutrients from Fraser was ended also.
Sand miners had found that removing sand from the eastern beach dunes was vital in making concrete and other nutrient-based products as they began digging up tones and tones of excess sand from the dune spots.
As we know today, this is not a viable way that the island and its biodiversity can survive and this was the sole reason for its demise in the mid-1990s.
Animals on Fraser Island
- 47 mammals
- 354 birds
- 79 reptiles
- 19 snakes
Fraser Island also plays home to 47 different types of mammals, 354 different species of birds, 79 different reptilians and 19 different kinds of snakes. Learn more about the animals here.
- Endangered Wallaby
- Small Eared Mountain Possum
- Humpback Whales
- Sugar Gliders
- Red-capped Plover
- White Bellied Storm Petrel
- King Brown Snake
- Coastal Taipan Snake
- Death Adder Snake
- Lace Monitor Goanna
- Rare Acid Frogs
- 1.2 kilometre of lake
- Crystal clear waters
- 930 metres in width
- Fraser Islands most popular destination
Lake McKenzie is one of Fraser Island’s most sought after attractions with most visitors to the island making the trek to the popular lake. Seeing really is believing!
Allow Fraser Island’s experienced rangers to journey you around the island and be entertained by their vast knowledge on all the islands information and tour you to places such as the stunning Lake McKenzie where you will sight the 1.2-kilometre crystal clear lake that is almost similar in width reaching an incredible 930 meters width.
With around 150 hectares in surroundings, you can enjoy the hidden destination that is cuddled by dense rainforest and soft, white sands.
- Shipwrecked in 1935
- An iconic landmark on Fraser Island
- Emerged in the eastern beaches sands
Another well known iconic site that hits the “must-see” list is the SS Maheno shipwreck that became stranded on the eastern foreshore back in 1935 and has remained on the island ever since.
This now rusted wreckage still draws an enormous crowd annually as people globally enjoy having their photograph taken near the ship.
- Freshwater lake
- A significant heritage to the Butchulla tribe
Lake Wabby is another hugely popular site destination when visiting iconic Fraser Island and well worth the stopover as in years to come this pretty spot will no longer exist with the nearby sand blow that pushes tones of sand into the lake each and every year.
This lake is located on the eastern side of Fraser Island and is a freshwater lake. However, unlike Lake McKenzie with its crystal clear entrance and sky blue depth, this lake is more green intones.
This lake also has significant Butchulla meaning with it understood to be a “man’s only lake” in the past where they would fish the freshwater lake and catch rainbow fish and the now rare honey blue-eye fish as well.
- Foam sea spa
- Eastern beach hot spot
Ever wondered what it would be like to take a dip in a real-life champagne pool setting?
Well, wonder no more as Fraser Island invites you to explore the beautiful Champagne Pools that are literally like taking a swim in a jacuzzi where foam straight from the sea encases you in the shallow swimming holes that have been naturally formed via the holes that were nature-created near the ocean.
You can locate these mind-blowing pools by driving along the eastern beaches, approximately 2 kilometres from Indian Head.
- 75-mile beach destination
- Panoramic view of Fraser Island
And where is Indian Head exactly?
Apart from being around 2 kilometres from the Champagne Pools we spoke about, it is a scenic drive up 75-mile beach, as they prefer to call the 123 kilometres of the sandy stretch.
This destination literally overlooks the eastern beaches giving panoramic views like no other place on Fraser.
It really is worth the drive to get what some say are truly incredible photographs that you won’t get anywhere else on the world heritage listed island.
- Largest perched lake in the world
- The ‘red ‘lake
- Formation from tea tree’s
Imagine 200 hectares of space to roam that is centred around the largest perched lake there is in the entire world and you have arrived at Lake Boomanjin.
This lake was formed when over many, many years a build-up like the formation of the earth and organic matter slowly rose the level of the lake that would eventually raise it to above sea levels.
What is even more impressive about this lake is that upon viewing it is red in tones and this has happened due to the surrounding small creeks that have slowly over time treakeled in water that is thriving from the popular tea trees that are surrounding the area.
- Perched lake
- Self- cleansing ecosystem
- Risen by a rock formation
To say Fraser Island is a lake lovers haven would be an understatement as we take you to Lake Birrabeen, a lake surrounded by bush like scrubs and trees and stepping onto the sand feels almost like putting your bare feet on powder it is that fine to walk on and touch.
This lake is also a perched lake, meaning it is above the sea levels but has been designed by nature with rock build up over the many years.
This lake is one of the cleanest lakes you will stumble upon as the ecosystem, together with the fine sand has its own system to sustainably cleanse the waters daily and this is why you are advised to aim not to wear any sun creams or repellents into this location where possible.
- Man-made board walking adventures
- A creek that flows 4 million litres per hour
- Swimming accessible
Eli Creek is one of those pristine and peaceful settings that nature has yet again created for your enjoyment. Relax, unwind and take a dip in the creek that is also surrounded by Fraser Islands wonderful beauty of rainforest canopies and smaller shrubs that give that private feel.
Man-made board-walks have been built for those who wish to venture away from the creek to take a look at some of the more spectacular vegetation the island has on offer and to get educated some more on what species reside near and around Eli Creek.
One phenomenal fact about Eli Creek is the vast amount of fresh water that flows directly from the creek’s mouth straight onto the eastern beach and into the Great Sandy Straits waters surrounding.
Over 4 million litres per hour of freshwater flowing from the creek makes for one remarkable piece of knowledge when visiting the area.
- Ancient sand dunes
- 70 plus colours to view
Stepping away from all the freshwater and saltwater adventures another well sought after hot spot on Fraser Island is the coloured sand dunes.
Located near Eli Creek is where you will find these dunes that have formed as nature created them to be by vegetation oxidisation and the wind blows.
There is an eye-popping 70 odd colours if you study the dunes close enough even if the human eye mainly catches the primary reds and yellow tones.
Fishing on Fraser
- Black Kings
- Mangrove Jack
Lovers of fishing are in for one huge treat when staying on Fraser Island. Whether you are visiting the western or the eastern beaches you are in for a real fishing delight when casting a line off the great sandy shores with an abundance of fish to be caught at most times of the year.
The western side of Fraser, which is where Kingfisher Bay Resort is also situated, is a great spot to do some more peaceful beach fishing or boating around some of the smaller islands nearby that play home to some of the pretties and more rarer catches as they nestle in the coral below.
Wahoo, Mackrel, Trevally, Black Kings, Jewfish and the most sought after Whiting and Bream are also located on this side of Fraser Island. You can catch these directly from the western beaches or cast a line out on a higher tide from the long jetty that links the waters to Kingfisher Bay Resort and Village for upper advantage!
Heading over the eastern beaches where the waters are more open and surf is more prevalent will also provide for some more challenging fishing when casting a line in.
Having said that, the fishing over on the eastern beaches is extremely popular with the island hosting the Fraser Island Toyota Fishing Competition annually. This event brings in a staggering 1,500 anglers who are vying for the opportunity to bring in the biggest and best catch!
This also produces a lot of boating enthusiasts to the waters on the eastern side of Fraser with almost 300 people launching their vessels to secure some of the more well-known fishing spots out from the beaches.
This competition has been going for over 20 years and is one of the more popular events Fraser hosts throughout the calendar year.
For those not wishing to partake in the competition and plan to camp on the eastern beaches in the less busy times to enjoy some private fishing to themselves, they can expect to enjoy some pretty spectacular catches also!
Tailor, Shark, Bream and Mackerel, Marlin and Tuna to name a few, together with Mangrove Jack and the popular Snapper fish are just some of the many fish you can expect to find upon the end of your line during a day upon the island’s sandy shores.
Fraser Island Accommodation
- 400,000 guests annually
- Average 4 night stay on Fraser Island
There are literally so many things to see and do on Fraser Island and with all the adventures to be had, a place to rest your weary heads bound for another action-packed and marvellous day abroad beckons. Fraser Island offers you the experience of camping in the designated camping spots provide around the island or welcomes you to book and stay at 3 of the popular resorts and home-style living outlets situated in 3 widespread spots on Fraser Island.
With an average stay of 4 nights on Fraser Island, that is over 1.5 million beds being made annually to accommodate well over 400,000 guests who make their way to the glorious island we have known to love.
Kingfisher Bay Resort
- Award-winning resort
- Over 150 rooms available
- 3 dining destinations
- Multiple pools
- General Store
- 4WD Hire
- Fuel and Gas
- Jetty Hut/ Beach hire
- Experienced ranger-guided tours
Welcome to award-winning Kingfisher Bay Resort situated on the western side of Fraser Island and approximately 45 minutes by vessel or barge to your idyllic destination.
From here, you can access the entire of Fraser Island by foot, 4WD or take an experienced ranger-guided tour.
This 4 star, eco-friendly resort boasts over 150 rooms just to give you an impression of how large this island resort in fact is.
The surprising fact about stepping out onto Kingfisher Bay Resort from the vessel is the fact that you cannot see the huge range of rooms available.
They have been well hidden within the natural environment that originally was in place and this gives you a very private, quiet and extremely peaceful stay when on Fraser.
Each of these rooms also offers a deck that overlooks the bush or lake settings and it is fair to say you really are settling in with nature when you are here.
With 2 ala-carte restaurants offering you a fine dining experience, coupled with the menu offerings of some of the freshest seafood delights straight from the waters surrounding Kingfisher Bay, you are bound to revel in some pretty unique tastes to set your appetite alight!
Bringing the family and those fussy eaters along has also been catered for as the Sandbar, right beside the ocean waters offers a bistro-style menu to suit even the most refined eaters and a bar within to keep the adults happy as the young ones enjoy a before-meal dip in the saltwater pool provided.
Choosing to stay at Kingfisher and enjoy a more self-contained eating holiday is also easy as the resort offers you a bakery and a general store within the resorts is not only full of Fraser Island memorabilia but stocks a huge array of alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages, along with all the regular staples you would expect to pick up at your local supermarket including fresh fruit and vegetables and meat delivered straight to the resort daily. Fuel and gas are also available at the general store, along with 4WD hire if you arrive with no vehicle.
Why not grab your favourite magazine or daily paper available daily within the store and head to the popular Jetty Hut and sit undercover as you watch the sunrise?
This heavenly located little hut also provides soft drinks, ice-creams, chips and all your beach hire and fishing hire equipment needed for one awesome day on the beaches.
Fraser Island Camping
- 45 camping spots on Fraser Island
Eastern beach-bound visitors can choose to camp in the specific camping grounds provided that you can find out about when booking at any 4WD hire outlet on the mainland or making your island accommodation enquiries.
Camping is one of the more fun ways to enjoy Fraser and something the whole family can get amongst. Most of the 45 camping destinations mapped out at Fraser Island for your enjoyment are now fully fenced to protect you from the dingoes and to ensure they are not attainable into the area’s where your food items will be in full use during your stay.
Many people throughout the entire year enjoy camping on the island as it allows the freedom to roam as you please and you may wish to hike through the island and stay at many different locations along with your mapped out adventures.
Please be mindful however of the native wildlife that surrounds you and also of your rubbish when you are camping. Bins are provided in most camping ground outlets and we strongly advise you use them to not only not leave litter on the beautiful world heritage listed sand island, but also to not attract the wildlife that does exist there also.
It’s vital to the future of the island that we all partake in keeping our camping area’s tidy and clean upon leaving for the long term enjoyment of others after us as well as the longevity of Fraser’s many native animals too.
Whether you opt to camp inland or closer to the eastern beaches, there really is a spot for everyone!
Some of the most popular camping spots on Fraser Island are:
- Cathedrals on Fraser
- Dunbabura Sunrover Camp-site
- Woralie Creek Camping Zone
- Waddy Point Beachfront Campground
- Waddy Point Top Campground
- Waddy Point
- Govi Camping Ground
- Central Station Camping Area
- Bowarrady Creek Camping Zone
- Eugarie Yurra Guruman Recreation Area
- Dilli Village Camp-site
- Guluri and Eli K’Gari
- Dundubura Camping Area – K’Gari
- Govi and Wongi, K’Gari Recreation Area
- Maheno and Wahba Recreation Area
- Pyungan and Winnam Recreation Area
- One Tree Cornwells Gabala Recreation Area
- Bowarrrdy Creek
Eurong Beach Resort
- Eastern Beach Resort
- 2 Pools
- McKenzies Restaurant
- Close to the beach
- Ideal for fishing and 4WD
Eurong Beach Resort is a laid-back accommodation style outlet situated on the prime destination of the eastern beaches (or 75-mile beach).
Step out from your room to crashing waves and some of the most sought after fishing spots Fraser offers.
Close to Eli Creek and Indian Head, you are a stone’s throw away from some of the islands most iconic landmarks.
Preferring a day at the resort won’t leave you with anything to do as the resort boasts 2 pools and the ever-popular talked about McKenzies Restaurant where you will be treated to some of the best seafood the island has and prepared for you by chefs who specialise in bringing you something rare and well worth experiencing.
Orchid House Fraser Island
- The first original home on Fraser Island
- Eastern Beach setting
- Private get-away
- Sleeps up to 8 people
- Minimum stay 5 nights
Orchid House, located on Eliza Road on Fraser Island – named after Captain James Fraser’s wife and situated nearby to another famous shipwreck, the Marloo.
This very private, self-contained get-away destination books out fast as it accommodates 8 people, boasts multiple bathrooms and plenty of vehicle storage space.
This setting really is like a home away from home style living if you are not keen on camping or wishing to stay in the more upmarket resorts style offerings.
From here, you are in the perfect position to explore in any direction of the eastern beaches and fishing is a dream from this vantage point also, so bring your rods and reels and bait!
Imagine fishing by day and cooking up your catch by night in your own private kitchen area!
Live the dream on the eastern shores and book with Orchid House – one of Fraser’s longest-running accommodation offerings (minimum 5-night stay).
With so many hot spot destinations to visit when on the island it is easy to see why most enjoy more than just one day on what can only be described as one of the most mysterious, tranquil and serene places on earth. For more Fraser Island Accommodation please visit our Accommodation Page here.
Fraser Island Tourist
If you’re coming to Fraser Island on a holiday from Australia or overseas as a tourist, you’re going to be looking for the best information on how to get around on the island, accommodation costs and 4wd hire. Many of the travellers to Fraser Island use our website, as do many of the local tourists for planning trips, working out distances and finding maps, plus you can work out the costs to stay at Fraser Island for any amount of time. As a tourist here you will have many questions about the island and its history, local culture what foods they ate, how they survived off the land so why not please read on one of our many other pages or try this local tourist guide online. If you would like to read more on the local Fraser Coast Tourism this will give you an idea of the local area.
See our tips on What is the best time of year to go to Fraser Island? As this will answer many of the questions you might have.
- Please observe no camping areas and use existing campsites.
- Please also drive responsibly and carefully and display patience and courtesy to other island visitors.
- Please use the rubbish bins provided.
- Please do not use soaps, detergents, toothpaste or sunscreens in lakes and streams as this can contaminate these waterways.
- Please apply sunscreen after swimming in the lakes and use a hat and t-shirt to protect you whilst in the water. The lakes do not get flushed regularly – they are a closed environment and therefore concentrations of pollutants can build up over a period of time.
- Please use the firewood provided at campsites. Gathering timber from the park is prohibited.
- Please observe fire bans and extinguish all embers of your campsite upon leaving your site. Remember one campfire could destroy many hectares of this world heritage environment.
You may also try these other maps, The first one is our map of Fraser, the next is the detailed park map, the other shows the walking trails, plus a conditions report map. If your looking for the best map try the Fraser Island 4WD Explorer Map from amazon.com.au click here to check prices.
“Take only photographs and memories, leave only footprints” Remember the golden rule of protecting your environment and don’t destroy what you came to enjoy.
How do you get to Fraser Island?
There are so many ways you can travel to Fraser Island, Ok so How do you get to Fraser Island? Well, the most popular way is to drive to Hervey Bay then travel by boat or the ferry a 45 minute trip over to Fraser Island, Once you’re on the island you can travel as you choose to do so, again the most popular way to do this is by four-wheel-drive once you’re on the island.
How to Access The Island
Access to Fraser Island can be by Vehicle barges, aircraft, passenger launches, commercial tours or private boats. Air charters operate from Hervey Bay and Maryborough airports to airstrips on the island or beach landings (all by prior arrangement).
Helicopter services operate to and from Kingfisher Bay Resort
Vehicular barges and ferries operate from:
Mary River Heads to Kingfisher Bay Resort
Mary River Heads to Wangoolba Creek
Urangan to Moon Point Or You can also get to Fraser Island from Rainbow Beach.
For barge, timetables click here.
Permits – Vehicles and Camping: All vehicles travelling to Fraser Island must first have an official
permit. The permit must be attached to the windscreen and don’t forget your Island Map. Campers other than those using commercial campsites must have a camping permit which should be attached to the tent in clear view for inspection by the
- Prices for camping and permits can be found here
- Prices for Vehicle permits are $39.35/month and $197.20/year.
- Park information can be found here