Between the Sunshine Coast and Hervey Bay, south of the Great Barrier Reef, is Fraser Island, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of Queensland’s most popular beach getaways. Stretching 76 miles (122 kilometers) long, it’s the largest sand island in the world, covered with beaches, sweeping dunes, and dense rain forest.
Fraser Island 4WD tours are the most popular activity option on the island, while a day tour highlights 75 Mile Beach, Lake McKenzie, the Champagne Pools, the Coloured Sands, and Eli Creek. A 2-day Fraser Island tour covers a Cooloola National Park hike, Kingfisher Bay Resort camping excursion, or freshwater lake cruising. A multi-day tour combines Fraser Island tours with nearby attractions such as Rainbow Beach, the Great Sandy National Park, or the Great Barrier Reef.
Things to Know Before You Go
- Fraser Island has soft sandy roads accessible by 4WD only. All vehicles brought to and driven on the island require special permits.
- Bring your swimsuit, towel, and sun protection—most tours offer opportunities to swim or snorkel.
- Only swim in designated areas to avoid dangerous riptides and sharks.
- Fraser Island has limited cellphone and Wi-Fi coverage, except in some hotels and resorts.
How to Get There
Fraser Island is about 160 miles (257 kilometers) or a 3-hour drive along Bruce Highway from Brisbane. Ferry services from River Heads (20 minutes south of Hervey Bay) land at Wanggoolba Creek or the Kingfisher Bay Resort on the island’s central west coast, or from Inskip Point (just north of Rainbow Beach) to Hook Point on the island’s south coast. The closest airport is Hervey Bay, while Brisbane houses the nearest international airport.
When to Get There
Sunny year-round, Fraser Island is busiest and hottest in summer (December to February), which is also its wet season, when rainy spells are common. Winter, with temperatures in the 50s to 70s˚F (10s to 20s˚C), is ideal for hiking and outdoor activities. Visit from July to early November for whale-watching tours, July and August for fishing, or the spring and summer months for bird-watching tours.
Outdoors Activities on Fraser Island
Swim and snorkel Fraser Island beaches and enjoy water sports such as Jet Skiing, water skiing, kayaking, and scuba diving. The more adventurous can try skydiving, tubing along Eli Creek, or fishing around Indian Head or the Kingfisher Bay Resort jetty. Hikers can tackle the 56-mile (90-kilometer) Fraser Island Great Walk, trek through Pile Valley Rainforest, or explore Burrum Coast National Park, while wildlife enthusiasts can spot dolphins, dugongs (a marine mammal), and humpback whales on a coast cruise.