Fraser Island - A bucket list destination for everyone.
There are 2 ways to get to Fraser Island, head North from Brisbane to Gympie and take the road to Tin Can Bay, and then on to Rainbow Beach. Stop at the Manta Ray Barge Services shop on the left as you get to Rainbow. Purchase a ticket and head out to Inskip Point. There's no alotted times here, just drive out to the point and wait for the barge. Usually takes about 15 mins.
The other way is from River Heads in Harvey Bay, Ferries run to Kingfisher Bay and to Wanggoolba Creek on the western side of the Island. You will need to book these ferries well in advance.
You will need a vehicle permit for Fraser. Get online and book a pass at
They will cost about $46 (check for updates) for a month pass.
What To Take
Recovery gear is a must, take a shovel, & a snatch strap with rated bow shackles, a cable dampener and a tyre pressure guage. This will get you out of any trouble here. If you have an air compressor, throw that in too, especially if leaving the island via Hook point to Rainbow. It's a fair way back to the servo in Rainbow beach for airing up.
Hotels are also a plenty on the island, Eurong has a good set up for familes looking for a convenient location. The resort here boasts, studio and 2 bed apartments with pool, dining hall, shops and a bakery. Fuel is also avialble here. Kingfisher bay is on the western side of the island and is about a 40 minute drive back to the eastern side of the island. The sand bar is a cracking spot for a lunch time vist with a resturant and pool right near the kingfisher barge. Beware though, it can take some time to get to the east side in holiday periods as the tracks are one lane only. Happy Valley also has accommodation and a great Pub with dining once again, fuel, ice and toilets are all available.
If you're looking for a longer stay and would like a house, your in luck, Orchid beach has holiday rentals starting at a minimum of 5 nights in peak season, some of the houses can accommodate up to 16 people. Great if your travelling with friends and family.
If you have'nt got recovery gear yet, then this trip will possibly pay for it. If you get it wrong on the beach and you have nothing to help your situation, you'll be making a nervous call to the insurance company.
Get a long handled shovel, just try removing half a ton of sand from under your car with a short shovel and you'll be straight back to your hardware store for a long one. You will need a snatch strap if you get into trouble. There are plenty of fellow 4WD'ers more than willing to pull you out of a bind if you have your own gear. Rated bow shackles, a recovery point and a dampener should be part of your kit. There are plenty of videos on you tube showing you how to use them correctly.
We have seen crazy amounts of people heading to Fraser with nothing but an esky in their car, only to bog it up to the doors and to be left in all sorts.
Stay at Cathedrals
From Hook point, Cathedrals on Fraser is about 70km's up the Eastern side of the beach past Eli Creek and the iconic Maheno shipwreck. From the barge landing on the western side, head towards Eurong and head up the beach from there.
Cathedrals has a shop for grocery items, a bottle shop & ice, bait & tackle, hot showers, toilets, camp kitchens and BBQ's.
There are also fire rings that are available, but be aware of fire bans in the summer months. You can get unleaded & Diesel here too, but bring your wallett as you can expect to pay around $2.20 per ltr. Get on the web or ring cathedrals on Fraser to book. There are powered and unpowered sites here, and the location is now fenced off from Dingoes.
The Dingoes on Fraser are Wild Dogs. Do not feed them or turn your back on them. Despite what some may say, they can be very aggresive and will try to dominate you if you are alone. You may have to defend yourself very aggressively if you find yourself one on one with them.
In the past, they have generally gone about their business but in the last couple of stays, we have seen some rather nasty situations at camp sites and for walkers on the beach. Don't leave food in tents, they will find it, and you won't have a tent when you get back to camp !
Take safety measures with children, do not let them out of your sight, or out of sight of another adult. If you stand tall and in a group they will usually walk away, waving your arms around will only excite them. Don't be put off by them, just be aware of their habbits, and never interact or feed them. Stay in a fenced area if you have kids, particully if it's your first time here.
All things Fraser
Depending on what time of the year you come to the Great Sandy Island, Fraser can be a walk in the park or a serious workout for your 4WD. In the Winter months and periods where rain has frequented, the sand will compact and make driving pretty easy. Don't be fooled by it though, sunny days can change that pretty quick. In the summer months, it's a whole new ball game, with no moisture, the sand is completely dried out and it gets really soft - Axle deep soft ! if your not travelling with enough momentum.
If you're travelling at this time, make sure your bus is in tip top shape. Cooling systems will cop a hammering particularly if towing a camper trailer through soft sand for periods of time.
A brake down here due to poor maintenance will guarantee a hefty recovery fee back to the mainland, you'd be surprised how many cars leave the island broken because of poor trip preparation.
Don't be put off, just make sure your 4by is ready for all challenges.
Use the right tyre pressure and you will get anywhere on the island. As a rule let your tyres down to 18 PSI with a tyre deflator. This will serve you well all over the island. In the hot months travelling north on the Island from Indian Head, drop a few more to 16 PSI and use Low Range at the soft cuttings.
Important - Lower tyre pressures mean lower speed. A hard beach and low pressures will be similar to driving on the road, slow down to 60 or 70 km's p/hr in the 80k sections. There's plenty of room.
Hard tyre pressures on the tracks will just dig everything up and give your cooling system and drive train a hard time. When you get on the abundance of awsome tracks here, you'll see signs of hard tyre pressures everywhere, they're usually the sections where you feel like your bunny hopping and bottoming out. Yep, that's the buggers that refuse to lower there tyres because old mate told them you don't need to. They're the same guys spending there whole days on a shovel. Don't be that guy !
Camping or Hotel
There are many options to look at for your family in the accommodation stakes. Camping is available in sections along the beach, and there are Dingo fenced enclosures at Cathedral Beach, Dundubara and Dili Village. If you're going to camp close to the beach, upgrade to sand pegs from your local tent supplier. You will need them for securing your camp site especially if a big southerly gets up. Most camp sites require you to be self sufficient. That means you also need to take your rubbish to a dump station as well. Don't rubbish our Parks !
What to do
4WD-ing, bushwalking tracks, fresh water swimming in the lakes, camping, scenic flights, iconic photos, and did we say Fishing ! There's plenty to do on Fraser Island, you won't see it all in a week here, which is a great reason to return and find new places to discover. Best time to travel is all year round, it can get really hot in summer if camping on the beach so take plenty of water. We travel here several times a year and can't get enough. So get rust proofing and we will see you on the tracks.
Middle rocks & Waddy point
Fraser Island Conditions report - click here