Widely described as one of Australia's must-see destinations, it was with excitement that we planned our excursion to Fraser Island, the world's largest sand island. 123km long and 22km wide, the island is very popular for its beaches, but it also offers some remarkable sites.
Whether driving your 4x4 or via a tour, we take you to brave the tides on Fraser Island!
How to Fraser Island ?
To drive on Fraser Island, you absolutely must have a 4WD. If so, all you have to do is buy your ferry ticket and pass to be able to travel on the island.
If you do not have one, many rental agencies are present in Hervey Bay and offer packages with 4WD rental, insurance and ferry pass for about $500 a day. You will also have a safety briefing to explain the conditions and risks associated with driving, because on Fraser Island we only drive on sand, there are no sealed roads.
Anyway, it's important to be well prepared for this expedition! Here are a few tips:
- Go with full fuel, gas is very expensive on the island
- Check the tides! If you want to avoid geting stuck on one end of the island, take a look at the schedules!
- Check the pressure of your tires, they should be slightly deflated for driving on sand
- A shovel in the event of getting stuck in the sand
- Lots of water!
Also beware of the dingoes which are present in number on the island, it is forbidden to feed them.
If all this organization seems too constraining to you, you can pass by a tour operator for your stay on the island. There are several that offer more or less the same thing: transport from Hervey Bay or Rainbow Beach, visit the most famous sites of the island and meals included. All over 1, 2 or 3 days.
We opted for a one day tour with Fraser Explorer Tour for $190.
A day on Fraser Island
So we reached the departure of the ferry located at River Head (15min drive from Hervey Bay), it takes about 30min to reach Fraser Island. Once landed on the island, it's off for a day of exploration!
We started our day by crossing the island in its width. We then travel through the dense forest that covers the vast majority of Fraser Island. As we go along, the vegetation changes and our guide explains how such a forest could grow on the sand.
We then leave the forest to arrive on the east coast of the island. This is where the famous 75 Miles Beach is located, a huge beach 123 km long that runs the island from north to south. It is on this beach that we continue our road towards the north.
Despite the fact that we were only at the very beginning of the migration season, we were lucky enough to be able to observe whales from the beach.
The length of the beach is really impressive, you feel like you can ride for hours without ever reaching the end.
After about 40min drive, we see the famous wreck of the SS Maheno, a First World War hospital ship, which ran aground on Fraser Island after being caught in a cyclone in 1935.
Before stopping for lunch, we continue a little further north to the Pinnacles: a set of small colored cliffs.
For the afternoon, we leave the coast to return in the center of the island to make a small walk in the forest, always in company of our guide and his good anecdotes.
We finally end this day with a swim in the beautiful McKenzie Lake, one of the many lakes on the island with its crystal clear waters surrounded by white sands.
Our opinion on this day
Fraser Island is a truly beautiful and very wild island worth a visit. Our guide was very friendly and he allowed us to view the main attraction of the island over a day.
However, we are not big fans of organized tours, even if here it allowed us to avoid an important organization. The size of the group was a little too important for us (about thirty people) and we might have preferred a little more walking.
Anyway, if you are visiting this area of Queensland, do not hesitate to spend a day visiting this island!
Feel free to ask all the questions that you have in the comments below :), we will be happy to answer.