Wondering what to see and how you can explore Fraser Island? We got you. Here’s how we did Fraser Island in one day, so you can start your great sandy adventure right away! Welcome to the off-road bus on its full-day Fraser Island highlights tour.
A bit rocky was an understatement.
It often felt like a bit of those pop songs Rock and Roll or Shakin’ All Over and it was a great way to get your Fitbit steps up‒easy but uncomfortable.
And our driver was not joking in his introduction by saying that we had to be prepared for a rocky ride. Rocky? My feet were off the floor so often that it registered on my Fitbit which resulted in a daily total of 30,000. Many of these supposed steps were while I was trying to stay grounded inside the four-wheel drive as it ploughed its way across, at times very deep sand tracks.
Our friendly driver reasoned that the bus needed momentum to best attack the tracks that at times seemed to disappear into the landscape.
Still, it was the best way to see the sights of Fraser Island. Well, at least the area that you can cover during the day.
Lake McKenzie and Dingo-free morning tea.
First stop was Lake McKenzie, perhaps the highlight of the trip. A gloriously pristine, if a bit cold, body of water. A few brave souls plunged in, we preferred to dip our toes in the pure water.
Morning tea (just a couple of ordinary biscuits) was on offer inside the fenced-off food area, to keep the dingos out.
Creeks, less rocky surf beach “highway”, and the Maheno shipwreck.
On we bounced and ploughed ahead, to check out the creeks and Central Station. We admired the quiet coolness, the stature of the majestic trees, before heading to the surf side of Fraser Island for an early lunch at Eurong Beach Resort. It was definitely far more impressive than morning tea. We then headed north along the surf beach ‘’highway’’, complete with 80kmph speed signs, where after a bit of a drive on smooth sand for a change. We stopped at the rusting remains of the Maheno, the steamer wrecked there about 85 years ago while being towed to Japan for scrap.
15-minute flight, paddle at Eli Creek, and Pile Valley
During this beachside section, we were offered a chance of a 10 to 15 minute flight for $100 in a six seater. It was so popular that the young pilot had to make three trips! We joined the last one and the highlight was a bird’s eye view of the Butterfly-shaped Lake.
Back along the beach to look at the coloured sands, then to Eli Creek right next to the surf beach for a paddle, and a brief stop at Eurong before starting the trek back to base at Kingfisher Bay. But there was still time for a quick stop at Pile Valley to see some of the biggest Satinay hardwood trees on the island.
So, if your time is limited, this rock-and-roll tour comes recommended. Just remember to strap a cushion onto your backside!
Other Sights on K’Gari (Fraser Island)
- Kingfisher Bay Resort is nestled among the foliage on the western side of the island. The main lobby, restaurant and pools are impressive spaces.
- Consider also taking a few of the walks available from the resort.. we got lost on one to the north but soon found our way out, to emerge on the deserted beach.
- Stroll along the western beach next to the resort to view stunning sunsets.
- Have a drink at the bar on the jetty.. but the head-banging music was enough to put us off.
- We tried a pizza (great but not cheap) and a decent fish and chips from the eatery near the jetty.
- There’s also a variety of activities (eg ranger walks/talks) starting at the resort HQ…some are free, too.
Getting To Fraser Island
Fraser Island, or at least River Heads from where you get the 45-minute barge trip to the island, is an easy 3 and a half-hour drive from Brisbane. There is secure parking at River Heads for $25 for the first night and then $20 each night if you’re looking to do one of the longer tours to the Island.
Along the way, consider a stop at Maryborough which is just 40kms from River Heads.. and check out the lovely old CBD buildings and a very impressive war memorial in Queen’s Park adjoining the Mary River.