Fraser Island, even whisper the name too loud and you’ll see every red blooded, 4wd driving, beach loving adventurer’s ears perk up to attention. For those lucky enough to have previously ventured to the largest sand island in the world, there is no denying what an absolute rip snorter of a holiday destination Fraser is. For everyone else, a visit is usually pencilled in high on the ‘to-do list’ and for good reason.
You see, Fraser literally offers something for everyone, from camping, 4wding and awesome beach fishing to lounging in pristine freshwater creeks and lakes, taking in the view from one of the headlands or snapping a picture at the infamous Maheno Wreck, it’s got it all. Which is exactly why Fraser Island is our ‘Spot in the Spotlight’ for all you mad keen campers out there!
Fraser Island is located north-east of Gympie, near the sleepy coastal town of Rainbow Beach. From there it’s a short drive to Inskip Point where you are picked up by the vehicle barge, driven across the Great Sandy Strait and dropped on the Island. Now, if you haven’t twigged already Fraser Island is very much a 4wd only playground, with some of the more ‘unsuitable’ vehicles not even making it to the barge before getting bogged!
So, don’t forget to let your tyre pressure down before tackling the sand. The barge will deliver you at the southern end of the Island just south-west of Hook Point leaving you with 95kms of beach to roam before you hit the first headland, Indian Head. After travelling around the back of Indian Head you’ll quickly come up on Waddy Point, the second headland, which also requires an inland track to bypass before leaving you once again with nothing by open beach until you hit the northern most tip of Fraser island, Sandy Cape.
From a camping perspective, there is quite a few options to choose from, whether it be setting up camp in one of the many camping zones along the eastern beach (surf side), pitching a tent in one of the designated camp grounds or rolling out the swag on the western side (calm side) of the island. It really depends on what facilities you think you can’t go without.
For the more self-sufficient campers, beach camping would be the way to go, offering the full camping experience with no facilities within walking distance of the camping zones. For those who enjoy the creature comforts a little more, the main camp grounds at Cathedrals and Waddy Point offer all the standard amenities as well as a convenience store and petrol station. There is patchy Telstra mobile reception throughout the whole island, but the main townships all have repeaters and are sure fire reception hotspots if you find yourself needing to put in your footy tips at the last minute.
What to do
Alas here lies the problem with Fraser. No matter how many times you go, or how long your stay there is never enough time to see and do everything, you really are spoiled for choice. For the keen anglers, Fraser boasts some champagne beach and rock fishing particularly from June- October for the famous tailor run. Amongst the tailor, anglers can expect to catch dart, whiting, bream, trevally, jewfish and even sharks.
For those wanting to take in the sights of this World Heritage listed Island, there is a huge amount of bush walks to check out the amazing rainforest growing from the sand or some of the strikingly coloured sand stone cliffs. Whatever you do, make sure you set aside some time to check out a couple of the freshwater lakes. Lake Mackenzie especially is an absolute oasis of crystal clear water and pearly white sand.
Of course, no trip to Fraser Island could ever be complete without floating down the island’s largest freshwater creek, Eli Creek, checking out the Maheno wreck, enjoying the view from the top of Indian Head or having a splash in Waddy Points Champagne Pools. You were warned, there simply isn’t enough time to see it all. If you’re lucky during your travels you might even catch a glimpse of one of the islands famous dingos!
Things to remember
- Pre-book your barge tickets, 4WD beach permits and camping permits
- Brush up on how to keep your camp site dingo safe
- Make sure you know your vehicles capabilities before hitting the sand
- Pack recovery gear in case you get bogged
- Observe the beach driving rules
- Leave your pets at home!