Despite its popularity, Fraser Island still offers great solitude for independent travellers during peak season. Discover remote tracks and beaches, as well as what to do and where to stay, with our Fraser Island guide.
Stretching just over 120km, Fraser Island, located along the southern coast of Queensland is one of Australia’s premier 4WD destinations. For some, Fraser Island represents the chance to escape with the family for a week or weekend, for others it’s a yearly fishing haunt and for many it’s a once in a lifetime experience. Whatever your reason for visiting Fraser, it’s best to go armed with a plan of what you want to see and do, especially if you find yourself battling the crowds during a peak period.
Vehicle access to the south is via 10-minute ferry ride from Inskip terminal at Rainbow Beach. No bookings required. Visit www.rainbowbeach.info/barge.html for more information. Access to the west is via a 30-minute ferry ride from River Heads east of Maryborough. Bookings are essential. Visit www.fraserislandferry.com.au for more information.
From the moment you drive off the Inskip Point ferry you’re faced with options: you can head straight up Middle Road and enjoy this rough, corrugated and dusty track, or if the tide is low enough you can turn right and head around Fraser’s southern-most point, Hook Point.
Hook Point offers fantastic views back to Rainbow Beach and you’d be pretty unlucky not to see a steady supply of birds checking out the surf and soaking up the sun. Over 350 different species of birds visit the island and some like the Arctic tern can live for more than 20 years. Give these birds room on your way past, because many are recuperating after a long haul from Antarctica.
This lake is almost a carbon copy of Fraser’s super popular Lake Mckenzie minus the crowds. Birrabeen is a perched lake which sits above but is independent of Fraser’s huge water table. It relies on rainwater to stay full. On a sunny day, this place is one of the most picturesque spots on the island and is a fantastic place for a swim. If you’re feeling fit you can cross to the other side to a small clearing that you’re almost guaranteed to have to yourself. If that sounds too much like hard work, you can wade around in the shallows, and with a bit of luck you might spy a turtle on the fringes of the vegetation.
A great spot on the Island is Wathumba, which is on the north eastern side of the island. It’s a bit of a drive if you’ve only just arrived on the island, so many choose it as for their second night’s camp.
To get to Wathumba you can journey via Woralie Road. This is one of the prettiest tracks you can do on Fraser, as it winds across the island through a variety of scenery from heath country to dense rainforest.
Once you pop out on the far side the fun begins as you are greeted with the wide open and remote western beach. Unlike the eastern side of Fraser, the western beach is often very soft and unpredictable. Lots of people have lost their cars around this part of the island so make sure you’ve got some experience in soft sand driving before venturing onto the west side. This is as remote as Fraser gets so if you do get stuck it could be quite some time before help arrives.
Wathumba’s main draw-cards are its remoteness, the fishing and snorkeling around the mangroves. At the top of the tide, it is mind-blowingly beautiful but at low tide it’s a bit swampy and sandfly and mosquito infested, so pack the repellant!
Another section on Fraser that’s also remote is the Sandy Cape. To get here you need to cross the south and north Ngkala Rocks. These coffee rock sections can be a real challenge depending on recent tides and weather conditions. Fraser is the world’s largest sand island, so if one of the rocky sections is a bit full-on then you are usually only a short walk away from some sand, which you can use to fill in any big ruts or ledges. There are also some small, albeit soft sandy bypass tracks near some sections of the rocks, but if your tyre pressures are down these really shouldn’t be a problem.
Once you’ve conquered the Ngkala Rocks it’s free sailing to Fraser’s most northern point. At the Sandy Cape you’ll usually only be sharing it with keen fishos and people who prefer the more remote style of camping.
The full version of this guide appeared in Camper Trailer Australia #68, September 2013. Subscribe today for the latest camper reviews and travel features.
FRASER ISLAND, QLD, FRASER COAST
Explore all the natural wonders of World Heritage Listed Fraser Island while staying with Cathedrals on Fraser...Read More
|Cabins & Fixed Caravans Starting from $180||Powered site Starting from $39||Unpowered site Starting from $29|