Fraser Island – The biggest sand island on Earth
Fraser Island is one of the main attractions on the East Coast of Australia. Lots of people visit this beautiful place every year and it is definitely ranked under the top 5 places along the whole coastline from my point of view. Fraser Island is the biggest sand island on earth and it has many cool spots to discover. Besides that, it is also known for great nature, raw wildlife and awesome partiess. This tourist attraction is a “must do” and should be on your bucket list of places you have to visit in Australia.
Fraser Island – The biggest sand island on Earth
First of all I have to tell a little bit about the backround on how me and a friend, who I was travelling with at the time I went to Fraser Island, got to this beautiful place. Before we visited Fraser Island, we stayed at Byron Bay. We booked a guided tour from there. Many people told us, that visiting Fraser will be absolutely phenominal and I can say upfront that it totally exceeded our expectations. So we packed our stuff, drove to Rainbow Beach with our car, took a couple days off at Noosa Heads and then met with fellow travellers to have an awesome time on the biggest sand island on earth.
Fraser Island: General information and history
As said before, Fraser Island is the biggest sand island of the world. The name comes from an explorer named “James Fraser”, who sank his ship close to the island in 1836. It has a size of about 1.840 km². You will find an almost 75 km long beach on the island as well as sand dunes with a hight of about 240 meters. Fraser Island has about 200 freshwater lakes and is a World Cultural Heritage place since 1992. The main part of the island is a protected national park since 1972, because researchers found many unique biological and ecological processes there, that can not be found anywhere else.
Back in the days, Fraser Island was the home of a big aboriginal tribe. They called this place “K’Gari”, which means “paradise”. And that hits the nail right on the head, because it really is paradisaic. The Aborigines already started to settle there about 5.500 years ago and still live on the island until today. Because of the industrial revolution and the expulsion in the 18th and 19th century, you only find a few. Fraser Island only has 194 resindents and four of them are Aboriginies.
Nowerdays the island is mainly used for touristic purposes. Many companies offer guided tours. Anually thousends of people visit the island to have a look at all the spectecular spots and to have a good time.
Fraser Island: Costs and how to get there
Visiting Fraser Island is not cheap, but first things first. If you want to visit this wonderful island you have to start from Hervey Bay, Maryborough, Noosa or Rainbow Beach. The ferries are able to transport many cars and passangers. If you want to visit Fraser Island on your own, then make sure to get a permission first. This permission costs about 40 $. The ferry is about 165 $ at the moment for a there and back ticket. You should also have your own vehicle, otherwise you will not be able to get around.
The best thing to do is to go with your own 4 wheel drive, which you need anyway, in order to drive on the island. Normal cars will get stuck in the sand. If you want to rent a 4 wheel drive, you should calculate with about 175 $ per day. Additionally you should calculate with food, water and fuel for as long as you want to stay. Most people explore Fraser Island for about 3-4 days. So, if you have your own car it will cost you about 250-280 $ including meals and fuel. If you rent a car, you should calculate with a price twice or three times as high.
What I did – Guided tour
The last option is to book a guided tour. That’s what most people do and that’s what I did as well. The day before everything starts, you will be able to meet fellow travellers in one of a few hostels at the starting points. A guided self-driver tour starts from 350 $ for 3 days, depending how good you are able to negotiate 😉
Meals, camping, tour guide and 4wheel drive included. We got one for 380 $ per person. Usually these Fraser Island tours are done with about 40-60 people, devided onto 6-8 cars. Everyone, who has a driving license is allowed to drive. The guides show you around, you visit the most important spots and end up partying in a big camp with about 120 other people from all over the world. Good fun! 😉
Wildlife and Nature on Fraser Island
Fraser Island is known for its wonderful nature and the impressive wildlife. You will see all kinds of animals there. From unique mammal species to wild dingos and even whales during the whale season. In fact turtles, dolphins and special kind of crabs as well as more than 350 bird species can be found here.
Besides that you will find a big jungle area to drive through in order to get to certain sights and camping grounds. This jungle itself is very cool, but driving through it is even better. You will drive on bumpy roads out of sand. It feels a little bit like dirt biking with a 4 wheel drive. It’s good fun 🙂 Additionally you will find beautiful mangrove and eucalyptus trees as well as big sand dunes and the already mentioned fresh water lakes. Really beautiful!
Highlights of Fraser Island
You will find many awesome spots on Fraser Island, does not matter, if you do your own tour or, if you go with an organization. The first highlight you can visit is the 75 Mile Beach. This beach is absolutely wonderful and perfect to drive on with a car. It goes all along the east coast of the island. You should be a bit careful though. Do not drive to close towards the ocean, because every year some people have heavy car accidents, because they are to careless.
Driving up north of 75 Mile Beach and then into the jungle, you will come to a famous fresh water lake named Lake Mc Kenzie. This is the one you probably have already seen on Social Media and advertisments about Fraser Island. Turquoise crystal clear water and a beach with incredibly fine sand in the middle of a forest… Very beautiful! Close to that comes Lake Wobby. You will reach it after a hike through the bushes and passing huge sand dunes, which are really cool to look at.
What else to see
If you leave the jungle and drive further north, you will come up to Eli Creek. This is a crystal clear river you can float done towards the ocean. Good fun! Almost next to it lies the Maheno Wreck, which is an old and rusty luxury ship, that stranded in 1935. Nowerdays it is a big tourist attraction and definitely post card material 🙂
Almost at the most northern point of Fraser Island you will find the Indian Rock, which is a great lookout point to spots some whales and dolphins. One kilometer north of Indian Rock you will reach the Champagne Pools. This is a nice place to swim and hang out while having a stunning view onto the ocean.
A personal highlight for myself have been the nights at the camping grounds in the middle of the forest. Because of the fact, that many people do a guided tour, these camping grounds are filled with 100 – 140 people. In the case of me and my friend from Germany it was a group of around 120 people. You cook meals together and party all night. So good!
Short tip: Take some mosquito spray with you. Otherwise you will have a bad time at night, because the island is full of these bloody insects 😉
It does not really matter, if you visit Fraser Island on your own or with a big group, you will have a great time either way!
After we had an unforgettable time at one of main attractions in Australia, we headed on to see a famous landmark – Australia Zoo.
Want to know about Australia Zoo? Read here