Fraser Island

StartClick to Reverse the Dynamic Map and Driving NotesNorth Head
DifficultyDifficulty 3/5
Suitable for4WD 
Distance391.51 km
Minimum Days3
Average Speed29.64 km/hr
Driving Time13 hrs 12 mins
Article By: ExplorOz Team
Page Updated: 19 Aug 2015


Fraser Island - the world's largest sand island, is located at the southern end of the Great Barrier Reef, just 15km off the coast of Hervey Bay and Maryborough. Vehicle barges and passenger ferry services run daily. The barges carry walk-on passengers but there is no public transport on the island. Accommodation on the island is plentiful and diverse, with privately-run holiday accommodation options from upmarket resorts to budget cabins, plus a diverse range of camping options - both informal beach camping and fenced camping areas with facilities are available. For hikers, there is also the option to camp at "walk-in" only campsites.

A network of scenic drives on sandy tracks allows visitors to explore the island along the beach and throughout inland tracks but high-clearance 4WD vehicles with low range are essential. Trailers and camper trailers are NOT PERMITTED on the inland tracks. All-wheel drive vehicles are not recommended.

When planning your stay we recommend using a number of base camps at various locations. This enables you to spend a few days at a time in each area of Fraser Island to avoid long driving days and to have more leisure time.

If fishing is high on your agenda we would recommended camping further north up the eastern beach towards Eli Creek to enable easier access to other good fishing sports such as the Maheno, Moon Point, Orchid Beach and Sandy Cape.

NOTE: This directions in this route assume you have landed on Fraser Island on the western beach after taking a vehicular barge from River Heads. The route immediately takes the inland route via Central Station and then heads to the eastern beach. If you have taken the barge from Inskip Point instead, you can pick up the route notes from Dilli Village.

How to Use this Trek Note

Click the "Map" tab below to see the route we've provided. Icons on the map are the POIs you'll need for navigation purposes. Be sure to check the list of Nearby Places on each POI page.

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World Heritage Fraser Island spans 125 km in length and is 30 km wide. It is a unique natural environment and is the largest sand island in the world and the only place on the planet where rainforest grows in sand. Fraser Island’s abundant pristine fresh water lakes and crystal clear creeks are one of the islands major drawcards. There is prolific wildlife throughout the island, with 325 species of birds, wallabies, possums, flying foxes, echidnas, dingo freshwater tortoises, dolphins, turtles and humpback whales (in season).

Fraser Island dingoes have been exposed to enormous numbers of humans in recent years and their natural instincts have been altered by the constant rubbish left around for them to scavenge upon and hand-feeding. For your safety, please follow dingo safety advice in brochures and signs.


The first European to sight Fraser Island was Captain James Cook in 1770, but it wasn't until 1836 that the first people actually landed on Fraser Island and this occurred due to the shipwreck of the Stirling Castle.

Fraser Island is named in honour of Eliza Fraser a formidable survivor. Eliza survived the shipwreck of Stirling Castle; the death of her baby; and 2 months under capture by the island's aboriginals.

In 1870, as a result of a series of shipwrecks, a lighthouse was built at Sandy Cape. This was the first permanent European settlement on the island.

With an estimated Aboriginal population of around 3000 in 1850 this number was reduced to just 300 by 1890 as a result of the usual plights that saw such a massive diminishing of this race at this time - disease, alcohol and abuse from slavery. By the 1930's the island's indigenous population had been totally destroyed.

Since the 1960s Fraser Island has battled a series of environmental disputes. Firstly sand mining, then logging. The first attempt to establish the island as a National Park was made in the late 1800s but the timber interests which were already on the island managed to dissuade the government and for the next 60 years the island was logged.

Today Fraser Island is World Heritage listed and almost the entire island is a protected National Park. It preserves ancient Aboriginal sites, a unique rainforest system growing in sand, and a diverse range of wildlife.


For the latest information we recommend you refer to the Qld Department of National Parks Publication Fraser Island Visitors Guide


Permits are necessary if you intend camping and must be arranged in advance. You must also have a permit for taking a vehicle onto the island (whether it be hired or your own). These permits must be purchased well in advance (3 months is recommended).

Bookings can be made online at or by phoning 13 74 68 with payment by credit card.

Fuel Supplies & Usage

Fuel Symbol Available on the island from various locations Orchid Beach, Cathedral Beach Resort, Eurong Beach Resort.
4cyl 64 litres *4cyl 63 litres4cyl 78 litres
6cyl 74 litres *6cyl 93 litres *6cyl 69 litres
8cyl 60 litres8cyl 65 litres
Usage is averaged from recorded data (* specific to this trek) and calculated based on trek distance.

Best Time To Visit

All year, although best from April - October. School holidays are extremely busy.

Closest Climatic Station

Hervey Bay Airport
Distance from Trek Mid Point 21.75km NW
Mean Max. °C30.030.028.926.924.121.821.622.524.726.427.929.3
Mean Min. °C22.022.120.517.914.011.89.910.514.
Mean Rain mm160.3153.1131.771.797.687.549.258.940.673.467.7147.1
    Best time to travel      Ok time to travel      Travel NOT recommended

Services & Supplies

Hervey Bay, Rainbow Beach


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What to See

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This list may not be complete for the entire region. Places listed here are directly located along the plot file associated with this Trek Note. You can locate other nearby Places by browsing the map or searching Places.

Showing 10 Places

Where to Stay

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This list may not be complete for the entire region. Places listed here are directly located along the plot file associated with this Trek Note. You can locate other nearby Places by browsing the map or searching Places.
Camping on the Eastern Beaches changed at 1 July 2015 and you are now required to select a site from one of 9 defined camping zones at the time of making your booking. All beach camping sites are set back just beyond the main dune ridge that skirts the high tide mark. If you take a trailer, some of these spots are a little difficult to get in and out off, with soft sand and tight turning areas bounded by steep sand banks. Note, many people do take trailers so it is not "impossible". The sand is very soft and often deep. At high tide some sites are virtually locked in.

Showing 8 Places


LocationsDistanceDirection Time
North Head to Dilli Village44.72 kmSE137° 2 hr 7 min
Dilli Village to Hook Point23.08 kmS185° 35 min
Hook Point to Dilli Village23.08 kmN35 min
Dilli Village to Lake Boomanjin10.96 kmNW327° 38 min
Lake Boomanjin to Lake Birrabeen9.82 kmN342° 30 min
Lake Birrabeen to Eurong11.81 kmE95° 39 min
Eurong to Happy Valley21.26 kmN22° 32 min
Happy Valley to The Declivity15.53 kmNW327° 55 min
The Declivity to K'Gari Campground26.17 kmE96° 1 hr 27 min
K'Gari Campground to Cathedral Beach86.83 kmNE25° 2 hr 38 min
Cathedral Beach to Dundubara Campground7.59 kmN21° 15 min
Dundubara Campground to Indian Head19.93 kmNE23° 24 min
Indian Head to Orchid Beach7.15 kmNW321° 22 min
Orchid Beach to Ocean Lake5.7 kmNW318° 10 min
Ocean Lake to Orchid Beach5.7 kmSE138° 10 min
Orchid Beach to Indian Head7.15 kmSE141° 22 min
Indian Head to Dundubara Campground19.93 kmSW203° 24 min
Dundubara Campground to Cathedral Beach7.59 kmS201° 15 min
Cathedral Beach to Eli Creek10.67 kmSW204° 18 min
Eli Creek to Happy Valley5.57 kmS202° 9 min
Happy Valley to Eurong21.26 kmS202° 32 min
North Head to Eurong391.51 km  13 hr 12 min
Distance is GPS recorded driving distance (not straight line), Direction is straight line from start to end, Time is calculated from actual GPS driving data.


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