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.
If you'd like to save this information there are a couple of ways to go about it, depending on what you're actually after:-
- Ideal solution - download the ExplorOz Traveller App from Google Play or the App Store. The app enables you to carry the ExplorOz Places, Treks, & Maps data offline in your mobile device ready for your adventures. It is a complete mapping, navigation and tracking app. For more details, read our ExplorOz Traveller page.
- You can print a paper copy of the text using the print icon button shown above, near the social media buttons. For the best output it is advised to open each tab/section to load all images and artwork. You will still need to click open each Place page (listed in Where to Stay, What to See) to print off all available information.
- If you have a Hema Navigator or use Mapping Software such as OziExplorer, or TrackRanger AND you are an ExplorOz Member, then you can click the Download Trek button at the top of this page to obtain the raw data files (eg. GPX) for this Trek.
- If you're not a Member, or you'd like to batch download the entire Treks database you can obtain this by buying a product called EOTreks Route Files from our online shop.
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.