Fraser Island at Easter - how long to drive across the island?

Submitted: Monday, Mar 04, 2013 at 10:31
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Hello all,

We've made a very late decision to spend Easter at Fraser Island and as a result the only barge times from Hervey Bay are in the evening. We can get a 6:45pm barge on Thursday night which I think will land us at Kingfisher Bar at around 7:30pm. The problem is what do we do then? To stay the night at Kingfisher Bay resort will cost $300 which I'd rather not do but the alternative is to cross the island at night to find a camp site. The closest camping areas (if they are not booked out already) seem to be Lake McKenzie or Central Station. Can anyone familiar with the island advise how long it would take to get to one of those locations from Kingsfisher Bay?

When I look on the map the distances don't seem that far but it has been a looong time since I've been to Fraser so I don't have any feel for whether it's a 30 minute drive or 2 hour drive, particularly given it will be dark.

Or can someone recommend another option I haven't thought of.

Ultimately we plan to camp at one of the beach camping areas but I don't like the prospect of trying to find a campsite at night.

Thanks
Ando
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Reply By: Kris and Kev - Monday, Mar 04, 2013 at 10:40

Monday, Mar 04, 2013 at 10:40
Where are you coming from? Reason I ask is that why you are leaving from Hervey Bay? Kevin
AnswerID: 506023

Follow Up By: andoland - Monday, Mar 04, 2013 at 11:47

Monday, Mar 04, 2013 at 11:47
Coming from Gladstone, hence catching the barge from Hervey Bay.
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Reply By: Member - Oldbaz. NSW. - Monday, Mar 04, 2013 at 10:43

Monday, Mar 04, 2013 at 10:43
I dont wish to put the mokkers on this idea, but.....have you obtained the necessary
permits ?. Easter is peak time at Fraser & numbers are supposed to be restricted.
If you have the permit I would be contacting the accomodation areas to see if any
vacancies exist at the places you may wish to camp. The time to cross the island
will be of little import without this planning, but probably less than one hour.
cheers.....oldbaz.
AnswerID: 506024

Follow Up By: andoland - Monday, Mar 04, 2013 at 11:50

Monday, Mar 04, 2013 at 11:50
Thanks for your response. We haven't got to the permits yet, just started with whether we could even get over the to the island or not.
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Reply By: mountainman - Monday, Mar 04, 2013 at 11:21

Monday, Mar 04, 2013 at 11:21
id hate to be at frazer at easter.
it would be PACKED.

id be trying moreton island.. or one of the others.

at least with moreton you can have a fire, but not on frazer!

and moreton looks pretty good for a long weekend.. see all the island and not miss anything.
AnswerID: 506027

Follow Up By: andoland - Monday, Mar 04, 2013 at 11:59

Monday, Mar 04, 2013 at 11:59
Yep, not our preferred time but we're trying to catch up with friends who are going over.

I used to go there as a kid in the 1980's before the visitor numbers were so high, when it was safe to play on the beach and you could find a camp site anywehere. I actually find it hard to go back (probably been 14 years since I was last there) and see so many vehicles, the development, erosion of tracks, crowded camping areas, etc., - it's just not the same place any more.
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Reply By: Mark T6 - Monday, Mar 04, 2013 at 17:33

Monday, Mar 04, 2013 at 17:33
I am going up (two vehicles at Easter), but across at the bottom as I am form Brisbane.

I think everyone thinks that Fraser is so busy at Easter, but when I booked a site at Catherdrals the lady said "oh everyone thinks that and the last 4 or 5 years it's actually been pretty quiet"

I was up there in October last year and travelled across to Kingfisher as I was staying in a house with some friends.

It's about 45 mins across, the first part out of Kingfisher is rough, once you get past that it's not bad....Central Station is sort of about half way so that could be an option.

If you see a Silver 150 Prado, and an old Blue 80 Series pulling a trailer that will be us..the Prado is mine. have fun!!
AnswerID: 506057

Follow Up By: rumpig - Monday, Mar 04, 2013 at 19:56

Monday, Mar 04, 2013 at 19:56
we stayed on Fraser camped on the beach 2 years ago for the week before Easter and what was supposed to be go home on Easter Sunday. the place was beautiful the week before Easter, then invaded by so many idiots on the Easter Friday we ended up going home on the Saturday afternoon instead.
everyone idea of crowded is different to others i guess, but it certainlly was busy no doubt about it. the vehicles driving through your campsite looking for a spot to set up in got old very quickly, not to mention dangerous for the kids we had there, many don't even slow down and don't like it when you mention this fact to them in no uncertain terms.
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Reply By: George_M - Monday, Mar 04, 2013 at 18:18

Monday, Mar 04, 2013 at 18:18
Hi Ando.

You'll get from Kingfisher to Central Station in 40 minutes, give or take. Just keep an eye out for a speeding tour bus trying to get passengers to the ferry you came over on - they don't get out of the way for anyone!

You may stand more of a chance of getting a tent spot at Lake Mackenzie, as Central Station is VERY popular.

Check with National Parks to be sure...

George_M
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AnswerID: 506060

Follow Up By: kev.h - Monday, Mar 04, 2013 at 18:22

Monday, Mar 04, 2013 at 18:22
Can you still camp at Lake MacKenzie? Last I heard it was to be a day use area only
Cheers Kev
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Follow Up By: George_M - Monday, Mar 04, 2013 at 18:34

Monday, Mar 04, 2013 at 18:34
Not sure, Kev.

I camped there in September 2011 with my niece (really!) - there were a couple of back-packers there as well inside the Dingo fence.

George_M
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Follow Up By: Kev - Member - Wynnum - Tuesday, Mar 05, 2013 at 08:40

Tuesday, Mar 05, 2013 at 08:40
Hi all,
The only camping at Lake Mackenzie now is walk in. There is no vehicle based camping.
Kev
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Reply By: kev.h - Monday, Mar 04, 2013 at 18:19

Monday, Mar 04, 2013 at 18:19
Have you tried the barge from River Heads to Wanggoolba Creek its an easy drive to Central Station or even the eastern beaches also the barge times may be better suited
Kev
AnswerID: 506063

Reply By: andoland - Tuesday, Mar 05, 2013 at 08:53

Tuesday, Mar 05, 2013 at 08:53
Thanks everyone for your responses. We've decided not to go - we've left it too late and it's too hard to organise everything to have a worthwhile trip for just the few days.

Now to work out plan B....
AnswerID: 506090

Reply By: Member - Chargergirl76 - Tuesday, Mar 05, 2013 at 13:39

Tuesday, Mar 05, 2013 at 13:39
We have spent Easter at Fraser Island for the past 4 or so years and, although it is busier than other times of the year, it certainly isn't too bad (we initially thought it would be a nightmare, but have continued to go each year since!). The island is so big, you can escape the crowds - obviously lake mackenzie etc get very busy .

Beach camping doesn't need you to prebook an actual campsite - you just buy your camping permit and camp whereever you like within the designated areas along the beach (behind the dunes). We've never had a problem finding a good campsite - even one with room for 4 cars/families. And as for the barge, if you leave from say Rainbow Beach you don't need to pre-book the barge, just turn up whenever you like within their operating hours.
AnswerID: 506100

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