This overnight trip to Fraser Island is the best way to discover one of the most beautiful destinations in Eastern Australia. Only accessible by ferry, the island gives you an authentic taste of what Australia is truly about. This trip is a perfect getaway that allows you to see some of the clearest water, longest beaches, and some hidden gem locations.
There are many different types of tours you can take over to the island. We chose to do the camping excursion. It involved a three day, two night trip with a group of approximately 25 travellers and 1 tour guide. 4 x 4ing all around the island was surreal, an experience that is not offered in many locations. We covered a lot of land in those 2 days and the sites we got to see on the island are unbelievable.
To fully convey all of the sites and activities packed into this 3 day trip I’ll give you a brief overview of the itinerary we followed during the tour.
This excursion begins in Rainbow Beach, a coastal town in south-eastern Queensland. Once registered for the journey and present in Rainbow Beach, people are split up into groups and assigned to 4×4 trucks. With groups of 7 in each vehicle, the fleet of about 5 vehicles departs for Fraser Island. Those who are up for the task and have valid drivers licences can take turns driving the trucks throughout the 3 day trip. The exception being with the leading vehicle, where a very qualified and knowledgable tour guide takes the drivers seat and guides the rest of the cars to the planned out destinations on the island. The tour guides make the route and entire trip run very smoothly.
After the cars board the short ferry ride across the water to Fraser Island the trek to Lake McKenzie begins. Driving on the beach right along the waters edge is something you would only imagine to happen in a movie! But we got to experience almost 3 full days of this. Lake Mckenzie is located more inland on the island, so it’s quite the bumpy ride down the sand dune path to get there. The Lake is perched high in a sand dune, 100 metres above sea level. The crystal clear, warm lake water is something that cannot be found just anywhere! The majority of the afternoon is spent here, before heading back to the outskirts of the island to set up camp right on the beach.
All camping gear and food is provided for the trip. Setting up and cooking is quite the team-effort, but it all adds to the truly authentic camping trip experience. Watching the sun set over the ocean is absolutely priceless.
The 6am wake-up was well worth it, as the second day is packed with loads of great sites to see. The first stop is Lake Wabby, where we stop to cook breakfast right on the beach. What better way to start the morning than with breakfast on the beach and a little swim in the lake! Next we begin the drive to the Champagne pools. On route, we stop at the Maheno shipwreck which has become a landmark attraction. It was one of the first turbine-driven steamers on the route between Syndey and Auckland, until it was commissioned as a hospital ship in Europe during World War I. In 1935, it was sold to Japan for parts. As it was being towed to Japan it hit a cyclone and helplessly drifted ashore onto Fraser Island. Still somewhat intact but very aged, it’s a classic site to stop during any trip to Fraser Island.
Next stop: the Champagne Pools! A very popular swimming pool, with waves from the ocean crashing over the surrounding rocks. The view from the trail above is absolutely amazing.
The drive back to the campsite was a couple hours long, but nothing beats driving along the beach so no one was complaining! We even spotted some dingoes on the way back!
The next morning we packed up our little home on the beach and prepared to head back to the mainland. But not without one last ride through the sand dunes on the way back. We parked and climbed to the top of one…what a view! The island behind us on one side and a beautiful ocean view on the other. Nothing beats a view from the top.
Overall, the trip was amazing. Getting out of the big cities and doing a trip like this allows you to truly appreciate Australia and it’s natural beauty. I would recommend it to anyone wanting to do some type of excursion along the coast. It’s a great way to meet people from around the world and really be one with nature for a few days!
There are many companies you can book through, all with very similar itineraries. If you’re not a camper, there are also some options without it. We booked our tour through Peterpans Adventure Travel, a great travel company with locations all throughout Australia. They have many options depending on what you hope to see and get out of the trip! Fraser Island is a must-see for travellers in Australia, you cannot miss out on this one of a kind trip.