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fraser island camping

Camping on Fraser Island

The original indigenous inhabitants of Fraser Island, The Butchulla People, call Fraser Island ‘K’gari’, which translates simply as ‘paradise’ – and the description is fitting.

Vast and unique, Fraser Island boasts over 184,000 hectares of natural beauty, making it the world’s largest sand island.

Twenty-two kilometres at its widest, this heritage-listed heaven is one of the only places on earth where lush rainforests kiss golden beaches. It’s also famous for the thrilling 4WD adventure that is 75 Mile Beach. A designated national highway that doubles as the island’s landing strip!

This vast stretch of sand sweeps the eastern shore, inviting you to explore some of the main attractions, including the multi-coloured Pinnacles Cliffs and Eli Creek.

Not only is Fraser Island one of the most breath-taking wilderness wonderlands one can explore, but it’s also perfect for camping. With a whopping 45 sites welcoming campervans, caravans, or tents, you’ll easily find a home away from home here.

Come with us and explore this East Queensland beauty.

Lake Mckenzie

If you’re someone who always tries to snap the most envy-inspiring holiday photo, you simply can’t leave the island without heading to Lake McKenzie.

Filled with untainted rainwater, the lake’s soft silica sand acts as a filter to the ocean, meaning azure waters so clear you can see for miles.

Part of the Fraser Island World Heritage Area, the camp is a gateway for hikes through the hinterland. With Central Station Rainforest providing a stunning and challenging walk.

As the sun sets, retreat to Lake McKenzie Walkers’ Camp for tent camping.

Facilities here are sparse (non-flush toilets and picnic tables) but as peaceful as it gets. Alternately, stay a 30-minute drive away at Central Station’s trailer site camping area.

This site has flush toilets, coin-run showers, and space for 55 sites – including 15 that can accommodate camper trailers.

Good to know: Both Central Station and Lake McKenzie get busy, so be as early as you can. Central Station is fully fenced; a safer option for families.

Moon Point

If a remote, private spot on one of the most beautiful beaches in the world is on your 2021 bucket list, make tracks here and set up camp at Moon Point.

Situated on the magnificent west coast, fronting Great Sandy Marine Park (home to Hervey Bay’s famous humpback whales). This is an excellent spot to catch flathead for dinner.

Meanwhile, neighbouring Platypus Bay is ideal for canoeing and kayaking.

Accommodating tent camping only, the payoff for this site’s remoteness is scarce facilities. You’ll need to bring a cooker for a catch.

If you’re looking for something nearby that can take your camper trailer, head to Woralie Creek Beach Camping Area. This area promises calm ocean views, stunning sunsets and beach fishing.

In both cases, sites are undefined, with room for about 20 at Moon Point and 30 at Woralie.

Good to know: It’s best to access Moon Point via boat, as 4WD crossings of Coongul Creek can be dangerous. Also note, camps on the western beaches are not dingo-proofed, so may not suit families.

Related Article: Best places to visit on Fraser Island by 4WD

Waddy Point

The picturesque Eastern Beach scenic drive is 138 kilometres of incredible scenery peppered with gorgeous walks and stunning sunsets.

Water babies will love canoeing and kayaking here!

It’s also home to the popular Waddy Point (top) campsite, providing 25 tent sites and 6 camper trailer sites.

Perfect for families with children owing to its dingo-proof fence. And the wide range of activities nearby, the facilities here are pretty great, too. Here, you’ll find water taps, hot showers (coin-operated), flush toilets, and fire pits for cooking your catch.

Of course, if you want to wake to the waves, Waddy Point beachfront trailer site can accommodate bigger vehicles, right on the coastline.

Camping at Waddy Point starts at $6.75 per person and $27 for a family per night. Bookings for trailer sites essential.

Good to know: Access is limited to off-road camper trailers and high clearance 4WD. The Eastern Beach Scenic Drive is open only two hours either side of the low tide.

Dundubara

If you can think of no better way to spend the day than casting a line from a sandy beach, set your GPS for Dundubara, 19 kilometres south of the crystal waters of Indian Head.

fraser island beach

The scenery is hard to describe here, but ‘magnificent’ comes close.

Take the 22-kilometre walking track to Lake Bowarrady, through woodlands, rainforest and eucalyptus, to stand on top of the Wun’gul Sandblow. Drive 10-kilometres south to the Maheno Shipwreck, or head north to splash at the Champagne Pools.

There are a few great camp options here – a tent area that can hold 47, and one for 5 camper trailers. There’s also a ranger station with hard-won phone reception.

Campsites start at $6.65 per night – plus the piles of coins you’ll need for hot showers.

Good to know: Dundaburra is one of the few camps where fires are allowed (in the rings provided). So, along with the bug spray and food locker, pack some marshmallows.

Dilli Village

Looking to power around the island under your own steam?

Head to Dilli Village, the starting point for the southern section of the famous Fraser Island Great Walk.

Winding through rainforests, around crystal-clear lakes and up and down vast sand dunes, this diverse range of wilderness trails offer a great adventure.

After a day immersed in the changing landscapes and encountering a wide range of wildlife, spend the night at Dilli Village Campground. A mere 100 metres from the beach and nestled between two creeks. It’s one of the island’s few privately owned and run campsites.

With modern shower blocks, bunkhouses, self-contained cabins and a fully fenced grassed area for camping, this is a well-equipped, comfortable place to set up base.

There are nine powered sites and 15 unpowered sites, suitable for small tents up to caravans.

Good to know: As long as there’s not a ban in place, you can relax around a crackling campfire. Dilli Village is also one of the Fraser Island spots that permits them.

Lake Boomanjin

Postcard perfect, Lake Boomanjin is quintessential Aussie camping – a serene, Tea Tree-stained body of water flanked by shady gum trees.

The lake itself is a perched lake, meaning it has organically risen banks and is filled with pure rainwater. It’s believed to be the world’s largest too, some 200 hectares.

Spend the day birdwatching, paddle boarding, bushwalking and even iguana-spotting! Camping options are plentiful, with many of the island’s beachside campsites along the southeastern coast close by.

Closest, though, is Lake Boomanjin Camp Area, a tent only, walk-in spot perfect for families. With toilets and washing up facilities (note: no showers), it’s a popular place, so book early.

Campsite costs vary, and, like everywhere on the island, you’ll need a permit.

Good to know: Sunscreens will damage the lake, so save swimming for dusk and dawn. At night, be sure to bust out repellent – there are no open fires to keep insects at bay.


Final Thoughts

Many nomads agree: if you only camp one place in your lifetime, make it Fraser Island. Do note, though, a successful camping trip to Fraser does take a little planning.

First and foremost, make sure you get a Fraser Island Information pack from the Department of Environment and Resource Management.

Driving and camping permits are essential, but can’t be obtained on the island, so plan ahead. Campsite bookings can be made from as far as six months out.

You’ll also want to fuel up before departure. While there are limited petrol stations on the island, you’ll feel it in your back pocket.

It’s all well worth it, though. From the depths of the turquoise water to canopies of ancient trees, Fraser Island really is K’gari on Earth.

Resources

Free Fraser Island visitors guide with map

Can you free camp on Fraser Island?

While you may camp ‘freestyle’ in the absence of ‘no camping’ signs, you’ll still need to buy and display a permit. Permits start at under $7 per night, though, so it’s still a bargain to sleep in this incredible National Park.

Is it safe to camp on Fraser Island?

Fraser Island has, by some, been dubbed ‘the world’s most dangerous island’. Don’t let that scare you off, though! This reputation is mainly down to the dingoes that roam the island, and many campsites are protected by fencing. Obeying rules and using food lockers will help keep you safe – just remember, the wilderness is just that!

How do you get to Fraser Island?

4WDs are a must on the island, so campers will find the best route is to take their own on one of the vehicle ferries which depart frequently from Rivers Head. You can also fly from Hervey Bay. It’s a short, scenic trip, but that option will require you to hire a 4WD on the island ahead of time.

How far is Fraser Island from Brisbane?

Fraser is about a 4-hours’ drive north of Brisbane City, via the Sunshine Coast and Hervey Bay. From there, it’s a further 30-50 minutes on the ferry, alighting at Wanggoolba Creek or Kingfisher Bay, respectively.

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