Exploring Fraser Island

The World Heritage-listed island is a great action-packed holiday destination for the whole family.

Story: Sheree and Spida Everitt

Despite being only a few hours from one of Australia’s largest cities (Brisbane), Fraser Island is home to only a few permanent residents. The island was recently declared World Heritage-listed and the only roads are made from pure sand, making four-wheel-driving for the experienced only.

It’s a great action-packed holiday for the whole family and is one that will leave a huge impression and lasting memories.

Fraser Island is the largest sand island in the world, making it a must-stop for all international travellers. From backpackers through to the five-star travelling elite, Fraser Island has something to suit every budget.

From the minute you hit the Fraser Coast, you are greeted by an enormous amount of attractions and activities to pass the time or satisfy the taste buds. We thought a camel ride along Hervey Bay with Fraser Coast Camel Safaris was a great start. The tours operate every afternoon and last two hours. Steve, the owner, has some of the most well-behaved, clean and professional camels I have ever ridden.

It was a great trip topped off with a brilliant sunset. Ferries depart from either River Heads just outside of Hervey Bay or from Inskip point on the Cooloola Coast off  Gympie. All ferries take vehicles, so if you have a 4WD, an outback 4WD Jayco caravan or just yourself, the ferries will take you to where you will discover one of the world’s most amazing wonders.

If you don’t like roughing it in a tent or don’t feel like taking your 4WD caravan or camper trailer over, you can treat yourself to a luxurious stay at either Kingfisher Bay Resort or Eurong Beach Resort, which offer budget rooms right through to two-bedroom family apartments.

If you don’t take a vehicle, you can organise day trips from either resort and the experienced team will show you the sights of Fraser in the comfort of their specially-built, off-road buses. There are even taxis on the island.

We decided to tough it out in our Isuzu MUX and D-Max, taking on every track with gusto and enthusiasm. It was definitely a highlight-filled weekend, with a lot of laughs and good times, taking out bets as to who would get stuck next. I am very pleased to say we only needed a tow twice the entire weekend.

It’s always a great idea to travel with others, so you have a tow vehicle on-hand. The rangers and bus drivers on the island are always keen to give you a hand if need be. It certainly makes for some great stories around the camp every night.

We stayed two nights at Kingfisher Bay Resort in stunning rooms overlooking the bay. From there we took a Segway tour along the beach at low tide – they were much easier to ride than we first anticipated. There are many activities you can do from Kingfisher – kayak, canoe, segway, walking trips, kids club and of course lazing around the pools.

After our nap in luxury we decided to hit the tracks with all four wheels running – on half empty that is. Remember to lower your tyre pressure before heading out.

We headed across the island to Eurong Beach before heading north to The Pinnacles, Maheno Shipwreck for some stunning photos, Eli Creek for a swim in the crystal clear water and the Champagne Pools where you can swim in the calm ocean rock pools right beside the waves. This can easily be done in the one day, but remember to plan ahead for any delays with weather, tides or getting bogged.

The drive from Eurong Beach is along the beach the entire way and so relatively easy, but just remember to check the tides before you go. It is along here that you will see the many wild dingoes in their natural habitat coming down to the beach to forage for food and just laze in the sun. Please adhere to all the signs and information regarding dingoes. This is their home and not ours, so please respect them, do not feed them and do not chase or intimidate them. If you leave them alone, they will leave you alone.

Day four of our adventure and we went to Lake McKenzie which, believe it or not, is a freshwater lake. Lake McKenzie, with its clear blue water and white sandy shore, covers more than 150 hectares and is nearly six metres deep. Set high in a sand dune, the lake is an astonishing 100m above sea level.

Whilst we chose to stay at Eurong Beach Resort and Kingfisher Bay Resort, you can also hire holiday homes or take your camping gear or 4WD caravan, as they have some brilliant camping spots.

If you want a fun-filled, action-packed holiday for all the family, the boys or a romantic getaway, Fraser Island has it all. It is a destination that needs to be at the top of everyone’s bucket list and it will certainly be a holiday you will never forget.

Fraser Island facts

Fraser Island stretches over 123km in length and 22km at its widest point. With an area of 184,000 hectares, it is the largest sand island in the world.

It is home to more than 100 Freshwater lakes and the highest dunes on the island reach up to 240m above sea level.

Check out more of Peter ‘Spida’ and Sheree Everitt’s adventures on The Great Australian Doorstep. You can catch them on radio every Sunday year-round from 6 – 7am on the TripleM Network / Southern Cross Austereo Stations or on television, Saturdays at 2.30pm on Channel 7Two.