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A information to Australia&x27s Fraser Island – Lonely Planet

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Video A information to Australia&x27s Fraser Island – Lonely Planet

There’s one thing fairly magical about first stepping foot on Fraser Island. Stretching over 120km, this uncooked, rugged sand island – the world’s largest – off Queensland’s southeast coast feels completely otherworldly.

With its wild untamed seashores, towering old-growth forests, crystal-clear freshwater lakes, and bountiful wildlife together with Fraser’s most well-known resident, the dingo, this Unesco-listed island gives one in every of Australia’s greatest wilderness adventures. It is presently open to guests (as of August 2020) however there could also be some restrictions on interstate journey. Please verify native restrictions earlier than reserving a visit and all the time comply with authorities recommendation.

Half the enjoyable of visiting Fraser Island, which lacks sealed roads, is the problem of driving within the nationwide park. It’s for that reason that many guests go for an organised tour from the mainland. Travelling right here independently, nevertheless, provides you the pliability to discover the breathtaking island at your individual tempo, and cranks up the journey issue massive time.

The monitor to Lake Wabby is typical of climbing trails on Fraser Island © Sarah Reid / Lonely Planet

There are two methods to entry Fraser, positioned about 300km north of Brisbane. Most guests take the Manta Ray barge that runs constantly between Inskip Level (which has a picturesque beachfront campground) and Fraser’s southern tip from 6am to five.15pm each day. The ten-minute journey prices AU$130 return (per automotive) as of August 2020. Reserving forward is beneficial.

The opposite choice – except for touchdown on the seaside in a tiny Air Fraser Island aircraft – is Fraser Island Barges which runs much less frequent each day providers from River Heads (20 minutes south of Hervey Bay) to Wanggoolba Creek and Kingfisher Bay Resort on the west aspect of the island (each providers from $180 return per automotive; about 50 minutes journey time).

What you want for driving on Fraser Island

Driving something aside from a 4WD with low-range capability and excessive clearance onto Fraser is strongly discouraged. This isn’t to say you possibly can’t take your SUV, however the chance of damaging the underside of your automobile on the island’s bumpy roads or getting bogged in sand is way higher, particularly when you don’t have a lot expertise driving on sand. In case your insurer doesn’t cowl off-road driving, you’ll face a hefty invoice to have your automotive towed off the island.

If you do not have your individual wheels, there are additionally a number of firms in Hervey Bay that concentrate on renting 4WD automobiles for touring Fraser. Rental firms can usually organise essential automobile permits by means of the Queensland Nationwide Parks workplace for you, and assist with ferry and campsite bookings.

Waterhole amongst island shrubland on Fraser Island © Matt Munro / Lonely Planet

What to pack for Fraser Island

For you:

There are a number of provide retailers on Fraser’s east coast – on the most important settlement of Eurong (which additionally has a bakery and a pub), Blissful Valley, Cathedrals and Orchid Seashore, all of which promote gasoline, ice and primary provides – however it’s suggested to convey every little thing you’ll want in the course of your go to, together with water (for consuming and washing), medical provides (there’s no physician on the island), AU$2 cash for coin-operated showers out there at some campgrounds, and additional gasoline.

Distances between sights may not look far on the map, however it’s a sluggish, fuel-guzzling course of navigating Fraser’s roads.

Campfires are solely permitted in a choose few campsites (outdoors of ‘complete fireplace ban’ durations in fact), so that you’ll must convey an appropriate range for cooking. Some campsites have refuse bins, however because the island lacks a recycling system, so plan to take your garbage out with you. Private moveable bogs are a requirement at Coolooloi Creek and Cornwells group tenting space, and are beneficial for different tenting areas with out services. In the event you get caught out, bury your small business in a deep gap.

To your automotive:

An air strain gauge is crucial to deflate your tyres for sand driving (verify the necessities on your automotive prematurely). It doesn’t matter what form of automobile you’re driving, it’s price investing in or renting restoration gear together with restoration tracks, a shovel, and a snatch strap. Get your palms on a very good map and ideally a GPS, as cell phone reception is non-existent in some areas.

Earlier than you set off, you should definitely verify the automotive’s oil and water ranges. Additionally think about bringing a ‘mechanical first assist package’ together with radiator coolant, a spanner set, gaffer tape, a can of WD40, jumper leads, zip ties and a spare fan belt.

The place to camp on Fraser Island

The island has a handful of resorts and guesthouses (centred in Eurong and Blissful Valley, and there’s additionally Kingfisher Bay Resort on the west coast), however many would argue tenting is an important a part of the Fraser expertise. There are 45 tenting areas throughout the island with various services. For these with babies (beneath 12) go for one of many 5 campgrounds with dingo deterrent fences. Arguably essentially the most picturesque is Central Station. Because the identify implies, the leafy camp is roughly within the centre of the island, and makes a very good base for exploring inland lakes, in addition to the Valley of the Giants.

Because it’s not attainable to drive on the island’s boggy west coast, most seaside campsites are positioned alongside the east coast. Within the island’s northeast, Waddy Level is a crowd favorite. Sheltered from south-easterly winds, it’s one of many few campsites the place fires are permitted.

You’ll must e-book tenting permits prematurely (AU$6.75 per particular person per evening); in peak durations, it’s additionally price pre-booking spots at most popular campgrounds.

Dingo security

Recognizing Fraser’s iconic wild canines is a memorable expertise, however dingo security is paramount. Whereas the sandy-coloured canines usually keep away from people, there have been assaults on Fraser, a few of them deadly. Comply with these tricks to keep secure, whereas serving to to maintain Fraser’s dingoes wild.

– Guarantee meals is rarely left unsecured (lock it in your automobile) and by no means feed dingoes. Fines apply for each offences. – Don’t depart something mendacity round an unfenced campsite that dingoes can chew although or tear at – even toiletries left in a tent can entice. – Clear up straight after cooking and consuming, and pour washing up water right into a deep gap away out of your camp if washing services aren’t out there. – At all times maintain babies, which may excite dingo consideration, at arms attain. Operating can have the identical impact, so you should definitely stroll all over the place. – In the event you’re threatened by a dingo, stand nonetheless and fold your arms throughout your chest. Face the dingo, then calmly again away (if you’re with one other particular person, stand back-to-back). Name for assist, however wait till the dingo is gone earlier than you proceed in your manner. By no means run or wave your arms. In an emergency, name 000 or 112.

Dingoes are stunning to identify however security precautions have to be adopted ©Darren Tierney/Shutterstock

What to see and do on Fraser Island

Most guests spend their days exploring the island by 4WD, both returning to the identical campsite every evening, or shifting round each couple of nights. Unmissable actions embrace taking a dip within the vivid blue Lake McKenzie, and floating down turquoise Eli Creek. Simply north of the creek lies widespread picture stops together with the wreck of the SS Maheno, and the colored sand cliffs generally known as the Pinnacles.

If time permits, schedule a hike to Lake Wabby (a 4.8km round-trip from the east coast), and benefit from the fairly inland drive to peaceable Lake Birrabeen. Close to Waddy Level, the rockpools generally known as the Champagne Swimming pools are a secure spot for a saltwater dip. Ocean swimming is mostly not beneficial on Fraser resulting from treacherous sea situations and shark exercise – from Indian Head, a bluff simply south of the swimming pools, you possibly can usually spot sharks patrolling beneath. In the event you make it so far as Fraser’s northeastern tip, don’t miss the heritage Sandy Cape Lighthouse.

You may additionally like:

The ten greatest island locations in AustraliaWhy Tasmania is ideal for ecotouristsWhat journey appears like in Australia in 2020

This text was first printed June 2017, final up to date August 2020.

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