Camping K’gari (Fraser Island)

Paradise. That’s what K’gari means and what the Butchella people call Fraser Island. Mate, they’re not wrong. Matt and I spent 5 nights camping K’gari and cruising around Fraser Island, and it was an amazing experience. K’gari is the worlds largest sand island, and while you’d think it would be one large sand dune, it’s actually home to a thriving rainforest. There’s so much natural wonder to be found on Fraser Island, and if you want to see the best of it, read on.

Day 1: Kingfisher Bay to Central Station

Matt and I caught the Fraser Island Ferry from River Heads in Hervey Bay direct to Kingfisher Bay – Fraser Island’s most popular resort. Here you can park up at the resort of rent a 4WD and do some exploring. Of course we had our own 4WD, so we motor straight on, keen to get away from the (small) crowd.

Lake McKenzie

Lake McKenzie is an incredible fresh water lake made entirely of rainwater. It is crystal clear, framed with white sand and lush greenery. A popular spot for the tourists staying at Kingfisher Bay as it’s only 5-6kms away.

Lake McKenzie Drone Fraser Island Queensland Australia
Lake McKenzie Fraser Island Queensland Australia
Lake Boomanjin

Only a hop skip and jump from Lake McKenzie, Lake Boomanjin is just as beautiful, but goes without the crowds. Pure bliss all to yourself.

Lake Boomanjin Fraser Island Queensland Australia
Eurong

Quick check on the local down – the only place to get food, water and fuel (at $2.30/L when we were there!!). Matt and I are of course fully prepared, but there’s a bakery that looked damn good.

Overnight at Central Station

This is the only night we stayed in a dingo proof campsite. Fraser Island is known for having the only pure-bred dingoes in Australia. We hadn’t seen any yet, but apparently they can be sneaky scavengers. They can even open eskys! There is the beautiful rainforest here, that you can hike through.

Central Station Fraser Island Queensland Australia

Day 2: Central Station to Wongai

75 Mile Beach

The next day we left Central Station, ready to get out of the main area and start exploring the wild side of the island. We drove south east towards Dilli Village until we hit 75 Mile Beach. 75 Mile Beach is the Fraser Island “highway”, which runs along practically the whole eastern coast of the island. Heading north, we were too tempted by the bakery at Eurong to simply drive past, so we grabbed a pie and continued north! Be careful on this “highway” though, there are some hidden obstacles, which I covered in this blog post.

Wongai Campsite

Our first night in the proper wilderness while camping K’gari. As soon as we set up camp our first dingo arrived! This is the only dingo we saw with a tracking collar. True to all the warnings, she jumped straight into the back of the ute with all the food. A little shoo got her out. It was the only warning we needed to be on our guard.

Wongai Camping K'gari Queensland Australia

Day 3: Eurong to Eli Creek

Cruising the East Coast

We spent the morning cruising 75 Mile Beach, stopping where ever looked good for food, fishing or a swim.

SS Maheno

We decided to travel a little further north than our planned campsite to check out the SS Maheno shipwreck. Washed up on shore, it creates a spectacular site, especially from above.

SS Maheno Fraser Island Queensland Australia
SS Maheno K'gari Queensland Australia
Eli Creek Campsite

Eli Creek is a freshwater creek that runs from inland straight into the ocean. There are 2 ways the tide impacts your experience here;
1. Plan your day to cross at low tide – otherwise you might get stuck in the water or even washed away!
2. Plan your visit to ride the river at high tide – I KNOW, conflicting information, but if you catch it when the tide is going out, you can take your floatie all the way up stream and then cruise back down to the shore.
Best way to plan this particular visit? Camp at an Eli Creek Site. You can also treat yourself to an over ocean sunrise in the morning.

Sunrise Fraser Island Queensland Australia

Day 4: Eli Creek to Marloo

75 Mile & Corroborree Beach

Keep on cruising up the beach, keeping an eye out for dingoes and wicked rock formations. Don’t forget to stop and look back on the beach when you reach the end.

75 Mile Beach K'gari Queensland Western Australia
Champagne Pools

Named after the bubbling water that flows in with the waves, cool off in this water, safe from crocodiles (but not stingers, please make sure you check for stinger season before swimming).

Champagne Pools Fraser Island Queensland Australia
Waddy Point Fishing

Have a go at this popular fishing spot. Maybe you’ll catch yourself a feed (we didn’t). Keep an eye out for dingoes while you’re here – they sneak up on you!

Waddy Point Camping K'gari Queensland Australia
Marloo Camping

Rest up for the night at the nearest campsite, before making the trek across to the western half of the island. Camping K’gari means sandflies, so be sure to bring repellant! We brought 3 different types to ensure we had the right bug killing formula.

Day 5: Marloo to Wathumba

Drive to Wathumba

Not for the faint of heart, the drive to Wathumba is a tricky one, so make sure you’ve brushed up on your 4WD skills. Once you’ve arrived though, you’ll see that it’s absolutely worth it. Kick back, relax and take in the serenity – you’ll have the place mostly to yourself due to how remote it is. This is living Barry.

Fishing at Sunset

And can you believe it; Matt finally caught us a meal. Onya Matty! This was our last night camping K’gari, and what a way to end it.

Wathumba Sunset Fraser Island Queensland Australia

Day 6 Wathumba to Kingfisher Bay

Kingfisher Bay Celebration Drinks

It was an early start on our last day. It was straight back to Kingfisher Bay (via Eurong for another pie of course) with some celebration beverages before we jumped on the ferry back to the mainland. Check out our adventure highlights in the below video (yes, the bevvies made it in!).

Need to know

Ferry

We used Fraser Venture Barge, and it’s recommended to book in to avoid disappointment. The return trip cost us $215 return – full prices and timetables can be found on their website.

Camping

K’gari is a National Park, and as such, campsites will need to be booked in advance. Some of the more popular sites with dingo protection and amenities book out quickly, so it’s best to decide your itinerary in advance. You can book up to 6 months in advance via the Queensland Parks website.

You’ll find there are certain things that are above and beyond what you regularly need, such as a good supply of fresh water (we have a 30L tank in our 4WD), a portable toilet (its a dingo rule!) and plenty of space for food (we have a battery powered fridge in the Hilux, set up on a dual battery system). Make sure you plan appropriately.

4WDing

You WILL need a 4WD to get around Fraser Island. I’d also recommend a pair of recovery boards (we have Max Trax) and a shovel. I can’t count the amount of times we used ours. The fuel prices are outrageous on the island too, so if you can carry your own jerry cans, be sure to do so.

If you don’t own a 4WD, you could always hire or join a tour group – there’s plenty of options out there.

Dingoes

Firstly, dingoes aren’t as scary as everyone makes them out to be. Secondly, they are not your pet dog, so don’t treat them as such. Give them the same respect you would any wild animal and you’ll get along fine. There are some sensible rules when it comes to dingoes, such as not feeding them, and you’ll find them all on the Queensland Parks website.

I can honestly say that camping K’gari was an amazing and unique place, and camping is just one way to experience everything that it has to offer. I would love to go back one day to experience a *fancier* side of it, but until then, it’s the camping life for me!

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