Your exclusive guide on how to explore Australia’s most recognised off-road adventure  


Fraser Island is the pinnacle of 4WD adventure hotspots. This 120km stretch of sun, sand and surf is the largest sand island in the world. Yes, you read that right! It’s also a heaven for no less than 25 different species of mammals such as echidnas, flying foxes, possums and wallabies, not to mention the purest strain of dingoes in the world. Add in the magnificent views over its glorious sand dunes, peat and wallum swamps, mangrove forests and eucalyptus woodlands, and you’ve got yourself a destination worthy of royalty!


Fraser Island lies 300km north of Brisbane on the southern coast of Queensland, Australia. The most popular way to get to Fraser Island is by a ferry or barge from Hervey Bay – the whale-watching capital of the world, or Rainbow Beach. 

You can access the barge via Inskip Point, which is a fifteen-minute drive from Rainbow Beach (east of Gympie) to Hook Point. The Manta Ray Barge generally runs between 6am to 5:30pm and should only take about ten minutes to get you there.  


– The island was created over hundreds of thousands of years from sand drifting off the east coast of mainland Australia. It was actually once a part of New South Wales!

– Fraser Island took more than 800,000 years to develop. In fact, its sand dunes are still developing.

– Fraser Island is the only place in the world where the rainforest grows on sand.

– Fraser Island is home to half the world’s perched lakes, which are defined by their separation from the water table. This means most of Fraser Island’s lakes are fed only by rainwater, keeping them pure and clear.


Taking a leisurely drive up the eastern beach is the perfect way to get a peak of what Fraser Island is all about. The beach is generally quite firm with a speed limit of 80km/h for the most part. You’ll pass plenty of keen fisherman along the way, particularly in winter and spring when the tailor are running. There are also various designated and well-marked beach camping zones on route too.


The 75 Mile Beach run will eventually lead to the mouth of Eli Creek, which is arguably one of Fraser Islands most adored swimming spots. Up to four million litres of fresh water pour forth into the ocean each hour. In fact, you can take the boardwalk that follows the creek inland for a glimpse of its glassy waters or the Jungle Perch swimming against the current. Don’t miss the opportunity to Lilo down stream either; it’s truly magical!


Just a short distance north from Eli Creek lies perhaps one of the most infamous sights on the island; the old Meheno Wreck. The word “Mehino” actually means “island” in Maori and the vessel was actually originally built in Scotland way back in 1905. The shipwreck has quite a lot of fascinating stories to tell. You see, it started its life as a luxury passenger ship for trans-Tasman crossings. It was actually the worlds’ first triple-screw steamer, weighing a massive 5323 tonnes. During World War One, the ship served as a hospital ship in the Mediterranean, Gallipoli and the English Channel before returning to our waters as a luxury liner.  In 1935 the ship was declared outdated, and on June 25, 1935 it was caught in a freak cyclone while on-route to Japan to be used for scrap metal. She drifted ashore and was beached where it still lies today, on the eastern shores of Fraser Island for all to see.   


If you manage to make your way to the majestic Orchid Beach, you’ll find the relaxing at the Champagne Pools is a must. These unique pools of water are the only place where saltwater swimming is encouraged on the island, as sharks and dangerous rips are commonplace on the Fraser Island coastline. The Champagne Pools, however are a natural collection of pools created by volcanic rock, making is safe for swimmers. The unique way in which water fizzes after crashing over the volcanic rock, are what give these unique pools their name and create quite a memorable experience for travellers who take a dip. 


If heading to the tip of the island sounds like a plan, then Sandy Cape is your destination. You’ll need to re-join the beach and continue towards treacherous waters, and there lies the challenge. There is a bypass to negotiate around South Ngkala Rocks, which is notoriously soft. Access over North Ngkala Rocks presents its own unique risks. Being extremely rough, it should only be attempted by experienced four-wheel drivers at low tide.


To explore the best of Fraser Islands many inland perched lakes you’ll need at least a full day, a 4WD and low range firmly engaged. To get there, kick your adventure off from Dilli Village and follow the signs to the Southern Lakes Scenic Drive. This will lead you past the likes of Lake Boomanjin, Lake Barga and Lake Birrabeen before you hit Central Station, which is the perfect place for a lunch time picnic or to pull-up stumps for the night. 

Next up is the famous Lake McKenzie, which offers pure white silica lines around the edge of the lake, and a mesmerizing effect as the water’s colour changes from glass to turquoise and then to azure as it deepens. 

Next up, you’ll encounter the wonders of Lake Wabby, the deepest lake on the island. 


While Australia is truly a wonderland for the avid 4WDer, a trip to Fraser Island should be on every Aussies offroad bucket list. So go, plan your trip and enjoy one of the best adventures in Australia!