Fraser Island actually named K’gari is the biggest sand Island in the world ( !!!) on the « edge » of Queensland, visitable only in 4WD. We had been dreaming of this Island for almost a year but quickly disillusioned when we saw the prices to rent a 4WD and the tours with 40 people on a bus for 2 days wasn’t really our thing.
So we decided to visit the Island… on foot! And BOY WAS THAT THE BEST IDEA WE’VE EVER HAD!
The Island is super easy to visit on foot and with a sign and a smile you can even get to the northern part 😉
Here is the itinerary we did for 7 days for a total of 250$ for 2 people (including ferry, 7 nights camping and food !). We booked all our nights in advance at the Hervey Bay visitors center (you can also do it online)
The tracks are well maintained and relatively well signed.
Day 1 (30.09.15) : Kingfisher Resort – Lac McKenzie (10km) (sleep: hiker’s camp lake mckenzie)
First Ferry at 6h45. I give it a shot and make a little announcement to see if anyone’s driving to lake McKenzie (we like walking but i mean… if we can a ride… !!) Big Fail so of we set off to Lake McKenzie from Kingfisher Resort.
The beginning is kind of steep but the rest of the walk with fine with little ups and downs in the forest and when you get to the lake… it makes it all Worth it!
We set up our tent in the Hiker’s camp, we are all alone! Loving the boxes to put our stuff in to be dingo safe!
We spend the afternoon looking a huge groups of tourists arive, take selfies and leave while we stay alternating between tanning, Reading (The Husband’s secret: recommend!) and swimming in CLEAR, FRESH WATER (that I can’t stop drinking) !!!
MOZZIES AT 18h – Bed time !
Day 2(1.10.15) : Lac McKenzie – Basin Lake – Central Sation (7 km) (sleep : Central station)
We get to have the Lake McKenzie all to ourselves in the morning! After a little lunch soup we headed to central station stopping at Basin Lake (on the way) for a mid-hike swim. Again, alone in the world!
At central station we go through the little boardwalk and its crystal clear Stream in the rainforest before arriving to the hiker’s camp (deserted!)
Day 3 (2.10.15) : day trip to Lake Birrabeen (10 km there and back) (sleep : Central station)
A little bit Tricky to get there, you need to follow the signs for Lake Benarron for 3,1 km and when you get to the 4WD road take it on your right for 1,8 km (walking in the middle the sand isn’t too soft)
You get to the parking and directly on the beach of this beautiful lake. We spent the afternoon there and made our little lunch soup on the beach with the lake’s water (and our mini gas heater).
Day 4 (3.10.15) : Central Station – Lake Wabby (13 ou 18 km… depends on the signs!) (sleep : Hiker’s camp Lake wabby)
The beginning is kind of tricky to find, we didn’t understand what we were doing with our not-precise-at-all map and the contradictory signs. We ended up finding it by following Pile Valley signs for 2 km and ending up at a junction where Lake wabby is indicated 13 km away, here we go !
Le trek is nice, pretty flat with a little climb at the end (which has me swearing). When we got to the camping little deception to see were still 1,6 km from the lake (more swearing).
We installed our little camp and headed to the lookout and then continued down to lake wabby and its huge sand dunes.
Kind of jealous of the people with boogie boards racing down the dunes to end up in the lake!
Day 5 (4.10.15) : Lake Wabby – Indian head (hitchhike – 60 km) – Eli creek (hitchhike – 25 km ) (Camping beach zone 5)
We looked at the tide Schedule on our sheet supplied by the information centre, it was at it’s lowest point at 6 :18 am so we left at the crack of dawn (the sunrise over the dunes is splendid) et walked the 4 ks that separated us from the beach via the lake.
Seeing the few number of cars going by we started loosing hope but after only 10 minutes a very nice fisherman, ben, took us all the way up to indian head stopping at Eli creek and the ship wreck so we could have a look !
We even saw a Small whale jumping on the waves literally 3 seconds after Damien had said « Seriously, I really don’t get how we could see whales from here »
We got to indian head, climbed up top and spent the morning there watching whales, a jumping manta ray, dolphins and turtles! Again, hoards of tourists come and go, take selfies, vaguely look at the whales, leaving us all alone. Indian head is a real must to see marine life, Worth it to stay a while especially during whale season!
We made our traditional lunch soup (cauliflower and chives today) and went back down to walk to champagne pools (a little flat 2 km walk). A group of men on their « annual boys trip » took pity on us and we got 2 beers, thanks mates!
Kind of disappointed by champagne pools, I think the name makes it sound too dreamy (I mean… we even brought a bottle of bubbly to drink there but ended up keeping it for that night on the beach). Less bubbly then I imagined (the pools, no thte bubbly). Damien would have gladly stayed 2 extra hours at Indian Head !
We got picked up by a Young Australian couple travelling around Australia and dropped us off on the beach camping right before Eli Creek (but a little late to work up the courage to walk there and have a swim)
We savored our bottle (a little warm) on the beach (with the Sunset behind us… too bad, but it means the sunrise will be on the water tomorrow morning!)
And at night we went and took some pictures of the shipwreck with the stars!
Day 6 (5.10.15) : Eli creek – Lake McKenzie (Hitchhike)
Up early to see the sun rise over the sea (and because we go to bed at 6pmm so we’re up anyways.. even me !!)
We took a refreshing swim in Eli creek, a Small Stream goes to the see creating a little current that’s pretty fun.
And then hitchhiked back to Lake McKenzie. We got picked up by a lovely Australian couple who have been coming here for 16 years, the husband even proposed on top of Indian head and both have the Island tattooed on their bodies (#hardcorefraserfans). They made a huge detour to take us closer to our destination, gotta love those aussies !
We kept going and quickly got picked up by a retired German couple! We revisited lake wabby and central station with them before being dropped off at lake Mckenzie.
Glad to have experienced the 4WD sand road experience … it’s INTENSE ! We’re especially glad NOT to have had to drive on there, the walking tracks on much smoother 😉
Day 7 (7.10.15) Lake McKenzie – Kingfisher (10km) Ferry back at 17h.
We got the privilege of the lake to ourselves one last time for 2 solids hours!
After lunch (yes, soup again, mushroom with addition of dehydrated mushrooms #glamping) we’re off to kingfisher resort.
We got there much too early (15h) so we hung out in the lobby before an employee told us we cold use the pool while we wait for the shuttle to the ferry. Don’t have to tell us twice, 30 seconds later we’re in the pool among the rich savoring mojitos and fries (still craving them)
Fraser Island Highlights
- Indian Head, splendid view on surroundings and marine wildlife
- Lac McKENZIE and its crystal clear fresh water
- Lac Wabby and its moon like vibe especially at sunrise
- Ship wreck
- Eli creek
- Sleeping on the beach
Alternate itinerary if you have less time but are motivated to walk :
Day 1 big day: Kingfisher – lac Mackenzie fore lunch – Lake Wabby
Day 2 : Lake Wabby – Indian head (hitchhike ) then back down to Lake Wabby (hitchhike)
Day 3 : Lake Wabby – central station
Day 4 : Central station – Lake McKenzie (via lake basin) – kingfisher (Ferry that evening)