For many Australians Fraser Island is a major item on the travel bucket list. With seemingly endless kilometres of golden beaches, a wide diversity of marine wildlife and just the right sprinkle of great resorts, it has it all. Access to Fraser for 4WD vehicles can be made from Inskip Point at Rainbow Beach onto the Manta Ray Ferry or from the service at Hervey Bay.
My preference is to drive the beach from just north of Noosa. This route will get you into beach driving mode and will take you past the Teewah Coloured Sands which is well worth a stop. If you can, time your drive with an early morning low tide, the beachcombing can be quite rewarding. Exiting the sand at Rainbow Beach you can head into town to purchase your camping permits and barge tickets. This is also a good time to top up on groceries and fuel as everything is more expensive on the other side of the Sandy Straight. Remember to read the information on dingo safety, they are true wild dogs with all the hunting instincts. They can be and have been dangerous to humans so follow the warnings and guidelines.
Once you arrive at Inskip Point this is a good opportunity to air down your tyres. You don’t want to be “that person” who gets bogged within sight of the barge or sink in front of it when you exit the other side. If the tide is up I tend to pick a lower pressure of about 15-16 psi for car and camper and at low tide pressures of around 22-26 psi. Remember the lower you go the slower you go and keep your driving smooth with no sharp turns as rolling a tyre off the rim is worse than getting bogged and a lot more dangerous. Traveling the beaches of Fraser is best done 2 hours either side of low tide and if you can plan your trip to coincide with daytime low tides, all that much better.
Where to Camp.
Oh the choices! Fraser offers the choice of beach camping in designated areas, established campsites, fenced camping areas to keep the dingos out, cabins and also resort stays complete with restaurants and swimming pools.
Beach camping is available in nominated areas but may not be the ideal for taking young kids. If you choose these areas you need to be on your Dingo awareness “A” game at all times, supervising kids closely, not wandering off alone and being extra cautious in storing food and waste.
Fenced camping areas such as Dundubara and Dilli Village are excellent for families. Dilli Village has excellent amenities and is safe for kids. Dundubara is bush camping with toilets and showers and small native animals are in abundance. Native bush rats and other small wildlife will pinch the food off your plate, take strawberries out of an open esky and climb up your leg to get a feed.
For the adventurous, by far the most beautiful place to camp is Sandy Cape. Teaming with marine life, this is one of the most beautiful places in the country. There are zero facilities so you need to take everything with you, fresh water, food and fuel and just as importantly you must take it all away with you. If you have a tinny you’ll find the fishing excellent.
Time to go.
Any time of year is excellent however the summers can get crowded and hot. Spring and autumn are my picks and for fishermen the peak is around August with offshore winds and tailor by the ton.
There are strict speed limits on Fraser Island, 80kph on the beach and 30kph on inland tracks. Police do patrol the island and conduct random breath tests so don’t risk it.
Fraser has some truly pristine lakes to cool off during the warmer months. Lake McKenzie is by far the most popular followed by Lake Wabby. Both have crystal clear fresh water with nearby amenities and pure white sand to put your towel on.
Along 75 Mile Beach you’ll find the wreck of the Maheno to explore.
Central Station is a great place to learn about the timber industry of years gone by on Fraser. Relics left behind after the closing of the timber cutting make for an interesting and educational adventure.