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About Fraser Island

Getting there and getting around

Fraser Island is located just off the mainland Queensland cities of Maryborough and Hervey Bay.  It forms the eastern boundary of the body of water known as Hervey Bay.

Fraser Island is located just off the mainland Queensland cities of Maryborough and Hervey Bay. It forms the eastern boundary of the body of water known as Hervey Bay.

High-clearance 4WD vehicles are essential for driving on Fraser Island as the roads are all sand.  Photo: Tourism Queensland

High-clearance 4WD vehicles are essential for driving on Fraser Island as the roads are all sand. Photo: Tourism Queensland

Vehicle barges run continuously during daylight hours between Inskip and Hook Points at the southern end of Fraser Island. Photo: Queensland Government

Vehicle barges run continuously during daylight hours between Inskip and Hook Points at the southern end of Fraser Island. Photo: Queensland Government

Fraser Island is about 300km north of Brisbane and 15km off the coast of Hervey Bay and Maryborough.

Vehicle access

Fraser Island’s sand tracks are rough and only suitable for high clearance 4WD vehicles with low range capacity.

All-wheel drive vehicles are not recommended.

Vehicle barges leave from:

  • Inskip Point, 15 minutes drive from Rainbow Beach (east of Gympie) to Hook Point; these barges generally run from 6am to 5.30pm (trip time is about 10 minutes, no bookings required)
  • River Heads (east of Maryborough) to Kingfisher Bay and Wanggoolba Creek (trip time is between 30 to 50 minutes, bookings required).

Vehicle access permit

A vehicle access permit must be purchased and displayed on your vehicle windscreen before driving on Fraser Island. Be sure to buy all your permits before you go.

Other access options

Passenger flights operate daily from Hervey Bay to Fraser Island. Flights are also available from Maroochydore.

Commercial tours of the island leave from Rainbow Beach, the Sunshine Coast, Hervey Bay and Brisbane.

Vehicle barges also take walk-on passengers.

Wheelchair accessibility

Wheelchair toilet facilities are available at Lake McKenzie, Central Station, Wanggoolba Creek barge landing, Waddy Point, Lake Garawongera, Ungowa and Dundubara camping areas and day-use areas.

Park features

Spectacular sandblows demonstrate the ongoing geological processes for which Fraser Island was given World Heritage status. Photo: Queensland Government

Spectacular sandblows demonstrate the ongoing geological processes for which Fraser Island was given World Heritage status. Photo: Queensland Government

Lake Wabby, the island's only barrage lake and a sacred men's area to the Butchulla people, is being swallowed by Hammerstone Sandblow at about 1 metre each year. Photo: Queensland Government

Lake Wabby, the island's only barrage lake and a sacred men's area to the Butchulla people, is being swallowed by Hammerstone Sandblow at about 1 metre each year. Photo: Queensland Government

Fraser Island is the world's largest sand island and an area of remarkable natural beauty. It was listed as a World Heritage Area in 1992 to recognise the island's internationally significant natural features:

  • evolving dune, lake, soil and forest systems, the extent and age of which are outstanding examples of ongoing geological and biological processes
  • unique landscapes, which are examples of superlative natural occurrences.

Growing on seemingly infertile sands are a great variety of plant communities ranging from coastal heath, mangrove forests and swamps to subtropical rainforest.

The many archaeological remains found on Fraser Island record thousands of years of culture and tradition, and provide important links to their past for the Butchulla people.

The island is 123km long and covers an area of 166,038ha, so you need to allow plenty of time to explore and appreciate it.

Places to see

Lake Boomanjin

This is the largest perched lake in the world, covering almost 200ha. Its waters are stained brown by tannins leached from the vegetation. Please read water safety.

Central Station

Many memorable walks leave from Central Station. Stroll through the rainforest along Wanggoolba Creek boardwalk, visit the peaceful Basin Lake, or stand among the impressive satinay trees in Pile Valley.

Lake McKenzie (Boorangoora)

This inland, perched lake is a popular site. Its white sand and sparkling blue waters attract many visitors, with busiest times between 10.30am and 3pm. Please read the water safety. There are short walks to the lake from each of the three fenced picnic areas. Popular sites also attract dingoes, so please remember take no food or drinks (except water) to the lake for safety sake.

Lake Wabby

This is the deepest lake on Fraser Island. Its shore lies at the advancing edge of the Hammerstone Sandblow. Take Cornwell's Break Road up to the ridge above the lake, where a short walk leads to a splendid lookout offering a view of this barrage lake and the sandblow that is slowly engulfing it. It is considered a significant cultural site by the Butchulla people. The water is shallower than it first appears. Do not dive or jump into the lake. Swimming is not recommended. Please read about water safety.

Eli Creek

Cool off next to this crystal clear freshwater creek that flows through vegetated banks and right out to the beach. Watch for eels and frogs from the boardwalk, and see small empire gudgeon and jungle perch fish swimming against the current. Please read the water safety.

Kingfisher Bay

Sheltered coastline, impressive views across the Great Sandy Strait and historical sites are all within easy walking distance of Kingfisher Bay.

Lake Allom

Tucked into a rainforest hollow, this lake offers a cool respite from the salty beach environment. A circuit track around the lake meanders through a variety of plant communities. Wait on the viewing platform and watch for freshwater turtles, but please do not feed them. Please read the water safety.

Wungul Sandblow

Enjoy expansive coastline views from the first dune crest of this sandblow.

Waddy Point headland

Take in a vista of beach and ocean. Watch for sea turtles, sharks and stingrays coasting along.

Binngih Sandblow (Waddy Point)

Catch sweeping views across Waddy Point headland and north over Marloo Bay to Sandy Cape, the site of the only lighthouse on Fraser Island.

Ocean Lake

Ocean Lake is home to a variety of water birds taking advantage of the reeds and undisturbed sections of the lake. Nearby, an easy walk through cypress, banksia and melaleuca woodland offers a good lookout with panoramic views. Please read the water safety.

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Camping and accommodation

Camping

The Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service (QPWS) manages a number of formal camping areas, informal beach camping zones and walkers' camps. Camping permits are required and fees apply.

Read Things to know before you go for information about essentials to bring with you when camping on Fraser Island.

Camping permits for special groups

Certain groups may be able to request a special account—group account, school account or commercial operator account—for booking camping.

Also see: Permits for special group accounts

Other organised groups

If you are planning an organised use of a QPWS-managed area contact your local QPWS office to discuss your proposal.

  • Group activity permits may be required for weddings and large, organised group activities, such as school excursions or adventure training.
  • Maximum group sizes and other conditions may apply depending on the location you wish to use and the type of activity you are planning.
  • It is recommended that group leaders view the Teachers' and group leaders' package (PDF, 247K)* for planning hints and safety information.

Other accommodation

A range of privately-run holiday accommodation is available on Fraser Island.

For more information see the tourism information links.

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Things to do

Walking is the best way to access and appreciate many of the island's special features. Photo: Queensland Government

Walking is the best way to access and appreciate many of the island's special features. Photo: Queensland Government

Explore the wonders of Fraser Island on a scenic drive. Photo: Queensland Government

Explore the wonders of Fraser Island on a scenic drive. Photo: Queensland Government

Fraser Island has long been a magnet for commercial and recreational fishers. Photo: Tourism Queensland

Fraser Island has long been a magnet for commercial and recreational fishers. Photo: Tourism Queensland

Fraser Island offers many opportunities for you to explore and enjoy the natural surroundings:

Sightseeing

Take some time to visit the major sights on Fraser Island and appreciate the park features. Stay clear of areas with no formal walking tracks or designated roads.

Walking

The best way to explore and enjoy Fraser Island is at close quarters on its walking tracks. Choose from short boardwalks through rainforests, strolls around a lake or longer walks across a sandblow. Long distance walkers can enjoy the 90km Fraser Island Great Walk with walkers' camps along the way for a special wilderness camping experience.

Please read Walking safely before you walk on Fraser Island.

Driving

Fraser Island's beaches and sandy inland roads are suitable only for high-clearance 4WD vehicles preferably with low-range capacity. Engage 4WD (if necessary, lock hubs on your vehicle) just before you start driving on sand. Read and pay attention to all signage. All Queensland road rules apply, even when you are on the beach.

Many of Fraser Island's features and walking tracks are accessed from scenic drives. Camper trailers must be high-clearance, off-road trailers that suit the vehicle towing them. Other trailers and caravans are not recommended. Be aware that road conditions can vary. During times of extended dry or wet weather, drivers can expect difficulties when traversing island roads. After severe natural events, such as storms and fires, roads may become impassable. Check road and beach conditions prior to travel.

Please read Driving safely and Four-wheel driving in parks before you drive on Fraser Island.

Mountain-bike riding

Mountain-bike riding is permitted on the eastern and western beaches of Fraser Island.

  • Only experienced mountain-bike riders should attempt to do this.
  • Bicycles are not permitted on any designated walking tracks, including the Fraser Island Great Walk.
  • Bicycles are not recommended on inland tracks as they can have tracts of very deep soft sand, carry two-way traffic and are used by heavy vehicles and large tourist buses. You may not be able to react quickly enough if you encounter these vehicles on some of the narrow sections.
  • See Mountain biking for other Queensland parks or forests where mountain-bike riding is permitted.

Take care!

  • Ensure drivers can see you when cycling along the beach, especially early morning and late afternoon.
  • Wear high visibility vests or reflective material on backpacks and clothing.
  • Stay alert and do not wear earphones, as you may not hear approaching vehicles over the sound of surf and wind.
  • Look up because authorised small planes land on and take off from the beach at any time of day in some designated areas. They need the firmer, wetter sand close to the water's edge to land safely. You may need to move quickly to get higher up the beach. Watch for traffic ahead and behind you—the beach is also a road! All Queensland road rules apply.

Guided tours and talks

Commercially-operated guided tours are available; see the tourism information links for more information.

Picnic and day-use areas

Most day-use areas on Fraser Island have picnic tables, toilets and water (not always suitable for drinking). Some also have shelter sheds, gas barbecues, and washing-up sinks.

Boating and fishing

Fishing is permitted on the beach on Fraser Island, but please read Staying safe and view the short safety video Fish bright at night.

Power boats and vehicles are not permitted in or around lakes and streams. Please read the Fish right guidelines and take note of where Great Sandy Marine Park boundaries are located before fishing around Fraser Island.

Also see:

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Things to know before you go

Bring a well-stocked first aid kit and know how to use it. Photo: Queensland Government

Bring a well-stocked first aid kit and know how to use it. Photo: Queensland Government

Use fuel stoves for cooking. Photo: Queensland Government

Use fuel stoves for cooking. Photo: Queensland Government

Campfires are permitted in the QPWS-provided fire rings in Dundubara and Waddy Point camping areas. Bring your own untreated, timber mill off-cuts, not bush wood. Fires are prohibited elsewhere in the Fraser Island Recreation Area.

Campfires are permitted in the QPWS-provided fire rings in Dundubara and Waddy Point camping areas. Bring your own untreated, timber mill off-cuts, not bush wood. Fires are prohibited elsewhere in the Fraser Island Recreation Area.

Prepare and pack well

Prepare well for your visit and ensure you have a safe and enjoyable time.

  • The sandy tracks and beaches on Fraser Island are only suitable for high clearance 4WD vehicles, preferably with low-range capacity.
  • Vehicles with low clearance are not recommended as drivers of these may find some inland tracks and beach access tracks impassable.
  • Ensure your vehicle is mechanically sound—recovery is costly and can take hours.
  • Unregistered vehicles are not permitted on Fraser Island.
  • Concessionally-registered recreational vehicles, such as quad bikes and all-terrain vehicles, are not permitted on Fraser Island.
  • Load your vehicle evenly, with heavier items inside and low down—top heavy vehicles can topple easily.

Also see: Survive your drive on Fraser Island (PDF, 3.7M)* brochure

Be warned!

Your vehicle will be exposed to salt air and at times salt spray when it's on the island or travelling along any coastal area. Protective treatments are commercially available. Ask the vehicle manufacturer about the best type of anti-rust treatment for your vehicle, before venturing into coastal or island parks.

Essentials to bring

First-aid kit and prescription medicines

There is no pharmacy or resident doctor on the island.

  • Bring adequate supplies of prescription drugs you need.

Be aware that urgent medical help is not always available; it can be hours away.

  • Always carry a well-equipped first-aid kit.
  • Be aware that marine stingers are  in the waters off Fraser Island especially in the summer months.
  • At least one person in your group should have a current first-aid certificate in your group.

Also see: Marine stinger warning notice (PDF, 146K)*.

Drinking water

It is always best to bring your own drinking water.

Bring your own water containers as extra drinking water, if you need it, can be collected from taps at:

  • Central Station
  • Dundubara camping and day-use areas
  • Waddy Point camping areas and day-use areas
  • Eurong—the tap is located on the beach in front of the QPWS ranger base and police station.

Be aware! It is advisable to treat all other water before drinking.

Water from other taps, lakes or streams on the island is not suitable for drinking unless treated first. Use either water treatment tablets or boil the water rapidly for at least 5–10 minutes.

Fuel stoves

Use fuel stoves for cooking. Campfires are not permitted (PDF, 73K)* on Fraser Island except in the QPWS-provided fire rings in Waddy Point and Dundubara camping areas, except when a total fire prohibition or ban is in place. Stiff penalties apply.

Test your fuel stoves before leaving on your trip and never use them in confined spaces, such as tents.

A fully-enclosed cooking or heating appliance—not a brazier—can be used at all camping areas unless a fire prohibition or total fire ban is in place.

  • Only gas or manufactured fuel—not timber or bush wood—can be used in the appliance.
  • The appliance must be at least 20cm off the ground.

Things for the vehicle

Mishaps or break-downs on Fraser Island can be costly, as rescues are difficult and may impact on the island's fragile ecosystems. Good preparation is essential and may save you the cost of expensive recovery.

Remember to pack:

  • spare tyre
  • well-equipped tool kit
  • tyre pressure gauge
  • air pump
  • tow rope
  • snatch strap
  • D shackles
  • traction mats (in case you get stuck in soft sand)
  • shovel.

Extra hints for your island visit

  • Bring sand pegs, tarpaulins, extra poles, ropes and torches if camping.
  • Bring $1 coins for hot showers.
  • Bring 50c and 20c coins for public telephones.
  • Mobile phones can be handy, but understand reception is very intermittent—consult your service provider.
  • Don't bring firearms or fireworks.
  • Chainsaws cannot be used.
  • Generators are not permitted in formal camping areas but can be used in beach camping areas, unless signposted otherwise.
  • Smokers; kindly bring small sealable canisters for your cigarette butts and only dispose of them in a bin.
  • See also the frequently asked questions for Fraser Island.

Opening hours

The park is open every day, 24 hours a day.

The Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service offices at Eurong and Dundubara are generally unattended for visitor enquiries as rangers are working in the field. These locations do provide information signs, and self-serve permit packs—with brochures, a current conditions report and a camping tag—are available for people who wish to change or extend their stay. See the Fraser Island map (PDF, 375K)* for locations.

Be aware that you can phone 13 Q GOV (13 74 68) for camping permit changes or extensions. Mobile phone charges may apply and reception is intermittent.

Visitor and safety information is available on signs in all major visitor areas across the island, in the Fraser Island Visitor Guide (PDF, 2.4M)* and the Fraser Island Conditions Report (PDF, 731K)*.

Permits and fees

Ensure you buy your camping and vehicle permits before entering Fraser Island.

Vehicle permits

All vehicles with the exception of those remaining within the boundary of Kingfisher Bay Resort & Village (KBRV) must have a current Fraser Island vehicle access permit, purchased before going to the island and affixed to the lower left side of the windscreen. If your vehicle does not have a windscreen, you must display the tag somewhere prominent on the vehicle.

Camping permits

Camping permits are required for all camping, except in privately run campgrounds, and must be prominently displayed at your camp. School and public holidays are very busy. Purchase permits well in advance and be aware that some camping areas have limited capacity.

Permit refunds

For information on permit refunds, please read Camping and vehicle access permit fee and pre-paid booking refunds (PDF, 176K)*.

To apply for a refund please email camping.refundenquiries@nprsr.qld.gov.au.

Pets

Domestic animals are not permitted in the Fraser Island section of Great Sandy National Park. Seeing-eye dogs or hearing assistance dogs are authorised to enter, but must have a permit that is organised prior to the visit.

Climate and weather

Fraser Island has a subtropical climate with temperatures moderated by proximity to the sea. Average coastal temperatures range from 22°C to 28°C in December and 14°C to 21°C in July. Temperatures can be more extreme inland.

Annual rainfall varies across the island, from 1200mm on the coast to 1800mm inland. The wettest months are January to March with about 160mm rainfall per month. The drier months are winter and early spring. Moderate winds predominate from the south-east. Storms—occasionally quite severe—are common in spring and early summer.

Check forecasts just before you head off to Fraser Island as weather conditions can change quickly. Two weather forecasts are relevant to Fraser Island:

  1. Coastal Waters Forecast for Southern Queensland
  2. Wide Bay and Burnett District Forecast.

Fuel and supplies

Available at all townships:

  • fuel (not autogas)
  • restaurants or takeaway food outlets
  • shops with gas and ice
  • shops are generally open from 8am to 5pm

EFTPOS is only available in some places.

Telephones

Mobile phone coverage is intermittent on Fraser Island.

Public telephones require coins and are located at:

  • Eurong
  • Happy Valley
  • Cathedral Beach
  • Kingfisher Bay
  • Orchid Beach
  • Dundubara
  • Central Station.

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Staying safe

Don't let your trip turn to tragedy—drive safely. Photo: Queensland Government

Don't let your trip turn to tragedy—drive safely. Photo: Queensland Government

Fraser Island beaches change every day—be on the lookout for washouts and take care at creek crossings. Photo: Queensland Government

Fraser Island beaches change every day—be on the lookout for washouts and take care at creek crossings. Photo: Queensland Government

Driving at high tide is dangerous. Don't place your passengers, yourself or your vehicle at risk. Photo: Queensland Government

Driving at high tide is dangerous. Don't place your passengers, yourself or your vehicle at risk. Photo: Queensland Government

Be dingo-safe. Always stay close (within arms' reach) to your children. Lock food and rubbish bags inside your vehicle at night. Photo: Queensland Government

Be dingo-safe. Always stay close (within arms' reach) to your children. Lock food and rubbish bags inside your vehicle at night. Photo: Queensland Government

Fraser Island beaches can be risky places for children. Stay close to them. Photo: Queensland Government

Fraser Island beaches can be risky places for children. Stay close to them. Photo: Queensland Government

  • Dingo safety
  • Driving safely
  • Beach hazards
  • Tides, wind and swell
  • Aircraft
  • No-vehicle zones
  • Best beach driving times
  • Normal road rules apply
  • Speed limits on the island
  • Driving hints
  • Creek crossings
  • Towing a trailer?
  • Visiting the lakes
  • Sand slips are silent
  • Water safety
  • Be croc wise and report crocodile sightings
  • Fire prohibitions and bans
  • Bushfire safety

    Read all information

    Safety is our concern, but your responsibility. QPWS brochures, signs and web pages offer you safety information—please read it and heed it.

    Be aware:

    • Fraser Island has a network of tracks and roads and a very long eastern beach used by pedestrians, fishers, wildlife and vehicles.
    • Some roads are one-way only, some are shared zones—vehicles must give way to pedestrians—and some are management tracks with no public access.
    • Look for traffic signs on the upper beach—the beach is considered a road where vehicles are permitted.
    • Safety and regulatory signs warn you of the dangers, rules and regulations, and ways to help conserve the special features of Fraser Island.
    • Walking track entrances, camping areas and day-use areas have information and orientation signs, including site-specific interpretive materials.
    • 'Aircraft landing zone' signs are located at either end of the designated landing (and take off) areas for the authorised small planes that are permitted to land on the island.

    Dingo safety

    Fraser Island's dingoes are wild and unpredictable. They are a protected species on Fraser Island.

    • You cannot feed dingoes or any wildlife on Fraser Island.
    • Rangers patrol regularly and you will be fined for doing the wrong thing.
    • Plan carefully to be dingo-safe—follow the guidelines given in brochures and on signs.
    • You will need to bring strong lockable containers to lock up food and rubbish away from animals.
    • Do not hang rubbish, food, fish, bait or berley from cars, trees or tents, as this is considered an offence and penalties apply.

    Be dingo-safe at the rubbish bins

    QPWS provides waste transfer stations—large fenced compounds with bulk rubbish and recycling bins—at certain locations across the island. They are marked on the Fraser Island map (PDF, 375K)*. Although the stations are fenced, please:

    • never go alone or at night.
    • never leave rubbish lying around—bin everything!
    • never overfill bins—if a bin is full, use another.

    Important: report dingo encounters

    Please report all negative or close encounter with dingoes to the nearest ranger as soon as you can. Alternatively, phone (07) 5486 9966 or email dingo.ranger@nprsr.qld.gov.au

    Driving safely

    • All Queensland road rules apply.
    • Fraser Island beaches and sandy inland roads are suitable for high clearance 4WD vehicles only .
    • Engage 4WD and lock hubs just before you start driving on the sand.

    Also note: To keep visitors safe, new laws have been introduced for 4WD hire vehicles. See the Department of Transport and Main Roads (DTMR) website for more information.

    Don't turn your trip into tragedy.

    Don't take stupid risks! Reckless driving and silly pranks have led to crashes.

    Slower is safer! Passengers have suffered serious spinal injuries in vehicles travelling too fast for the road or beach conditions.

    Stay alert when driving on Fraser Island.

    • Slow down when passing pedestrians and beachgoers, especially around the Maheno wreck, as they often cannot hear approaching vehicles above the sound of the surf and wind.
    • Slow down and follow the vehicle ahead at a safe distance.
    • Stay alert for oncoming traffic, especially when approaching corners.
    • Avoid driving at night because hazards are so much more difficult to see and rescuers will have more difficulty finding you if something goes wrong.

    Passengers, if the driver makes you feel unsafe in the vehicle—say something.

    Beach hazards

    Some beach hazards are extremely dangerous. Stay alert!—don't drive when you're tired or hung-over.

    • Deep washouts can happen at anytime, particularly after heavy rain and rough seas—approach wash-outs slowly!
    • Wave action can expose dangerous rocks, sometimes after just one high tide—use bypass roads if in any doubt.
    • Weather conditions and tides can wash up logs and erode the dunes, leaving trees and roots exposed.

    Maheno shipwreck site

    This is a popular site, with high traffic flow, many pedestrians wandering around and, at times, congested parking areas.

    • This is a beach pedestrian area—strictly 40km/hr speed limit.
    • Indicate your intention to pull over.
    • Park your vehicle safely out of the traffic lanes.
    • Take care when walking on the beach as vehicles are difficult to hear over the sound of wind and surf.
    • Keep children close.
    • Be aware that access is prohibited (PDF, 125K)* within 3 metres of the Maheno shipwreck.
    • Stay alert! Popular sites attract dingoes, which sometimes run erratically through traffic and parked cars.

    Tides, wind and swell

    Conditions can be too dangerous for beach driving, when high tides, sea swells and onshore winds combine. A combination of all or sometimes only two of these can result in deep salt water covering the entire beach.

    You can find yourself in a dangerous situation.

    • Waves can be washing up to and sometimes into the foredunes, leaving no beach to drive on.
    • Your vehicle's engine might stall if you drive through deep water.
    • Once your vehicle stops it can quickly sink in the soft sand, get washed away or be rolled over by the swell and waves.
    • The foredunes are often soft and unstable, collapsing easily under the weight of a vehicle, causing it to roll-over.
    • Your vehicle may be seriously damaged or lost to the tide as help is hours away.

    Vehicle roll-overs can lead to serious injury or death to you or your passengers.

    Avoid tragedy!

    It is dangerous to drive into these conditions or to drive along the foredunes to avoid the high tide.

    • Never drive into conditions that can endanger your life.
    • Never drive along the foredunes in the hope to avoid the high tide waters, as the dunes can collapse and your vehicle could roll-over.

    Plan well!

    • Check weather forecasts and drive around low tide times.
    • Avoid beach driving during the two hours either side of high tide.

    Aircraft

    Authorised aircraft have designated landing zones on the eastern beach. These are signposted and marked with orange cone markers along the beach.

    Drivers must give way to planes.

    • Planes need to land on the harder sand close to the water's edge.
    • Vehicles should move to the upper beach, but not onto vegetation.
    • Drivers must pay attention to aircraft traffic controller directions.

    No-vehicle zones

    Some areas are no-vehicle zones. See the Fraser Island map (PDF, 375K)* for details.

    Be warned!

    • Do not enter areas along the western beach, which are closed to vehicle access.
    • The ever-changing weed banks that lie buried under the sand along the western beach, and occasionally on the eastern beach, deceive even experienced drivers.
    • Your vehicle might sink quickly.
    • Help and vehicle recovery machines (tow trucks) can take many hours to arrive.
    • Always have at least one other 4WD accompany you when driving in suitable areas on the western beach or park and enjoy a walk instead.

    Best beach driving times

    • Best beach driving times are two hours either side of low tide.
    • Avoid driving during the two hours either side of high tide, as some areas may be more affected by tidal activity and onshore winds.
    • Avoid travelling at night—hazards are much more difficult to see.

    For up-to-date information check the Fraser Island conditions report (PDF, 731K)* and park alerts.

    Normal road rules apply

    All inland roads, vehicle tracks and beaches are designated roads and Queensland road rules apply.

    If you are planning to drive, plan not to drink alcohol and never take illegal drugs.

    Be aware!

    • Police patrol all areas of Fraser Island.
    • Speed checks and breath testing can happen at any time of day.
    • Maximum allowable blood alcohol level for drivers in Australia is 0.05 (0.00 for those on a licence equivalent to a learner or provisional licence).
    • Police conduct random drug testing for illegal substances, such as marijuana, ecstasy, speed and ice.
    • Look for speed signs on the upper dunes of beaches.

    Seatbelts

    Everyone must wear seat belts when travelling in the vehicle—it’s the law!

    • A driver, and any passenger over the age of 16, breaking this law risks a $300 fine and (for Australians) three demerit points.
    • The driver will also be fined an additional $300 for every passenger not wearing a seatbelt, regardless of the passenger’s age.

    Giving way

    Most of the roads are narrow and carry two-way traffic.

    • All standard Queensland give-way rules apply.
    • When safe, give way to buses, trucks and to vehicles travelling downhill or towing trailers.
    • Passing bays are frequent—if possible, always drive forwards (not reverse) into them.
    • Give way to aircraft—aircraft landing zones are signposted along the beach.
    • All wildlife is protected—approach dingoes, resting shorebirds and all other wildlife slowly, and carefully drive around them.

    Speed limits on the island

    • 80km/hr (maximum) on the eastern beach
    • 30km/hr on inland roads
    • 40km/hr in beach pedestrian areas
    • 50km/hr on Hook Point inland road
    • 10km/hr in shared-use areas
    • A safe driving speed may be lower than the signed speed limit.

    Driving hints

    Driving on sand is very different to driving on bitumen roads.

    • Always drive to suit the conditions.
    • Slow down and follow vehicles at a safe distance.
    • Only use indicators when overtaking, turning or pulling out from a parked position.
    • Keep to the left of oncoming vehicles at all times.

    Creek crossings

    Large volumes of fresh water erode creek banks and can leave deep washouts across the beach. These are dangerous when vehicles hit them at speed—roll-overs, severe spinal injuries and deaths have occurred in these circumstances.

    Look out for washouts and slow down!

    • Be especially careful when crossing Eli, Wyuna and Coongul creeks.
    • Before crossing any creek, if safe, walk through it to check the depth of water and softness of sand.
    • Never stop your vehicle midstream; your vehicle may sink or stall.
    • Never attempt to cross Wathumba Creek or Moon Point estuaries.

    Tyre pressure

    Reduced tyre pressure, within manufacturer’s specifications, helps to maintain traction on inland tracks and soft sand, particularly at Indian Head bypass and further north. Select low gears for soft, dry sand.

    If you choose to reduce your tyre pressure, be aware that it can affect your vehicle's braking capacity:

    • Avoid turning sharply or braking suddenly, as tyres with reduced air pressure can come off their rims.
    • Re-inflate your tyres to resume speed on harder sand, bitumen and for driving on the mainland.

    Avoid top-loading

    Top-loaded vehicles roll easily.

    • Pack light, pack right and stow gear low inside your vehicle.
    • Distribute your load evenly and do not overload your vehicle—the weight of passengers plus gear must be under your load rating.

    Since 1 April 2010, it is illegal to load luggage on the roof of a 4WD hire vehicle. All hire 4WD vehicles must:

    • carry no more than eight occupants, including the driver.
    • store all luggage securely inside the vehicle (not on the roof).

    Entering beach camping areas

    • Stay on the formed tracks when entering or leaving beach camping areas.
    • Go slow—pedestrians and wildlife also use these access tracks.
    • It is illegal to drive over or park on sand dunes or foredunes.

    Towing a trailer?

    Conditions at some barge landings and on inland tracks, including Indian Head bypass, can be soft and boggy, making it difficult to tow trailers or camper trailers.

    Be aware:

    • Caravans are not suitable for Fraser Island.
    • Off-road camper trailers must have high clearance and be suitable for the vehicle towing them.

    Your type of 4WD, its clearance and load size will effect where you can go on the island. Your sand driving experience and the beach or track conditions will determine accessibility and driving or towing comfort during your visit to Fraser Island.

    Visiting the lakes

    Lakes are popular areas for dingoes too. Use the tables in the day-use areas for picnics, because picnics on a lake shore or the beach put food at 'dingo level'. This can attract dingoes and tempt them to steal your food, sometimes aggressively.

    • Take no food or drinks, except drinking water, to lake shores.
    • Use fenced picnic areas where provided.
    • When you have finished eating, pack everything including any rubbish back inside your vehicle, not on top.
    • Don't leave scraps or dish cloths lying around.
    • Lock your vehicle before going to the lake.

    Danger! (Lake Wabby)

    • Running down the sand dunes can cause serious injury or death.
    • Jumping or diving into the lake can cause serious injury or death.
    • Serious spinal injuries have occurred as a result of running down dunes in the past.

    Your safety is our concern, but your responsibility.

    Walking safely

    • Stay with your children at all times.
    • Don't leave children alone in a tent.
    • Stay on formed walking tracks rather than taking shortcuts.
    • Wear sturdy footwear, not thongs.
    • Walk in groups.
    • Avoid walking in the hottest part of the day.
    • Carry sufficient drinking water.
    • Protect yourself from the sun.
    • Look for and observe all signs.

    Walking over sandblows

    Walking over sandblows or up steep sections of tracks can be very tiring. Some people have suffered fatigue and heat exhaustion on hot days.

    • Take enough drinking water.
    • Walk in the cooler time of day.
    • Wear sun protection, especially a hat.

    Indian Head

    A restricted access area (PDF, 92K)* has been declared over the eastern cliff top area of Indian Head, Fraser Island.

    • Access to the area beyond the markers is prohibited without a permit or written approval.
    • Penalties apply if you go beyond the markers.

    Long distance walking

    You should prepare well if undertaking a long distance walk such as the Fraser Island Great Walk and ensure you have:

    • a map
    • compass
    • personal locator beacon (PLB)
    • food
    • drinking water
    • appropriate clothing and sun protection
    • first-aid kit
    • camping permit.

    Safety is your responsibility:

    • Advise a reliable friend or family member of your itinerary and contingency plan if things go wrong.
    • Be aware that this person, not the rangers, is responsible for alerting police if rescues are needed.
    • Always check track conditions just before you start.
    • Do not ignore track closure signs.

    Sand slips are silent

    Exposed sand dunes and sand cliffs are unstable and can collapse without warning. Serious injury or death can result. Don't assume that this won't happen when you or your children are there.

    • Do not toboggan down sand dunes; you can suffer serious neck injuries.
    • Never climb, slide down or dig into sand dunes or sand cliffs.

    Water safety

    People have suffered serious injuries in water-related accidents. There are no patrolled swimming areas on Fraser Island. Avoid tragedy.

    • Always stay with children when near water.
    • Do not swim in the ocean as it is not patrolled and there may be rips and sharks.
    • Do not dive into water. Serious injuries have occurred.
    • Never run, roll or slide down the sand dune at Lake Wabby; it can result in serious and life-long spinal injuries or death.
    • Stay away from rocks. Surf and swell can quickly wash you away.

    Also see:

    Be croc wise and report crocodile sightings

    There are confirmed sightings of an estuarine (saltwater) crocodile in the Mary River and credible reports of crocodile sightings in the Great Sandy Strait and western coastline of Fraser Island.

    Crocodiles are a native animal and protected in Queensland. The accepted habitat range of the estuarine crocodile in Queensland extends from Torres Strait south to the Boyne River, just south of Gladstone. However there have been records of estuarine crocodiles as far south as the Logan River Brisbane (circa 1902).

    If you sight a crocodile:

    For your own safety ‘Be croc wise’:

    • Do not approach crocodiles and stay well away from a 'crocodile slide'.
    • Never feed, provoke, harass or interfere with a crocodile.
    • Stay alert when launching or retrieving your boat, fishing or boating.
    • Avoid entering the water.
    • When fishing stand at least a few metres back from the water's edge.
    • Never clean fish or discard fish or food scraps near the water's edge, camp sites or boat ramps.
    • Camp at least 50m from the water's edge.

    Crocodiles are only one of a number of dangerous marine animals, including sharks and stingers potentially found in this region. Following common sense and croc wise rules will reduce the risk of contact with crocodiles.

    Fire prohibitions and bans

    Both prohibitions and bans carry heavy penalties for non-compliance. Be extra vigilant with fuel stoves, gas lights and lanterns at all times.

    Fire prohibitions

    A permanent fire prohibition on open campfires is in place on Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service (QPWS) estate on Fraser Island, except in the QPWS-provided fire rings at Dundubara and Waddy Point camping areas.

    Total fire bans

    During high fire danger periods, the Queensland Fire and Rescue Service (QFRS) may declare a total fire ban, which means no fires are permitted anywhere on private or public lands. See Queensland Fire and Rescue Service for more information.

    Bushfire safety

    Bushfires can pose a threat to walkers and campers. They can occur without warning, so be aware of, and prepared for, the dangers.

    If you are caught in a bushfire:

    • follow the track to the nearest road, beach, lake or creek for refuge.
    • large logs, a ditch or burnt ground can also provide protection.
    • avoid areas of heavy fuel, such as deep leaf litter.
    • stay low to the ground where the air is coolest and contains the least smoke.

    Be aware!

    • In extreme conditions, roads, walking tracks and camping areas may be closed at short notice for your safety.
    • Rangers also carry out planned fuel reduction burning.
    • If you see a fire, please alert a QPWS office, a ranger or phone Triple Zero (000) as soon as possible.
    • Report arson to the police immediately.

    Also see: Safety video clips and read the guidelines on Safety in parks and forests.

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Looking after the park

Keep Fraser Island clean

  • Don't use soaps, toothpastes, skin and sun creams, personal insect repellents and detergents in the lakes and streams.
  • Use toilets if provided, as human waste in lakes and streams is unhealthy and promotes unnatural levels of algal growth.
  • Avoid spreading pests and diseases. Don't bring animals, plants, plant materials or soil to the island.
  • Be sure to bin your cigarette butts and all little bits of litter.
  • Animals, plants, bush timber or soil cannot be brought to Fraser Island without the permission of Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service or the Department of National Parks, Recreation, Sport and Racing.

Toileting

Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service (QPWS) recommends bringing and using a portable toilet when camping in areas without toilet facilities.

You must bring your own portable toilet when camping at these camping areas:

  • Garulim
  • Dulara
  • Midyim
  • Cornwells group camping area.

Never empty portable toilet waste into QPWS toilets, or onto the ground. Refer to the Fraser Island map (PDF, 375K)* for portable waste disposal facility locations.

If bush toileting is absolutely necessary, please:

  • bury your waste and toilet paper at least 50cm deep and at least 50m from creeks and lakes, or as signposted.
  • bag and bin all sanitary items and nappies.
  • be dingo-safe on Fraser Island. Never go alone.

Also see: Bush toileting practices—a short information video.

Beach camping—leave no trace

  • Camp behind the foredunes where permitted.
  • Camp at least 50m from streams and lakes.
  • Use existing camp sites.
  • Avoid digging trenches.
  • Don't trample or park on vegetation.
  • Be responsible with rubbish disposal.

Recycling and rubbish disposal

  • If you can, please take your rubbish off the island with you. This saves energy.
  • If you cannot do this, dispose of it at one of the waste transfer stations provided and marked on the Fraser Island map (PDF, 375K)*.
  • Please do not throw rubbish into the bush.
  • Never bury or burn rubbish.
  • Be dingo-safe at the rubbish bins.

All Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service waste transfer stations have separate yellow-top recycling bins. Please do the right thing and only place the correct recyclables in these bins.

You can help.

  • Reduce your packaging before you go to the island.
  • Bring products with lightweight, crushable packaging (e.g. aluminium cans).
  • Avoid bringing glass.
  • Separate your recyclables from general waste; whole glass bottles, plastic containers, clean paper, aluminium and steel cans, and cardboard can all be recycled.
  • If a bin is full, please use another; never leave rubbish lying around the rubbish bins.
  • For more information watch Reduce and recycle rubbish—a short information video.

You must not leave hazardous waste in or around the bins.

  • Chemicals, batteries, used oil, paints, tyres and materials containing asbestos are not accepted at the bins.
  • Take these materials off the island and dispose of them properly.
  • Penalties apply for illegal dumping.

Fish right

  • Keep fish, bait and berley in sealed containers away from dingoes.
  • Bury fish remains and unused bait just below high tide mark—dig a deep hole and cover the fish scraps with at least 50cm of sand.
  • Bury fish remains when dingoes are NOT around, so they don't associate finding the remains with people.
  • Dispose of used bait bags and unwanted fishing line in bins.
  • Fish cleaning is prohibited in all camping areas.
  • All freshwater fish are protected on Fraser Island—fishing or collecting bait in lakes and streams is not permitted.

Keep wildlife wild

  • Do not feed or leave food available for animals.
  • Our food does not suit wildlife—it can make them sick.
  • Plastic bags kill animals. Bin your bags or don't bring them.
  • For more information watch Keep wildlife wild—a short information video.

See the guidelines on caring for parks for more information about protecting the environment and heritage in parks.

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Park management

Fraser Island is a World Heritage-listed area managed by the Department of National Parks, Recreation, Sport and Racing's (NPRSR) Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service (QPWS). The Great Sandy Region Management Plan 1994–2010 guides the management of the area. The island is protected to conserve its natural and cultural resources. Most of the island is a national park protected under the Nature Conservation Act 1992 and the Recreation Areas Management Act 2006 to the low water mark. There are some freehold areas, such as townships.

Tourism information links

Hervey Bay Visitor Information Centre
www.ourfrasercoast.com.au
227 Maryborough-Hervey Bay Road, Urraween, Qld 4655
Open: Daily 9am to 5pm

Closed: Christmas day and Good Friday

Hervey Bay Airport Visitor Information Centre
www.ourfrasercoast.com.au
Airport Terminal, Don Adams Drive, Hervey Bay Qld 4655
Opening times subject to flight time tables.

Closed: Christmas day

For more information about:

Further information

QPWS visitor guides provide information that is critical for your visit Queensland’s national parks. For areas in the Fraser Coast region, download:

Camping bookings

Permit refunds

Refunds are granted in extenuating circumstances, but only if requested before the permit commences. To find out more download the refund operational policy (PDF, 176K)*.

Email: camping.refundenquiries@nprsr.qld.gov.au

Useful contacts

All emergencies: phone Triple Zero (000).

Try 112, if you have no reception on your mobile phone.

Non-urgent calls

Police (Eurong): (07) 4127 9288

Ambulance: 13 12 33

  • The ambulance station at Happy Valley is manned 7 days a week from 7am to 5pm.
  • Outside of these hours the officers are on call (24hrs a day).
  • If the ambulance station is closed (due to a call out or emergency), contact can be made via the telephone on the side of the station building. 

Mechanical assistance

  • Eurong: 0427 279 173

Tow truck services

  • Eurong: (07) 4127 9449 and 0428 353 164
  • Eurong: (07) 4127 9437

Taxi service

  • Eurong: (07) 4127 9188 and 0429 379 188

Barges

Inskip to Fraser Island south: No bookings required

  • Enquiries to 'Manta Ray' barge company: (07) 5486 3935 or 0418 872 599

River Heads to Fraser Island west: Bookings essential.

  • Enquiries to 'Fraser Island Barges' company: 1800 227 437

Air services

  • Air Fraser (Hervey Bay) (07) 4125 3600

Marine strandings

  • Phone 1300 ANIMAL (1300 264 625)

Contact us

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Fraser Island publications

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Last updated
28 February 2014