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About Fraser Island Great Walk

Getting there and getting around

You can access Fraser Island from either Rainbow Beach township or Hervey Bay travelling by vehicle barge, aircraft, commercial tour or private boat.

Dilli Village and Happy Valley, on the eastern side of Fraser Island, are the two main Great Walk start and finish points.

For visitors arriving on Fraser Island on foot there are access tracks from barge landing points to the Great Walk track.

Barge access

Access from Rainbow Beach

Take the vehicle barge from the beach at Inskip Point—approximately 15km from Rainbow Beach—across to Hook Point on Fraser Island.

A taxi service is available to walkers from Rainbow Beach and Cooloola to the barge at Inskip Point—phone 0411 072 349.

There are no public buses that service this area.

Another taxi service operates on Fraser Island and can transport you from the barge landing point to the Great Walk—bookings essential—phone 0429 379 188 or (07) 4127 9188 or email: enquiry@fraserservice.com.au

Inskip barges:

Manta Ray barge 
Phone (07) 5486 3935 or 0418 872 599
Email: mantaraybargeqld@bigpond.com

Barges:

  • run constantly, generally between dawn and dusk every day
  • take approximately 10mins to cross to Fraser Island
  • allow walk-on passengers
  • also carry vehicles
  • charge fees—no bookings necessary—pay onboard.

Access from Hervey Bay

Barges travel between River Heads and Fraser Island, taking visitors to two destinations—Wanggoolba Creek landing area and Kingfisher Bay Resort.

River Heads barges are approximately 23km from Hervey Bay along Booral and River Heads Roads.

A taxi service is available to take walkers from Hervey Bay to the barge at River Heads—phone 131 008.

There are no public buses that service this area.

commercial operator offers guided walking tours and transport services
—bookings essential. Phone 0400 779 880 or email: fraserdingo4wdhire@bigpond.com 

Another taxi service operates on Fraser Island and can transport you from the barge landing point to the Great Walk—bookings essential—phone 0429 379 188 or (07) 4127 9188 or email: enquiry@fraserservice.com.au

River Heads barges to Wanggoolba Creek and Kingfisher Bay:

Fraser Venture barge 
Phone: 1800 227 437 or (07) 4194 9300
Email: reservations@fraserislandbarges.com.au

Barges:

  • have scheduled departure times
  • travel across the Great Sandy Strait to Wanggoolba Creek 30mins and Kingfisher Bay 45mins
  • allow walk-on passengers
  • also carry vehicles
  • charge fees—bookings are essential.

Once on Fraser Island you can either:

  • Drive or use the taxi service or commercial operator transport service to the Great Walk entrance points near the eastern beach townships of Dilli Village and Happy Valley. Book transport services in advance.
  • or walk from your barge landing area, using access tracks, to reach the Great Walk track.

Walking from barge landing points to the Great Walk:

Access tracks link island barge landing points with the nearest Great Walk track entrances.

Access tracks for walkers from Hook Point (southern Fraser Island):

  • Disembark barge and turn right.
  • Walk approximately 300m up the beach.
  • Turn left into the Hook Point inland road.
  • Take time to read the Fraser Island Great Walk interpretive signs on the left before you walk on.

Access tracks for walkers from Wanggoolba Creek (western Fraser Island):

  • Disembark barge and walk approximately 2km along the main road to Bennett's Creek firebreak.
  • The Great Walk access point is opposite the Ungowa turnoff.
  • Take time to read the Fraser Island Great Walk interpretive signs on the left before walking on.

Access tracks for walkers from Kingfisher Bay (western Fraser Island):

  • Disembark barge and walk along the jetty.
  • Follow the jetty road to the Kingfisher Bay Resort and Village roundabout.
  • Turn right and keep walking past the tennis courts, store and petrol pumps.
  • Continue up the driveway, crossing the Kingfisher Hill vehicle track.
  • Follow this single-lane bitumen road to the right for approximately 100m to the access point.
  • Take time to read the Fraser Island Great Walk interpretive signs before you walk on.

Driving

If you are planning to drive to a Great Walk access point, you will need a high clearance four-wheel drive vehicle—hire options are available in Rainbow Beach and Hervey Bay—as soft sand, tides and estuaries contribute to challenging driving conditions. No secure parking area is available on the island.

A Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service vehicle access permit must be purchased and displayed on your vehicle windscreen before driving on Fraser Island. Buy the vehicle permit and your camping permit before you go.

Also see: 

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Walk highlights

Walk along Wanggoolba Creek and see its clear waters flowing silently over sand. Photo: NPRSR

Walk along Wanggoolba Creek and see its clear waters flowing silently over sand. Photo: NPRSR

  • Amazing scenery including towering rainforest, crystal-clear lakes, coloured sands and vast sand dunes.
  • Visit iconic sites such as Lake McKenzie, Wanggoolba Creek, Lake Wabby and Central Station.
  • Ever-changing landscapes including coastal heathland, mangrove forest, woodland and subtropical rainforest.
  • Walks—something to suit everyone. Take a short stroll with the family or choose a half-day or full-day walking challenge.
  • Enjoy camping under the stars, away from the crowds—it takes 6–8 days to complete the total 90km from Dilli Village to Happy Valley.

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Camping and accommodation

Camp under the stars and away from the crowds in one of the small walkers' camps along the Fraser Island Great Walk. Photo: NPRSR

Camp under the stars and away from the crowds in one of the small walkers' camps along the Fraser Island Great Walk. Photo: NPRSR

Camping

Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service (QPWS) provides walkers' camps—small, camping areas, with few or no facilities, limited numbers, away from main camping areas and facilities—a real get-away experience. 

QPWS walkers' camps are available for booking at:

  • Jabiru Swamp (water is 700m away, no toilets, no fence)
  • Lake Boomanjin
  • Lake Benaroon (unfenced)
  • Central Station
  • Lake McKenzie
  • Lake Wabby (unfenced)
  • Valley of the Giants (unfenced)
  • Lake Garawongera (unfenced).

Dilli Village—privately operated by the University of the Sunshine Coast—offers camping facilities with showers, toilets and a range of cabin accommodation. Camping fees apply and booking ahead is recommended. QPWS camping permits are not accepted if staying at Dilli Village.

QPWS walkers' camp facilities:

  • access to toilets nearby—may be up to 200m away (no toilets near Jabiru Swamp) 
  • access to platform seats
  • access to water (treat before drinking)
  • dingo-deterrent fences only around the walkers' camp sites at Lake McKenzie, Central Station, Lake Boomanjin.

Book ahead

Camping permits are required and fees apply.

  • View the on-screen topographic map.
  • Plan your walking times and overnight camping.
  • Book your camp sites online.
  • If you cannot book online, see camping bookings for other options.

Please note: 

  • You can stay at each QPWS walkers' camp for a maximum of two nights in a row.
  • Your group should have no more than eight people.

A range of other QPWS camping areas on Fraser Island are available with beach camping permitted within certain zones just in from the beach. Signs along the beach indicate the zones and you must camp within them. You will need to book for these areas under the option of 'Beach and other camping' on the online booking system.

Please note:

  • No facilities are provided in most beach camping areas.
  • There is no access to drinking water.
  • No bush toileting is permitted at Garulim, Midyim and Dulara—campers must bring a portable toilet or, for walkers without a vehicle, a personal hygiene kit to carry toilet waste to the next facility.

Other accommodation

Privately-run accommodation—unit, motel and resort-style—is available at: 

  • Happy Valley
  • Eurong
  • Kingfisher Bay.

Holiday houses and cabins are for rent at:

  • Dilli Village (also has a camping area)
  • Eurong township
  • Happy Valley township
  • various sites along the eastern beach (Yidney and Poyungan Rocks areas).

Contact Tourism Hervey Bay or visit the Fraser Coast website for more information.

Also see: 

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Short walks

Take a short stroll with the family along the Fraser Island Great Walk from Kingfisher Bay Resort. Photo NPRSR

Take a short stroll with the family along the Fraser Island Great Walk from Kingfisher Bay Resort. Photo NPRSR

  • Dilli Village to Wongi Sandblow—8.3km return (3–4hrs)
  • Dilli Village to Markwell’s Break—21.6km return (7–9hrs)
  • Lake Boomanjin to Wongi Sandblow—4.2km return (1.5–2hrs)
  • Lake Boomanjin to Dilli Village—12.6km return (4–6hrs)
  • Lake Boomanjin to Markwell’s Break—21.6km return (7–9hrs) (There is vehicle access to Lake Boomanjin.)
  • Central Station to Wanggoolba Creek—0.9km return (0.5–1hr) (Wheelchair accessible)
  • Central Station to Basin Lake—5.6km return (2–2.5hrs)
  • Central Station to Lake Birrabeen—12.8km return (4.5–6.5hrs)
  • Central Station to Eurong—21.2km return (7–9hrs)
  • Kingfisher Bay Resort to Lake McKenzie—25.5km return (8–10hrs)
  • Kingfisher Bay Resort to McKenzies Jetty and Fraser Island Commando School—6.6km return (2–3hrs)
  • Lake Wabby carpark to Lake Wabby—3.1km return (1–1.5hrs)
  • Lake Wabby carpark to the eastern beach—8.2km return (3–4hrs)
  • Valley of the Giants to the giant tallowwood—2.6km return (1–1.5hrs)
  • Valley of the Giants to the giant satinay—7.3km return (2.5–3.5hrs)
  • Lake Garawongera–Bogimbah historical walk—15.2km return (5–7hrs)
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Long walks

Walk past crystal-clear lakes, vast sand dunes and impressive subtropical rainforest. Photo: NPRSR

Walk past crystal-clear lakes, vast sand dunes and impressive subtropical rainforest. Photo: NPRSR

The Fraser Island Great Walk is a wonderful long-distance walking track, designed to take you past some of Fraser Island's best natural features.

What to expect:

  • 90km long
  • 6–8 days to complete
  • many access points where vehicles can pick you up or drop you off
  • well-defined and signposted
  • generally stable track surface—firm sand mostly covered with leaf litter
  • some sections of soft sand—especially over sandblows
  • some exposed sections with no shade
  • remote with little or no mobile phone reception
  • some sections take in popular tourist sites—expect crowds.

What you need

This walk needs good planning, pre-booking of camp sites and a topographic map brochure available for purchase from a variety of sales outlets.

Ensure:

  • you do the walk with a small group—be dingo-safe and never walk alone
  • you are reasonably fit and can carry a full pack
  • you or someone in your group has bushwalking experience
  • you  plan your walk

Dilli Village to Lake Boomanjin—6.3km (2–3hrs)

Cross a boardwalk over a sedge-filled creek where melaleucas, swamp banksia, sedges and coral ferns thrive along the swampy verges. Walk through open forests and scribbly gum woodlands and see the spectacular views from Wongi Sandblow. Continue through eucalypt forest to Lake Boomanjin, the largest perched lake in the world.

Lake Boomanjin to Lake Benaroon—7.2km (2.5–3.5hrs)

Stroll around Lake Boomanjin's north-western beach. Follow the track up to a ridge and continue through open woodland and regenerating forests of blackbutt and brush box. Here, the vegetation changes and rainforest plants such as kauri pines, vines, staghorns, palm lilies and mosses dominate. Descend to follow the track along the shoreline to the walkers' camp at Lake Benaroon.

Lake Benaroon to Central Station—7.5km (2.5–3.5hrs)

Follow Lake Benaroon's shore and pass by Lake Birrabeen. Continue along an old logging road and through the tall forests of the central high dunes. Descend into historic Central Station, which is set among vine forest, kauri pines and palms.

Central Station to Lake McKenzie (Option 1 via Basin Lake)—6.6km (2.5–3.5hrs)

Follow the boardwalk, cross the bridge over Wanggoolba Creek and ascend through different types of forest before reaching the shores of Basin Lake. Continue through banksia woodland, tall open forest and melaleuca wetland, before ascending to the shores of Lake McKenzie.

Central Station to Lake McKenzie (Option 2 via Pile Valley)—11.3km (3.5–4.5hrs)

Follow the boardwalk along Wanggoolba Creek, then continue through Pile Valley. Follow an old forestry tramline through cool, shady rainforest before continuing on through blackbutt forests to Lake McKenzie.

Lake McKenzie to Lake Wabby—11.9km (4–5hrs)

Pass through some of the island's most spectacular tall, open forests and rainforests before entering the open forests of the east coast dunes. Stroll to the Lake Wabby lookout for views of the lake and Hammerstone Sandblow. From here, walk to the shore of Lake Wabby, the deepest lake on Fraser Island.

Lake Wabby to the Valley of the Giants—16.2km (5.5–7.5hrs)

From Lake Wabby, re-enter the closed forest of the central high dunes. Walk along a ridge and visit a lookout for views over the vast, desert-like sands of the Badjala Sandblow. Descend into the Valley of the Giants which contains some of the largest living trees on Fraser Island. The walkers' camp is located in the heart of this valley and is an ideal base from which to explore the surrounding area.

Valley of the Giants to Lake Garawongera—13.1km (4.5–6.5hrs)

From the Valley of the Giants, pass through some impressive stands of brush box and satinay trees and rainforest, as well as areas of open forest and heathland. Follow Bogimbah Creek to an historic area that contains the remains of the earliest logging camps and forestry trial sites on the island. Continue along the track and enjoy scenic views before arriving at Lake Garawongera.

Lake Garawongera to Happy Valley—6.6km (2.5–3.5hrs)

After skirting Lake Garawongera's north-western shore, follow a steep ridge before arriving at the open forests of the east coast dunes. Continue along the track and complete your Great Walk adventure at the seaside village of Happy Valley.

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Planning your walk

Planning your walk. Photo NPRSR

Planning your walk. Photo NPRSR

Consider the challenges of a Great Walk

Mishaps on Fraser Island can be costly. Rescues are expensive, difficult and may impact on the island's fragile ecosystems.

  • Get fit for the walk! Some sections are more challenging than others and sections of soft sand can make walking slow and tiring.
  • Keep cool! Plan to walk in sunny, exposed areas early in the morning, never in the middle of the day. 
  • Keep together! Always plan to walk at the pace of your group's slowest walker.
  • Plan for delays, rest stops, sightseeing and meal breaks. Distances and times shown for each section of the track are estimates only. 
  • North of Lake Wabby is remote! This section is suitable for experienced bushwalkers only, as  distances between walkers' camps are greater, facilities are minimal and access to help is limited.
  • Be dingo-safe! Never walk alone, plan to reach your camp site well before dark and keep your food in the storage boxes provided at walkers' camps.

Essentials to bring

Fraser Island is remote and facilities are limited. Walkers must be fully self-sufficient.

Ensure you carry adequate equipment that covers the basics.

Navigation

Communication

  • personal locator beacon (PLB)
  • mobile phone and spare battery.

Personal protection

  • first-aid kit—know how to use it
  • adequate clothing for all weather, especially rain and thunderstorms
  • sturdy, enclosed footwear
  • hat sunscreen and insect repellent.

Personal hygiene, cooking and camping equipment

  • strong, lightweight tent—no shelters are provided
  • lightweight sleeping bag and mat
  • nourishing lightweight food and high-energy snacks
  • virtually no unnecessary packaging
  • torch and batteries
  • small hand trowel and toilet paper
  • pocket knife
  • lightweight cooking and eating utensils
  • container for washing up
  • water containers—enough to carry your day's water needs
  • waterproof bags to keep clothing and bedding dry
  • sealable containers with secure straps to store food and rubbish; bins are not provided, you must carry out all your rubbish and keep it and your food secure from dingoes.
  • reliable fuel stove and fuel
  • lighter and waterproof matches
  • Fraser Island tide timetable for the time of year of your visit; print off a Fraser Island Conditions Report (PDF, 925K)* just before you head off.

Also take other QPWS brochures for Fraser Island:

Vehicle essentials

  • pack spares
  • water
  • tyre gauge
  • air pump for tyre reinflation
  • tow rope
  • snatch strap
  • traction mats
  • shovel.

Permits and fees

Plan ahead—buy all your permits before you go. Camping fees and vehicle access permit fees apply.

Vehicle permits

If you're taking a vehicle to the island, you will need a current Fraser Island RAM vehicle access permit, purchased before entering the island and fixed to the lower left side of the windscreen or fixed side window. If your vehicle has no windscreen, you must affix the permit to a prominent part of the vehicle. Unregistered vehicles or conditionally registered vehicles, such as quad bikes, are not permitted on Fraser Island.

Camping permits

Camping permits are required for all camping (except in commercially-run campgrounds) and must be prominently displayed at your camp. School and public holidays are very busy. Purchase permits well in advance.

Also see: Camping and accommodation for more information.

Climate and weather

Fraser Island has a subtropical climate with moderate temperatures. Average coastal temperatures range from 22°C to 28°C in December and 14°C to 21°C in July, although temperatures can be more extreme inland.

Annual rainfall varies across the island, from 1200mm on the coast to 1800mm inland. The wettest months are from January to March, with drier months in winter and spring. Summer storms are common and severe storms occur occasionally.

Walking is recommended from April to September to avoid extreme weather conditions. Weather forecasts are available from the Bureau of Meteorology.

Fuel and supplies

Before you leave the mainland, you will need to be well prepared and stocked with supplies for your island trip. The nearest large shopping areas are at Hervey Bay, Maryborough and Gympie. Smaller supermarkets and fuel supplies are available at Rainbow Beach.

On Fraser Island: fuel, ice and some supplies can be purchased at Eurong, Happy Valley and Kingfisher Bay. These localities have:

  • a restaurant and/or take-away food shop
  • a general store
  • petrol, diesel, propane gas
  • ice.  

Stores are:

  • generally open 8am-5pm
  • electronic Funds Transfer at Point of Sale (EFTPOS) is available only in some places. Bring enough cash.

Be aware that Fraser Island does not have a:

  • bus service
  • doctor's surgery
  • big supermarket
  • major mechanical repair station.

Public telephones are located at:

  • Eurong
  • Happy Valley
  • Kingfisher Bay
  • Central Station.

Mobile phone coverage is limited and unreliable.

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Walk safely

Dingoes are wild and unpredictable animals. They roam all over Fraser Island. Stay alert and be dingo-safe. Photo: NPRSR

Dingoes are wild and unpredictable animals. They roam all over Fraser Island. Stay alert and be dingo-safe. Photo: NPRSR

Sections of the Fraser Island Great Walk are remote and isolated. Be well prepared. Safety is our concern, but your responsibility. 

General safety guidelines

  • Keep track of your location at all times; use a map and take a compass for longer walks.
  • Don't take risks—help can be many hours away.
  • Never walk alone—small groups of four are ideal.
  • Wear sturdy, enclosed boots or shoes.
  • Avoid the midday sun—protect yourself by wearing long-sleeved loose fitting clothing, sunscreen, a hat and sunglasses.
  • Be dingo-safe! Never walk at night—plan to reach your camp well before dark.
  • Carry enough drinking water, food and a first-aid kit.
  • Treat all water taken from creeks, lakes and tanks before drinking.
  • Stay on marked tracks. Taking shortcuts can cause erosion and you may get lost or suffer serious injury.
  • Ensure an experienced adult accompanies children.
  • Obey all safety and warning signs. Accidents have happened, even to experienced bushwalkers.

Contingency plans

  • Tell a responsible person where you're going and when you expect to return.
  • Let them know your exact route and contact them on your return.
  • If you change your plans, tell them.
  • Have a contingency plan in place if you fail to make contact by an agreed time.
  • Do not rely on mobile phone contact, but it is still handy to have one with you.
  • Carry a satellite phone and/or personal locator beacon—both can be hired commercially—as most of the Great Walk track is in remote areas.

In an emergency

  • Know your location at all times.
  • Carry a mobile phone and call 000 in an emergency. If you have difficulty getting reception, try dialling 112.
  • If there is no mobile phone reception, send the two fittest members of your group to get help, leaving someone behind to care for the injured walker.

Fire safety

Bushfires can pose a threat to walkers and can occur without warning. Be prepared—check this site for updates on fire danger and planned burning before you go.

In case of 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.

Observe all signs. In extreme conditions, the walking track may be closed for your personal safety. Never enter areas that have been closed to the public.

If you see a fire, get to safety and please alert a ranger or the police as soon as possible.

During periods of high fire danger, the entire Great Walk or sections of it may be temporarily closed. For your safety, heed all signage and do not enter closed areas.

Wildlife safety

  • Fraser Island's dingoes are wild and unpredictable animals. Make sure everyone in your group knows how to be dingo-safe.
  • Never feed dingoes or other wildlife: let animals find their own natural food.
  • Dingoes, goannas, possums, kookaburras and butcherbirds have caused serious injuries because people have fed them or encouraged their attention.
  • Native birds and animals need their natural diet to survive. Eating processed foods can cause them to become sick or die.
  • Leave your pets at home. Pets can harm native wildlife and are not permitted on Fraser Island.

Snakes live on Fraser Island! Some are extremely venomous.

  • Stay alert at all times.
  • Keep tents zipped.
  • Try to walk well around a snake if it is on the track.
  • Never provoke a snake or throw things at it to get it to move.
  • Never trap or confine a snake; give it space and time to get away from you.
  • If a snake is rearing up, it may be ready to strike. Move away quickly.
  • Know what to do in case of a snake bite.
  • Carry at least three large pressure bandages in case someone is bitten.
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Walk softly

Fraser Island is one of Queensland's natural treasures recognised as a World Heritage area. Minimise your impact on this fragile environment and help keep it special. This area is totally protected. It is an offence to remove anything—living or dead—from the area.

Keep waterways clean

Soap, detergent, personal insecticides, skin and sun creams, toilet waste and food scraps affect water purity, so look after Fraser Island's creeks and lakes.

  • Do not use detergents, toothpaste or soap in waterways.
  • Use hot water and a scourer to clean dishes.
  • Bathe, wash dishes and clothes at least 50m from waterways.
  • Use toilet facilities provided. Do not toilet in or within 100m of waterways.
  • Wear protective clothing when swimming to reduce the amount of sunscreen you need to use.

Use a fuel stove only

  • Open fires (campfires) are prohibited anywhere on the Great Walk and all walkers' camps.
  • You will need to use a fuel stove for cooking.
  • Do not leave stoves unattended when lit.

Camping

  • Keep it tidy! Use existing sites at the walkers' camps.
  • Keep it clean! Leave your site in the same or better condition than you found it.
  • Leave nothing! Check your site thoroughly before leaving to ensure nothing is left behind including little bits of rubbish.

Toilets

  • Use toilets in camping areas.
  • Carry a personal hygiene kit for your toilet waste.
  • Where there are no toilets, bury human waste and toilet paper at least 100m from campsites, tracks and waterways and about 50cm deep.
  • Take all sanitary items with you—they do not decompose and they attract dingoes.
  • Use clip seal bags and bring secure airtight rubbish boxes.

Rubbish

Solid waste and litter is unsightly and can injure and kill wildlife.

  • Reduce your rubbish by bringing as little packaging as possible, as there are no rubbish bins on the Great Walk.
  • Bring out all your rubbish and dispose of it properly.
  • Do not hang rubbish or rubbish bags from trees.
  • Smokers! Please carry a small container to collect cigarette butts and then dispose of them properly.
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Tourism information links

Tourism Hervey Bay
Tourism Hervey Bay
Hervey Bay Visitor Information Centre

227 Maryborough–Hervey Bay Road QLD 4655
ph 1800 811 728
email tourismHB@frasercoast.qld.gov.au 

More information about Fraser Island is available on www.frasercoastholidays.info.

For tourism information for all regions in Queensland see www.queenslandholidays.com.au.

Further information

Great Walks topographic maps sales outlets

Great Sandy Information Centre

240 Moorindil Street, Tewantin QLD 4565
ph (07) 5449 8320 (for over-the-phone purchases of all QPWS great walks topographic maps)
Open: 8am–4pm daily except Christmas day.

Rainbow Beach
Rainbow Beach Road, Rainbow Beach
PO Box 44, Rainbow Beach QLD 4581
Open: 8am–4pm Monday–Friday except public holidays

Maryborough
Cnr Alice and Lennox Sts, Maryborough
PO Box 101, Maryborough QLD 4650
Open: 9am–4.30pm Monday–Friday except public holidays and business days between and including 27 Dec–1 Jan each year.

Contact us

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Last updated
24 March 2014