We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Fraser Island 2 day visit - August 2014

Hereford
Level Contributor
144 posts
21 reviews
Save Topic
Fraser Island 2 day visit - August 2014

Hi There

I'm visiting Fraser Island with the family in August (part of a 4 week road trip from Brisbane to Cairns), staying at the Kingfisher Resort for 3 nights so we have 2 full days to explore. I have booked a 4WD from the resort for 1.5 days and have some questions about the best way to use those days (we are hoping for a little chill out time by the pool/resort on the first morning)

I've not driven on sand before so I don't want to undertake anything too ambitious. I was thinking of using the half day to drive to Lake Mackenzie (it looks "relatively" close by) and then use the full day for a drive across to the east coast and take in a drive up the beach and see where we get to. I'd like to do some swimming in Eli Creek or one of the other lakes/rivers and perhaps get to the Champage Pools but that looks like a long way. Also if there are any spots for a very short walk to experience the rainforest in the interior that would be great. As I say I just need a plan that gives a bit of a flavour of the island as I appreciate that 2 days is nowhere near enough to see everything.

Also I'm not sure whether to take over a bit of lunch food from the mainland or whether there is a basic shop at Kingfisher for some supplies for a simple picnic (bread, cheese, biscuits, fruit, crisps and the like). Alternatively is there any kind of snack bar or the like on the east coast, somewhere like Eurong where we could pick up a burger/chips/pizza

Any hints/tips/dos/don'ts to make the best of our short time would be greatly appreciated

Cheers

Andy

Adelaide, Australia
Level Contributor
1,922 posts
62 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: Fraser Island 2 day visit - August 2014

The tour operators will show you the wrecked 4×WD around the island. I think a person is crazy tomdrive in that place with no experience...seriously if you have kids on board..go, do a driver training course somewhere if younare so determined to drive...ppl have been killed on that island driving...the sand is so deep and slippery. There are tours...please consider your kids♡

Cradle...
Destination Expert
for Cradle Mountain-Lake St. Clair National Park
Level Contributor
12,185 posts
265 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: Fraser Island 2 day visit - August 2014

Hi,

As magpiegirl states, and which you've probably read, we don't normally encourage visitors to drive at first as Fraser Island can be a tricky place to drive, but you're doing the right thing by being there for enough time to take your time, main point, TAKE YOUR TIME. Your there for 3 nights, IMO you should hire the car for 2 full days, because it will take longer to drive the tracks if the sand is soft, and there's a big island to explore.

Eurong Resort has a café, which last time we were there was OK –

eurong.com.au/fraser-island-restaurants/coff…

Highlights, the whole island I guess, which includes the lakes, McKenzie, Birrabeen, Benaroon and Boomanjin etc etc, all which are similar, and IMO Birrabeen is as good if not better than McKenzie. There's also Lake Wabby which is slowly disappearing, and a lot of fun, a swim/float down Ely Creek is the thing to do, the coloured sands, Maheno Wreck, Central Station and the rainforest, the sand blows if you have the energy, If the Tailor (fish) are on the run watching the fishermen on the beach on the northern side of Indian Head, I have seen thousands of people shoulder to shoulder, it's a fantastic sight.

Also there's the Champagne Pools at Waddy Point, lovely on a calm day, looks like a rocky area on a rough day. Pass Indian Head up to Sandy Cape, is the trickiest for driving, getting from Indian Head to Orchid Beach can be a real test as previously said it’s riddle with sandy tracks, and if it has been dry, they can deep and rutted (you need a snatch strap).

If you do get to Orchid Beach, the next test is Ngkala Rocks, a small diversion inland (around the rocks) is a medium length uphill soft sandy drive, which has trapped many, but it can be easily done if you have a good speed, not fast, you're into 2nd gear before the climb, and don't change gears, stay in 2nd until you get to the other side, then you can think about changing. Some will go across the coffee rock on the beachto avoid this drive, this OK as long as the tide is at its lowest.

There are some enormous sand blows near Sandy Cape, and around the north is the lighthouse, which affords a great view north where you can see the Spit heading out to sea, and I'm not sure if the lighthouse is open for viewing?

Also Lake Allom and a few other smaller lakes are riddle with small turtles, interesting, and before I waffle on too much, here's a map which highlights many places, and has good advice on where you can and can't drive, and another link which gives great information on alerts etc.

…qld.gov.au/parks/…fraser-island-map.pdf

www.nprsr.qld.gov.au/parks/fraser/about.html

Ask the rental company if they can supply you a snatch strap, this can be your best friend if the sand is soft. Many get bogged, and most are willing to help you out, as long as you have this type of gear, because getting someone out of being bogged can ruin this type of gear, which doesn't make the owner happy.

https://www.google.com.au/#q=snatch+strap

Before you get in to your car, ASK the rental company lots of questions, I’m sure they’ll give you a run down on the island conditions, how to handle this car, what happens if I break down (mobile phone reception on the island is limited at best), where you can and can’t go, if they don’t give you a run down, make them. Check your car thoroughly for previous damage, take photos of previous damage, and if you hear any unusual noises when driving report them immediately.

As said previously, we don’t normally recommend driving, but if you’re prepared, take your time, don’t speed it can be a great lot of fun and a fantastic holiday.

Also remember the Main Beach is a gazetted highway with all the rules and regulations of a normal road, speeds are shown on the map supplied.

Drive safe, drive slow, watch for dingoes, and the humans on the beach, have fun and enjoy the island.

Safe travels - Robert

Edited: 05 June 2014, 23:20
Darwin, Australia
Destination Expert
for Darwin
Level Contributor
5,065 posts
92 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: Fraser Island 2 day visit - August 2014

Unfortunately not driving anything too ambitious would rule out much of the island.

Some even get bogged getting onto the ferry at Inskip.

The issue is that many tracks are single way and deeply rutted which means you need a certain level of speed to keep you moving. You also need to watch the tides and once too high driving on the beach becomes very tricky

Hereford
Level Contributor
144 posts
21 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: Fraser Island 2 day visit - August 2014

Hi All

Many thanks for alll the detailed advice and guidance. To be honest I've been a little unsure of whether to try driving myself and the comments here are confirming those reservations. The last thing I want on my two days on the island is to spend it waiting to be rescued (or worse). I'm very much an indepenent minded sort so I try to make my own way rather than organised tours but thinking it through perhaps this isn't the best solution. After all, we are planning a visit to the reef edge later in the hoikday and I certainly wouldn't be trying that solo :)

The Kingfisher resort does both guided and personalised tours so perhaps that might be a better bet for us. With hindsight perhaps booking on a tour with a chance of some instruction and guidance on driving on Fraser would have been better to enjoy the fun with lower risk. The driving aspect isn't the appealing aspect for me, it was just the obvious means to an end to explore at my own pace rather than that of a tour.

I suppose I was "hoping" that driving on the isalnd was relatively easy if you are just seeing a few of the highlights but it sounds like there is more to it than that. I'll check out the tours from the resort.

If anyone does know of another way to tour the island based from Kingfisher or has any experience of their tours I'd really appreciate it

Many thanks again for all the feedback. I think whatever way we do it, the 2 days on Fraser are going to be fantastic

Cheers

Andy

Hereford
Level Contributor
144 posts
21 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: Fraser Island 2 day visit - August 2014

Hi again

We've decided to cancel the self-drive 4WD hire and plump for two days of personalised tours from the resort. A more expensive way to see the island but I'm hoping that it will give us chance to some of the lesser known and harder to reach spots as well the classic sites.

Other than the obvious sites that everyone knows I'd appreciate some tips on other spots we could perhaps include. As above our particular interests are with seeing some of the wildlife and experiencing the rainforest. The Lakes and creeks for swimming and exploring (I've read Wathumba Creek is nice) and some of the sand-blows and coastal headlands, maybe spot some Whales or Dolphins. Any suggestions other than those above quite welcome

Cheers

Andy

Edited: 18 June 2014, 22:02
Cradle...
Destination Expert
for Cradle Mountain-Lake St. Clair National Park
Level Contributor
12,185 posts
265 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: Fraser Island 2 day visit - August 2014

Hi,

Wathumba is nice, if you can get to the southern beach, clear aqua coloured water, nice white sand, and that's if your tour driver will take you across the creek, it can get deep sometimes, mostly it's OK, and stay out of the shaded areas, I.e. toilet area, we've been a few time and got massacred by sand flies, they filled the car, nasty little B's.

Other areas, I'm pretty sure your driver will know, if you have the time, on the day you go to the Champagne Pools, keep going north to Sandy Cape and maybe around to the lighthouse, and large sand blows, hang on I've already mentioned this above.

Andy, trust your driver, look at a map, and by the time you see the lakes Central Station and the rainforests, go north, the coloured sands, bouncing around all day, etc etc, you'll see plenty. Whale watching can be done from Kingfisher by tours, and off the jetty on some occasions, and even off the beach if the whales are kind enough to come close to shore.

Have fun.

Safe travels - Robert

Bribie Island...
Level Contributor
39 posts
6 reviews
Save Reply
7. Re: Fraser Island 2 day visit - August 2014

Hi Andy. What a great time to visit Fraser - all that the island offers, great weather and whales as well. I hope you get to experience a whale mugging (the whales come right alongside the vessel) on your tour - it's the month for it. Rob has given you a fantastic bucket list of Fraser attractions to tick off.

It's many years now since my last visit to Fraser so clicked on Rob's link in post #2 out of interest. Stacks of good information there. Looks like you could have a bit of smoke haze around from the controlled burns depending on location/wind direction but hey, you will have a new toilet block at Eli Creek. The safety alert for Lake Wabby was interesting.

In all the reading though I reckon the most important for you and family is the dingo safety page at …qld.gov.au/parks/fraser/dingo-safe.html. Please don't be tempted to feed them and keep an eye on the kids.

I notice that QPWS has installed dingo-deterrent fencing around Kingfisher but recall a story from friends staying there a couple of years back who watched a dingo walk in one door of an open area at the resort, cross the floor and walk out the other.

As you are on a road trip I would suggest any whale watching cruise be booked out of Hervey Bay (Urangan) after you leave Fraser - just so you get the most out of your two full days on the island.

Enjoy your FI experience and safe travels.

BruceB

Hereford
Level Contributor
144 posts
21 reviews
Save Reply
8. Re: Fraser Island 2 day visit - August 2014

Thanks Folks!

Loads of ideas there and I'm so looking forward to the visit. We are planning a whale watch trip from Hervey Bay the day before we go to Fraser. Too much to see, not enough time. I've read about the dingos so hopefully we'll see some in the wild from a distance :)

Thanks again for all the help

Cheers

Andy

9. Re: Fraser Island 2 day visit - August 2014

-:- Message from TripAdvisor staff -:-

This topic has been closed to new posts due to inactivity. We hope you'll join the conversation by posting to an open topic or starting a new one.

To review the TripAdvisor Forums Posting Guidelines, please follow this link: http://www.tripadvisor.com/pages/forums_posting_guidelines.html

We remove posts that do not follow our posting guidelines, and we reserve the right to remove any post for any reason.

Removed on: 21 June 2015, 05:15