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The Top Things to do in Fraser Island

Discover the world’s largest sand island with a pristine collection of freshwater lakes, colourful sands, curious wildlife and towering ancient rainforest so unique that it can grow out of sand. Fraser Island in Queensland is a popular 4X4 destination for locals and international visitors to enjoy the quintessential Australian great outdoors. Explore the highlights of this QLD gem on unforgettable eco-adventures that take place on land and water and marvel at the natural phenomenon that is Fraser Island.

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Top 10 Things to do on Fraser Island, QLD

Stretching over 123-kilometres in length and an area of 184,000 hectares in total, Fraser Island is a UNESCO-listed World Heritage property and the largest sand island in the world. Teeming with natural wonders, Fraser allows visitors to enjoy a unique holiday away from the over-commercialisation of many other island environments.

Located approximately 300km north of Queensland’s capital Brisbane and just off the coast of Hervey Bay, Fraser Island is separated from the mainland by the Great Sandy Strait and is only accessible by boat, vehicle barge or passenger flights. As there are no roads, high-clearance 4WD’s capable of mastering sand are only permitted on the island.

Home to lush rainforests, over 100 freshwater lakes, and an assortment of white sanded beaches, it’s easy to understand why this incredible island is so loved by locals and tourists alike.

Given its scale, Fraser Island is akin to an entire "region" in itself, with plenty of things to see and do - we break down 10 of the top things to do on Fraser Island in detail below.

Top 10 Things to do on Fraser Island, QLD - Lake McKenzie

1. Lake McKenzie

Location: Lake McKenzie Road, Fraser Island

Located in the Great Sandy National Park in the very centre of the island, you’ll find the incredibly famous Lake McKenzie.

This extremely beautiful lake is a hit with tourists not only in Australia but across the globe, with it often being recognised as one of the most spectacular lakes in the world.

Surrounded by impeccably white sand, the snow like white is compromised of 100 percent pure silica giving it its astounding colour.

This naturally occurring mineral is often used in a number of beauty-related products including those targeting hair, skin and nails.

Moving on from the unique sand that lines the shore, you’ll reach the crystal clear waters that Lake McKenzie is truly known for.

Completely cut off from any ocean access, the lake is fed entirely from freshwater from the clouds. Covering a 370 acres area, this lake is one Fraser Island icon you must see!

Pack a picnic, grab a couple of magazines and enjoy a relaxing day out at one of the world’s most sought after locations!

Hidden in the middle of Fraser Island, Lake McKenzie is tranquil and serene making it the perfect choice for a relaxing day out.

With waters that have high visibility, clean white sands, and safe swimming conditions free from any rips or dangerous tides, Lake McKenzie really is the obvious choice.

Pack a picnic, grab a couple of magazines and enjoy a relaxing day out at one of the world’s most sought after locations!

One of only 80 perched lakes in the world, or also known as a lake that exists entirely above the groundwater table and not fed by streams, Lake McKenzie is entirely reliant on rain.

Because of this high acidic level of the water as it is so fresh in Lake McKenzie, the lake is unable to support any aquatic life including plants or animals meaning you can feel entirely safe knowing no strange creatures will rub against your legs during your swim.

With the second-highest concentration of lakes on Fraser Island outside of Tasmania, Lake McKenzie is one of 100 other lakes found on this island. Of the lot, it is easily the most famous and desirable also.

Top 10 Things to do on Fraser Island, QLD - Champagne Pools

2. Champagne Pools

Location: Waddy Point Bypass, Fraser Island

Another popular tourist spot that is one of our recommended must see’s are Champagne Pools located at the northern end of Seventy Five Mile Beach.

These naturally formed volcanic rock pools are the perfect way to cool down on a hot day, something that Fraser Island is famous for.

Go for a swim, relax or simply laze around beside them, however, you choose to spend your time at Champagne Pools, we are confident you won’t be disappointed.

A collection of tranquil swimming pools, Champagne Pools are fed from the surrounding ocean making them a fantastic alternative for anyone looking to take a dip when visiting Seventy Five Mile Beach.

Free from rips and any dangerous swimming conditions, the pools act as a natural jacuzzi from the crashing waves of the nearby beach.

These naturally formed volcanic rock pools are the perfect way to cool down on a hot day, something that Fraser Island is famous for.

Mimicking the bubbling effect of a bottle of champagne as the waves collide with the rock face flowing down into the pools, Champagne Pools earned their name for quite obvious reasons.

Champagne Pools are truly a magical location that needs to be explored. If you’re a lover of the ocean these pools are definitely for you.

As swimming is not recommended at the beaches along the entirety of the Eastern side of the island, the magnificent waters of Champagne Pools are often bustling with other like-minded tourists on a hot day.

It is also the only place on Fraser Island where saltwater swimming is allowed. Be cautious however that these pools aren’t patrolled so swim at your own risk and exercise caution at all times.

Top 10 Things to do on Fraser Island, QLD - Lake Wabby

3. Lake Wabby

Location: Lake Wabby, Fraser Island

The deepest lake on Fraser Island, Lake Wabby sits adjacent to Hammerstone Sandblow and is located in the Great Sandy National Park.

Whilst most of the lakes on Fraser Island are to acidic to maintain any form of life, Lake Wabby has a number of thriving fish species due to its fairly low acidic levels.

Both a window lake and a barrage lake, this unique lake is a popular hot spot for tourists. Slowly being swallowed up by Hammerstone Sandblow, Lake Wabby becomes smaller every year with the expectancy that one day it will no longer exist.

However don’t fret, this isn’t expected to occur for at least another 100 years!

The emerald green waters of Lake Wabby are different to the general transparent waters found in many of the streams and lakes found on Fraser Island.

The contrasting emerald green waters of Lake Wabby, and the bright yellow sands of Hammerstone Sandblow really are a spectacle in themselves.

Swimming here is however generally advised against due to a number of serious injuries occurring in the lake in the past.

However, despite this, Lake Wabby is still a definite must see for anyone making the journey to Fraser Island.

And if you need any more convincing, the surrounding sand dunes of Hammerstone Sandblow should be more than enough! This area really could be mistaken for an oasis in a desert!

The contrasting emerald green waters of Lake Wabby, and the bright yellow sands of Hammerstone Sandblow really are a spectacle in themselves.

Bring a body board, some cardboard or something that will slide and have a ball soaring down the dunes into the shallows of the awaiting waters below. Expect some very sore legs after conquering these dunes however!

Top 10 Things to do on Fraser Island, QLD - Eli Creek

4. Eli Creek

Location: Eli Creek, Fraser Island

The largest creek on the eastern beach of Fraser Island, Eli Creek is one of the more popular Fraser hot spots. Pouring up to eight million litres of freshwater into the ocean every day also makes it one of the islands most vital creeks!

Considered some of the purest water in the world, it is believed that it takes over 100 years for the water to filter through the sand.

Located on Seventy Five Mile Beach, and near other Fraser Island icons such as Maheno Wreck and Champagne Pools, Eli Creek is well and truly worth the visit if you have the time!

Popular with many tourists as a swimming location as well as a great picnicking area, Eli Creek is often bustling with other visitors searching for a way to relax and cool down on a hot Queensland day.

Or if you’re not feeling up for a swim, a boardwalk has been erected along Eli Creek meaning everyone can observe the beauty of this gem.

Encompassed by lush trees this hidden oasis is serene and private, but it also makes the waters quite icy!

Encompassed by lush trees this hidden oasis is serene and private, but it also makes the waters quite icy!

With an array of different and unique wildlife calling the surroundings home, you’ll truly be embracing nature at Eli Creek.

The fish are even so accustomed to visitors that you’ll catch them swimming between your toes! (Little ones of course).

A crowd favourite at Eli Creek is floating down the flowing waters from the bridge at the far end of the boardwalk.

This experience is something unlike anything else you will have experienced. This creek is heavily relied on by campers and tourists for freshwater as the purity of the creek makes it drinkable without any filtration needed! Give it a try and you’ll be pleasantly surprised!

Top 10 Things to do on Fraser Island, QLD - Indian Head

5. Indian Head

Location: Indian Head, Fraser Island

Seventy-Five Mile Beach, as the name suggests is 75 miles of stunning coastline travelling along the beautiful Fraser Island.

It’s really no surprise how this original name came about, legend says a man simply measured the beach one day and the rest is history. Here you’ll find a number of the other listed top things to do, including the Maheno Shipwreck and Champagne Pools!

The beach itself isn’t an ideal swimming location, as it is known for very dangerous currents and the beaches are un-patrolled by lifeguards so we suggest taking advantage of Champagne Pools or simply opt for another beach to swim at.

Along with the dangerous currents Seventy-Five Mile Beach is also well known for its large shark population, enough to scare anyone out of the water!

However when you look past the fact that swimming is not viable at Seventy Five Mile Beach, the beauty of the surroundings is more than enough to warrant a visit. Wide-open waters, surrounded by beautiful white sand is perfect for a relaxing day in the sun.

Interestingly enough, Seventy Five Mile Beach is also the landing strip for aeroplanes! Keep an eye out at all times for any incoming traffic as it is your duty to give way to planes.

This applies whether you are in a vehicle or on foot. Those with a keen interest in fishing will love this area as it is commonly known for being a fishing hot spot.

Indian Head is the most easterly point of Fraser Island making it a very popular photo spot. In winter months, you can even do a spot of whale watching from land.

Looking to the point of Seventy Five Mile Beach, you’ll find well known Indian Head. This landmark signifies the most easterly point of Fraser Island making it a very popular tourist destination.

Boasting a rich history, Indian Head is a photographer’s idea of heaven offering panoramic views of much of Fraser Island and it’s an impressive landscape.

Named by the one and only Captain James Cook, Indian Head’s history is indeed vast. Centuries ago it is believed “Indian” meant an island’s natives, in turn earning the area the name Indian Head after Captain Cook spotted Indigenous inhabitants upon the headland as he was passing by.

Seventy-Five Mile Beach and Indian Head’s utter beauty make these two Fraser Island icons must-visits on your next trip.

On clear days you can even see manta rays, sharks, dolphins and turtles swimming and hunting in the waters surrounding the headland. With incredible scenery as well as close proximity to other Fraser landmarks, a visit to this great part of Fraser Island is really a no brainer.

Top 10 Things to do on Fraser Island, QLD - Maheno Shipwreck

6. Maheno Shipwreck

Location: 75 Mile Beach, Fraser Island

Another historic feature of Fraser Island, the Maheno Shipwreck, is a popular tourist attraction that we recommend paying a visit to.

The Fraser Island coastline is known for claiming a lot of ships, 23 wrecks in total in fact, with SS Maheno being the most famous of the lot.

A previous ocean liner belonging to the Union Company of New Zealand, SS Maheno operated from 1905 until 1935 travelling between New Zealand and Australia along the Tasman Sea.

Now merely a rusted wreck after washing ashore, the Maheno wreck is still an impressive masterpiece and you can see it up close on low tide on the 75 Mile Beach.

Alongside this it also served as a hospital ship during World War I, transporting the wounded during the Gallipoli Campaign, and also France to England during the Battle of the Some.

Now merely a rusted wreck after washing ashore, the wreck is still an impressive masterpiece.

After a cyclone snapping a rope that was towing the Maheno from Sydney to Tokyo, the vessel was abandoned, resulting in its location today.

Those who are interested in visiting SS Maheno best do so soon, however, with more and more of the ship disintegrating every year due to natural causes.

The ship still remains in one piece however the relentless waves are taking a toll on its preservation.

Top 10 Things to do on Fraser Island, QLD - Central Station

7. Central Station

Location: Off Eurong Rd, Fraser Island

The historical heart of Fraser Island, Central Station on Wanggoolba Creek is a must-visit for those looking to discover the deeper roots of this magnificent island.

Once the centre of the forestry industry when logging was permitted, Central Station was the headquarters of Fraser Island’s forestry operations from 1920 until the 1950s.

Upon the labelling of it, as a World Heritage-listed site, forestry operations were no longer tolerated.

Nowadays, the location houses an information centre, a boardwalk, a much-loved picnic area, and most importantly a display that details the development of Fraser Island and its expansive selection of flora and fauna.

Surrounded by lush rainforest, the boardwalk allows visitors to truly immerse themselves in the beauty and serenity of the rainforest setting of Central Station that runs alongside the banks of the equally as impressive Wanggoolba Creek.

The Central Station boardwalk is surrounded by lush rainforest and a translucent creek so clear, you can't even see it- hence the name, invisible creek.

Surrounded by lush rainforest, the boardwalk allows visitors to truly immerse themselves in the beauty and serenity of the rainforest setting of Central Station that runs alongside the banks of the equally as impressive Wanggoolba Creek.

Wanggoolba Creek runs through the centre of Central Station, showcasing easily some of the clearest and clean freshwaters that could be mistakable for glass.

Central Station is home to massive Angiopteris ferns that boast the largest fern fronds in the world of any species, large towering trees including plantations of a variety of pine trees, and the most impressive Satinay Trees found in the Wanggoolba Creek upper catchment known for their ability to grown in the sand that has almost no natural mineral fertility, this spectacular part of Fraser Island proves that Fraser is much more than just its picturesque coastline.

With rare plant life surrounding the area, rich historical background and a lush rainforest setting, Central Station and Wanggoolba Creek is a must-visit for those after a serene day out overflowing with incredible scenery. This could easily be one of the most peaceful places on Earth!

Top 10 Things to do on Fraser Island, QLD - The Pinnacles Coloured Sands

8. The Pinnacles Coloured Sands

The Pinnacles can be found north of the Maheno Shipwreck on Fraser Island and are some of the best-coloured sand formations in Australia. The cliffs feature multiple colours including vibrant red, yellow and orange and are a must-see on Fraser Island.
Top 10 Things to do on Fraser Island, QLD - Whale Watching

9. Whale Watching

Location: Urangan Boat Harbour, Fraser Island

Unofficially known as the whale watching capital of the world, Fraser Island is the ideal destination for those looking to get a little closer with these gentle giants of the sea.

Famous for being the area in which these magnificent creatures come to relax and nurture their calves, a whale watching tour is a must-do for anyone visiting Fraser Island between approximately late July to early November, or more simply put - whale season.

Often only seen by many in movies, or if you’re a little more fortunate in real life from substantial distances, a whale watching tour allows visitors a close encounter with these beasts in their natural habitat.

Most commonly, visitors will enjoy views of pods of beautiful migratory humpback whales as they witness them rest and play in the incredible surroundings of Fraser Island.

Boasting clear and calm waters, you couldn’t ask for a better location to whale watch than Fraser Island!

These friendly animals have become at ease with the whale watching vessels that frequent Fraser Island, sometimes letting their curiosity get the better of them with many often putting on a show and swimming very close to the sturdy whale watching vessels.

But don’t think that due to the sheer size of these mammals that entertaining isn’t their forte, with many often proving this wrong as they spin, dance, leap out of the air and sometimes even sing for their guests.

Pay close attention for the eerie songs male humpbacks perform to attract females during the mating season.

Whale watching in Fraser Island and throughout Australia is done so in a manner that ensures the safety of not only the passengers aboard the vessel but also the wonderful whales residing in the waters.

All laws are adhered to ensure the health and well-being of any of the whales aren’t hindered.

Top 10 Things to do on Fraser Island, QLD - Watersports with Aquavue

10. Watersports with Aquavue

Location: Fraser Island

For a fantastic way to explore the waterways of Fraser Island and take in the beauty of a range of unique vantage points, operator Aquavue’s jet ski tours are the perfect options.

If you’re looking for a thrilling adventure, these great tours will showcase to you parts of Fraser that many aren’t always fortunate enough to explore!

With three packages to choose from, Aquavue gives passengers the opportunity to spend 90 minutes, 2.5 hours or 3.5 hours travelling the Fraser Island coastline.

Discovering a long list of sights along this beautiful island dependent on which package you opt for, your tour guide will showcase to you a number of hidden gems only reachable by small watercraft.

Kayaking adventures are a fantastic way to the waterways around the island that many people often miss because they are too busy exploring Fraser Island itself.

With chances to really go wild, these tours combine the fun of high-speed water exploration with incredible sightseeing opportunities.

All tours allow for opportunities to witness an abundance of marine life in their natural habitat, including dolphins, sea turtles and even dugongs occasionally.

Along with this, they allow for the chance to take a break from the ski and venture onto the island to do a little more exploration.

Here you’ll be able to discover the magic of this giant sand island, whilst relaxing before your venture back home.

Aquavue tours depart from Hervey Bay making them fantastic for those looking to explore Fraser Island without having to stay on the island itself.