Fraser Island Destination Guide
Fraser Island Holidays
Traditional land owners, the Butchulla people, nicknamed Fraser Island 'K'Gari' meaning paradise. Take one look at this tropical landmass and it’s easy to see why. Steeped in Aboriginal history, Fraser is the largest sand island in the world, stretching an impressive 76 miles and earning UNESCO World Heritage status to boot. Fraser Island is the only place in the world where rainforests sprout from elevated sand dunes, making it an ecological wonder and diverse natural playground. Most Fraser Island holidays are filled with activities that take advantage of the stunning surrounds – cruising the natural sand highways, fishing in coastal waters or cooling off in the sparkling freshwater Lake McKenzie. Fraser Island is a popular destination for family holidays and authentic Australian adventures.
Seeing Fraser Island for the first time is almost like arriving on another planet, with its rugged tea-coloured headlands, sandblown cliffs and a calmness that makes you feel privy to the island's secrets. One of the top things to do on Fraser Island is a visit to the shipwreck of the SS Maheno – a New Zealand ocean liner that was beached in 1935 en route to Japan. If you have little ones along for the ride, play a game of 'spot the wildlife' – wallabies, dingoes and echidnas call Fraser's bushland home, while dugong, dolphins and stingrays can be spotted off the coast. Indian Heads, the most easterly point of the island, offers a particularly good vantage point.
Eat and Drink
The Kingfisher Bay Resort is home to the pick of Fraser Island restaurants – four in total, each serving their own signature dishes with Fraser Coast flavours. At Seabelle Restaurant, be tempted by an entree of tea tree-smoked duck, bush-spiced crocodile for the main event and lemon myrtle panna cotta to finish off your culinary journey. If you are staying at Eurong Beach Resort, the in-house restaurant offers an extensive a la carte menu with an equally impressive wine list to match. Those in the party spirit will enjoy the Kingfisher Bay Dingo Bar, where you can dance like no one is watching and be entertained into the wee hours with classic bar games.
Where to Stay
Fraser Island accommodation ranges from sleeping under the stars to private rainforest retreats. The two main hotels on the island are Kingfisher Bay Resort and Eurong Beach Resort. The award-winning Kingfisher Bay Resort has a great range of options for everyone, from self-contained family apartments with full kitchens and lounge rooms, to quad or twin-share wilderness lodges and romantic villas nestled among the trees. Fraser Island camping choices include several national park areas with access to tap water, barbecues, toilets and signed campsites along the beaches – camping permits are available at mainland ferry terminals if you opt for the latter.
Fraser Island shopping is on the quieter side – the area is less about spending and more about exploring and appreciating. There is a well-stocked shop at the Eurong Beach Resort with fresh bread, groceries, souvenirs, ice, fuel and camping and fishing gear. It's a good idea to stock up on essentials before you leave the mainland though. Instead of spending your time mall-hopping, invest your time soaking up rich local history like the story of the island's namesake Eliza Fraser. The story of this Scottish captain's wife has intrigued generations. Hers is a tale filled with struggle and survival from being held as an island captive to eventually being rescued by a convict from Brisbane.
Fraser Island like a Local
Make your way over to Fraser Island by catching a ferry from Hervey Bay or Rainbow Beach on the Sunshine Coast. If you are confident enough to tackle the sometimes slippery sand highways on the island, you can hire a 4x4 on the mainland or bring your own on the barge with the appropriate permit. There are a number of Fraser Island tours where those in the know guide you through top attractions such as the natural Jacuzzi of the Champagne Pools, or will take you on ecological rainforest hikes with picnic lunch in tow. Fraser Island is a place to explore at your leisure, whether you are soaking in the sunshine on 75 Mile Beach or watching a parade of migrating humpback whales.