Discover why UNESCO defined K’gari/Fraser Island as a place of exceptional natural beauty.
K’gari/Fraser Island is home to expansive beaches, roaming dingoes, cliffs of coloured sand and astonishing turquoise waters. Spanning 166,000 hectares in size, it also offers a range of terrains and views that other places just can’t compete with. The best way to experience them? Pitch a tent and camp, of course.
Thankfully K’gari/Fraser Island is packed with plenty of formal and informal campsites to choose from. Here, we answer all your most pressing questions on everything from permits, packing lists and tips for avoiding those pesky dingoes in our guide to camping on K’gari/Fraser Island.
Before you go
Before you embark on one of the most rewarding outdoor adventures you can have in Queensland, you’re going to need to prepare.
Weather conditions on K’gari/Fraser Island can vary greatly throughout the year and can have a significant impact on factors such as how you get there, track closures, dingo safety tips and where you can set up camp. To stay up to date on all this information, check the latest island condition report beforehand.
K’gari/Fraser Island is only accessible via 4WD, which means you will need your own or a rental 4WD if you intend to camp. If you’re a novice, or would like time to get more comfortable behind the wheel, you can fine-tune your skills by booking in a lesson with Australian Offroad Academy on the island behind the Kingfisher Bay Resort.
A vehicle access permit must be obtained before you arrive. It must clearly be displayed on your bonnet for inspection by authorised officers.
Permits can be obtained online in advance via the Queensland National Parks Booking Service. They cost about $55 for one month or less, or $270 for longer stints on the island. For more information on vehicle access permits, head here.
What to pack
Aside from the obvious camping essentials, there are several important items that are commonly left behind when it comes time to pack for a camping trip. To ensure your trip goes as smoothly as possible double-check you have the below.
First off, pack a first aid kit. You never know when you’ll need one. Secondly, insect repellent certainly comes in handy on those humid island nights. Also bring a fuel stove, rubbish bags, extra camping pegs/ropes and lockable food containers.
If you’re not sure what else you might need, read our sustainable packing list here.
You (and your 4WD) can grab a barge or ferry from either Hervey Bay or Rainbow Beach.
From Hervey Bay in River Heads: Fraser Island Barges depart several times a day. Take the 30-minute journey to Wanggoolba Creek or the 50-minute journey to Kingfisher Bay.
From Rainbow Beach: the Manta Ray Barge leaves every 30 minutes from Inskip Point. The trip to Hook Point on Fraser Island takes just 10 minutes.
For high-flyers: Air Fraser Island’s fleet of light aircrafts depart from the Sunshine Coast and Hervey Bay airports.
Choosing a campsite
There are 45 camping areas to choose from on K’gari/Fraser Island, each one just as blissfully picturesque as the next. Which one you pick will depend on what you’re looking for from your adventure. Do you want to be close to amenities? Close to the beach? Sleep in total solitude? Wake up to world-class sunrises? Go fishing all day? There is a campsite for you here.
The upscale camping options on K’gari/Fraser Island provide very little in the way of luxury, but much in the way of natural beauty. Your formal camping sites deliver basic facilities, including tap water and toilets. And most have barbeques and communal washing-up facilities for use.
There are 10 remote camping sites on K’gari/Fraser Island, most without amenities. Here you can bypass the crowds and truly immerse yourself in what the island has to offer.
The Sandy Cape at the tip of the island is a great place to start. Otherwise, sites on the north-western side of the island – between Moon Point in the south and Wathumba Spit in the north – are your best options for remote camping.
There are more informal camping areas behind the foredunes on the eastern beach. Set-up is only permitted within signposted zones and at least 50 metres away from water.
Visitors with children should opt for the fenced sites on the island. The grounds at Central Station, Lake Boomanjin, Dundubara, Dilli Village, Dundubara and Waddy Point are all good options.
Similar to the aforementioned formal sites, most of the family-friendly ones provide basic facilities like tap water and toilets. There are also barbeques and communal washing-up facilities.
Other notable mentions:
Best for fishing: Ungowa on the south-western coastline
Best for sunrises: Ocean Lake on the eastern beach
Best for fire pits: Dundubara
Beach camping: Waddy Point on the north-east coast
For more information on individual campsite specifications visit the Queensland Parks and Forests website.
Thankfully, we have already penned some helpful guidelines that eco-conscious campers can abide by.
In addition to this, there are a few Fraser Island-specific tips that you can follow during your visit to help preserve its beauty for generations to come.
- Avoid reapplying sunscreen or insect repellant before swimming. Unless your sunscreen is reef-safe, the chemicals can impact the water quality and negatively affect its wildlife.
- K’gari/Fraser Island is one of the best places in Australia to see dingoes. And while they roam freely around the island, it’s important to keep your distance. They are opportunistic hunters and scavengers, so be cautious if you see these wild animals. Do not feed them or leave food scraps around. Lock your food inside your vehicles and never eat inside your tent.
- Do not bury your rubbish. Use the bins provided or take rubbish with you when you leave the island.
- Open fires are not allowed on K’gari/Fraser Island, except for the communal fire rings provided by EPA at select campgrounds.
- Observe the prescribed speed limits in your 4WD. The maximum limits are 80km/h on beach tracks and 30km/h inland. Having a map of the island is also recommended.
- Although they may look alluring, K’gari/Fraser Island beaches are not safe for swimming. Strong rips and sharks can be found lurking beneath the surface, as well as stingrays between October and April. If you are keen for a swim, all of the lakes and creeks are freshwater and safe.