FAQ: K’gari (Fraser Island)


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Galangoor djali! Galangoor.
Butchulla bilam, midiru K’gari galangoor nyin djaa.
Ngalmu galangoor Biral and Biralgan bula nyin djali!
Wanya nyin yangu, wanai djinang djaa.

‘Good day. Welcome! Butchulla people, Traditional Owners of K’gari, welcome you to country. May all our good spirits be around you throughout the day. Wherever you go leave only footprints.’
– Butchulla Elder, Uncle Malcolm Burns

Welcome to Butchulla Country:
The Traditional Owners of the land, the Butchulla people, know the land as K’gari (which translates to paradise). Butchulla country extends throughout the Great Sandy region of south-east Queensland, and K’gari makes up a very special place as part of their dreaming.

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For thousands of years, the Butchulla people lived in harmony with the seasons, the lands and seas of K’gari. The Butchulla people continue to walk in the cultural pathways of their ancestors, who have lived on this country since the beginning of the Dreaming, more than 50,000 years ago. Learn more

What should I know before travelling to the world’s largest sand island?
So you’ve packed your swimmers and your sense of adventure, ready to hit the sands. Before you run away to paradise, we’ve made a list, so make sure you’re checking it twice to make sure your trip gets off on the right foot.

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Image: Camping on K’gari (Fraser Island)
  • Check your vehicle: Hence world’s greatest sand island, it’s probably not too much of a surprise that sandy tracks will for the most part make up most of your journey through paradise. Therefore, only experienced off-road drivers with high-clearance 4WD are suitable for the job. Navigating K’gari Fraser Island’s rugged landscape is a beautiful yet sometimes challenging experience, and other vehicles (including 2WD, all-wheel-drives or low-ground clearance 4WD) will for the most part, find the inland tracks and beach conditions impassable.

    With this is mind, we highly recommend you only take capable vehicles to the island, for safety purposes and to minimise risk of accidental damage to your vehicle. Don’t have a 4WD of your own? Don’t worry! There are plenty of other ways to explore K’gari, including hire vehicles and guided tours. To find out more, click here

    Similarly, only off-road trailers are recommended to tour K’gari, mainly due to the heavily used tracks that often contain deep, loose sands unsuitable for regular camper trailers and caravans. Please make sure that you bring with you your own adequate vehicle recovery gear before you hit the sands, and be prepared to get yourself out of bogged situations. To learn more, click here
  • Permits: Being a National Park, there a number of permits that you must book and pay for before you arrive for any day-trip or overnight stay here on K’gari. Permits include:

    Camping Permit: Before camping in a national park, you must obtain a camping permit and pay your camping fees, except at privately-run grounds (Dilli Village, K’gari facility and Cathedral Beach). Most camping areas can be booked online, or at an over-the-counter booking office and via phone. Permits start from $6.75 per person/night or $27.00 per family/night.

    Camping on the island is divided into zones, including: eastern beach camping, areas with wongari (dingo) deterrent fences (recommended with children under 16 at Lake Boomanjin, Central Station, Dundubara, Waddy Point), western beach camping and southern camping. Please display your camping permit at all times during your stay.

    When beach camping, please make sure you are camped behind the foredune, avoid digging trenches and trampling/parking on vegetation. Sea turtles and other wildlife rely on sand dunes to remain untouched. Please also remember to set up camp at least 50m from freshwater streams and lakes. To find out more, click here

    Vehicle Access Permit: Queensland has seven recreation areas established under the Recreation Areas Management Act 2006, including K’gari Fraser Island. Most of the island also constitutes as National Park. To book or find out more, click here

    Other access permits required in K’gari may include Organised Events (e.g. weddings) and Commercial Activities (filming and photography).
  • Plan your trip: Please remember that when on K’gari you are travelling to a remote part of Australia. As mobile phone reception on K’gari can be unreliable QPWS&P suggests purchasing your camping permit prior to arriving on the island. It is important to check weather conditions, tide times and QPWS Park Alerts before you leave. Please also ensure you remember to pack water, food, spare fuel and 4WD recovery gear – there are limited supplies on the island.

    Remember: Strictly no entering the ocean on the eastern beaches, which are unpatrolled and are prone for hazardous/dangerous conditions.
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Image: Map of K’gari (Fraser Island)
Queensland Government

We’ve hit the road! Are we there yet?
There are two main access points via barge to K’gari Fraser Island. The first, onboard ‘Fraser Island Barges’, departing from River Heads, a short 20-minute drive from Hervey Bay, which takes visitors across to the western side of the island near Kingfisher Bay Resort.

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Image: ‘Fraser Island Barges’ departing the mainland for K’gari

For those of you arriving from down south, follow the signs on the highway along Maryborough-Hervey Bay Road before taking the exit to Booral Road. From there, after approximately 20minutes, turn right off onto River Heads Road and follow the road along for a further 20minutes and you will arrive at the barge terminal. Alternatively, there is secure parking available to Kingfisher Bay Resort guests, located at River Heads Village (near the IGA).

  • River Heads to K’gari west: bookings essential (with permits)
    Enquiries to ‘Fraser Island Barges’ 1800 227 437
  • For those disembarking from Inskip Point, follow the signs from Gympie that takes you via the Toolara State Forest and Great Sandy National Park, through to Rainbow Beach. Inskip Point is a further 15-minutes north, and only a 10-minute barge trip to K’gari southern beaches.
  • Inskip to K’gari south: no bookings required (permits required)
    Enquiries to ‘Manta Ray Barges’ 07 5486 3935 or 0418 872 599

What should I know about driving on the world’s largest sand island?
1. Check the tides: We recommend checking in with the tides before you depart for your trip. The general rule of thumb when navigating that applies when driving on the beaches of K’gari, is to avoid driving 2-hours on either side of high tide. Beaches can completely disappear during these times, making them impassable and extremely dangerous for vehicle access.

2. Follow the road rules: Speed limits apply when driving on K’gari. Please follow all road signs and stick to all inland tracks provided. The maximum speed of 80km/hr while driving along 75 Mile Beach, and 30km/hr along the inland tracks unless stated otherwise. Avoid driving at night time. Keep an eye out for creeks when driving on the beaches and getting too close to the shorelines to avoid getting bogged.

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Image: Air Fraser Island taking off from 75 Mile Beach

3. Planes, Buses and Automobiles: K’gari’s 75 Mile Beach is unique in that it doubles up as a landing strip and national highway year-round. Aircraft landing zones are clearly signposted, and it is important for drivers and pedestrians follow instructions from ground control staff. Make sure you look ahead, behind AND above whilst driving through these aircraft landing zones, and always be prepared to give way to aircraft either landing or taking off.

The inland tracks are largely one-way, and large tour buses and vehicles frequent these areas. It is important to give way to these vehicles, using the passing bays available or the nearest and safest place to pull over.
Buses:

Please also remember to always give way to pedestrians and wandering wildlife who call this place home.

4. Restricted access: There are several no vehicle-zones on the island. Please do not enter these regions:
– Between Towoi Creek and Sandy Cape Lighthouse
– Between Moon Point and Hook Point on the western beach
– Between Waddy Point and Middle Rocks (south Waddy beach)

Please also avoid driving on the sand dunes to help protect our delicate ecosystem and the wildlife that call K’gari home.

5. Be prepared: One of the most important things before you touch down on the sand is to deflate your tyre pressure (to between 16 and 20 psi depending on conditions) to give yourself more footprint and traction on the island. Make sure you have a look at out checklist above for other tips and tricks before setting off.

What other accommodation options besides camping are available on K’gari?
Whether you are a camper or glamper, looking for the creature comforts of home or truly getting back to nature, there are options to suit all budgets when travelling to the world’s largest sand island. Popular choices include Kingfisher Bay Resort, Eurong Beach Resort, Fraser Island Retreat and Waiuta Retreat Holiday House. For a list of other accommodation options on K’gari, click here

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Image: ‘Island Day Spa’ at Kingfisher Bay Resort, Fraser Island

What’s the latest on the Fraser Island wildfires?
You may be aware that K’gari experienced a difficult summer which resulted in wide-spread wildfires across the island. We are pleased to announce that K’gari is now Good to Go, and thankful to announce that the island’s ‘hot spots’ including Lake McKenzie, Pile Valley and Eli Creek were all untouched and remain as pristine as ever. READ MORE (link to blog)

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Image: Regeneration on the inland tracks in the north end of K’gari (Fraser Island)

What is the K’gari (Fraser Island) Great Walk?
A more intimate way of exploring the world’s largest sand island, the Great Walk is 90-kilometers in total, and usually takes around 6-8 days to complete. Shorter walks are also available, from half-day to full-day treks, for those wanting a taste of the wild side.

The Great Walk will take adventurers from Dilli VIllage in the south, through island hot spots including Lake McKenzie, Lake Wabby, Valley of the Giants, finishing at Happy Valley.

Length: 6-8 days (75-90km)
Difficulty: Moderate-medium
Route: Linear trail
Cost: From $390 per/person

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Please note: Due to the high fire danger conditions typically experienced over the warmer months, a seasonal restriction on bookings for the K’gari (Fraser Island) Great Walk camp areas are implemented yearly from 1 November to 28 February. Restrictions on forward bookings are limited during this time to fourteen days in advance only. During this time, rangers will regularly assess the fire danger conditions and open the walk (or sections of the walk) and associated camp areas whenever conditions allow.

What wildlife might I encounter during my trip to K’gari?
K’gari’s World Heritage-Listed landscape is teeming with unique and wonderful native wildlife and, if lucky enough, you may come across during your travels. It is a privilege to share the island with them, and there are plenty of things you can do to help us conserve the residents who call this place home.

Some of the wildlife you may expect to see, include over 350 species of birds (some migrating from as far as Siberia!), 79 different species of reptiles (e.g. Lace Monitor), 47 mammal species (e.g. wallabies, gliders and possums), and an array of resident and non-resident marine species (e.g. rays, turtles, bottlenose dolphins, dugongs and the migrating humpback whales).

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Image: Whistling Kite (Haliastur sphenurus) on K’gari (Fraser Island)

1. Keep them wild. Do not feed/approach or deliberately interact with wildlife under any circumstances. If you happen to find any sick or injured wildlife, please call 1300 130 372.

2. Be dingo safe. Always be dingo safe, and act with extra diligence and respect when travelling with young children (Refer to further information below).

3. Pick up after yourself. Please dispose of all rubbish properly. Plastic and other litter can make our wildlife sick, injured and/or kill them.

4. Be responsible. Please only consume food in designated picnic spots located across the island and if camping, ensure to store all food items in a lockable container so not even the cheekiest wildlife can access it!

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Image: Pod of inshore bottlenose dolphins off the western beaches of K’gari (Fraser Island)

Wongari (dingo) safety on K’gari Fraser Island: Please give wongari their space, for K’gari is their place. In fact, due to its physical remoteness and natural segregation from the mainland, K’gari is thought to contain Australia’s purest strain of dingo. Our wongari are therefore a protected species, and whilst incredibly smart and inquisitive, one that is naturally quite shy and not a threat to humans, so long as we act responsibly and respectfully. The golden rules of dingo safety are:

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Image: Wongari on the dunes of the eastern beaches
  • 1. Never feed dingoes. It is an offence to deliberately disturb or feed wongari. Penalties apply. Wongari are specifically built to endure the remote terrain of K’gari, and can travel up to 40kilometres per day, in search of food. Feeding dingoes can not only make them extremely ill, it creates reliance upon humans and can lead to negative human-wildlife interactions. Please allow the wongari to naturally forage for their own feast on the island, including small mammals, fish, plants and fruits.
  • 2. Always stay close to children. Especially those under 16 years of age.
  • 3. Never walk alone. Instead, opt for staying in groups on the island.
  • If you do come in contact with wongari, never run or turn your back, instead, stay calm, stand tall, maintain eye contact and calmly move away to a safe area.

Learn more

Help can I help keep paradise pristine during my visit?
Butchulla lore:
1. What is good for the land comes first
2. Do not take or touch anything that does not belong to you
3. If you have plenty, you must share

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Image: Boorangoora (Lake McKenzie)
  1. There are other ways you can help look after K’gari during your stay:
  2. – Opt for reef-safe sunscreens and please do not put any soaps, chemicals and insect repellents into our freshwater lakes and streams. It damages the pristine and delicate ecosystem.
  3. – Dispose of all rubbish on the island (preferably taken with you back to the mainland as this saves energy) and absolutely no hazardous materials is to be disposed on the island (e.g. chemicals, batteries, used oil, tyres). Penalties apply for illegal dumping.
  4. – Please do not bring animals, plants, soil or bush timber onto the island (without permission of QPWS)
  5. – Strictly no campfires on K’gari, except for the communal fire rings provided by QPWS&P at Dundubara main and Dundubara group camping areas and Waddy Point camping areas (top + beachfront)
  6. – If camping in an unfacilitated zone, please bring your own portable toilet and do not dispose of into QPWS toilets or in the ground.
  7. – Fish cleaning prohibited in all camping areas. Bury all remains and unused bait just below the high tide mark – dig a deep hole and cover with at least 50cm of sand.

Useful contacts:

For emergencies please dial 000

  • Eurong Police: (07) 4127 9288
  • Ambulance: 13 12 33
  • Mechanical assistance @ Eurong: 0427 279 173
  • Tow truck services @ Eurong: 0428 353 164
  • Taxi service @ Eurong: 07 4127 9188 or 0429 379 188
  • Marine strandings: 1300 130 372