Run to Paradise: Five Ways to Explore the World’s Largest Sand Island

Travelling to K’gari (Fraser Island), is a bucket list item for many, and understandably so. It has everything you need for the ultimate island getaway; remote beautiful beaches, crystal clear freshwater lakes and creeks to explore, and diverse flora and fauna. And the best part? It’s only a 3.5-hour drive from Queensland’s Capital City, Brisbane.

There are many ways to see and explore this must-do east coast destination, so before you start planning your adventure to paradise, let us help you map out your travel plans.

By boat

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Image: Tasman Venture’s Remote Fraser Island Experience

Probably one of the more unconventional methods of exploring Fraser Island, if you’re looking for something a little bit different, make sure you get onboard a boating adventure for your next getaway to the world’s largest sand island.

With a variety of touring options to choose from (sailing to jet skiing, kayaking and luxurious catamarans), a voyage to K’gari has never been cruisier.

The calm, protected waters off the western beaches of K’gari make for the perfect place to set sail for a night or two. Pair that with a famous #FraserIsland sunset, and you’ve set yourself up for a knot-so-shabby afternoon in the bay. Blue Dolphin Marine Tours and Whalesong Cruises both offer sunset cruises from November-June each year, a chance for you to sit back and relax with a glass of bubbles onboard a luxury catamaran, while you take in Queensland’s fairy floss skies. Need a little more time? Sweet Escape Yacht Charters and Fraser Island Boat Charters offer skippered and unskippered overnight bareboat charters, so you can beat the crowds and FOMO on your next holiday.

And if you’re looking for a little less conversation and a little more action, please? Why not explore the remote, western side of the island’s pristine, turquoise beaches, rugged sand dunes and fresh-water creeks via Sealegs (yes that is a boat with wheels!), kayak, tube, snorkel and the crew at Tasman Venture.

Want to get behind the wheel and explore the Great Sandy Straits your own way? No problem-o. Simply climb aboard with the crew at Fraser Island Jetski Tours or Fraser Island Jetski Safari, for an action-packed morning on the water.

By foot

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Image: Fraser Island Hiking

If you’ve got the gift of time and you’re looking for a unique way to spend it, there could be no better way to truly immerse yourself in paradise than exploring the world’s largest sand island on foot. Connect with the island’s vast wilderness, and uncover some of the island’s best-kept secrets, as well as some serious R & R at your own pace…

Whether you’re looking for a half-day, full-day, or an overnight walk, there are plenty of trails to keep your feet in the sand and head in the trees. And if you are looking to channel your inner Cheryl Strayed? Why not embark on the Fraser Island Great Walk, a 90-kilometer, multi-day trek that takes you through K’gari’s lush rainforests and stunning landscapes between Dilli Village and Happy Valley.

Needing a little extra help to get your hiking trip off on the right foot? The crew at Fraser Island Hiking has a range of tour options available, from pack-free camping, luxury and adventure hiking – depending on your level of experience and sense of adventure!

By bus

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Image: Fraser Explorer Tours

One of the most popular ways to tick all of the quintessential hotspots of K’gari of your list is a 4WDing adventure with Fraser Explorer Tours. Whether you have a day or two up your sleeve, the crew have multiple action-packed adventure itineraries available, so you can be sure to get your fix of paradise.

Departing from River Heads, Hervey Bay, your full-day guided 4WD tour visits the big six on Fraser Island, including, Central Station, 75 Mile Beach, Eli Creek, Maheno Shipwreck, The Pinnacles Coloured Sands, and of course Lake McKenzie. Stay an extra night and complete the ultimate Fraser Island East Coast Bucket List by ticking off Pile Valley, Indian Head, Champagne Pools and Lake Wabby.

By air

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Image: Lake McKenzie from above

So you’re not much of a sailor but you’re not quite ready to break into those hiking boots just yet? Or maybe time is of the essence? Then perhaps it’s time take to the skies and enjoy a scenic flight over World Heritage-listed rainforests, beaches and dunes! A birdseye perspective of K’gari with Air Fraser Island or Great Ocean Helicopters will be sure to take your holiday fun to new heights, and leave you with jaw-dropping views that truly give you a feel for just how diverse this place really is.

From July – October, make sure you bring along your best whale spotter and keep your eyes peeled for the thousands of humpback whales who migrate to Queensland’s tropical waters, before returning to Antarctica. And if you’re travelling in summer? Not to worry! There are still plenty of dolphins, sharks, and turtles around that makes for an epic Where’s Wally experience.

By 4WD

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If some P & Q on the wide open (sandy) roads is more your style, there are plenty of options available for you to start creating your own All Aussie Adventures, by ditching the timetables and officially living on island time.

Fraser Dingo 4WD Hire caters for couples, small groups and families, and can supply you with your very own set of wheels for both day trips and overnight stays on the island. You can also hire out one of their campervans, or tagalong on a two or three-day tour. The team can even help customize the perfect itinerary for you as well – so all you have to worry about is which coloured bathing suit to pack!

What else you need to know

• Fraser Island is a remote location. Whilst there are several supply shops on the island’s east coast for essential items, including fuel, ice, and other basic supplies, it is highly recommended that all visitors bring with them all supplies needed for the duration of their trip (including extra fuel, drinking water, and medical supplies). Read more parks.des.qld.gov.au/parks/kgari-fraser/about

• K’gari is a National Park, meaning that a vehicle access permit must be obtained before driving through the island’s recreation areas. You must clearly display the details of your permit on your vehicle for inspection by authorized officers at all times. Read more parks.des.qld.gov.au/management/managed-areas/recreation/vehicle-permits

• If you are visiting the island via 4WD, remember that general road rules do apply. Please adhere to all signage enforced speed limits, and avoid beach driving for two hours either side of the high tide. Read more parks.des.qld.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0020/161552/survive_your_drive_fraser.pdf

• Give wongari their space. K’gari is their place. The dingoes of Fraser Island are some of the purest strain of dingo on the eastern Australian seaboard, and perhaps Australia-wide. Please help us protect paradise and practice dingo safety when visiting the island at all times. Feeding or actively approaching dingoes is a criminal offence, and penalties apply. Read more parks.des.qld.gov.au/parks/kgari-fraser/about/fraser-island-dingoes