Saturday, June 22, 2024

11 Unbelievable Issues to Do in Okay’gari (Fraser Island), Queensland

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Driving off-road round Okay’gari (Fraser Island) is among the most enjoyable adventures we had in Queensland, Australia.

We cruised on lengthy seashores and bumped down sandy forest tracks, swam in a turquoise lake and floated in a crystal clear creek, hiked down sand dunes and thru rainforest, and noticed the enduring dingo.

Okay’gari is a particular place—it’s the world’s largest sand island (122km lengthy) and is UNESCO World Heritage-listed for its distinctive landscapes.

It’s the one location on Earth the place subtropical rainforests develop fully on sand, and it’s dwelling to half the world’s perched freshwater lakes, which type on sand dunes.

Many individuals go to Okay’gari on a tour (driving here’s a problem), however we actually loved the liberty to discover on our personal.

Listed here are our prime picks for the perfect issues to do in Okay’gari (Fraser Island) plus the two night time/3 day itinerary we adopted.

You’ll discover a map with all these Okay’gari should see locations close to the top of the put up.


A Few Issues to Know About Okay’gari

  • The Butchulla folks are the standard house owners of Okay’gari.
  • In 2023, its identify was formally modified from Fraser Island to its aboriginal identify, Okay’gari (the Okay is silent), which implies paradise.
  • You possibly can solely drive on the island with a 4WD and it is advisable to organize a allow earlier than you arrive.
  • As the principle “freeway” is a seashore, the tides have an effect on the time you possibly can go to many locations. You possibly can’t drive on the seashore for two.5 hours on both aspect of excessive tide. Examine tide tables right here.
  • The 2 gateways to the island are Rainbow Seashore and Hervey Bay (3-4 hours north of Brisbane and 1.5-2.5 hours north of Noosa).
  • Okay’gari is dwelling to dingoes (wongari), Australia’s solely wild canine. Don’t feed or method them.
  • Cell sign could be very restricted on the island.

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Finest Issues to Do in Okay’gari (Fraser Island)

1) Drive a 4WD Off-Street

Driving a 4WD in K'gari, Queensland, AustraliaDriving a 4WD in K'gari, Queensland, Australia
Hiring a 4WD is among the greatest issues to do on Okay’gari

For an journey, drive your self on Okay’gari. A 4WD is important as there aren’t any paved roads. As a substitute, driving takes place on lengthy seashores and sandy tracks via the forest.

It’s doable for assured drivers who haven’t pushed off-road earlier than. We managed to not get caught in sand, however it could possibly occur (we employed Maxtrax simply in case).

We rented from Rainbow Seashore Journey Centre 4WD Rent who had been actually useful. They gave us driving ideas, organized our ferry ticket and driving allow, and helped plan our itinerary.

Their recommendation was important as we realized that the tracks to 2 of the lakes we needed to go to (Lake Boomanjin and Lake Birrabeen) had been a large number (the remaining had been dangerous sufficient so we didn’t wish to sort out even worse).

They even allow us to do the paperwork the afternoon earlier than our rental began so we may get an early begin. (We stayed the night time earlier than at Debbie’s Place in Rainbow Seashore, which was preferrred).

As they’re based mostly in Rainbow Seashore, we took the Manta Ray Barge from Inskip (quarter-hour from the workplace) to Hook Level on the southern finish of the island.

The choice (in the event you hire a 4WD in Hervey Bay) is taking the Sealink automobile ferry from River Heads to Kingfisher Bay Resort or Wanggoolba Creek on the east aspect of the island.

We most popular the barge choice because the journey is shorter (simply 10 minutes) they usually run roughly each half-hour between 6am and 5pm, so that you don’t must ebook a selected ferry time as you do with the opposite route.

As soon as on the island, driving on the seashore is the simpler, smoother choice (with a pace restrict of 80 km/hr).

The inland tracks are extremely bumpy with a pace restrict of 30 km/hr (and we not often acquired to that). Taking journey illness medication was important for me.

They really feel like an actual journey, although, and also you received’t wish to miss the attractive rainforest and lakes within the centre of the island.

2) Keep at Kingfisher Bay Resort

Kingfisher Bay Resort, K'gari, Queensland, AustraliaKingfisher Bay Resort, K'gari, Queensland, Australia
Forest surrounding Kingfisher Bay Resort, the most effective locations to remain on Okay’gari

Tenting is the traditional method to expertise Okay’gari, but when that’s not your factor (like us), there are a few snug motels and vacation leases.

We stayed at Kingfisher Bay Resort on the west coast of the island and cherished it.

Okay’gari Seashore Resort in Eurong on 75 Mile Seashore would have been extra handy (no bumpy inland driving to get to the east coast), however Kingfisher has a extra lovely forest setting, higher facilities (4 swimming pools and numerous bars and eating places), and is situated on a calmer, swimmable seashore (you possibly can’t swim on the east coast).

Beach at Kingfisher Bay Resort, K'gari, Queensland, AustraliaBeach at Kingfisher Bay Resort, K'gari, Queensland, Australia
The calm seashore, preferrred for swimming at Kingfisher Bay Resort

Better of all, the sundown views on this aspect of the island are superb, and the resort has a Sundown Bar proper on the sand subsequent to the jetty. It’s the right method to finish the day on Okay’gari.

Sunset from the bar at Kingfisher Bay Resort, K'gari, Queensland, AustraliaSunset from the bar at Kingfisher Bay Resort, K'gari, Queensland, Australia
The Sundown Bar subsequent to the jetty is an ideal place to whereas away a night

Dune is the perfect restaurant on the resort with tasty Asian fusion delicacies (bookings are important). The Sand Bar is a extra informal spot with pub grub and Sand & Wooden overlooks the pool (breakfast and lunch solely).

Even in the event you don’t wish to drive your self on Okay’gari, a keep at Kingfisher Bay is among the greatest methods to expertise the island in consolation.

You possibly can take a passenger ferry direct to the resort from Hervey Bay, loosen up in an exquisite setting, and take one of many resort excursions to see extra of the island.

Examine availability for Kingfisher Bay Resort right here.

3) Swim within the Turquoise Waters at Lake Boorangoora (Lake McKenzie)

White sand and turquoise waters at Lake Boorangoora, K'gari, Queensland, AustraliaWhite sand and turquoise waters at Lake Boorangoora, K'gari, Queensland, Australia
Beautiful surroundings at Lake Boorangoora, the most effective locations to go to on Okay’gari

Lake Boorangoora (Lake McKenzie) is among the hottest spots on the island and for good motive—it’s completely gorgeous.

The white sand and turquoise water appear like they need to be on a Caribbean Island, however that is one in all Okay’gari’s distinctive perched sand lakes which are crammed fully with rainwater.

Swimming within the crystal clear water was a Okay’gari spotlight for me regardless of it being somewhat chilly on our winter go to.

The lake is within the centre of the island accessed down a kind of bumpy inland tracks.

The bathrooms subsequent to the automobile park have altering areas so get into your swimwear there. It’s a 100-metre stroll right down to the seashore.

You aren’t allowed to take meals or drinks (besides water) right down to the lake shore as they entice dingoes. We had lunch within the fenced-off picnic space subsequent to the automobile park as a substitute.

We acquired fortunate on our noon go to and missed the tour teams. It may well get busy, however the seashore is an effective measurement (the left aspect is quieter) and also you’ll wish to loosen up on this lovely spot for some time.

Lake Birrabeen is a quieter different, however the highway there was very tough on our journey so we skipped it.

4) Drive Down 75 Mile Seashore

Driving along 75 Mile Beach, K'gari, Queensland, AustraliaDriving along 75 Mile Beach, K'gari, Queensland, Australia
Wonderful drive alongside the seashore

Driving a 4WD on the sandy 75 Mile Seashore on the east coast is among the greatest issues to do on Okay’gari.

It’s the preferred driving route because it’s smoother than the inland tracks and takes you to prime points of interest like Eli Creek and Champagne Swimming pools (extra on these beneath).

It feels unusual driving on sand at first however you do get used to it. Simply keep away from the shiny sand so that you don’t get splashed by the surf (rental corporations will change if there’s salt water within the engine).

Some elements of the seashore are more difficult the place the sand is deeper (the trick right here is to maintain momentum) or you need to detour off the seashore round some rocks.

You’ll additionally move via many shallow creeks—go very slowly (strolling tempo).

A lot of the seashore is wild and empty with numerous tenting areas (most with no services). Seashore fishing is widespread however swimming isn’t allowed because of rips and sharks.

You possibly can cease wherever you want however park above the excessive tide mark at 90 levels to the ocean so it’s apparent you’re stationary.

Small planes even land on the seashore so preserve a watch out when passing via the marked touchdown areas (we did see one take off!).

5) Look Out For Wongari (Dingoes)

Dingoes (wongari) are wild canines which will appear like rangier pets, however they are often harmful (principally as a result of people feed them and encourage them to method).

When you do get fortunate and see a dingo, preserve your distance, don’t feed them, and don’t run (in the event that they method, keep eye contact and again slowly away).

We noticed dingoes on three events whereas driving on 75 Mile Seashore (we didn’t get out of the automobile) and it was very thrilling to see these traditional Australian animals.

Learn extra about being dingo secure.

6) Benefit from the Coastal Views at Champagne Swimming pools

Erin and Simon at Champagne Pools, K'gari, Queensland, AustraliaErin and Simon at Champagne Pools, K'gari, Queensland, Australia
Us with the dramatic backdrop of Champagne Swimming pools

Champagne Swimming pools is the furthest north that rental corporations will let you go on 75 Mile Seashore.

It’s a protracted drive up right here (about 2.5 hours from Kingfisher Bay), nevertheless it’s nicely value it because the coast turns into extra dramatic.

You’ll have to plan the timing of the drive fastidiously to be sure you get again down and off the seashore earlier than excessive tide.

Champagne Swimming pools is the one secure saltwater swimming spot on the east coast of the island, however I loved it extra for the unbelievable coastal views on the quick stroll there over Center Rocks.

We parked on the Southern automobile park the place there are bathrooms with altering areas in the event you plan to swim.

Then it’s a 10-minute stroll on a boardwalk across the headland with implausible views again to 75 Mile Seashore and Tukkee Wurroo (Indian Head), a rocky headland attributable to volcanic exercise 30 million years in the past (word you possibly can not climb it because of extreme erosion).

Simon walking along the boadwalk path to Champagne Pools, K'gari, Queensland, AustraliaSimon walking along the boadwalk path to Champagne Pools, K'gari, Queensland, Australia
The straightforward boardwalk path to Champagne Swimming pools

After strolling down the steps you’ll attain the Champagne Swimming pools, which acquired their identify from the effervescent water after the waves crash over the rocks into the swimming pools.

Wooden stairs leading down to Champagne Pools, Queensland, AustraliaWooden stairs leading down to Champagne Pools, Queensland, Australia
The steps main right down to the swimming pools

The swimming pools are fairly small so it’s extra of a wading spot, nevertheless it’s good if it’s scorching. (On a cool morning we saved our swim for Eli Creek).

Once more, we acquired fortunate and had been simply forward of the tour teams—tons arrived as we had been leaving at 9.45am (tour instances fluctuate with the tides although).

7) Float Down Eli Creek

Simon tubing along Eli Creek on 75 Mile beach, K'gari, Queensland, AustraliaSimon tubing along Eli Creek on 75 Mile beach, K'gari, Queensland, Australia

Eli Creek is one other widespread spot on 75 Mile Seashore that you simply received’t wish to miss. Tubing down this clear, freshwater creek is among the most enjoyable issues to do on Okay’gari.

From the parking space you’ll have to wade via the creek so don’t hassle with footwear. You possibly can then comply with the boardwalk subsequent to the creek (perhaps a 5-minute stroll) earlier than stepping into the water on the different finish to comply with the present again down.

Our 4WD rental firm offered a tube, however in the event you don’t have one, you can float or stroll via the creek, which is about knee-deep. It’s value stepping into the water because it’s a very fairly journey.

Simon relaxing along Eli Creek, K'gari, Queensland, AustraliaSimon relaxing along Eli Creek, K'gari, Queensland, Australia
The great life

There are bathrooms with altering areas, however they’re fairly removed from the beginning of the boardwalk.

There’s no picnic space at Eli Creek and dingoes are frequent, so watch out when consuming (don’t eat on the bottom).

8) Stroll Down a Sand Blow to Lake Wabby

Emerald green waters of Lake Wabby, K'gari, Queensland, AustraliaEmerald green waters of Lake Wabby, K'gari, Queensland, Australia
The attractive inexperienced waters of Lake Wabby

Lake Wabby is one other distinctive, gorgeous place to go to on Okay’gari.

Like Lake McKenzie, it’s a perched lake, however that is the deepest on the island, and the water is a superb olive inexperienced color.

It’s a must to stroll to the lake nevertheless it’s nicely value it. The beginning of the observe is simply north of Eurong on 75 Mile Seashore. There’s an indication and bathrooms somewhat method down the path.

The 5km return stroll took us 1 hour and 10 minutes (plus a break on the lake) with a 138m elevation achieve. There are some small ascents, nevertheless it isn’t too difficult.

A lot of the stroll is thru the forest earlier than you emerge on the golden sand of the massive Hammerstone sand blow with ocean views.

Head down the dune (working is unfortunately not allowed) to succeed in the attractive lake. I had critical regrets about not bringing swim gear—don’t make my mistake and plan to loosen up on this peaceable spot for some time (once more, picnics will not be allowed because of dingoes).

9) See the Maheno Shipwreck

Maheno Shipwreck, K'gari, Queensland, AustraliaMaheno Shipwreck, K'gari, Queensland, Australia
The eerie stays of the Maheno steamer

In 1935, the Maheno steamer was shipwrecked and deserted on 75 Mile Seashore and it has remained there ever since.

Positioned 5 minutes north of Eli Creek, this can be a Okay’gari must-see, though it’s only a fast cease to see the rusty, barnacled stays.

Maheno shipwreck on 75 Mile Beach, K'gari, Queensland, AustraliaMaheno shipwreck on 75 Mile Beach, K'gari, Queensland, Australia

Its decay was accelerated when it was used as goal follow throughout WWII.

There aren’t any services.

10) Admire the Colors at The Pinnacles

Sculpted sand dunes of The Pinnacles, K’gari, Queensland, AustraliaSculpted sand dunes of The Pinnacles, K’gari, Queensland, Australia

5 minutes north of the Maheno Shipwreck is one other fast cease (no services).

The Pinnacles, also referred to as the colored sands, are a set of sand dunes which have been sculpted by wind and water into rifts and crumbling spires.

Supposedly there are 74 totally different colored sands within the craggy dune in variations of crimson, brown, and yellow.

11) Hike Via the Rainforest at Central Station

Wanggoolba Creek in Central Station, K'gari, Queensland, AustraliaWanggoolba Creek in Central Station, K'gari, Queensland, Australia
The elevated boardwalk makes it simple to stroll beside Wanggoolba Creek

Central Station is within the centre of the island and is the perfect place for a forest stroll.

There are many choices, however the best is the 0.7km Wanggoolba Creek circuit on a boardwalk subsequent to a crystal-clear freshwater creek.

If you need one thing longer, the 5.6km/1.5-hour return hike to Basin Lake is meant to be beautiful and also you’ll probably have the lake to your self.

There are picnic tables and bathrooms on the Central Station day-use space and there’s a campsite close by.

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Our Okay’gari Self Drive Itinerary

This was our 2-night/3-day Okay’gari itinerary that covers all the Okay’gari actions above.

The order and instances you’ll be capable to go to locations will depend upon the tides, although. After we visited low tide was round 8am – 10am.

Day 1

  • 8.15am Go away Rainbow Seashore (we did the paperwork for our 4WD rental the afternoon earlier than)
  • 9.15am Arrive at Hook Level, Okay’gari after getting the barge
  • 10.30am – 11.40am Central Station stroll
  • 12.10pm – 1.30pm Lake McKenzie picnic and swim
  • 2.15pm Examine in at Kingfisher Bay Resort
  • Discover grounds, Sundown Bar, dinner at Dune

Day 2

I’m glad we acquired an early begin as we had been about an hour forward of the excursions. Everybody follows an identical route as a result of limitations of the tides.

  • 6.40am Go away Kingfisher Bay
  • 7.30am Arrive on 75 Mile Seashore Seashore and drive north (we handed Eli Creek at 8.05am however didn’t cease as we needed to ensure we had sufficient time later)
  • 8.10am – 8.30am Maheno Shipwreck
  • 8.35am – 8.40am The Pinnacles
  • 9.15am – 9.50am Champagne Swimming pools
  • 10.40am – 12.10pm Eli Creek tube float and picnic
  • 1.30pm Again at Kingfisher Bay
  • Loosen up, Sundown Bar, dinner at The Sand Bar

Day 3

  • 9am Go away Kingfisher Bay
  • 10am – 12pm Lake Wabby hike
  • 12.45pm Arrive at barge touchdown at Hook Level
  • 1.25pm Get off barge at Inskip Level
  • 1.40pm – 3pm Rainbow Seashore (refuel, vacuum automobile, get the skin washed, return 4WD)

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Map of Issues to Do in Okay’gari

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Is Okay’gari Price Visiting?

Okay’gari is unquestionably value visiting. This particular island was one in all our favorite locations in Queensland.

We cherished the journey of off-road 4WD driving (regardless of the nausea-inducing forest tracks) and the pure landscapes are really gorgeous from various forests to vibrant lakes and wild seashores. Seeing a dingo is enjoyable too!

Whether or not you determine to drive your self or take a tour, we extremely suggest a go to to Okay’gari.

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