An Aussie experience like no other, camping on K’gari / Fraser Island is one big (and sandy, very sandy) adventure. But that’s just the way we like it! To help get you prepped for your trip, we’ve put together the ultimate K’gari camping guide to sink ya teeth into.


We acknowledge that this adventure is located on the traditional Country of the Butchulla people who have occupied and cared for these lands and waters for thousands of years. We pay our respects to them as the Traditional Custodians and recognise that sovereignty was never ceded.

After a renaming ceremony in 2021, Fraser Island is now officially known by its traditional Aboriginal name, K’gari. While people still are getting used to the new name, we’ll be using both. 

Quick Overview

What’s the most quintessential Aussie experience? If you said a shoey, look, you wouldn’t be wrong, but that’s not the direction I was heading with that question. Okay okay, there are multiple answers to that question so I’ll just give you the answer I’m looking for: camping on K’gari / Fraser Island!



Why’s it a true blue thing to do? Think about it: sun, ocean, sand, 4WDing, wildlife galore, hiking rainforest trails, fishing, beers on the beach around a campfire… it doesn’t get much more Aussie than that. 

There’s just so much to see and do on K’gari / Fraser Island, it’s hard to fit it all into one ultimate guide, but I’m gonna try my darn hardest because the experience of camping on K’gari / Fraser Island is like no other, and I want – need – everyone to do it at least once. 

Finding all the information you need about camping on K’gari / Fraser Island can be overwhelming (like how the heck do you get there? What’s the cost? What’s the best campsite? Can I bring my dog? Can I bring unlimited beers?). 

So, here it all is broken down into handy, neatly organised headings so you can make the most of your K’gari / Fraser Island camping experience. Ya welcome, mates!


Getting Around K’gari / Fraser Island

K’gari / Fraser Island is made almost entirely of sand and unsealed roads, so the only way to get around is via a 4WD. When 4WDing on the island, you need to make sure you’re fully equipped for the adventure. Luckily for you, we have some handy 4WD guides you can (and should) give a read before heading off.

Read More: How To 4WD For Beginners 

Don’t have your own 4WD? You can hire one (expect to pay between $160-300 per day) or join a guided tour.


How To Get to K’gari / Fraser Island

Whether you have a 4WD, are renting one or joining a guided tour, accessing K’gari / Fraser Island is via a ferry (or barge) at Hervey Bay or Rainbow Beach. Barges from River Heads near Hervey Bay depart several times a day, and you can either travel to Wanggoolba Creek (30 minutes) or Kingfisher Bay (50 minutes),

Barges from Inskip Point at Rainbow Beach leave every 30 minutes and the trip to Hook Point takes just 10 minutes. 


Where’s the best K’gari / Fraser Island camping?

This is possibly one of the hardest questions to answer because there are 45 (!!!) camping areas to choose from. Many of them are fenced to keep the dingoes out, but where you choose to stay is really up to you based on if you, whether you want to be close to the shops, amenities, and what you want to do on K’gari / Fraser Island. Here’s a quick breakdown: 


Camping Areas With Wongari (Dingo) Deterrent Fences

Dingo deterrent fences are recommended for families with children 14 years and under. Central Station camping area; Dundubara camping area; Lake Boomanjin camping area; Waddy Point top camping area. Fenced camping areas are also available in the following beach camping areas: One Tree Rocks, Cornwells, Wongai and Eli Creek.

Eastern Beach Camping

There are nine beach camping zones on the eastern beach from Dilli Village north to Sandy Cape; and Waddy Point beachfront camping area.

Western Beach Camping

There are seven remote beach camping areas on the north-western side of the island between Moon Point (south) and Wathumba Creek (north).

South Western Camping Areas

There are two remote camping areas along the south-western coastline.

Southern Remote Camping Area

One remote camping area on the southern coastline. This is ideal if you’re arriving late and need to wait for the low tide before traversing the eastern beach.

Read more: Remember to leave no trace



K’gari / Fraser Island Campsite Recommendations by Experience

  • Best for an epic sunrise: Ocean Lake or anything on the eastern beach will be the best fit for you.
  • Best for an amazing sunset: Woralie Creek campsite is amazing, as are all the other spots on the western beach.
  • Most family-friendly: For a fenced, family-friendly site, choose Central Station, Lake Boomanjin, Dundubara or Waddy Point.
  • Best for if you hate other people: Looking for the most isolated spot? There are 10! Sandy Cape at the northern tip is the best for beating the crowds.
  • Best for fishing: Ungowa campsite on the south-west coast.
  • Best for fire-lovers: For the ultimate camping experience, fire pits are allowed at Dundubara and Waddy point, but it’s BYO timber.


Fees: Camping & Vehicle Permits

Fraser Island camping requires a few permits which you should grab before you go. 


Vehicle Permits

These must be purchased for every vehicle before arriving on K’gari / Fraser Island:

  • 1 month or less duration = $54.55
  • More than 1 month (up to 1 year) = $274.50

To book a Vehicle Access Permit, you can:

  1. Visit the Queensland National Parks website
  2. Visit a QPWS office
  3. Visit a QPWS self-service kiosk
  4. Call 13 QGOV (13 74 68).

Once your booking is confirmed, you will receive a vehicle access tag with your booking number, vehicle registration number, name and date either in person at the time of booking or via email if you booked online. These tags must be placed on the dashboard of your vehicle. Park Rangers check access tags daily, so if you don’t wanna cop a fine, make sure it’s displayed at all times.


Camping Permits

These also must be booked before you go and can be made up to six months in advance. Most bookings are made online through the Queensland National Parks Booking Service, and your permit is issued by email.

  • $6.85 per person per night, or $27.40 per family per night
  • $3.75 per person per night for students and accompanying adults on approved educational excursions

Things to do on K’gari / Fraser Island

K’gari – translated to paradise – definitely lives up to its name. Most of the island belongs to Great Sandy National Park, which is a protected area of diverse habitats and mesmerising beauty. From subtropical rainforest to wild beaches, towering sand dunes and aqua lakes, there is just so much to do on K’gari / Fraser Island.

1. Drive 75 Mile Beach

75 Mile Beach is one of the most famous drives on K’gari / Fraser Island and is also one of the best outdoor adventures in Australia. The ‘road’ is actually a National Highway and also serves as a landing strip for light planes. As your wheels hit the white sands, you’ll be on the open-road with various sightseeing opportunities along the way including Maheno shipwreck, the cliffs of the Pinnacles and Champagne Pools.

The speed limit is 80km per hour in good conditions, but it’s important to heed the tides. From the mainland, the fastest and easiest way to access 75 Mile Beach is on vehicle and passenger barges, which depart from Inskip Point, a 15-minute drive from Rainbow Beach.


2. Swim in Lake McKenzie

Lake McKenzie (Boorangoora) is one of K’gari’s most popular attractions. One of more than 200 freshwater lakes and creeks on K’gari / Fraser Island, Lake McKenzie is one of the best places for a swim but also the most stunning – with the turquoise waters making a striking contrast to the white sand. The sand here is actually silica, fun fact! 

3. Explore the Maheno Shipwreck

About 10 kilometres north of Happy Valley is Maheno Shipwreck which is on the shores of 75 Mile Beach. Once a trans-Tasman liner, in 1935, a cyclone swept it ashore while it was being towed from Sydney to Osaka. The ship couldn’t be refloated so its rusted skeleton remains as a major attraction on the island. 


4. Walk the Rainforest Trails Near Central Station

The gorgeous rainforest trails at Central Station are a must-do experience. Central Station was once the centre of logging operations but now is the starting point of some of the island’s most picturesque hikes. A popular and easy hiking trail is Wanggoolba Creek, which traverses through stunning subtropical rainforest. There are plenty of hikes to choose from, so pick your poison. 


5. Float Down Eli Creek

If you’re looking for the ultimate picnic and swimming spot along 75 Mile Beach, you can’t go past Eli Creek. It features a boardwalk that follows the creek inland through banksia and pandanus. It’s the best spot to sit back, relax and float down the river with a beer in hand. 

6. Hike the K’gari / Fraser Island Great Walk

A keen hiker? You need to put your skills to the test with the K’gari / Fraser Island Great Walk. This 90km trek traces the tracks of old logging routes and the island’s first human inhabitants, the Butchulla people.

The trail also passes some of K’gari’s most popular tourist attractions, including Lake McKenzie, the subtropical rainforest and historic exhibits of Central Station, Wanggoolba Creek, and dune-backed Lake Wabby. You’ll also pass the small settlements of Dilli Village and Happy Valley, where you can stock up on supplies.

It’s a great way to experience the island if you don’t plan on driving, and it’ll take you about six to eight days to complete. There are specific walkers’ camps along the way too. 

7. Swim in Lake Wabby & Climb the Dunes

At 11.4 metres, Lake Wabby is the deepest dune lake on K’gari / Fraser Island. The westward spreading sand blows will swallow Lake Wabby within the next century, so it’s best to swim now before it disappears! You can also take an exhilarating climb up the dunes of Lake Wabby, and then bring a body board to slide on down. 

8. Fish Off the Beach

K’gari is one of the best spots in Australia for beach fishing. If you’re keen to brave the 4WD traffic on 75 Mile Beach, there are plenty of fish to catch in this area, especially from July through November. Popular catches include bream, whiting, flathead, mackerel, tuna, trevally, and sharks, among other species.

K’gari / Fraser Island Wildlife

K’gari / Fraser Island is synonymous with dingoes and is one of the best places in Australia to see them. Dingoes roam freely on the island, and while it’s exciting to watch them in their natural habitat, it’s important to keep your distance.

While dingoes are naturally cautious of people, they are opportunistic hunters so don’t approach them and don’t feed them or leave food scraps around.  If you’re concerned about dingoes, there are several campsites that are fenced-in, so you’ll be safe from these wild dogs. 



What else can you spot on K’gari / Fraser Island? On land, you might spot sugar gliders, brushtail possums, flying foxes, snakes, sand monitors, kangaroos and more.

There are also more than 354 bird species on the island, including Pied oystercatchers, White-bellied sea-eagles, Brahminy kites, Yellow-tailed black-cockatoos, and King parrots.

What about in the water? Some of the local marine life includes dolphins, dugongs, turtles and rays. From August to October, you’ll be able to catch migrating Humpback whales. The best spot to catch these beauties is on Platypus Bay on the western side.


K’gari / Fraser Island Facilities

Whether you like it rough (not like that guys, come on), or you’d like a little bit of civility in the form of hot showers and flushing toilets, there’s something for everyone. 

The good news is there are petrol stations at Kingfisher Bay Resort, Eurong Beach, Happy Valley, Cathedral On Fraser and Orchid Beach, but you’ll pay premium prices, so best to fill up before you go. You can also grab some water, ice and basic grocery items at these locations, but best to stock up before you head to K’gari to make sure you have everything you need for a great stay.

What about mobile reception? Well, it’s pretty patchy (I personally love being able to disconnect), so if you really need to use the phone you’ll have to head somewhere near the resorts or towns for the best reception.


Fast Facts K’gari / Fraser Island

  • Location: K’gari is 250km north of Brisbane off the southeast Queensland coast.
  • Top things to do: 4WDing, wildlife watching, hiking, fishing, drinking beers on the beach.
  • Major attractions: 75 Mile Beach, Central Station, Eli Creek, Maheno Shipwreck, Lake McKenzie, and Champagne Pools.
  • Best times to visit: It’s subtropical and experiences excellent weather year round! But here’s a breakdown:

Spring and Autumn: Daily average 22°C
Summer (Dec to Feb): 22° to 30° C
Winter (Jun to Aug): 13° to 25°C 

  • Fun fact: It’s the largest sand island in the world!
  • Bonus fun fact: The island recently had its name officially changed to K’gari, which translates to ‘paradise’.

Read more: Fraser Island is No More – Say Hello to K’gari


Let’s Go!

Who else is keen on a Fraser Island camping trip? I’m so pumped I’m just about ready to jump in my Jeep and drive from Sydney! No, not really, I have adult responsibilities and all those fun things… but a K’gari trip is certainly on the cards for later this year.

If we’ve missed some key details, let us know! But that about wraps up everything you need to know. It’s truly an adventure like no other, but it pays to be prepared so follow my wise words of wisdom and you’re sure to have the best Fraser Island camping experience ever.

K’gari / Fraser Island Camping FAQs

Can I free-camp anywhere on K’gari / Fraser Island?

No. You can only camp in the designated areas with the appropriate permit and only with a booking. 

Where can I find a map for K’gari / Fraser Island camping?

Check the interactive map for locations and specific camping area names on the QLD Parks K’gari map

What should I take camping on K’gari / Fraser Island?

If you’re doing a guided tour, space is limited so don’t overpack. You’ll just need the essentials like swimmers, toiletries, comfy clothes, water bottle, hut, sunscreen and a towel. Most tours are also BYO booze.
If you’re doing a K’gari DIY experience, the list is a little more exhaustive. Here’s WAE’s guide to camping cooking essentials to get you started. You’ll also need all of the above gear plus 4WD safety gear like a winch or Maxtrax (VITAL), a tyre inflator/deflator, spare tyre, and first aid kit

How long does it take to get to K’gari /Fraser Island from Brisbane?

From Brisbane, it takes roughly 3-4 hours door to door, but it depends which barge you catch. 

How long should I stay on K’gari /Fraser Island?

Up to you, my friend. I’d say three days is enough to see all the major attractions on K’gari, but you may be a tad rushed. I reckon 5-6 days will give you a much better and more relaxing experience, allowing you to take your time and explore more off-the-beaten paths.

Can I drive to K’gari /Fraser Island?

Because it is an island, sadly, you cannot drive your car across the ocean. The only way to access K’gari is via a ferry. 

Do I need a 4WD for K’gari /Fraser Island?

You don’t need to own your own, but you do need a 4WD on the island (unless you’re doing a tour). There are no sealed roads, it’s all off-road baby, so a rig with 4WD capabilities is essential. 

You must have a 4WD to drive on the resort (aside from Kingfisher Resort). It is important to note that K’gari has the same road laws as the rest of Australia. Drivers who do not obey the rules of the road will be fined.

Can I buy food on K’gari /Fraser Island?

There are a few shops on K’gari you can buy food and supplies from (but you’ll pay a premium). So we recommend doing this only if you’re caught short or forget your toothbrush. 

Can you light a fire on K’gari /Fraser Island?

K’gari is a World Heritage listed island with an ecosystem and landscape that is highly protected. That’s why there is an open fire ban on most of K’gari. The only place on K’gari that you are allowed to have a fire is the provided fire rings in Dundubara and Waddy Point camping areas. You need to bring your own untreated wood such as timber mill cut-offs, and absolutely cannot use bush wood.

Are dogs allowed on K’gari /Fraser Island?

K’gari is part of the Great Sandy National Park and does not allow domestic pets on the island (which means no Fido, I’m sorry to be the bearer of bad news). Of course, assistance dogs may travel to the Island, but they require a permit so keep that in mind.

Is there phone reception on K’gari /Fraser Island?

Most of the island has very minimal phone reception, so it’s pretty important you have the right navigation equipment and detailed mapping so you don’t get too lost. I mostly use BillyGoat off road maps for all my 4WD adventures, which are off-road maps which can be downloaded and stored in the app so you don’t need reception to access them.  

Can you swim on K’gari /Fraser Island?

Sadly, swimming in the ocean is a bit of a no-go on K’gari. From powerful currents to sharks, stinging jellyfish and beyond, sea swimming is only okay in Champagne Pools, which is a set of natural pools made from volcanic rock. You can also swim in Lake McKenzie which has gorgeous blue waters and a white sand beach. 

Are campervans allowed on K’gari /Fraser Island?

Campervans are not permitted on K’gari because most of the island is made up of sand, so it’s only accessible via 4WD.

Are camper trailers allowed on K’gari /Fraser Island?

Camper trailers are allowed on K’gari but you’ll need an off-road trailer with high clearance and a 4WD powerful enough to tow it on the sandy tracks.



Table of contents image by @scottypass

Header image by @wiled-eyed