The K’gari Great Walk is the ultimate way to experience the natural wonder of this island in all its beauty. The 78km walk encompasses breathtaking perched lakes, ancient rainforest canopies, sweeping sand dunes, and an abundance of wildlife.


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

Quick Overview

The K’gari Great Walk (formerly Fraser Island) is a 78km thru hike in South East Queensland, Australia (250km north of Brisbane). It takes an average of five-eight days to complete. For those who want to extend their adventure, there’s also a 90km route which involves walking from Hook Point, the southernmost end of K’gari.

The walk is fully self supported and requires moderate levels of fitness for the mostly undulating sandy track, which is soft underfoot.

History of K’Gari

K’gari is the land of the Butchulla people, and means ‘paradise’. The island was formerly known as Fraser Island, however a renaming ceremony took place in June 2023 and now the traditional name has been restored.

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


K’gari Great Walk: A 5 Day Walk on the World’s Largest Sand Island, Niamh Curran, Queensland, lake, tree, reflection

Plenty of beautiful reflection spots

How To Get to K’gari Great Walk?

How To Get to K’gari

We travelled to K’gari from Inskip Point, which is a 10-15 minute drive from nearby Rainbow Beach. There’s a free car park at Inskip to leave your vehicle and the ferry, which departs regularly, is just a short walk away. The ferry arrives at the southern end of the island, named Hook Point. We went as foot passengers which cost $10 each way. If you’re lucky the ferry will be full enough that you mightn’t even be charged!

There’s also the option to get a ferry from Hervey Bay, which arrives at Kingfisher Bay located on the west of the island.


K’gari Great Walk: A 5 Day Walk on the World’s Largest Sand Island, Niamh Curran, Queensland, beach views, ferry

You’re gonna see SO MANY shades of blue – this is just the beginning!

How to Get to the Trailhead

We arranged a taxi with Fraser Island Taxi Service which is run by a husband and wife team. Journey times depend upon the tides. Getting in contact with the service can be tricky due to poor phone reception on the island. We rang the landline number on the website and found it was easiest to get a human on the phone after 6pm when taxi services were over for the day.

Payment can be made using cash or card – given reception issues sometimes cash is easier. The trip to Dilli Village cost us $145, and returning from Happy Valley to the ferry was $235, making the round trip a total of $380. Although this seems expensive, it was an experience in itself to coast along the epic shoreline of K’gari trying to spot dingoes and whales as we went.

Where to Stay Along the K’gari Great Walk

Campsites need to be pre booked on the Queensland National Parks website and cost $7 a night. Make sure to reserve these prior to arriving as phone reception is limited on the island. You’ll also want to refer to the website regularly for any trails that may potentially be closed in the lead up to your visit – especially in the warmer months.

Read more: The Ultimate Guide to Camping at K’gari


K’gari Great Walk: A 5 Day Walk on the World’s Largest Sand Island, Niamh Curran, Queensland, lake

The perk? Most sites are by a lake so you can have a dip after your hike!

Skill Level


The K’gari Great Walk requires hikers to be fully self-sufficient. While there are water tanks at each campground, these won’t necessarily be full so you’ll need to know how to source – and treat – your own water along the way.

Phone reception is patchy at best and cannot be relied upon either. You can get small amounts at Lake Mackenzie, the lookout at Lake Wabby, and Happy Valley.

Read more: Remember to leave no trace


K’gari Great Walk: A 5 Day Walk on the World’s Largest Sand Island, Niamh Curran, Queensland, sand

Sand is soft underfoot but it’s tough on your legs when carrying a full pack

Distance / Duration / Elevation of the K’gari Great Walk

78.7km (85.9km including side trips) / 18.5 hours hiking time / 1846m

Navigation data: ‘On the go’ GPX file

Essential Gear for the K’gari Great Walk

  • Sunscreen, hat, sunnies
  • Insect repellent
  • First aid kit including a snake bite kit
  • Food (make sure you’ve got enough! Hiking is hungry work)
  • Toilet paper (most of the drop toilets are fully stocked but you’ll always arrive at the one that isn’t at the worst possible time…come prepared!)
  • Water purification tablets
  • Swimwear (tonnes of opportunities for a dip!)

Check out our guide to packing for an overnight hike!

What It’s Like to Hike the K’gari Great Walk

Day 1 – Dilli Village to Lake Benaroon

Distance: 14.3km
Elevation: 380m
Duration: 3.5 hours

After our unique taxi experience along the beach, we were dropped at a break in the scrub and informed that Dilli Village was just a few hundred metres away. Backpacks on, we started our trek. The trail wasn’t overly challenging to follow, but I was relieved that we had pre-loaded a GPX file onto our watches before setting out.

It wasn’t long before we took a short detour to a lookout over the scenic Wongi Sandblow before continuing toward Lake Boomanjin. This lake is the world’s largest perched lake – meaning it’s solely fed by rainwater. The expansiveness of the lake with its tea coloured water was a sight to behold.

Shortly after, we found ourselves enclosed by rainforest, eventually reaching our campsite just as the sun began to set. Prior to setting up camp we ventured a few minutes further along the track to replenish our water supply for the night, as there were no rainwater tanks at this spot.


K’gari Great Walk: A 5 Day Walk on the World’s Largest Sand Island, Niamh Curran, Queensland, beach

Imagine the most sand you’ve ever seen… then double it… it’s still won’t be as much as this!

Day 2 – Lake Benaroon to Lake Mackenzie

Distance: 15.2km
Elevation: 430m
Duration: 3.5 hours

We awoke to the melody of birdsong early the next morning and set off for Lake Mackenzie. Along the way we passed through Central Station – an old logging settlement where we stopped to make use of the picnic tables to eat lunch. Our path continued to unveil soft sand underfoot, winding rainforest with towering Kauri trees, and a picturesque boardwalk tracing the contours of Wanggoolba Creek.

At one point a deceiving ascent lead us to believe we had more ground to cover than expected, but as we reached the top of the last climb, we were met with the fenced campsite for the night (phew!).

There are few words to describe the sheer beauty and tranquillity of Lake Makenzie. Despite the initial crowds of tourists on our arrival, the area cleared out by the late afternoon. We set up camp and returned to the lake for an evening swim followed by an epic sunset. We soaked in the serenity until the last rays of light faded, and cooked by the glow of our head torches as the stars popped to life above us.


K’gari Great Walk: A 5 Day Walk on the World’s Largest Sand Island, Niamh Curran, Queensland, beach views

Everything but this view was immediately forgotten

Day 3 – Lake Mackenzie to Lake Wabby

Distance: 12.3km
Elevation: 266m
Duration: 3 hours

Once again we kicked off the day with an early start – eager to savor the sunrise at Lake Mackenzie and squeeze in another quick dip before the influx of day visitors arrived.

With time on our side we ambled on towards the Lake Wabby campsite, which appeared roughly half a kilometre before the Lake Wabby lookout. An evening cup of tea was in order as we set up camp and changed out of our hiking boots. Later, we embarked on a leisurely evening stroll to the lookout, followed by a visit to the lake itself.

We wandered the deserted sand blow (like a sand dunes but are created by wind blowing sand uphill) to the lake, and on the way I was surprised to learn that the lake is home to several species of fish. This is due to the fact that the acidity levels in the water are lower here than other places on the island.


K’gari Great Walk: A 5 Day Walk on the World’s Largest Sand Island, Niamh Curran, Queensland, Lake Webby sign

Gotta love an information board!

Day 4 – Lake Wabby to the Valley of the Giants

Distance: 16.1km (23.3km if you include the side tracks)
Elevation: 350m
Duration: 4 hours

Today was spent under the dense canopy of the rainforest; a setting that allowed surprisingly little daylight to filter through. If the weather is wet, keep an eye out for leeches as we soon learned they’re quite the opportunistic bunch in these conditions!

After approximately 12km there’s the option to take a side track to Badjala Sandblow, however we chose to push onward to our campsite nestled in the heart of the valley instead. After setting up camp we retraced our steps to visit the remarkable Giant Tallowwood Tree, believed to be upwards of 1000 years old. Another detour provides the option to visit the Giant Satinay Trees – if only we had more time!


K’gari Great Walk: A 5 Day Walk on the World’s Largest Sand Island, Niamh Curran, Queensland, lake

Don’t be blinded by the beauty… the leeches be lurking!

Day 5 – Valley of the Giants to Happy Valley

Distance: 20.8km
Elevation: 420m
Duration: 4.5 hours

We originally planned to spend a night at Lake Garawongera but unfavourable weather conditions prompted us to trim our hike by a day. Nevertheless it turned out to be another fantastic day along the trail. Lots of rainforest, and only a few stray leeches after the heavy rain.

A downhill stretch perfect for a whooping fast run welcomed us into Happy Valley. Luckily we were able to book in for a night’s stay at the Fraser Island Retreat, as the weather remained wet and our taxi was scheduled for the following day.

Read more: 3 Days on The Great Southern Lakes Hike of K’gari / Fraser Island


K’gari Great Walk: A 5 Day Walk on the World’s Largest Sand Island, Niamh Curran, Queensland, lake

Can’t say I’ve visited so many lakes in so short a time before. What a hike!

Tips for Hiking the K’gari Great Walk

  • Always be aware and respectful of wildlife, most notably the wild dingoes. There’s lots of information provided around the island and you should educate yourself on how to stay safe prior to visiting
  • We only came across one small shop at the end of our trip so bring everything you think you might need!
  • We did a food shop before we reached Rainbow Beach as the small supermarkets in the town are pricey
  • Book transport and accommodation in advance
  • Each campsite is equipped with dingo safe boxes…for a reason! It’s paramount to leave your food in them to stop unwanted visitors invading your tent
  • GPX files and paper maps are useful, although the trail is mostly well marked

FAQs K’gari Great Walk

How long does it take to hike the K’gari Great Walk?

The K’gari Great Walk should take between five to eight days to complete.

What’s the total distance of the K’gari Great Walk?

The walk is 78-86km in length, depending on the side trips you take. The main route is approximately 78.7km long.

How hard is the K’gari Great Walk?

The walk is most suited to experienced hikers. I’ve given it an intermediate level of difficulty because of the length and the requirement to be self-sufficient. The terrain itself isn’t overly difficult compared to other multi day hikes such as the Overland Track.

How much does it cost to do the K’gari Great Walk?

The walk itself is free! You’ll have to pay for your campsites ($7 per night), the ferry ($20 return), and a taxi service from the ferry to the start and from the end of the hike (approximately $380 return). Budget for roughly $500 and you should be fine.

What’s the best time of year to hike the K’gari Great Walk?

The walk is open from the 1st of March to the 31st of October each year to avoid the fire season. Spring is a great time to enjoy pleasant temperatures without too much humidity.

What hikes are similar to the K’gari Great Walk?

The Thorsborne Trail on Hinchinbrook Island, the Kangaroo Island Wilderness Trail, and the Three Capes Walk along the coast of Tasmania are three great hikes to satisfy your island-hiking wanderlust.

Where can I go for more information on the K’gari Great Walk?

Check out the Queensland National Parks website for additional information about dingo safety, seasonal closures, and campsite bookings.