Awesome Things to do on Fraser Island with Kids
A Bit of Background
Fraser Island (K’Gari) is the world’s largest sand island. With unique lakes, coloured sands, large sand blows, rain forests, and plenty of wildlife, this World Heritage Listed area (one of less than 400 worldwide) should be on your bucket list.
There are around forty perched dune lakes on the island, including the worlds largest, Lake Boomanjin. It wouldn’t be a stretch to say that Fraser Island has two of the most picturesque either. I’m looking at you Lake McKenzie and Lake Birrabeen.
Fraser Island is the perfect getaway for families seeking sunshine and fresh air. From camping along the beach, to resort style accommodation. You can do Fraser Island however you choose!
Here are some awesome things to do on Fraser Island with kids
Discover the Sand Blows
A bit of cardboard or an old boogie board is awesome fun for both kids and adults on the sand dunes. Wungul Sandblow (pictured below) is only a short walk from the Dundubara Camp Grounds. It’s one of my favourites because the kids can usually manage this one themselves.
This sand blow isn’t as steep as others on the island but it’s still steep enough to slide down in spots. It’s also steep enough to wear out a two-year-old and a five-year-old ensuring bed time is a breeze.
Drive Along the Beach “Highway”
Driving anywhere else in Australia, Mr Five keeps up a continuous monologue from the back seat that goes something like this:
“Are we there yet?”
“Ugghh, I’m so booored”
“When are we going to get there?”
“Mum, she’s looking at me again!”
Driving along Fraser Island’s well known 75 mile beach, his conversations are much more enjoyable. They go something like this:
“Mum, look a pirate ship!” (It’s not a pirate ship, but more about that later).
“Can we swim there?”
“Look, those people are fishing!”
“MUM LOOK THERE’S A PLANE LANDING!”
“Does our car float? Can we drive through that creek?”
Yep, driving along Fraser Island’s beach is the best “road trip” ever!
Swim in Freshwater Lakes
Most people come to Fraser Island specifically for this. You won’t be dissapointed! My favourites are Lake Birrabeen, Lake Wabby, Lake Boomanjin, Lake McKenzie and Lake Garawongera.
Lake McKenzie and Lake Birrabeen are by far, the most picturesque. Check out my post on the Best Swimming on Fraser Island for more details.
Do Some Beach Fishing
Although beach fishing is more popular on Fraser Island’s northern beaches, you will pass many people trying out their luck all along 75-mile-beach. Who knows, you might catch some dinner!
Float Down Eli Creek
If floating down Eli Creek on Fraser Island is not on your bucket list already, it really should be! You can either wade up the creek through the cold water, or take a leisurely stroll along a boardwalk. When you reach the “don’t go past this point” sign, stretch out on your chosen floaty and let the current take you all the way back to where you started.
Eli Creek can get pretty crowded, so it’s worth getting there early to secure a great spot right beside the creek. Park your 4WD, roll out your awning and cancel all your plans for the rest of the day.
Visit the Sandy Cape Lighthouse
If you have the time, a trip to the northern point of Fraser Island is awesome. It’s wild, rugged, beautiful and more remote than the rest of the island.
Just past the tip is the Sandy Cape Lighthouse. There is a steep sweaty walk up but it’s worth the huffing and puffing. The lighthouse and grounds are interesting and include a little single room museum at the entrance. You peer at the old artifacts and small turtles preserved in jars through the iron bars.
There is also a short walk to the graves of the first lighthouse keeper and his daughter, as well as a shorter walk to WWII bunkers.
Do Some Walking
I might be crazy, but I drag the kids along hiking a fair bit. Fraser Island has some pretty great hiking opportunities. You will probably need a carrier for young kids (check out this post for what we use), but there is enough interesting features on the walks to keep older kids occupied.
Visit Central Station and Wanggoolba Creek
Central Station is the starting point for several tourist drives and walks. It’s a popular spot for picnics and camping.
Wanggoolba Creek at Central Station is a real highlight. A few steps will take you from open sunny picnic area to lush and wild rain forest. Moss and lichen covered logs, strangler figs, giant prehistoric ferns (the largest fern fronds in the world) and water so clear that it appears not to be there at all.
Swim in the Champagne Pools
The Champage Rock Pools is a tranquil swimming hole with clear ocean water. It serves as a fish trap when the ocean retreats and as the tide come back in, the waves foam over the rocks with each crash.
It’s worth bringing your snorkel but it does get a big crowded if a tour bus is visiting at the same time.
Check out the Maheno Wreck and The Pinnacles
The Maheno was a trans-Tasman passenger liner which served as a hospital ship in World War 1. It was sold for scrap metal to Japan, and whilst being towed north in 1935, a cyclone washed it up to Fraser Island’s shores.
It became a target practice for bombs in World War II and today, it’s rusting and crumbly shell is a popular tourist attraction.
The Pinnacles are an interesting coloured sand formation near the Maheno Wreck. These sand formations continue for quite a few km as you drive north along 75 Mile Beach.
Visiting Fraser Island with Kids
Fraser Island is a fantastic getaway for families with kids, especially if you are into camping, sunshine, swimming and fresh air. Don’t despair if camping isn’t your style though, there are plenty of more comfortable accommodation options on the island!
Educate yourself about being Dingo safe before you leave (check out this brochure from QLD Parks and Wildlife Service). Don’t let this alarm you though, it’s rare to see one these days. We recently spent 9 days on Fraser Island and didn’t even see a footprint, let alone an actual Dingo.
Getting to Fraser Island and Getting Around
Access to the island is via barge either on Fraser Island Barges (departs River Heads in Hervey Bay) or Manta Ray Fraser Island Barges (departs Rainbow Beach). Scenic flights are also available between Hervey Bay and Fraser Island.
Hervey Bay is approximately 3 1/2 hours drive north of Brisbane (or a 45 minute flight) and you will need a high clearance 4WD to get around on the island. If you don’t have your own, a 4WD vehicle can be hired in Hervey Bay.
If 4WDing is not your thing, don’t worry, there are plenty of tour operators willing to show you a great time! Tours can be booked here:
Where to Stay on Fraser Island
Camping, cabins, hotels or resort style accommodation is available on Fraser Island. Your family can do Fraser Island however they want!
If camping, I love the Dundubara camp grounds due to it’s dingo fence and proximity to the awesome Wungul Sandblow. It also has a little shallow freshwater creek that flows into the ocean out front.
If camping is not your thing, there is some great accommodation with all the usual facilities on offer. Kingfisher Bay Resort is popular as the barge lands there.
I personally prefer to stay at Happy Valley due to its central location along 75 mile beach. The owners and staff go out of their way to help and make you feel welcome here. Eurong Beach Resort is also another great option.
Camping and Driving Permits
If either camping or driving on Fraser Island, you will need to get a permit through the Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service. You can get your permit here.
Want To Learn About More Awesome Places?
For more blog posts, photographs and information on my travels on Fraser Island with kids, check out this page: Fraser Island
For more information on ALL of my travels, please check out this page: My travel destinations
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