Australia, Fraser Island, Queensland

Best Swimming on Fraser Island

Best Swimming on Fraser Island with kids

Wandering where the best swimming on Fraser Island with kids is? With half of the worlds perched lakes residing on Fraser island, there is a lot more to choose from than just Lake McKenzie and Eli Creek when it comes to awesome swimming spots for kids. Avoid the crowds and explore some of the other beautiful but less visited swimming spots!

Here are my top picks for the best swimming on Fraser Island with kids

Lake Birrabeen

With it’s white sand and clear waters, Lake Birrabeen is just as beautiful as the well known Lake McKenzie.  Lake Birrabeen is a perched lake which means it’s a lake that occurs above the water table with a base of organic matter and sand.  This organic matter forms a catchment for the rain, eventually creating the lake.

This lake is a great alternative to Lake McKenzie when it gets too crowded (usually right after the tour buses arrive).

best swimming on fraser island
Lake Birrabeen, my favourite lake on Fraser Island and a great alternative to Lake McKenzie if you want some peace and quiet

Champagne Pools

The Champagne Pools are a set of natural rock pools that are best enjoyed with kids at low tide.  There are shallow sections suitable for younger kids and deeper sections for older kids and adults.  It’s worth bringing a snorkel due to the abundance of small fish that get trapped in the rock pools.

When the tide comes in, it crashes over the rocks (with a lot of force) so younger kids will need to retreat to the shallows.

best swimming on fraser island
The Champagne Pools are best enjoyed at low tide with kids and can get a bit crowded if you time your visit with a tour bus.

Eli Creek

Eli Creek is a pretty unique swimming experience and reportedly releases 4.2 million litres of fresh water an hour.  You can either wade or walk on a lovely wooden boardwalk part way up the creek, then turn around and let the current take you back out towards the ocean.

The water flow has changed over the years, but more recently the creek makes a sharp turn as it reaches the beach and runs parallel to the ocean for a while before making another sharp turn into it.  This section of the creek is really popular and usually lined with 4WD vehicles and various awnings and shade structures.

best swimming on fraser island
The flowing freshwater of Eli Creek is noticeably cooler than the lakes on Fraser Island

Ocean Lake

Whilst not as pretty as Lake Birrabeen or Lake McKenzie, Ocean Lake is still an awesome swimming spot.  Ocean Lake is a window lake which means that the lake has formed because the ground drops below the water table.  The fine white sandy base acts as a filter, giving the water clarity.

Due to it’s location away from the tourist hotspots, Ocean Lake is incredibly peaceful.  The water is tannin stained from the tea trees and as a result, isn’t as clear as some of the other more popular lakes.  Nevertheless, Ocean Lake is still a natural and beautiful lake to visit and swim in.

There is even a rope swing hanging out of the tree!

best swimming on fraser island
Ocean Lake was a lovely place to cool off on the way back from a hot and sweaty visit to Fraser Island’s Sandy Cape Lighthouse

Lake McKenzie

Lake McKenzie is quite possibly the most popular lake on Fraser Island.  Some people would say it’s the most beautiful, but I think Lake Birrabeen is a strong contender.  Lake McKenzie is a popular stop for tour operators and whilst it’s definitely the most crowded lake, you can still find your own stretch of sand to spread out on.

Finding a shady spot when it’s busy is nearly impossible so most people bring their own shade shelters.

best swimming on fraser island
The water here is crystal clear and the sand is pure white.  Whilst you can’t tell from this picture, it’s actually quite a vibrant blue 20 metres in from the shoreline. Get here early to secure a car park if self-driving!

Lake Garawongera

Lake Garawongera is a perched lake and like Ocean Lake, is tannin stained.  The refreshing water is clear on the shoreline before fading to a yellow and then a deep red colour which eventually becomes very dark as the lake deepens.  It’s a fascinating contrast to the blue shades of Lake McKenzie and Lake Birrabeen.

Whilst it’s not as beautiful as some of the other lakes, Lake Garawongera is still very appealing and a great place to swim and avoid the crowds.

best swimming on fraser island
I loved Lake Garawongera due to the giant trees surrounding the lake.  It felt like I was truly experiencing nature at its best!

Lake Wabby

Lake Wabby is really unique in that one side of the lake is blocked by a huge sandblow.  It’s also one of the few lakes that supports several variety of fish.  Lake Wabby is both a window lake and a barrage lake, which is formed by the damning action of the sandblow blocking the waters of a natural spring.

The waters of Lake Wabby are a deep green and it is said that the sandblow will eventually engulf the lake as it makes its gradual progress westward across the island.

You do have to hike in a few km’s to reach Lake Wabby.  It’s mostly an easy walk until you come out at the sand blow.  It then becomes scorching underfoot and quite steep down to the lake and back up again.

If your kids are young, you will probably need to carry them back out as they will be too tired to manage it after a morning spent swimming in the lake.

best swimming on fraser island
Lake Wabby is worth the walk in!

Dundubara Creek (or any of the small creeks on the Eastern Beach)

As you drive along the Eastern Beach (also known as seventy five mile beach), you will notice a number of shallow freshwater creeks flowing out to the ocean.  You really can’t miss them as you have to keep slowing down to cross them!

Whilst these creeks are too shallow to swim in, they are great for young kids to splash about in and you will often see parents just sitting in their cool waters as you drive along the beach.

Make sure you set up near the sand dunes (the high tide line) so you are not playing on the ‘beach highway’ which has 4WD’s passing by at 80km per hour.

best swimming on fraser island
These little creeks are a great way to spend a morning or afternoon. Set up your camping chairs, grab a cold drink and watch the kids play in the shallow water!

Lake Allom

Lake Allom is extremely peaceful and not in the slightest bit touristy.  It’s surrounded by a forest of Melaleuca trees and Hoop Pines and as a result, feels more remote and natural than some of the other lakes.  The water is clear around the edges but quickly appears dark due to the tannin stained water and layer of vegetation that ensures the water stays put.

If you love turtles this is the place to be!  There is a viewing platform for turtle spotting with some steps leading down to the water.  If you sit on the steps and spend a few minutes watching the small fish swim around, the turtles will get curious and swim into the shallow waters to check you out.

This lake is very beautiful in a completely different way to the more popular lakes and there is a great little circuit walk that skirts around the lake.

best swimming on fraser island
This lake is also known as the ‘turtle lake’ and has a great little walking track around it

Lake Boomanjin

Lake Boomanjin is the largest perched lake in the world! This lake is surrounded by white sand and has a very distinct red taint to the water due to three very small creeks that carry water heavily stained by tannin from tea leaves into the lake.

It’s not as pretty as Lake McKenzie or Lake Birrabeen, but it’s fascinating and a great place to swim due to it’s shallow waters, lack of crowds and plenty of sandy areas to stretch out on.

best swimming on fraser island
Lake Boomanjin has a very distinct red taint to the water. It’s not all that noticeable on an overcast day but as soon as the sun hits the water, the shallow areas are a glorious shade of yellow that quickly turns orange and then a deep red.

Want To Learn About More Awesome Places?

For more blog posts and information on my travels through Fraser Island with kids, please 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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