Fraser Island is one of those places in the world that doesn’t seem like it should exist. How can an island be entirely composed of SAND, nevermind be the largest sand island in the world? We have been dreaming about exploring this unique island for years as a family, so finally, it was our time to go check it out. With silent creeks, a 75-mile beach stretch, crystal clear lakes, and rainforest walks, Fraser Island did not disappoint as being one of the most unique places in the world we have ever seen.
It is one of those places in the world that feels as though it is still undiscovered, a rarity to find somewhere like this. We recently spent two nights at Kingfisher Bay Resort on Fraser Island to be our jumping point to all the areas on the island. We decided that the best option for us to get the most out of our time was to go on the Beauty Spots tour. This would allow us to check out all the tops spots in one day and still have time to enjoy the relaxation of the resort too.
As soon as the big blue oversized-wheeled bus arrived the kid’s smiles got a little bigger. The bus alone was cool enough for them, so we knew this day with our tour guide Megan was going to be unforgettable. The Beauty Spots tour highlights included: Lake McKenzie, Wanggoolba Creek, 75-Mile Beach, Maheno Shipwreck and Eli Creek. A full day that we were excited to go explore this World Heritage site (Yes – it’s on UNESCO list).
What You'll Find in This Post
First up on the tour was the stunning Lake McKenzie. As we walked up to the lake we were greeted with an oasis of tranquility and purity this lake has to offer. In sheer amazement we looked around, having to shake our heads in disbelief that this was a lake. After travelling the world for almost a year, this beach is by far the best lake beach we have visited. The water was so clear, and luckily we were able to have a few minutes of sunshine that allowed us to see a million shades of blue this lake can reveal.
After a jaw-dropping moment of seeing Lake McKenzie for the first time, we quickly jumped in to see if it was just as fantastic to swim in. The lake is an easy slope, so the kids were able to play around without us worrying about waves or steep pitches. A great way to start the day by enjoying a refreshing swim in Lake McKenzie.
Next up on the Beauty Spots tour was Wanggoolba Creek which is nestled in amongst a rainforest. Probably the most surprising part of this creek is that makes no noise since there are no rocks for the water to trickle over. A silent river situated in a rainforest is absolutely peaceful. We learned about the history, various animals and plant life in the area from ranger Megan. We did a gentle hike through the rainforest along the river and the serenity was priceless. Other than the few other folks on our tour, there was nobody else around. The kids favourite part was trying to find the river eels and hugging the 1000-year-old tree on our walk.
The name itself will describe how long this stretch of beach is, 75 Miles of pure sand heaven. After lunch, we headed out to the beach for a drive. Yes, you read that properly, this beach is a designated highway! On one side of the sand-highway is the rainforest, and on the other side are waves crashing in. No wonder this is described as one of the best coastal drives in the world, you cannot get much closer than this. As we looked out the window at the waves, the kids giggled thinking this was hilarious that we were driving on the beach. A few standard rules apply when driving, so if you are going to venture out on your own be sure to check the laws and safety tips prior to exploring on your own. One thing to keep in mind too is I believe there is no swimming permitted on the eastern side of the island, so this is not the beach for swimming. We personally liked the stress free part of cruising in the big blue bus, which also allowed both us parents to be able to check out the scenery.
Along this drive on 75-Mile Beach, if you have the opportunity hop onto one of the quick flights with Air Fraser. The view from up top is truly spectacular and Luca was so excited to see a rare sighting of whales during this season. A must if you can splurge and along the route if there is the option. This was not in our original plan and decided in about 10 minutes that Luca and mom were going to go on the flight of our life.
Along the beach drive, we stopped at the Pinnacles, which are coloured sandy cliffs just alongside the beach. So many different colours of sand that have formed these Pinnacles over the years.
Along the 75-Mile beach drive, you will also have the opportunity to see the Maheno shipwreck, which is the most famous shipwreck on Fraser Island. The Maheno shipwreck was brought onshore in 1935 during a cyclone and now what is left is a contrasting rusting ship along the white sand beach. This also provided an amazing amount of teachings for our kids to learn, they had never seen a shipwreck before and they had tons of questions.
At the end of the drive, we arrived at Eli Creek, which was a nice way to end our day. A freshwater stream that only is a few feet deep, provided a chance to cool down. Walk up to the top of the creek and easily float your way back down! Eli Creek seems to be a favourite for locals and those coming for a visit to Fraser Island too. A great spot to chill and relax with our afternoon tea.
Junior Eco Ranger
After a full day on the tour, the kids still had enough energy to take part in the Junior Eco Ranger program that is offered at Kingfisher Bay Resort. This was their time to go have some fun with Ranger Tess and learn about some of the animals around the resort. They spent the evening learning about the Marine Life by Night and walking around seeing what they could find – thrilled to see snakes and crabs! This also was a treat for mom and dad, as we were able to have a supper alone and watch the sunset on the beach. Win-win for our family!
How to Get Here
Fraser Island isn’t too far off the beaten track, but just far enough to really get the essence of being undiscovered (which is perfect for our family). We rented a car from Brisbane and drove north to the quaint town of Hervey Bay where we spent our first night in a local hotel. The next morning we went to the Kingfisher Bay mainland office, where we checked in and parked our car in a secured spot before we boarded the 12:30 PM ferry over to Fraser Island, which took approximately 45 minutes. It is possible to take your own vehicle over to the island, but we decided to keep it on the mainland for the two nights. The easy part was that Kingfisher Bay Resort arranged everything for us, so simply let them know in your booking what you need and they’ll arrange your details. Our return ferry was scheduled for 10:30 AM, which gave us plenty of time for the remainder of the day to drive to our next stop on our Australian tour (Sunshine Coast).
Fraser Island Insider Tips
Fraser Explorer Tours
- We decided to go on the 1-day Beauty Spots tour with Fraser Explorer Tours, they have other 2-days tours as well. For their tour info click here.
- Wear your swimmers for first stop at Lake McKenzie so you can spend more time in the lake. There are toilets that you can change into dry clothes in afterward until the creek swimming later on in the day.
- Us adults wore flip flops and kids walking sandals.
- The snacks on the tour were perfect for kids – cookies/biscuits and pastries. The lunch was a buffet style at a sister resort, Eurong Beach, with plenty of options so you will be able to find something for kids. Our kids did not go hungry along the way with the tour.
- Bring a water bottle to refill during the day. They do offer water on the bus, but having a water bottle would have been useful for refilling and taking on the rainforest hike.
- If there is availability, opt in for the flight over the coastline. Amazing views from an 8-seater plane along the coastline and view the lakes and rainforest on the island. It cost us $80 AUD per person and can be paid either credit card or cash after the flight. Just say yes to the flight!
- The timing of the tour is from 8:00 AM – 4:30 PM approx. which seems like a long day, but it went by so quickly. It was also great to make it back in time to watch the sunset and have the kids attend the Junior Eco Ranger program in the evening.
- We stayed on the West coast of the island at Kingfisher Bay Resort.
- There are so many activities and things going on at the resort. Our favourite was the Junior Eco Ranger program but be sure to check out the latest of What’s On guide from the resort.
- They have a small store to buy basic food, pharmacy, and souvenirs. So if you have forgotten something you’ll be ok. We always buy bread, milk and few snacks for our kids that always seem to want a snack before bed.
- If you need to have the kids burn some energy there is a playground, swing set, pools and lots of places for them to play around. Be sure to stay close to them.
- We chose a one-bedroom loft villa for our accommodations for the two nights. This was perfect for us with lots of space for our family of four, including a kitchen and laundry.
- Check out the latest prices and details on their website at Kingfisher Bay Resort.
- Make sure you try the Fish & Chips at Maddigans – delicious!
- If you are taking the train from other parts of Australia, you will only be able to take it into Maryborough. A short drive or bus ride can take you into Hervey Bay for the ferry over to Fraser Island. Check out the Fraser Island Barge details for schedules and updated pricing.
We travelled to Fraser Island, Queensland, Australia March 1-3, 2018.
Our kids were 5 & 8 years old.
This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Kingfisher Bay Resort. As always, all opinions are our own.