7 ways to do Fraser Island in one day
Don’t be fooled by Fraser Island’s title of the world’s largest sand island, because there’s more to this Queensland destination than beautiful beaches. A popular destination for four-wheel driving, Fraser Island also offers rainforest walking trails, freshwater pools, wild dingoes and colourful sandy cliffs.
While you could easily spend a week exploring the 123-kilometre-long island, it’s possible to experience the best of Fraser Island in just a day. Four-wheel driving isn’t the only way, either. There’s a diverse range of Fraser Island tours to choose from.
Here are seven ways to see the best of Fraser Island in a day.
1. Get around on a Segway
Swap your four-wheel drive for two-wheel drive and give Segways a go on Fraser Island. Catch the 50-minute ferry from Hervey Bay across to Kingfisher Bay, hire a Segway from the jetty and make tracks down the western beach. This eco-friendly way to see the island allows you to enjoy the fresh air while your guide gives you the insider word on Fraser Island.
At the end of the hour-long tour, hire a canoe from the jetty hut and explore the Great Sandy Straight from the water.
Bookings are essential for the Ranger-guided Segway Tour, and can be arranged through Kingfisher Bay Resort. Tour times vary depending on the tides.
2. From a jet ski
Sometimes the best views of Fraser Island are from the water, where you can look back and see the island in all its glory.
For an action-packed scenic tour of the island, hop on a jet-ski at Hervey Bay with Aquavue and power along the sheltered crystal clear waters of the Great Sandy Straight to Fraser Island.
In the space of 2.5 hours, you’ll be able to explore from Kingfisher Bay Resort, along Fraser Island’s west coast, to the beautiful isolated Moon Point beach. With water this clear, you’ll have no trouble seeing some of the locals – turtles, stingrays and dolphins.
This Fraser Island Jetski Safari tour runs seven days a week between October 1 and April 30.
3. Sail on a catamaran
Get off the beaten track without the confines of a 4WD with Tasman Venture, a 12-metre catamaran specialising in remote Fraser Island tours. You’ll be one of only a few people who go to the rugged wilderness of the west side of the island, with its endless white sand and fringing forests.
Once you anchor, the day’s itinerary is in your hands, with stand up paddle boarding, kayaking and swimming in the clear creeks. Or, head on a guided walk or kayak with one of the crew. You’ll find this tour has a slower pace and is perfect for those wanting to spend more time on (and in) the water.
A buffet lunch along with morning and afternoon tea are included in this all-day Remote Fraser Island Experience tour.
4. Take a scenic flight
Why drive along Fraser Island’s famous 75 Mile Beach when you can land an aeroplane on it? A scenic flight from Hervey Bay to Fraser Island gives you a bird’s eye perspective of Fraser Island’s highlights. Discover why Butterfly Lake got its name and see Lake McKenzie’s contrasting turquoise-to-blue water in its full glory.
No sight is left unseen during your 60-minute flight: Lake Wabby, Central Station, Eli Creek, Maheno Shipwreck, Indian Head, Champagne Pools, Moon Point and Pelican Bank. You’ll also have the perfect vantage point to see sharks, dolphins, manta rays and whales.
Air Fraser Island offers 15-minute, 30-minute and 60-minute scenic flights over Fraser Island, departing from Hervey Bay Airport. A beach landing and takeoff is an optional extra, available only with the 60-minute scenic flight.
5. Experience the island in a Hummer
For the ultimate off-road driving experience, swap a traditional 4WD vehicle for a Hummer with Fraser Experience Tours. The ride is smooth and there’s a maximum of four guests per tour, so you’re guaranteed personalised service.
It’s not all sitting back and taking in the scenery from air-conditioned comfort. Stretch your legs along Wanggoolba Creek’s rainforest boardwalk, take a dip in Lake McKenzie and explore the Maheno Shipwreck.
For lunch, pull up a picnic bench and tuck into sandwiches, cold meats and salads with a side of beer or wine. Afternoon tea is a treat, with truffle chocolates, strawberries and champagne.
At the end of a full day, you’ll come home with an Instagram feed of hero shots from Pile Valley, 75 Mile Beach, Central Station, Eli Creek, the coloured sands and Maheno Shipwreck.
6. On a 4WD day tour
There’s no denying a 4WD is one of the best ways to experience all the many terrains of Fraser Island. It’s also the easiest way to tick off the holy trinity of Central Station, Lake McKenzie and 75 Mile Beach in a single day.
Fraser Explorer Tours criss-cross the island with a mix of beach and forest driving. Their large bus is made for off-roading with custom wheels, big windows for spotting wildlife and silky-soft suspension.
You’ll have the chance to take a dip in Lake McKenzie, the most famous of all the freshwater lakes on Fraser Island with its white silica sand and crystal clear blue water. Plus, if your tour aligns with humpback whale season (between July and November), there’s a good chance you’ll spot these migrating mammals as the bus drives along the vast 75 Mile Beach.
The tour also ticks off a visit to the island’s famed Maheno Shipwreck, Eli Creek, and the technicolour sand formation The Pinnacles Coloured Sands. Lunch is served buffet-style at Eurong Beach Resort.
Staying on the Sunshine Coast? Skip the two-hour-plus journey to Hervey Bay and jump on a ferry at Inskip Point, Rainbow Beach instead. Discovery Fraser Island’s day tour takes you across to the island and chauffeurs you around in a 4WD. With a slightly more pared-back itinerary, you’ll have extra time at Lake McKenzie to relax, swim and chill out on the white sand beach.
7. Hop on a helicopter
If you’re the type that will go to great lengths for the catch of the day, then a heli fishing tour is a fisherman’s dream day out. Go Fish Australia takes you from Brisbane to the most northern point of Fraser Island. Here, you’ll change modes to a four-wheel drive for a hop-on, hop-off day of fishing. This flexible tour allows you to go where the fish are biting, so you don’t end the day empty-handed.
In summer, whiting, flathead, tuna, mackerel and marlin are on the menu. Winter is snapper, red emperor, tailor and mulloway season. Year-round, swallowtail dart put up a good fight.
After four hours of fishing, you’ve earned your beachside gourmet brunch.
Want to stay a little longer?
If you find one day just isn’t enough to sate your Fraser Island cravings, why not maroon yourself for a few more days. Check into Kingfisher Bay Resort, Fraser Island Retreat or Eurong Beach Resort and book in for another tour on day two.
For solo travellers with a little more time up their sleeve, Cool Dingo Tours offers a three-day itinerary that takes you to all of Fraser Island’s top spots at a much more laid back pace.