I prefer to call Fraser Island by its native name, K’gari for three reasons that I will list later in the post. K’gari is the largest sand island on Earth: 120km by 15km of sand dunes with beautiful lakes and rainforest. It is unique as there is no other place known to have a rainforest growing on sand. What’s the best way to visit K’gari? I’ve been there a few times so my experience can help you choose the best option for you!
Things to know before visiting K’gari (Fraser Island)
There are different ways to explore K’gari (Fraser Island), and I will review them on the blog. Whatever the way, a trip to K’gari is a great adventure.
The first things to note when planning a trip to K’gari are that:
- standard cars are not allowed – 4WD only (it is a sand island)
- the island is big
- driving is not always easy and will be affected by the weather and the tide times
- it is a remote area – plan ahead for food, petrol, water, waste…
- booking is required for the ferry and permits you’ll need to drive and camp on the island
- you should always check the conditions report and adapt your trip accordingly.
I went to K’gari (Fraser Island) more than four times in the past few years for at least four different types of adventures.
How long should you stay on K’gari (Fraser Island)?
There is a lot to explore and to enjoy on this big island (the biggest in Queensland): mainly stunning landscapes and fascinating fauna, but also a real diversity of vegetation, some history and amazing places to chill out. Several companies organise day tours to the islands for those who are very limited in time. This seems like a big rush to me.
I would personally allow at least three days to get a good overview of what the island has to offer. And I honestly don’t think I would ever get enough time there, and I always go back to the mainland with a broken heart. If despite my advice you only have one day to explore Fraser, this post lists the options available to you.
The best ways to explore K’gari – my adventures so far:
- Hiking from West to East to check out some of the most popular places on K’gari.. without the crowd!
- Sailing the West Coast of K’gari (Fraser Island) on our own by renting a catamaran for the weekend.
- Our own remote 4WD trip – with various itineraries from the traditional 75-mile beach drive, inland tracks to check out the lakes up to the very remote Sandy Cape Lighthouse
- A 4WD tour for the highlights of K’gari (Fraser Island): after joining them twice to enjoy the island, I’m happy to recommend DropBear Adventures
What about you? How did you visit K’gari? Share your recommendations in the comments!
Bonus: 3 reasons why I prefer to call Fraser Island “K’gari”
1. I prefer to use the native name: it has a powerful meaning with beautiful stories and legends behind it. It also shows a lot of respect and value for the place.
2. The name Fraser Island comes from Eliza Fraser, who was captured by aborigines when reaching the island after the boat she was on was shipwrecked. Her story is very controversial and mainly oriented on how poorly she was treated by the native inhabitants of the island. Colonisation is in general linked to massacres and terrible stories (learn more about the History of Aborigines of K’gari). Hence, I prefer to associate with this place I love the stories from the original name.
Imaginative accounts by one survivor, Eliza Fraser, became embellished as she travelled Australia and Britain earning money and fame from her ordeal. Another survivor’s story described Captain Fraser’s death from natural causes, but Eliza’s stories inspired widespread hostility towards Aborigines. The island became known as Fraser’s Island. (from SeeFraserIsland.com)
3. Finally, K’gari means Paradise or ‘a beautiful place’. Considering it is my favourite place in Australia for its wilderness and natural beauty, this name is just perfect.
Where is K’gari (Fraser Island)?
K’gari (Fraser Island) is Queensland‘s largest island. It can be reached by ferry from Hervey Bay (domestic airport / 3h30 by car from Brisbane) and Rainbow Beach (2h45 by car from Brisbane). If you’re not sure which ferry to Fraser Island is the best for your itinerary, read this.
A 4WD vehicle and permits are required to travel on the island.
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