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7 Best K'gari (Fraser Island) Backpacker Activities

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Gabby Boucher
Updated Tue 24 Jan 2023

Looking for the best K’gari (Fraser Island) backpacker activities? We’ve got you covered! Whether you’re traveling in a big group, or there is just a few of you, here are some fun ways to let loose and enjoy the natural beauty of K’gari. So for those who want to have the time of their lives on the world’s largest sand island, we have curated a list of the best things to do on K’gari for backpackers!

people posing at sunrise

7 Best K’gari (Fraser Island) Backpacker Activities

Driving a 4WD

Driving on K’gari with a beastly 4WD is a classic backpacker experience to have in Australia. As normal cars are not allowed here, the only way to get around is by tackling the Sand Highway and the forest tracks with a 4WD

You can rent a 4WD for your trip, or you can book into a Tag Along tour. Tag Along tours are great for backpackers because you’ll get to meet lots of other travelers! And your local tour guides will take care of all the logistics such as directions and accommodation. That way you can just relax, have fun, and take part in some of the epic driving on K’gari!

4WD driving on K'gari


Another one of the best K’gari backpacker activities is hiking. The island is home to an abundance of special rainforests, so strap on your hiking boots and go exploring! There are lots of day walks that are perfect for an introduction to the forests of K’gari. Or if you’re feeling ambitious and you’re up for a challenge, you could even try taking on the ultimate hike: the K’gari Great Walk! This incredible trail covers 90km and is ideal for backpackers who want an active few days of camping and hiking. 

people hiking in rainforest

Hitting the Bars

Even though K’gari is a remote island destination, it still has many of the modern-day amenities that we’ve become so used to! There are a few bars scattered around the island, mainly in or next to the resorts on K’gari. Hitting the bars is perfect for outgoing travelers who want to have some drinks and socialize with others on the island. Or if it’s raining during your visit, head here for a day of drinking, eating, and socializing under cover. 

Kingfisher Bay Resort is one of the main resorts on the island and is home to 4 different public bars. Orchid Beach Trading Post and Driftwood Bar is another casual bar that offers beach views on the north of the island. McKenzie’s on 75 and Satinay Bar & Bistro are two other top spots that are located on the east coast of the island.

people at a bar 

Watching the Sunrise

Even if you’ve had a big night at one of the best bars on K’gari, you have to wake up early to catch at least a couple of sunrises. K’gari has gorgeous sunrises, especially when viewed from the east coast. Maheno Shipwreck and Indian Head Lookout are two amazing spots to watch the sunrise. So set your alarm, rally your friends, and go see the natural colors spread across the sky!

girl watching sunrise from car


There are so many stunning places to swim on K’gari! Of course, you have to visit the iconic Lake McKenzie. This stunning lake filled with crystal clear water and surrounded by soft white sand will make for some of the best photos of your life! And floating in the insanely clean and refreshing water is a plus!

Visit some of the other lakes on K’gari for more fun swims with your friends! Or head to the Champagne Pools, a scenic cluster of rock pools near the northern end of the island. Here you can go for a dip in the saltwater because the rocks make a natural barrier against the ocean. You shouldn’t swim in the ocean anywhere else on K’gari because of the strong currents and sharks!

people swimming

Floating down Eli Creek

Swimming is great, but floating down Eli Creek is even better! Eli Creek is a must-visit location on K’gari. This freshwater stream has a natural filtration system so the water is safe to drink! But the best way to pass the time at Eli Creek is floating down the river on an inflatable tube. Grab your friends and some fun inflatables and just laugh your way down the river while soaking in the serene views of nature. 

people on floats in river


Last on the list of best K’gari (Fraser Island) backpacker activities is camping! K’gari has 45 different camping spots where you can pitch a tent and spend the night under the stars. Make sure you book your campsites in advance and get a camping permit! Some campgrounds allow fires so you can have a good old-fashioned backpacker campfire. Have some drinks, roast marshmallows, play games, and just enjoy the good vibes. 

Just be aware that you can’t just pitch a tent anywhere you want on K’gari! It is a very well-protected and highly regulated area, so make sure you are camping in a designated area and you have registered beforehand. If you follow all the rules, camping is easily one of the best backpacker activities on K’gari!

people at campsite

Check out our Tag Along tours on K’gari - a favorite among backpackers!

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