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Can I Free Camp On K'gari (Fraser Island)?

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Gabby Boucher
Updated Wed 08 May 2024

Because K'gari (Fraser Island) is a well-protected and highly regulated national park, you can't "free camp" but you can camp within the designated camping areas if you get a camping permit! It is super easy to get a camping permit and book your campsites, so you can still have an absolute blast camping on K'gari (Fraser Island). But it's the national park regulations that keep the world's largest sand island so pristine!

Check out our complete guide to camping on K'gari (Fraser Island), or continue reading as we discuss the costs of camping on this gorgeous island!

three travellers watching the sunrise on k'gari's eastern beach

Can I Free Camp On K'gari (Fraser Island)?

The short answer is no, there is no "free camping" on K'gari (Fraser Island) because you need a camping permit from Queensland National Parks! However, the camping permit is only $7.25 AUD, and you don't have to pay extra fees for each individual campsite. You do need to book your intended campsites in advance on the national parks website though. 

K'gari (Fraser Island) is a very remote and protected island, so everything is well-regulated to ensure the island stays as pure and beautiful as possible. Travellers have the amazing privilege to drive a 4WD, explore, hike, and camp on the stunning island, so just make sure you are a responsible traveller and you follow all of the rules in place by the QLD National Parks Department. 

K'gari National Parks sign near the forest on K'gari

How to get a camping permit for K'gari (Fraser Island)

To get your camping permit for K'gari (Fraser Island), visit the Queensland National Parks booking website. You'll create an account and then book your campsites and pay for your camping permit at the same time. It doesn't take long, you just have to create an account and then find the campsite you want for your chosen dates. 

When you've chosen your campsite and dates, you'll pay for the camping permit at checkout. Print your permit tags and display them on your vehicle during your trip. Campsite bookings can be made up to 6 months in advance. It's always a good idea to book at least a few months in advance, especially during school holidays! You can also find more information on the Queensland National Parks website!

travellers having dinner at a camp table at k'gari campsite

How much does it cost to camp on K'gari (Fraser Island)?

A camping permit for K'gari (Fraser Island) costs $7.25 per person per night, or $29 per family per night. Family rates apply to one or two adults and their children under age 18 (valid for up to 8 people). Kids under age 5 are free of charge! It's super important to book your camping permits and campsites for K'gari (Fraser Island), otherwise you could be stuck with a hefty fine. 

In addition to your camping permit, you'll also need a vehicle permit if you're driving your own car to the island. This costs $57.50 and can be booked on the national parks website as well. Then book your ferry tickets and all that's left to pay for are your own supplies and food!

travellers on a ferry crossing the sea to k'gari

Can you camp anywhere on K'gari (Fraser Island)?

You can camp at any one of the 45 designated campsites on K'gari (Fraser Island) as long as you book in advance! To help protect the island's delicate ecosystems, you can't camp anywhere you want on the island. But there are lots of amazing campsites to choose from, whether you want a modern place with nice amenities and a dingo fence or a super minimalist beach campsite with just you and the wilderness. 

couple relaxing in camping chairs near the beach on k'gari

Can you have campfires on K'gari (Fraser Island)?

Campfires are prohibited on K'gari (Fraser Island), except at the QPWS-regulated fire pits in Dundubara and Waddy Point. These two camping sites are the only places on the island where campfires are allowed, so please don't make a fire anywhere else on the island. This is to protect the environment, flora, and fauna of this treasured location. Sometimes when a total fire ban is in place, fires are not even allowed at these two campsites. 

row of tents at a wilderness campsite on k'gari

K'gari (Fraser Island) Camping Tours

If you're interested in camping on K'gari (Fraser Island) but you don't want to deal with all the planning and preparation, consider a camping tour! There are some epic tag-along and camping tours that allow travellers to drive a 4WD, explore the island's highlights, and camp amidst the dense forest.

The biggest perk of booking a camping tour is that everything is already organised for you! All camping, vehicle, and national park permits are sorted, as well as the ferry transfers, transport, food, accommodation, and activities. All you have to do is pack your own bag and enjoy your time on K'gari (Fraser Island)!

Experience the wonders of camping on K'gari (Fraser Island) with one of these tours!

Other things to note before travelling to K'gari (Fraser Island)

If you are visiting K'gari (Fraser Island) on your own without a tour, there are some other things you may want to consider while preparing for your trip. Let's say you've sorted out your camping permits, booked your campsites, and purchased your vehicle permit and ferry transfers. Those are the most important things!

But you'll also want to ensure your 4WD is equipped to handle K'gari's rugged terrain. If you're hiring a 4WD, all recovery gear should be included in your hire. If you're bringing your own 4WD, make sure you have recovery gear in case you get bogged, as well as a first aid kid and emergency communication services like a radio just in case. Mobile phone reception is limited on K'gari, so you can never be too careful!

There are also a few shops on the island where you can buy supplies like food, drinks, and gear. It's still a good idea to arrive on the island well-stocked just in case you're far from a shop. As long as you take the time to fully prepare for your camping expedition on K'gari, you're sure to have an amazing time!

travellers walking along a rainforest boardwalk on k'gari

Ready to plan your camping adventure on K'gari (Fraser Island)? Check out our 4WD hire options and our tag-along camping tours! Or live chat with our experts if you have any other questions. 

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