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Can you drive to Fraser Island?

Updated Wed 07 Dec 2022

Fraser Island is located off the east coast of Australia on the Fraser Coast. The only way to get to and from the island is by a ferry or barge as there are no bridges that go between the island and the mainland. While you cannot technically drive to the island - you can take your vehicle! The ferry and barge are both vehicle and passenger ferries which depart from River Heads near Hervey Bay and Inskip Point near Rainbow Beach.

Driving to Fraser Island Ferry

K'Gari is the largest sand island in the world, and a UNESCO World Heritage site, making it a holiday destination bucket list item for adventure seekers and lovers of natural beauty. Since the island's roads and tracks are primarily made out of sand, only 4WD vehicles are permitted outside of the two paved resorts on the island. 

girl taking photo, 4wd

Bringing Your Own Vehicle

You can bring your own 4WD to Fraser Island, however we recommend taking precaution and considering the pros and cons before heading over in your own vehicle. You can read more about taking your own 4WD here before deciding which option is best for you and if your vehicle will handle the rough terrain.

nomads, tag-a-long tour, fraser island

Self Driving or Tag-Along Tours?

There are also plenty of 4WD hire options if you don't want to take your own vehicle and risk getting it bogged. If you want to experience the exhilaration of driving but don't want to trek around the island on your own, joining a tag-along tour where you'll have the chance to drive a vehicle custom made for the Fraser terrain, while following a lead vehicle lead by a guide so you can rest at ease and focus on having fun. There are resort stay options, as well as camping options, so depending on the type of holiday you prefer and budget, you're covered. 

permits, fraser island

Preparing For Your Trip

Of course, if you're planning on driving to Fraser Island you'll want to ensure you get the correct permits prior to travelling to the island, especially as mobile coverage is limited on the island. There are several 4WD hire companies that include your camping permits in your total hire cost, meaning you could save yourself time and money with this option. You'd also be wise to download the tide times prior to losing range on Fraser Island, as many access points are affected by them. For the essential packing guide for Fraser Island, click here

fraser explorer tours

Guided Tours

Of course, if you aren't fussed about driving and want to see all the highlights of Fraser Island, opting for a guided tour may be just the ticket. There are plenty of guided tour options available to suit every budget, and you can compare tour itineraries here so you know which destinations you'll be visiting before you book. This can be a great option for families and seniors who want a little more comfort while heading from destination to destination. You can read more about choosing between day and overnight tours here

ferry, barge, fraser island

Ferries and Barges

The ferry from Hervey Bay lands at Kingfisher Bay on Fraser Island. The resort itself is accessible by 2WD but 2WD vehicles are not permitted off the resort. There are also ferries from Rainbow Beach, but you will land directly on 75 mile beach and will definitely have to be driving a 4wd to access this part of the island. 

Hervey Bay - Kingfisher Bay departures:
Daily at 6:45am, 9:00am, 12:30pm, 3:30pm and 6:45pm

Kingfisher Bay - Hervey Bay departures:
Daily at 7:50 am, 10:30am, 2:00pm, 5:00pm and 8:30pm

Hervey Bay - Wanggoolba Creek departures:
Daily at 8:30 am, 10:15 am and 4:00 pm

Wanggoolba Creek - Hervey Bay departures:
Daily at 9:00 am, 3:00 pm and 5:00 pm

Rainbow Beach - Hook Point departures:
Operates daily from 6:00am - 5:15pm
2 ferries run back and forth every 30 minutes

Hook Point - Rainbow Beach departures:
Operates daily from 6:00am - 5:15pm
2 ferries run back and forth every 30 minutes

barge, fraser island

Departure times may be affected by the tides. Each ferry has different check-in procedures, so always be prepared before heading for your ferry. Ferries from Hervey Bay require pre-booking while Rainbow Beach does not. The island is a four-wheel drive zone, where two-wheel drive vehicles are not suitable. If you are taking your own vehicle to the island, be aware of the tides and ensure you have enough time to make it to your final destination before the tides change. If you are joining a tour to the island, your tour guide will ensure you make your ferry in time and are prepared for an adventure on Fraser Island.

Fraser Island Ferry Locations

Ready to start planning your perfect Fraser Island adventure? Chat to our friendly Fraser experts about which option is best for you! Chat to us live online or call +61 74914 2425 anywhere in Australia to find out our latest deals! 

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