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Can You Swim In Lake McKenzie?

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Talia Jones
Updated Thu 23 Nov 2023

A lake surrounded by rainforest

K’gari is known as the largest sand island in the world and is a popular attraction for travellers within Australia and the world. The island is full of numerous natural phenomena including pristine lakes, freshwater creeks, dense rainforests, long sandy beaches, and a rich world of history. 

Can you swim in Lake McKenzie? The answer is yes, it is perfectly safe to go swimming in the beautiful Lake McKenzie on K’gari (Fraser Island). Lake McKenzie (Boorangoora) is in fact one of the best places to swim on the island. This is because the oceans that surround K’gari are unpredictable with strong currents and riptides, deeming them unsafe for swimming. So, if you’re chasing a refreshing dip to cool off, we recommend you swim in Lake McKenzie, rather than at the beach!

A girl standing next to a tree and a lake in a hat and bikini

The lake is referred to as a perched lake, meaning it is formed in a natural depression on a large sand mass. Over the years, water, minerals, and decomposing organic matter combine and create a hard crust which forms the shape of a bowl. The bowl is then filled with rainwater which is filtered through the sands leaving the water to be crystal clear and pure, without any dirty seaweed or creatures swimming around. This makes Lake McKenzie (Boorangoora) the ideal place to swim!

Where is Lake McKenzie?

A lake in the middle of a rainforest

Lake McKenzie (Boorangoora) is located in the centre of K’gari (Fraser Island) in the Great Sandy National Park, which is situated off the coast of Queensland’s Sunshine Coast (north of Noosa). The perched lake is nestled within the rainforest and stretches 1200 metres in length, 930 metres wide and is only 6 metres deep. 

How do I get to Lake McKenzie?

A birds eye shot of a blue lake

The easiest way to get to Lake McKenzie (Boorangoora) is by four wheel-drive from either Kingfisher Bay or Eurong. If you have your own FWD, the most popular way to reach the lake is by driving southwest from the Kingfisher Bay Resort, or from the ferry terminal. Look out for Northern Road on your right then follow the signs to turn right again onto Lake McKenzie Road where you will drive 2.5km until you reach the lake’s car park. 

If you are travelling from a different direction, you can get to Lake McKenzie from Eurong Resort, near 75 Mile Beach. You will need to head inland towards Central Station and simply follow the signs for Lake McKenzie! The tracks to the lake can get quite bumpy so ensure you drive carefully. 

Just note that the carpark at Lake McKenzie can fill up during the busy seasons, so be sure to head there early to secure a spot! 

Tours to Lake McKenzie

Cars lined up in a sandy carpark

If you aren’t travelling in your own vehicle, there are plenty of other options for you to visit Lake McKenzie (Boorangoora). There are numerous day tours to choose from. You could go camping for a night or two and stop by the lake. You could join a tag-along tour where you hire a 4WD and follow a guide in a car ahead where you are guaranteed to stop at Lake McKenzie. If you don’t want to think about driving, you could book a tour where you explore the island by bus. Or you could simply hire your own vehicle and do the exploring yourself. 

What else is there to do in K'gari?

Four people sitting on a car in the rainforest

If you’re looking for other ways to spend your time on K’gari, you’ve come to the perfect place. The sand island is teeming with unique experiences and sights to see. You could visit the Maheno Shipwreck, which has been stranded on 75 Mile Beach since 1905, where it was hit by a cyclone. Eli Creek is another hotspot to visit if you feel like swimming. The creek is a freshwater stream surrounded by sand dunes and rainforests where people typically float down it on floatation devices! If you’d rather escape the crowds and find serenity, we have a list of non-touristy things to do on K’gari

Chat to our team of travel enthusiasts via our 24/7 live chat for any additional questions you may have about Lake McKenzie or K’gari! 

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