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Can You Swim In The Ocean Around K’gari (Fraser Island)?

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Gabby Boucher
Updated Fri 10 Feb 2023

aerial view of fraser island beach and ocean

No, it’s not recommended to swim in the ocean off K’gari (Fraser Island). Nevertheless, there is a wide variety of amazing swimming spots on the island where you can cool off and experience the natural beauty. 

K’gari (Fraser Island) is one of the best places to visit in Australia. This World-Heritage listed island off the coast of Queensland is full of native wildlife and forests, pristine freshwater lakes, and towering golden sand dunes. There are so many incredible places to swim, camp, hike, whale-watch, and absorb the natural beauty when you visit K'gari

“Can you swim in the ocean around K’gari” is an important question to ask before you visit. There are some stunning Fraser Island beaches that lie next to the Pacific Ocean, but they aren’t always safe. There are also lots of incredible freshwater lakes that offer amazing swimming experiences. 

group of people watching sunset on fraser island

Can You Swim In The Ocean Around K’gari (Fraser Island)?

Can you swim in the ocean around K’gari? No, it is not recommended to swim in the ocean around K’gari. 

There are frequent riptides which can be dangerous to even the most experienced of swimmers. The ocean around K’gari is also home to sharks and jellyfish which can be harmful to humans. 

On top of that, the island is very remote and there are no lifeguards patrolling the beaches on K’gari. So if something bad were to happen, it would be hard to get help. K’gari beaches may look beautiful, but the ocean can be dangerous.

Even if you're visiting the island with a tour and you have the security of a guide and fellow travellers, definitely avoid swimming in the ocean around K’gari!

group of people in a truck on the beach on fraser island

Is It Safe To Swim On K’gari (Fraser Island)?

But if you’re wondering “can you swim on Fraser Island?”, the answer is yes! There are over 40 lakes and creeks on the island where you can swim safely without the risk of riptides or dangerous creatures. 

K’gari is the largest sand island in the world. Its unique landscape means there are some incredibly clean, clear, and safe freshwater lakes and creeks scattered throughout the island. The water is so fresh and pure that you can often drink straight from the lakes. 

K’gari is home to many perched lakes, which are bodies of water formed from rainfall. These lakes sit in a naturally formed pool above sea level, so they aren’t connected to the ocean at all. That means the 40 perched lakes on K’gari are completely safe!

three women going swimming on fraser island

Best Places For Swimming on K’gari (Fraser Island)

If you’re wondering where you can swim safely on Fraser Island, we’ve got you covered! Here is a quick overview of some of the best swimming spots

Lake McKenzie

Lake McKenzie is almost synonymous with Fraser Island because it’s one of the most popular sites, and travellers never miss out on this stunning location. This perched lake is so unique because it looks like a classic tropical beach paradise, but it’s a freshwater lake in the middle of a sand dune island!

The crystal clear water and soft white sand makes it one of the most breathtaking places in Australia. Any Fraser Island tour itinerary deserves to have Lake McKenzie on it. 

aerial view of lake mckenzie on fraser island

Lake Boomanjin

If you want a less crowded swimming spot, Lake Boomanjin is one of the best options available. You can have a more relaxed swim here because it’s not as crowded as Lake McKenzie.

Lake Boomanjin is also the world’s largest perched lake. It covers 200 hectares and has an interesting red hue caused by stains from the surrounding Tea Trees. 

Lake Boomanjin, K'gari (Fraser Island)

Lake Birrabeen

Another less crowded alternative to Lake McKenzie is Lake Birrabeen. It’s a perched lake as well that features clean and calm water. You can enjoy this lake safely and it’s great for families with kids. There are no currents and the soft white sand is perfect for relaxing. 

Lake Wabby

Lake Wabby is an interesting lake to check out because it’s home to 12 species of fish, including the rare honey blue-eye fish. Go snorkeling and see if you can spot any! This lake showcases a deep green colour mixed with stunning white sand dunes. Just take note that the depth of this lake can reach up to 11 metres deep, making it the deepest lake on Fraser Island. 

aerial view of lake wabby fraser island

Eli Creek

Though this is not a lake, Eli Creek is among the most visited swim spots in all of Fraser Island. This freshwater creek is not just a fun place to swim but also a gorgeous location to enjoy the view. Try boogie boarding here to maximise the experience!

Woman walking into Eli Creek

Swimming is one of the best activities you can do on K’gari. Although it’s not recommended to swim in the ocean around K’gari, the lakes within the island can make up for it or even surpass your expectations. You’ll have to experience the island first-hand to realise why it’s one of Australia’s best destinations.

people relaxing in a creek on fraser island

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