Fraser Island Dangers and Warnings | Know Before You Go
Updated Fri 08 Jul 2022
The iconic Fraser Island or K'gari is a pristine UNESCO World Heritage site that oozes natural beauty at every turn. One of the most unique places in Australia, Fraser Island’s sparkling lakes, lush rainforest, and endless beaches will remain vivid in your memory for many years to come. As is the nature of wild and rugged natural landscapes like Fraser Island has, there can be a level of risk for uneducated and underprepared visitors to the area and it is wise to take some precautions during your stay.
The iconic dingo is one of many Australian animals to call Fraser Island home. Although similar in appearance to the domestic dog, it is important to remember that dingoes are wild and unpredictable animals which have, on occasion, clashed with visitors to the island and its best to keep your distance. Dingoes do have a natural fear of humans however, they are also extremely curious scavengers and often steal food from campsites. It is important to keep all food securely stored when on Fraser Island - if dingoes begin to rely on easy access to unattended food they may begin to harass people for it when it suddenly becomes unavailable - sometimes aggressively.
Important Safety Tips:
Always travel in groups, try to camp within fenced areas and make use of the food storage cages provided at many campsites. Feeding or attracting the attention of a Dingo is illegal in Queensland and penalties will apply. You can find more Dingo-safe tips here.
No doubt one of the biggest drawcards to Fraser Island is its plethora of stunning lookouts. While these are stunning to take in while you feel you are on top of the world, you would be wise to watch your step and stay well back from the edges of these beautiful vantage points, as they could end in death. Jagged rocks line the strong shorelines with crashing waves, and even inland you can find yourself easily in a spot where even sand dunes can be dangerous. Your safety is much more important than the perfect Instagram photo!
Important Safety Tips:
Always mind the signage at each vantage point, and stay behind the recommended lines. Don't climb on safety fencing, and keep on the designated paths and walkways. If you're taking photos by drone or selfie stick, never back onto a cliff's edge and ensure you're secure in one spot well away from any edges.
Swimming at Beaches
Fraser Island has some of the most beautiful and enticing beaches in the world and when the sun is out it is very tempting to take a nice cool dip. However, it is not recommended to swim in the waters surrounding the island. Fraser Island’s beaches are not patrolled by lifeguards and dangerous riptides can often be spotted along the shores, especially on the eastern side. Sharks also frequent the area and, during the summer months, marine stingers such as Irukandji Jellyfish and Blue Bottle may be present.
Important Safety Tips:
If you're swimming in a protected spot like the Champagne Pools, it's still good to remember jellyfish may get trapped in there, and make sure you watch the waves as they can sweep you off your feet and into some sharp rocks! We highly recommend taking advantage of the over 40 spectacular freshwater lakes and numerous creeks, such as Lake McKenzie and Eli Creek - there is no shortage of incredible places to cool off!
As the largest sand island in the world, Fraser has no shortage of sand dunes. A favourite past-time of visitors to the island is running as fast as you can down a dune and diving into the crystal clear waters of the lake at the bottom. This can be great fun but also very dangerous and has resulted in many injuries over the years, some very serious or even fatal.
Important Safety Tips:
If you do choose to take part, be sure to listen to your guide’s recommendations and scope out the area first - sand dunes have hidden bumps and holes that can throw you off in all directions and many of the lakes on Fraser are shallower than they first appear. To keep yourself safe, just be aware of the risks - have a quick stroll around the area, check the water depth and be sure to read any warning signs around the lake.
Off-road driving is an unmissable part of the whole Fraser Island experience. The iconic 75 Mile Beach is the longest sand highway in the world and only suitable for 4wds (or light aircraft!). Conditions vary greatly depending on the tide - boggy sand, rock patches, bumps, ditches and washouts are common and often hard to see, particularly in the afternoons when shadows cross over the sand.
Be aware that driving and steering in the sand can be quite different from regular roads and care needs to be taken to avoid getting bogged or a rollover. Many of the ‘roads’ on Fraser Island are also single-lane soft sand tracks with two-way traffic so be careful when approaching bends and keep an eye out for tour buses. Overall, the most important part of driving on Fraser Island is taking your time, adhering to speed limits and road signs, and listening carefully to everything your guide says!
The Benefits of Guided Tours
Rangers and locals are great sources of information on the island (especially if you are after tips on the best swimming spots) however, you can’t go past the invaluable knowledge and experience of a local guide. A guided tour will ensure you visit all the natural wonders of Fraser Island while taking the worry and hassle out of travelling through unknown terrain. There are endless Fraser Island guided tour options ranging from day tours to overnight two or three-day experiences. Or, if you’d prefer a more traditional 4wding experience with the chance to take the wheel, why not try a famous Fraser Island tag-along tour?
Tag-along tours are made up of a convoy of 4wd vehicles driven by travellers and a guide in the lead car. These unique tours feature the option of becoming a driver, even if you’re a novice, and allow you to experience navigating the rugged terrain of Fraser while remaining with a group. Your guide will talk you through all the difficult bits and point out obstacles along the way which can save you a lot of stress (and money) in the event that something goes wrong. Tag-along tours are a great option for all types of traveller with the choice of one or two nights and camping or resort accommodation.
Accompanied by a guide, you can navigate Fraser Island’s obstacles with ease and focus on making the most of your outdoor adventure in this natural wonderland. You may even learn a thing or two about the island that only the locals know!
Ready to book your perfect Fraser Island getaway? Ask our friendly Fraser experts about our current specials! Live chat to us or call +61 74914 2425.