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K'gari (Fraser Island): The Largest Sand Island in the World

Updated Mon 06 Mar 2023

K'gari, formerly known as Fraser Island, is the largest sand island in the world. Made of ancient sand dunes, this fascinating island stretches over 123 kilometres long and 22 kilometres wide. Queensland, Australia is home to four of the largest sand islands in the world, and following K'gari (Fraser Island) is Stradbroke Island, Moreton Island, and Bribie Island. 

Fraser Island, K'gari

Landscape of K'gari (Fraser Island)

Nestled in the Great Sandy National Park in the Fraser Coast region, K'gari (Fraser Island) has one of the most exquisite rugged natural terrains. With 7 different types of ancient forests, over 100 lakes, and abundant sand dunes, K'gari has one of the most unique landscapes in the world!

Travelling from coast to coast on K'gari will result in dramatic scenery changes. Admire the vast, largely untouched beaches and how they contrast with the thick emerald green canopies, all of which are connected by soft sandy trails that only 4WDs can handle

Lake McKenzie, Fraser Island double tree

K'gari (Fraser Island): A UNESCO World Heritage Site

The sand dunes and unique ecosystems on K'gari have led this island to be officially deemed a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The sand on the island has been recorded as reaching heights of up to 244 metres above sea level, and up to 100 metres below.

Much of the sand comes from quartz, or in ground-up form, silica. K'gari’s Lake McKenzie is famous for its pure white beaches, similar to the famous Whitehaven Beach in the Whitsundays. Forming for hundreds of thousands of years, K'gari’s terrain is constantly changing with the tides, waves, and wind.

Areas like Hammerstone Sandblow and Lake Wabby are an example of the gradual erosion the island experiences. Lake Wabby is a barrage lake and Hammerstone prevents water from escaping to the sea. Eventually, Lake Wabby will cease to exist as Hammerstone will fill the lake from tidal and wind erosion. 

Lake Wabby and Hammerstone Sandblow, Fraser Island

Rainforests on K'gari (Fraser Island)

Another reason why K'gari is so special is its rainforests. K'gari’s foundation is unique, as forests are able to grow through the sand to reach a layer of nutrient-rich fungi and lichen. This and rainfall create the optimal environment for forests to thrive on the island.

The inland track conditions will vary from season to season, and the annual rainfall will determine the density of the sand. In particularly dry seasons, the sand is soft making it difficult to drive through, while wetter seasons will pack the sand offering more traction to drivers. 

Pile Valley, Fraser Island

Other Attractions On K'gari (Fraser Island)

K'gari is home to numerous other attractions in addition to sand dunes and rainforests. 75 Mile Beach is one of the most iconic places on the island. This official sand highway stretches along the east coast of K'gari. Travelers love to drive their 4WDs up and down the beach and check out nearby tourist attractions, such as the S.S. Maheno Shipwreck. 

Acting as an airstrip too, you’ll find scenic aeroplanes in addition to 4WDs and tour buses cruising along this incredible stretch of sand. Accessibility to 75 Mile Beach is dependent on the tides, and it is crucial you check a tide timetable before heading out on your adventure. 

75 Mile Beach, Fraser Island

With so much to see and do on K'gari, isn’t it time you paid a visit? Our friendly team of travel experts are online to answer all your questions! Chat with us now and ask about our current specials!

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