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Hiking the K'gari (Fraser Island) Great Walk

Updated Wed 07 Dec 2022

K'gari Great Walk Forests Rainforests Native Bush Satinay Trees

The K’gari Great Walk covers 90km of trail and spans from Dilli Village to Happy Valley. Whether you’re starting from Dilli Village and heading North to Happy Valley or vice versa, this 6 - 8 day-long adventure is absolutely worth the walk! Trail goers will immerse themselves in the wonders of the natural sand island K’gari, including Central Station, Valley of the Giants, Lake Mackenzie, Lake Wabby and even a few hidden lakes only accessible by walkers.

This moderate walk is recommended for fit adventurers, however, it is still a doable experience for less experienced hikers, as it features only short incline bursts and plentiful facilities at each camp. 

7 Day K’gari Great Walk Itinerary

There are plenty of ways to tackle the K’gari Great Walk, with shorter variations, path forks to choose from and ample 4WD access for families and hikers that can only squeeze in an overnight hike. However, if you can manage to escape to the bush for a week, here are just a few of the wonders you will see! Please note that campsites require booking via the Queensland National Parks website for a small fee before you embark on your hike. 

Map of the K'gari Great Walk

Day 1 

Dilli Village - Lake Boomanjin (6.3km)

Starting from Dilli Village after you arrive via barge, a sandy path will take you through the beginnings of your native flora and fauna surroundings. Ease into things on your first day, with only a 6.3km walk to Lake Boomanjin campsite. Lake Boomanjin is the world’s largest perched lake and an utterly gorgeous swimming spot. Cool off in the tannin-coloured waters and feel the softest sand in between your toes. Lake Boomanjin is a lesser-known spot on K’gari, and while there is a day-use area and 4WD access, it is a wonderfully quiet gem. Your usually unbusy campsite for the night is fenced for dingo prevention, with dingo-safe boxes and toilets nearby, so set up and stargaze as you let the wonder and peaceful quiet of K'gair amaze you.

Inskip Point Barge K'gari

Day 2 

Lake Boomanjin - Central Station (14.7km)

Wake up to the sunlight through towering eucalypts and a morning swim before setting off on a day of rainforest bliss! Your track is quite sandy as you walk around Lake Boomanjin, but soon turns into an easier rainforest trek with firmer topsoil. On your way to Central Station, renowned for its cool canopies, abundant wildlife and thriving greenery, you will pass not one, not two, but three freshwater lakes! We recommend taking your time to stop at Lake Benaroon for lunch, as there is a day-use area and a divine freshwater lake to cool off in. Lake Jennings, one of the smaller lakes on K’gari, is also a pristine hidden gem, although it will add about 3km onto your walk once you return to the track. Arrive at Central Station, where the walker’s camp is completely separate from the 4WD camping area, and enjoy the rainforest woods, taking time to slow down and breathe in your surroundings. Equipped with dingo boxes, toilets and even hot showers (requiring gold coins), nature seems pretty kind at Central Station!

Central Station Nature Bush K'gari Great Walk

Day 3 

Central Station - Lake Boorangoora (Lake Mackenzie) (11.5km through Pile Valley, or 6.6km by Basin Lake)

Choose your own adventure today, as you walk from Central Station to Lake Boorangoora (Mackenzie) through either Pile Valley or Basin Lake. Basin Lake is a quiet, hidden spot ideal for a midday swim, with a short yet steeper walk. Pile Valley is home to towering Satinay trees, historically cut down for timber exports, but now protected under the Heritage listing that envelops all of K’gari. Both options are fantastic and peaceful routes for your third day of K’gari adventuring. Lake Boorangoora (Mackenzie) is truly unbelievable, with its two-tone aquamarine and azure waters and bright white sands! You may think you’re at the beach, but this magical site is actually a freshwater lake fringed by lush trees… dive in after a long walk for one of the most divine swims ever! The campsite at Lake Boorangoora is fenced, with food boxes and separate from the day-use area which is equipped with toilets.

Lake Boorangoora (Mackenzie) K'gari Great Walk

Day 4 

Lake Boorangoora (Lake Mackenzie) - Lake Wabby (12km)

Today the trail will lead you back towards the East Coast of K’gari, along a path of deep greenery, towering eucalypts and tall blackbutt forest. While you may start to feel the ache in your legs by now, your destination at the end of this stint is a perfect motivator! Lake Wabby is the deepest lake on the island and is a spectacular emerald green in colour. Surrounded by the Hammerstone Blow, a vast desert of golden sands, the aesthetic contrast of this beautiful lake is pretty dreamy. Hang out by the sands of the lake, and explore the blow. Then, check out the lookout that allows you to see the lake, ocean and sands for a naturally wondrous view! Your campsite for the night is a quiet forest-clad hikers camp, with dingo-boxes and toilets. Dig into dinner under the stars as you reflect on your beautiful K’gari walk so far! 

Lake Wabby K'gari Great Walk

Day 5 

Lake Wabby - Valley of the Giants (16.1km)

Set off into the forest for another longer day of stunning rainforest exploring! A cool canopy of tall Satinays and Tallowoods provide a shady and scenic route bound to have you breathing easy. Please note, there are some ascents and descents during this leg of the journey. Stop along the quiet trail to enjoy a woodland lunch and follow the signs to see K’gari’s ancient, Giant Satinay… simply breathtaking! Arrive at your Valley of the Giants campsite, a quiet, cool forest site, far from the beaten path. Equipped with toilets and dingo-boxes, kick back and recover from your big day of trail adventuring and indulge in any cheeky treats you may have packed for your journey! 

Giant Tallowood, Valley of the Giants K'gari

Day 6 

Valley of the Giants - Lake Garawongera (13.1km)

Be breath taken as you walk through the Valley of the Giants… these towering trees are grand and absolutely majestic! Indeed, you will feel small and surrounded by natural wisdom in the best of ways. As you leave your campsite, en route to one of your last campsites, don’t forget to stop by the Giant Tallowood. This tree is over 1000 years old and has survived many years of adversity, as well as a huge lightning strike. Continue on your path through forests that turn into bush sclerophyll. Keep an eye out for native bush trees, that incredibly flower towards the North first; a navigation trick used by the Butchulla people of K’gari. Arrive at Lake Garawongera, a small and quiet campsite equipped with tables, toilets and food boxes. Mosey down to the freshwater, tannin-stained lake for a refreshing dip and bird watch… it’s a truly spectacular stop on the trail.

Palms Valley of the Giants Rainforest

Day 7 

Lake Garawongera - Happy Valley (6.7km)

Home stretch! After a final morning swim in the beautiful Lake Garawongera, pack up your tent one last time before you do a final trek to Happy Valley. This final stint is sandy at times, and also has a few hills. However, power through until you reach the end of the Great Walk, and celebrate with a cold beer and burger at the pub! Seriously, nothing has ever tasted so good! Happy Valley is right on the beach, and if you want one more night on K’gari, there is accommodation or beach camping available (booking beforehand usually required). Please note, that there are no dingo boxes available if you camp on the beach, as campers here usually have a 4WD, however there is accommodation available at Happy Valley. Reflect on the unforgettable trail times with your hiking fam as you appreciate the unmatched experience of K’gari that is the Great Walk! 

Pub Beer Happy Valley K'gari Great Walk

Dingo safety

Wongari (dingoes) on K’gari are iconic, however, these animals need to be treated with caution, respect and most importantly, not like a household dog.

Make sure to follow these dingo-safe practices when hiking K'gari:

  • Do not feed dingoes
  • No food at lakes
  • Always store food in the dingo food boxes, not in tents
  • Don’t walk alone
  • Never leave your children unattended

Before you depart on your hike, learn and implement the K’gari guide to dingo safety measures. Your safety, and the survival of the K'gari dingo population, depends on it.

Wongari Dingo on K'gari beaches

K’gari Great Walk Tips

Personalise your hike

The above hiking itinerary is just one of multiple ways to undertake the K'gari Great Walk! If you want a slower hike, there are many campsites to stop at to decrease the number of bigger walking days. Or, if you want a few days of rest and play, we highly recommend a longer stay at Lake Boorangoora (Mackenzie) and an overnight stop at Lake Benaroon. 

Pack light

Covering 90km is no small feat, and a lighter pack will make the journey so much easier. Pack no more than 20% of your body weight, leave unnecessary items at home and invest in lightweight hiking gear… you will thank yourself halfway into the track! 

Call Steve! 

The K'gari Taxi Service, run by locals Steve and Lisa, is a great way to get to either end of the trail from the Inskip or Hervey Bay ferry barge if you are not driving your own 4WD to K'gari. It is roughly $380 total for a lift from Inskip barge point to Dilli Village, a mid-walk food drop and a returning lift from Happy Valley back to the barge. Split between 5 hikers, the Great Walk is a really inexpensive way to see K'gari.

Food drop

To aid in lightening your pack, a food drop is a fantastic option! Available at Lake Mackenzie and Lake Wabby via the K'gari Taxi Service, it is an exciting and very practical choice for your walk experience. Don't skimp on your dinner the night of your food drop either, a block of chocolate or cheeky wine goes a long way when you're in the middle of the trail! 

Comfy shoes

Enclosed, comfortable hiking shoes are invaluable and a must on the trail. If you are buying a spanking new pair of boots, wear them in before the walk… blisters could be the difference between you enjoying your hike and suffering the whole way! 

Drinking water

There is a forgivingly large amount of drinking water available on K’gari. From both lakes and rainwater, there is usually plentiful water at every camp stop and lake along the way. However, check park alerts for any dry conditions prior to departure, carry a filter and at least 2L of water on each stint. Some of the tank water is quite stagnant, so it is advised to treat all water before drinking.

Print a map

Before you leave, print a map of the Great Walk. While there is plenty of signage along the way, having a map is a must! Whether it's to check out how far away your next swim or water source is, or just to see what kind of environments surround you, make sure you print and pack the official K'gari Great Walk map.

Learn K’gari history

Enrich your journey with some learning. The Butchulla people, the Traditional Owners of K’gari, have an array of special Dreamtime stories that illuminate an important past of this breathtaking island that we are lucky enough to enjoy today. European invasion brought about deforestation, timber exports and the establishment of a tramline, which runs through parts of the walk, so read the curated information boards and research beforehand to know the importance of the land you walk upon on K’gari.

Drinking Water on the K'gari Great Walk

Day Walk Options 

There are plenty of day walk options for those who want to see K’gari on foot. Visit Lake Boorangoora (Mackenzie), Lake Boomanjin, Valley of the Giants, Lake Wabby and more on a day hike. Don’t forget to pack a hat, wear comfortable shoes and bring plenty of drinking water! Check out the range of short and long day and overnight walks available to visitors of K’gari. 

Day Walk K'gari Fraser Island Explore forestss

Last but not least, don’t forget to soak it all in… K’gari is the Butchulla name for paradise, and it is no mystery why! This island is an absolute natural oasis, so get back to nature and enjoy this adventure of a lifetime. 

To book accommodation and tours before or after your Great Walk experience, get in touch with our friendly staff today! 

Live chat with us, or call us on +61 7 4128 4479.

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