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How Do You Get Around On K'gari (Fraser Island)?

Updated Tue 13 Feb 2024

The only way to get around K'gari (Fraser Island) is by 4WD, and it's up to you if you bring your own, rent one or embark on a 4WD safari tourFor your visit to the world's largest sand island, there are a few options for exploring the rainforests, lakes, beaches, and sand dunes of this magical place. Here are some handy tips for getting around K'gari (Fraser Island)!

4WD parked in the sand on  K'gari (Fraser Island)


Driving a 4WD on K’gari (Fraser Island)

Driving a 4WD is the main way to get around K'gari (Fraser Island), whether it's your own or a hire vehicle. Here are some handy tips so you can be prepared for your 4WD adventure! Before you head out, you should make sure your vehicle is in top condition. Check your equipment and tire pressure. Don’t forget to bring a map, extra tires, an air pump, water, a towline and fuel... just in case! 

Beach Road Rules for 4WDing on K'gari

  • If you’re renting a 4WD, you'll be required to get a safety briefing just before you head out on your drive.

  • Some places require a speed limit of 35km/hour to 80km/hour depending on where you are. Of course, for your safety, you should follow the suggested speed limit (or at least in between) as driving on sand is quite a different experience compared to normal roads!

  • Check the tides in the area where you’re headed. Watch out for high tides as the beach highway is best accessed on a low tide.

  • Drive slowly on creek crossings. Inspect your surroundings ahead of you for potholes and stay on road tracks, especially on hard sand.

  • It’s best not to drive at night as it’s difficult to spot wildlife like dingoes in the dark. 

  • Wash your car well after your trip to avoid rust from salt water.

  • Inland roads have a speed limit of 35km/hour. The shared roads on Eastern Beach require drivers to a maximum speed of 40km/hour, while the Hook Point inland road requires a speed limit of 50km/hour. On the eastern beach, you can drive 80km/hour.

  • Since some roads are narrow, the general right-of-way rules apply to all drivers. There are plenty of passing bays that all drivers should use.

  • Drive in low gear mode on a track of soft sand. Adjust your tire pressure depending on the track you're driving on.

  • For your safety and that of other travellers, use your indicators.

  • Respect wildlife like dingoes. Give way to pedestrians and feel free to talk to locals and ask for tips too!

  • If you’re bringing your own 4WD, you need to know a couple of things about the right equipment, towing options and insurance just before you drive out!

4wd parked in a rainforest on K'gari (Fraser Island)


Do I Need a License to Drive a 4WD on K’gari?


Yes, just like any other road, you do require to hold a valid and current license. If you don't have an Australian license, you need to have a valid translation for your international one. You also need a vehicle access permit before you can drive around K'gari (Fraser Island)! Apply for one from Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service online or from their over-the-counter office. 

You should stick your permit where it’s easily visible on your car as park rangers often roam around campsites, beaches and other destinations! Drivers also need to book a ferry transfer for their cars once they get to Hervey Bay.

Because the island is full of rough, sandy roads or terrains, the ride can get quite bumpy. That’s why 4WDs are the only type of vehicle allowed on the island. Once you get access, your 4WD permit can last up to 1 month. There’s also an option for frequent visitors to get a permit for the entire year, saving you up to half the usual cost!

4wd vehicles lined up on the beach on K'gari (Fraser Island)


Best 4WD Tours on K’gari (Fraser Island)

Another option for getting around K'gari (Fraser Island) is joining a 4WD tour! This is the easiest way to get around because everything is planned and taken care of for you. All you have to do is show up and enjoy K'gari! 


Day Tour to K’gari K'gari (Fraser Island) from Hervey Bay

In a comfortable 4WD, you can sit back, relax and enjoy the jaw-dropping views across the 75-mile beach as you hop from one K'gari (Fraser Island) destination to another! The tour will take you to discover the Mareno shipwreck and rainforests, dip yourself in Eli Creek and make memories in Lake Mckenzie

Of course, there’s a delicious afternoon meal waiting for you at K’gari Beach Resort! What’s even better? All National Park fees are included in the tour as well as courtesy transfers to and from your Hegirls lounging in the shallows of lake mckenzie on K'garirvey Bay accommodation!


Island Expeditions Camping Safari 3D2N 

It’s a 3-day tour that lets you drive around and explore the rainforests, shipwreck, Eli Creek, Lake Mckenzie and Champagne Pools! All meals, insurance, national park permits and fees are included in the tour! So, all you need to think about is waking up to the morning breeze after sleeping to the gentle lull of the sea in a 2-night island camping experience! 

woman on a 4wd viewing the beach


Sunrover Expeditions 2D1N

It’s the only 4WD camping adventure tour that comes from Brisbane and heads out to the freshwaters of Lake Mckenzie! It’s a nature adventure that covers all your tents, sleeping bags and mattresses!

What’s more? The campsite has a permanent camp kitchen so your meals can be freshly prepared! You also have the option to choose your own accommodation if you don’t want to camp like a local at the Dilli campsite! 

aerial view of sea waves and the shore


Fraser Dingo Tag Along Tour 3D2N

Follow your tour guide on a 4WD as you hop from one destination to another like Champagne Pools, Indian Head, Maheno Shipwreck, Lake Wabby and Lake Mckenzie!

At night, you’ll stay at the permanent campsite on the eastern side of K’gari and set up your own campfire just before you fall asleep to the swooshing sounds of the sea waves and midnight starry skies! All meals, return ferry transfers, permits and fees are included too!

aerial view of a 4wd driving near the beach


Aussie Trax 4WD Hire

If you prefer a self-guided tour around K’gari, the Aussie Trax Hire is perfect for you! Aussie Trax offers numerous packages that include either just the vehicle, the vehicle + camping, or the vehicle + resort accommodation. You have the flexibility to explore the island how you choose and pick the perfect accommodation for you. 

people hanging out the windows of a 4WD in the K'gari rainforest


Best Places to Visit on K’gari

K'gari (Fraser Island) is a World Heritage site and it’s known to have been populated even before colonisation 5,000 years ago! It took about 750,000 years for K’gari to reach its form which is the tropical paradise we see today!

Because K’gari measures 1,840 sq km, stopping by for a day won’t simply be enough for you to fully experience all that it has to offer! So, we recommend staying for a couple of days, so you can make the most out of all the destinations and sites the island is known for.


Rainforests

K'gari (Fraser Island) has the best rainforests if you want to experience both the green environment and the slices of its tropical paradise! There are swamps, ancient trees, woodlands, mangroves, insects and plants that are all part of the Great Sandy National Park. 

woman bushwalking


Lakes

There are different types of Freshwater Lakes like Lake Mckenzie, Wabby, Birrabeen, Boomanjin, Allom and Basin Lake which are just some of the places you can’t miss! K’gari is also known for Eli Creek which is the largest on the eastern side of the island. The soft sands have been filtering rainwater for over 100 years and the water is so pure and fresh, it’s safe for you to drink!

person filling her container with freshwater from the lake


Maheno Shipwreck

The iconic Mareno Shipwreck has been on K'gari (Fraser Island) since 1935! The ship first set out to the sea in 1905 until years later, it got hit by a cyclone. Luckily, none of the crew was seriously injured and they made it out safely. Since then, it has become another favourite destination for visitors to take pictures of! 

3 people watching the sunset against the backdrop of a shipwreck


Getting To K'gari


K'gari (Fraser Island) has no airport and the nearest airport would be in Hervey Bay. You can book your flight from Sydney and Brisbane via Virgin or Qantas Airlines, before connecting yourself to the area. From here, there are two ferry options for you to take yourself, and your vehicle, across to the world's largest sand Island!

Map of K'Gari (Fraser Island) and different locations


Our friendly local travel experts are more than happy to help you choose your 4WD tour around K'gari (Fraser Island)! 


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