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Is K'gari (Fraser Island) Expensive?

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Gabby Boucher
Updated Thu 11 May 2023

K'gari (Fraser Island) is one of Australia's most famous travel destinations. Whether you're a local Aussie or an international traveler, K'gari is a once-in-a-lifetime kind of place. As the world's largest sand island and a UNESCO World Heritage Site, K'gari is the ultimate place to disconnect from the modern world and go adventuring through the wilderness. 

If swimming in pristine lakes, 4WD driving on the beach, and camping in the rainforest sound fun to you, start planning a trip to K'gari! But you may be wondering, "Is K'gari (Fraser Island) expensive?" This article will list all the potential costs of traveling to K'gari so you can decide if it's in your budget or not. Though the island is very remote and there are plenty of expenses, you can visit K'gari on a budget! And no matter how much money you spend, the experiences you have on this magical island will surely be worth it. 

Eli Creek

Is K'gari (Fraser Island) Expensive?

K'gari (Fraser Island) is one of the more expensive destinations in Australia, but it can be done on a budget! Plus, this rugged and ancient island is so incredible that you'll be dying to return, even if you spent a bit of money. So you can decide for yourself whether or not K'gari is expensive, we'll lay out some of the trip costs that most travelers might have. We'll also include some other options such as guided tours, 4WD hire, and going on your own

Lake McKenzie

K'gari Trip Costs - Going On Your Own

Only 4WD vehicles are permitted on K'gari, so if you already have one, you are free to explore the island on your own! Just make sure you book your ferries and your vehicle permits in advance. Heading to K'gari on your own gives you the flexibility to go wherever you want at your own pace. Many 4WD hires or tours are limited to 3 or 5 days, so you if you want to spend longer on the island you'd need your own 4WD

Also, most of the attractions on K'gari are free! Aside from paying for fuel, accommodation, and food, all the lakes, hikes, and sights on the island are part of the natural world so you shouldn't need to pay any extra. If you're camping, you'll only need to pay for the camping fees - the campsites themselves are free! But here is a rundown of what your costs might be for exploring K'gari on your own. 

  • Return ferry cost: $130 return from Inskip Point or $230 from River Heads
  • Vehicle permit cost: $55.90 (find more info here)
  • Fuel cost: $30 per day (roughly)
  • Camping permit cost: $7 per person per night
  • Accommodation cost: $200 per night for a hotel room
  • Food cost: $30 per person per day if you bring your own groceries, or $20-$30 per meal at a restaurant on the island

Please note that this is just an estimate! Actual costs may vary and you should do thorough research before your trip to find more accurate costs for you. So on average if you're visiting K'gari for 3 days on your own, you might spend around $400-500 if you camp and cook your own food. 3 days on your own with staying in a resort and eating out may cost around $900-$1200. 

Camping on K'gari

K'gari Trip Costs - 4WD Hire

If you don't have your own 4WD, you can hire one! Every hire company is different, but most vehicle permits, ferry transfers, and camping permits are included in the hire cost. If you want to hire a 4WD for just one day, make sure you leave early in the morning so you have enough time to explore. But there is so much to see and do on K'gari, so you're better off hiring a car for 2-5 days if you don't want to rush. 

  • 4WD hire cost: $500 - $600 for 1 day (prices go up if you add days and/or people)
  • Fuel cost: $30 per day (roughly)
  • Accommodation cost: $7 per person per night if you camp, $200 per night for a hotel room
  • Food cost: $30 per person per day if you bring your own groceries, or $20-$30 per meal at a restaurant on the island

Note that 4WD hire costs may vary based on the company and the amount of people you have. Your trip to K'gari will be more expensive if there are only 1 or 2 people hiring a 4WD. But if you have 5 or 6 friends and you're all going to split the cost, 4WD hire can be affordable! And if you camp and cook your own food you can cut costs even more. Most 4WD hire companies have camping add-ons where you can hire all the necessary gear and equipment.  

Fraser Dingo Hire

K'gari Trip Costs - Booking A Tour

Believe it or not, sometimes booking a tour can be cheaper than hiring a 4WD. Guided resort tours are more expensive than camping tours, so just keep that in mind. If you want to stay in a nice resort, you'll be paying more than if you choose a backpacker camping tour. 

Another perk of a tour is that all your food, activities, fuel, and permits are taken care of. You pay one all-inclusive price and you don't have to organize anything yourself! Guided tours are perfect for solo travelers and backpackers who want to have fun and meet people. Here is what typical K'gari tour costs look like:

So you'll see that guided tour costs aren't actually that different than the cost of going on your own. Tours on K'gari are surprisingly affordable! That means you can just choose what type of experience you want when deciding how to visit the island. If you're only 1 person, it might be cheaper to book a guided tour rather than hiring your own 4WD. If you choose camping and cooking, a visit to K'gari will be much cheaper. If you want a bit of luxury, you can stay in nice resorts, but make sure you save more money for your trip!

Pippies Tag Along Tours

Is K'gari (Fraser Island) Worth The Money?

Without a doubt, K'gari (Fraser Island) is worth every dollar. Where else in the world can you drive across stunning beaches, camp in towering rainforests, float in crystal clear lakes, see wild Australian dingoes, learn about Aboriginal culture, walk across ancient sand dunes, and more? This island is so special, so it's absolutely worth paying a bit of money to experience it for yourself!

Lake McKenzie

Check out our list of K'gari FAQs if you have more questions about visiting this beautiful island!

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