Swimming on Fraser Island (K'Gari)
Can you swim on K'gari?
The short answer is YES! K'gari, the largest sand island in the world, and a world heritage listed site, is home to over 100 freshwater lakes, multiple creeks and several resort pools, all perfect for cooling off while you soak up the sun. Here are all the places you can beat the heat on K'gari!
Lakes of K'gari
K'gari has over 100 freshwater lakes, and roughly 40 of them are perched dune lakes. Due to their location and natural filtering system through the many layers of sand that make up the island, the water in the lakes on K'gari is some of the purest in the world!
Some of the most popular lakes to take a dip in are:
The iconic Lake McKenzie offers an almost pure white silica sand beach, giving it a similar feel to Whitehaven Beach in the Whitsundays, only with pure, fresh rainwater! The beauty of this perched lake is unsurpassable, and most guided and tag-along tours visit this destination. Make sure to choose eco-friendly sunscreen before taking a dip to keep Lake McKenzie’s waters pristine!
A short hike through the rainforest and over the beautiful hammerstone sand blow will lead you down to the crescent-shaped Lake Wabby. The pH in the water allows for fish and turtles to flourish, and beautiful birdlife can be spotted diving for feed from the forest behind the lake. Both a window lake and a barrage lake, Wabby offers visitors the perfect swimming hole.
Uniquely classified as a perched lake and a window lake, Basin lake is also dependent on rainfall for its water depth. As one of the smaller, more remote lakes, Basin is certainly worth the effort to visit due to its peaceful atmosphere with fewer visitors and the bushland surrounding it.
Known as the largest perched lake in the world, Lake Boomanjin stands out with its dark “tea-coloured” water. Tea Trees stain the lake with its unique orange and tan colour from tannins and the air is filled with the therapeutic aroma.
White sand lines the shores of Lake Birrabeen, similar to Lake McKenzie. It’s crystal clear, shallow waters make for the perfect swimming location, and is visited less often than other popular lakes on the island due to its location, meaning you could have it all to yourself!
Many of the lakes have beautiful freshwater creeks flowing from them, offering visitors to K'gari plenty of options to stop and cool down throughout the island. Float or wade through filtered natural rainwater as you unwind and take time to smell the roses while you cool down!
The largest and most popular creek on K'gari, Eli Creek is definitely a fan favourite. Pumping 80 million litres of water a day, this freshwater creek is naturally filtered so pure, you can even drink it! Bring a blow-up floatation device and make an afternoon of walking upstream and floating down in serene bliss.
Located inland near Central Station, Wanggoolba Creek is like stepping into another world. Shaded by the lush, ancient rainforest canopy, the creek is considered a sacred place for women of the Butchulla Tribe, K'gari's traditional landowners. White sand and emerald green palm leaves speckled with sunlight make for one of the most tranquil places on the island.
One of the lesser-known creeks on K'gari, Orange Creek is named for its - you guessed it - orange colour it gets from tannins, similar to Lake Boomanjin. Located north of the island on the eastern side past Indian Head, this is the perfect spot for swimming and floating and with its shallow water and sandy bottom, perfect for any age.
There are two main resorts located on K'gari: Kingfisher Bay Resort on the western side and Eurong Beach Resort on the eastern side of the island. Kingfisher Resort offers four swimming pools, giving you plenty of options to choose from when going for a dip. Eurong also has a large pool for resort guests to unwind in after a long day of exploring. There are a few holiday homes and private rentals that offer swimming and plunge pools as well.
While K'gari has some of the safest freshwater swimming options in Australia, locals and tour guides don’t try to hide the fact that swimming in the sea off of K'gari’s beaches is extremely dangerous. Riptides, sharks and even Irukandji jellyfish are some of the hazards of swimming off the beaches of K'gari, so it is highly discouraged for guests to take to the water here.
The only place where saltwater swimming is relatively safe is at the iconic Champagne Pools. Aptly named for the fizzing, jacuzzi-like effect this naturally enclosed rockwall swimming cove offers, the pools are a great way to get your ‘vitamin sea’ whilst on the island. Please note, the rock walls do not guarantee protection from jellyfish, so if you are thinking of going for a swim in the summer months, then stinger suits are recommended.