Why you should do a tour on Fraser Island

I highly recommend doing a tour of Fraser on your first trip or at least once.

Why you ask? There a few reasons, first off, is local knowledge. I learnt so much from our guides about the island, the rain-forest, the lakes, wildlife, history, you name it! While there is signage around to fill you in and you could always just google, the guides are local and have great stories to share which provide charm and depth to the facts. You just don’t get that from doing your own tour.

The next reason, you don’t have to worry about anything. Everything is taken care of. No packing lunches, bedding, camping gear or worrying about whether you will get the 4×4 stuck. No wondering what to do when the dingoes come by, how long or difficult the walking or driving tracks are or which way to go.

Another reason, is it makes is fun! The guides go out of their way to make the trip a load of fun. Music, great convo, entertaining stories and adventures. Plus, you get to meet and spend a few days with like-minded people in a 4×4!

If you’re going to do an overnight camping tour with Sunrover Tours like I did, here’s a few hot tips…
Bring a big torch, it’s really dark out there.
Back up chargers for your phone are a great idea, you’ll want to capture all the beauty!
Take the front seat if you can, it’s the best spot!
For a small luxury, a mini fan for the tent would be amazing
Do not leave your towel outside. It may rain. Then it will be wet. And not ideal for drying off with…

Read about my experience at Fraser Island here and here.

fraser-2

Fraser Island Day Two

The day started with a 6am wake up in preparation for a 7am take off from camp. We had fruit and cereals for breakfast, swept out our tents and hit the road.

We drove straight up to Eli Creek, stopping only to see jellyfish that had washed up overnight.

Eli Creek was beautiful. Crystal clear water (like most of the fresh water creeks all over the island), beautiful lush rainforest all around and fish in the water. Even a giant, brown cricket welcomed us! I immediately fell in love with him but our guide (from Sunrover Tours) said I couldn’t keep him.

Originally everyone said it was too cold to walk down the creek. Our guide, Charlie, coached us in and in the end the entire tour group of nine walked down the creek together. The water was much cooler than Lake McKenzie, very refreshing.

We drove north to Maheno wreck, a beautiful ship which lost its pull rope when it was being towed to Japan to be fixed and washed up on the shore of Fraser Island. The Maheno is 70 years old and surprisingly still quite together. I was captivated by it. The barnacles growing all over the sides, the rich colours of the rust and the sharp shapes created by the holes left in the ship. I could have taken hundreds of pictures and still not been done. I wanted to climb it but apparently it’s off limits…

Next up, we drove south toward the Lake Wabby entrance. A 40-minute walk through the rainforest and you reach the sand dunes that lead to the lake. There’s a desert-like scene at the top, all different coloured sands creating beautiful wave patterns across the dunes. A steep dune takes you down to the lake where tour groups play in the shallows. While it wasn’t as pretty as Lake McKenzie, the lake was charming and warm. Little fish (the ones that eat the dead skin off your feet) played in the shallows but the lake quickly became dark and deep.

I smashed the walk back, walking fast to beat my time in and knowing it was more downhill than before. Always good to get some exercise in while you can.

On the way back to the barge our guide told us more about the history of the island, the different formations and a few terrible Dad jokes for good measure. We came across another dingo on our way back before lining up for the barge.

A short boat ride and we were back on the mainland. We stopped for fish and chips in Rainbow Beach then drove back to Brisbane. I slept from Rainbow Beach to Caloundra (approx. 3 hours), a fair effort. Something about the lolling of that truck makes me weary.

Back in Brisbane 45mins early at 5.15, we all said our goodbyes and thanked Charlie our tour guide who did a fab job, especially considering it was his first trip!

Read about my trip to Fraser Island Day One here

Fraser Island Day One 

I saw some pics of a friend at Fraser Island over Christmas and decided then and there I would visit and ASAP!

After some googling I decided on a two day, one night tour at the island and ensured it was visiting Lake McKenzie, the location of the pic I originally saw.

The tour (Sunrover Tours) started out from Brisbane at 6.45am (not a morning person but it wasn’t terrible) and we hit the road straight away in our older Land Cruisers.

A truly authentic experience, there’s no aircon, there’s bugs and the tour guide was a real Aussie bloke. Charlie was his name and he chose me (okay, I nominated myself) as the front seat driver with him.

A few stops later we arrived at Rainbow Beach and the fun started! We couldn’t even make it through the entrance to the point where you catch the barge to Fraser Island, we got stuck immediately. Thankfully some lovely young guys pitched in and pulled us out. Good fun!

Fast forward a ten min ride on the barge and we arrived on the island. We screamed down (80kms is the legal and policed limit) the beach along the shoreline to Dilli camp where we were spending the evening.

We ditched our stuff, had some fresh ham salad buns and fruit for lunch and were back on the road again.

We stopped at Central Station which used to be the main location for logging many years ago. Got a bit of a history lesson before a little rain-forest walk. I loved the strangling tree – a tree that wraps around another tree and steals its nutrients until it eventually dies. I really disliked seeing where the Fraser Island Funnel Web spiders lived as I got the heeby jeebys.

Next up, the highlight of my trip, Lake McKenzie. Unfortunately for us, the sun wasn’t out, however the lake was still sparkling, clear and inviting. Tours can only have 1.5 hours at the lake and we made the most of it. The water is 25 degrees and we were straight in there. I swam across to a secluded point and walked around the corner – I wish I could have taken a picture – the serenity! A vast, deserted and picturesque space. The water is crystal clear, the sand glowing white and you got the feeling of being really alone – I loved it.

The trip back to camp took longer than I remembered, as it turned out I had been asleep half the trip out there! Couldn’t keep my eyes open. The roads are stunning. Fraser is the largest sand island in the world, so low and behold, the roads are all sand! Incredibly, a rain-forest thrives in that environment. The trees created a beautiful canopy above us as we cruised through. There’s bumps and it’s fun – I enjoyed the city kid’s reactions.

At camp, we had a BBQ dinner – burgers and sausages – beaut. There are two other Sunrover tours here making the campsite busy and fun. Huge variety of people on the tour, lots of different nationalities. The guides are knowledgeable, likable and funny. I enjoyed watching them bond over a beer at the end of the day.

We retired to bed in our tents and slept soundly all night… That’s a total lie – I woke up with a full bladder at midnight and didn’t want to make a dash to the bathroom as it was raining hard, which sounded great in the tent but wasn’t great for my needing to run to the bathroom!



Brisbane-based lifestyle and travel blog image featuring mountain and sea scenery

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