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Fraser Island. The Ultimate 4WD guide to this Sand Island Oasis

Posted on July 23 2018

Fraser Island. The Ultimate 4WD guide to this Sand Island Oasis

Frazer Island has been on the 4wding bucket list for such a long time. A 4 wheel driving mecca, this is the largest sand Island in the world! Only 4 hours north of the Gold Coast and surrounded by endless white sand beaches, lakes, whales, snakes, surfing, 4wding and much, much more. Even the wild dingoes running around the beach list as one of the many attractions to this famous island. Above all, being remote and able to 4x4 just about wherever you want is the main element that makes this trip appealing. With a whopping 1,840 kmof land and a length of around 120km, it is definitely a place to explore. 

So when a friend called me up asking if I wanted to come along for a trip, it didn’t take much to convince me! There were two options. We could ship one of our mudstuck trucks over, which are totally set up for this kind of adventure with full travel tents, camping equipment and recovery gear either our mudstuck LC 76 series, G-Wagon or 100 series or hire one of the local trucks. On this occasion, I opted for hiring, as this was all a little bit late planned, even if I was quite gutted about not having one of ours! Sometimes you take what you can get. So everything booked in and rearing to go we started our trip mid-July 2018.

Rainbow beach 4wd pickup for fraser islandA leisurely 4 hours drive from the Gold Coast you arrive in a small town called Rainbow Beach. Here you will find plenty of last-minute supplies if needed, bearing in mind somewhat more expensive. We picked up our rental 4wd: a Landcruiser 100 series. We are quite familiar with these trucks as we offer one as part of the Mudstuck fleet. Rental cost was $250 a day plus insurance. Even though it wasn't properly set up, I was still stoked to have landed a truck for this trip. My mate's truck is the Mitsubishi Triton ute. Even though its the middle of winter, it was scorching hot and time to get a gelato before heading off to our Island adventure. Super easy to get across with to Fraser Island a quick 15 minute trip which runs every 40 minutes. Costs are $120 return. As we stepped onto the barge straight away we could see a group of silver-grey dolphins playing in the crystal clear water, already our anticipation of what was to come was building. 

Rainbow beach ferry to access. MudstuckTruck at rainbow beachRainbow beach 4wd truckRainbow beach ferry to fraser islandFraser Island FerryFraser Island dolphins
Don't be a dingo. Make sure to come to Fraser Island prepared. Limited access to food and supplies, you gotta take almost everything with you, including recovery gear. The most ideal way to see this place is definitely with a 4wd and rooftop tent. That way you can camp just about anywhere and dramatically opens up your travel options! When we went to the far north at Orchid Beach, it was the ideal spot to spend a few days camping and exploring the furthest north point and lighthouse of the island. Alternatively, there are plenty of house accommodation options that are really nice, especially for larger groups. Much to our dismay, we had to choose a house as neither trucks were set up for camping. The whole island is on solar power but with sun and warm temperatures all year round it's like being on the grid.
Fraser Island ferry landingFraser Island long beach 4wdFraser Island surf by MudstuckFraser Island surf / 4wdFraser Island fun
Straight off the boat, you head into the super soft sand, not surprising people get stuck as early on as just getting off the ferry. Once we got around the headland you're met with endless long white sand beaches. Feeling remote and off the beaten track with a distinct lack of tourists on this island. Pleasantly surprised us considering it was school holidays. Perhaps relating to it being winter, though for us kiwis the temperatures here feel like summer. First thing after reaching our accommodation was hit the beach for a surf. Some nice 2-3 foot rollers were coming through and we had an epic 2-hour surf. The water couldn't have been any clearer, what a start to this trip already.
Fraser Island inland
Fraser Island Australia big treeAustralian tree up closeLake McKenzie Fraser Island
Lake McKenzie Fraser IslandLake McKenzie feet in watermackenzie beach fraser islandmackenzie lake tree up closeLake McKenzie playing on beachLake McKenzie Fraser island babeLake McKenzie yoga Fraser IslandAustralian Kookaburra on Fraser Island Day-2: Up at sunrise for an early surf and the surf was pumping. Easily 3foot on the sets. Perfect for the stand-up paddle boards. Just behind us, we saw a group of huge whales! Straight away we started paddling over to them. The giant whales swam around us blowing their holes and playing around. Such a magical moment. As things would have it, nobody ever grabs the camera when the boys are out surfing.
After this, we headed to an inland spot called Lake Mckenzie. A picturesque white sand pure lake. This is a must go to place at Fraser Island. It's about a 40minute 4WD inland on sand tracks. The lake is simply beautiful! Filled with birds like the hilarious Kookaburra and crystal clear water. We spent most of the afternoon playing on the beach, swimming and doing yoga.  
Fraser Island sunriseFraser island, Australia hand standFraser Island Dingo dog
 Day 3 kicked off with a sunrise and some handstands on the beach before running into a friendly dingo dog. Contrary to what the Aussies tell you, we found dingos safe and friendly! We were warned not to allow kids further than arm's length at all times. They seemed pretty harmless to us.
Fraser Island, AustraliaFraser Island, Australia. Landcruiser 100Fraser Island, Australia. Landcruiser 4wdFraser Island, AustraliaFraser Island Maheno shipwreckFraser Island Maheno ship wreckFraser Island Maheno shipwreckThe Pinnacles, Fraser IslandLandcruiser tour, Fraser Island, AustraliaLandcruiser 79 series Fraser IslandFraser Island beachFraser Island Champaign pools lookout walk with kidChampaign pools, Fraser Island, Australia
A further 40 minutes up the beach we came to the famous Maheno shipwreck. A major landmark for Fraser Island, Maheno is a 1905 Scottish passenger ship that was wrecked in a cyclone in 1935. It’s not often you get to see a rusting old ship up close. Definitely one of the highlights of the trip. Especially as we were the only ones here! Next up was a short stop at the Pinnacles before heading off to the famous Champagne Pools. The Champagne pools were simply magnificent. Famous for their crystal clear waters and calm waves breaking through giving a never-ending appearing of a crisp glass of champagne. This was the only time we encountered loads of tourists! So we gave it a miss. The walk over was incredible with a perfect lookout for whale watching. This time of year over 35,000 whales migrate here for breeding. So all day long you can see whales breaching.
Fraser Island, Australia. Inland tracksOrchid Beach, Fraser IslandOrchid beach, Fraser Island, Australia. SurfingOrchid beach, Fraser Island, AustraliaFraser Island Orchid Beach Sand DunesOrchid Beach, Fraser Island sand dunesOrchid Beach, Fraser Island, AustraliaFraser Island, Orchid Beach, 4wd truck stuckFraser Island, Orchid beach 4x4 truck stuckOrchid beach, Fraser Island, Australia. Stand up paddle boardingFraser Island, Orchid Beach Pelican birdFraser Island, Orchid Beach Dingo Dog
We didn’t stay here long but rather headed to the next beach around Orchid Beach. Then up to the peninsula: Marloo bay. This is the place to be! An awesome camping spot just behind the trees with an epic swimming lagoon, sand dunes, 4wding, fishing and everything else you could want. As luck would have it, we scored once again with perfect waves hitting the peninsula. Surfing for 4 hours straight followed by some boarding behind the truck. Just behind the beach we spotted the huge sand dunes and decided to hit it up for some boarding. Some of the tourists got stuck running a little close to the lagoon. Luckily the tide was running out and recovery trucks were nearby. If you come to Fraser Island, we recommend camping here without a doubt.
4WDing Fraser IslandLake Boomanjin, Fraser Islandlake boomanjin, fraser islandlake boomanjin, fraser islandlake boomanjin, Fraser islandlake boomanjin, fraser islandlake boomanjin, fraser islandlake boomanjin, fraser islandlake boomanjin, fraser islandDay 4 of this trip was spent at Lake Boomanjin. Lake Boomanjin is the worlds largest perched lake. Known as the blood red lake for its honey-coloured waters. This rich ruby colour is given by the surrounding native trees leeching their healing properties into the fresh water. Looks like you are literally swimming through a huge cup of black tea.
Fraser Island big treewanggoolba creek, Fraser islandFraser island beach fishingFraser island sand up paddle boarding on long white beachFraser island beach yoga

Back on the bumpy sandy road passing more beautiful expansive crystal clear lakes, we found the famous creek nature walk.  Another day of hot crisp air but incredible clear blue sky with not a cloud to be seen. We spent the afternoon with a quick trip to wanggoolba creek then swimming, stand up paddleboarding and fishing. While paddleboarding we spotted huge whales in the distance putting on a show for us as they migrate to give birth up to the far top peninsula of the island.Fraser Island beach with Landcruiser 100Fraser Island Landrover DefenderFraser Island treeLake Allom walking track fraser islandLake Allom, fraser islandFraser Island goannaLake Allom, Fraser island, TurtleLake Allom, fraser islandLake Allom turtleFraser Island beach driveFraser Island landcruiser 76 and landcruiser 79Fraser Island Eli creek landcruisersEli Creek, fraser islandWabby lake, fraser islandWabby Creek, fraser island, australiaWabby lake, fraser island, australiaFraser Island east coast sunsetMudstuck truck at fraser island, australia The final day at Fraser Island we spent at Lake Allom and Eli Creek. Super close to each other. Lake Allom is famous for its turtles which will come up to the viewing platform for your entertainment. Very fun! Eli Creek is the largest creek on the island and is quite touristy but well worth a swim. Grab a floaty ring and cruise down having a lazy river ride with a drink in hand. Feels like you're on a tropical island.

The last adventure was the amazing oasis lake called Wabby Lake. A 50minute walk to a beautiful dune set with a warm lake. I recommend going here 2 hours before sunset to avoid the crowds and you will have it all to yourself.Fraser Island ferry crossing, australiaFraser Island ferry crossing, Australia Reluctant to end what had been an epic adventure, after 5 days we made our way to the ferry to cross back. Not quite ready to end the outdoor fun, two of us decided to stand up paddle-board back to the mainland. Following along behind us the length of the paddle was a group of playful dolphins. Highly recommend this paddle back if you have the boards and a driver. So hot and having had such a blast we all jumped into the water by the ferry one last time and reminisced over the highlights of our trip on this wild island. 

All over Fraser Island has neat facilities with the odd petrol station and snack shop. Even a few takeaway stores for your local fish and chips. It is an incredible 4WD only place to visit and well worth the trip and expense. Quite the mix of remote isolation but with the safety of help nearby. One of a kind and a trip of a lifetime! 

Go Anywhere - Sleep Anywhere - 4WD Everywhere

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