Can You Go To Fraser Island For The Day?


Fraser Island is one of the most iconic islands in the world. It is the world’s largest sand island that has an ancient rainforest growing out of it. These towering trees are only a small fraction of what makes Fraser Island so remarkable.

Because of its overall natural beauty, the island is known as a world heritage site.

This recognition comes with great pride! The island is an impressive 123km long and 15km wide making it incredibly large. Additionally, there are over 180,000 hectares spanning across the island with various trees and flora.

With such a massive amount of land coverage, visiting the island is recommended for people who have at least a few days to spare. This is to ensure that every important part of the island is able to be seen.

There are many points of interest on the island like perched lakes, historical sites, and of course the forest. However, not everyone can take multiple days off to see the beauty of Fraser Island. So is it possible to visit for just a day trip?

If a trip is planned accordingly, it is possible to visit Fraser Island for the day. Heading to the island as early as possible is the key to getting a head start on seeing most of what the island has to offer. Ferries depart to the island daily from Hervey Bay and the Inskip/Rainbow Beach area.

These two areas on the mainland provide ferry services to the island and are the only ways to actually get to the island. Departure times do vary and each location provides guests with slightly different entry points.

If someone is planning a day trip to the island, it is best to purchase a return ticket prior to boarding any of the ferry services to the island. This is generally the cheapest route to get to the island for day trip individuals.

Additionally, before boarding any ferry services, it is important to determine if the day trip will be self-guided by a 4×4 vehicle or if someone will be joining a tour group.

Those wishing to go on a day trip to Fraser Island should decide this to make the best out of their trip.

During a day trip to Fraser Island, it is important for visitors to plan exactly what they want to see. While overplanning a trip can take the fun out of it, it is necessary for a trip to Fraser Island.

This ensures that someone knows exactly what they want to see and plans to make every effort to do so. Once again, considering the overall size of the island, it can be impossible to see everything if a proper plan isn’t put in place!

Boardwalk to Champagne Pools

Fraser Island Day Trip: Self-Drive

Ideally, taking a paid bus tour of the island is the perfect way to explore all the key points of interest. However, for those feeling a bit more adventurous, it is possible to self-drive about the island with a proper 4×4 vehicle.

This is a great choice for those who set a plan of what specific things they want to see but still want the freedom of exploring without a specific tour guide. For some, feeling restricted to a tour guide can suck the fun right out of the experience!

Self-Drive 4×4 tours of the island are still operated by tour companies, but allow guests to drive themselves around the island via a 4×4 vehicle. It is best to rent the vehicle from a proper rental company.

It is also important to ensure that the proper permit is purchased to drive on the island, prior to going to the island. For a single day’s access, this cost is around $20 ($13 if purchased online).

Driving on Fraser Island can only be done via 4×4 due to the sand. The sand provides quite a challenge for regular vehicles and 4×4’s must be used. Most 4×4 rental companies will offer a 2 or 3-day package for self-drives on Fraser Island.

Fauna on Fraser Island

However, for those looking to drive around for the day, it is important to purchase a single day access permit for the 4×4 and have a little bit of plan.

The best way to enjoy Fraser Island on a day trip doing a self-drive is to head to 75 Mile Beach which is a stretch of beach where 4×4’s can drive along the coastline for quite an amazing view of landscape and ocean on either side.

Starting here is the best way to start out a trip to the island. 75 Mile Beach offers 4×4 drivers a few stops of sights to see while heading north along its eastern coast.

The first stop is the Maheno Shipwreck which is a historical ship that landed on the island back in 1935. From there, guests can continue north to the Pinnacles which are 72-coloured sand mounds beautifully collected.

Still heading north from the sand mounds, guests can proceed to Indian Head, a well-known headland that has access to the top for a remarkable view of the ocean. Additionally, this area has some great rock fishing as well.

This is a popular route to start within the early hours of the day if someone has accessed the island from Inskip point. Going there as early as possible gives guests ample time to explore the key points of interest.

Travelling from Indian to the notorious Lake McKenzie, one of the purest perched lakes in the world, would take about 3 hours and be about a distance of 92km in distance.

Going from Indian Head to Lake McKenzie gives 4×4 drivers an opportunity to see some of the rainforest growing out of the sand before reaching the lake itself.

Considering that the barges and ferries that depart back to the mainland are typically around between 4:30 and 5 p.m., it is important to be heading in the direction of the departure zones with plenty of time to spare.

This should be kept in mind from the beginning of the journey. Perhaps the best way to approach travelling about the island for a day is to either travel to the perches lakes and forest areas and then back to 75 Mile Beach in the early afternoon to give plenty of time.

Alternatively, it could be beneficial to just explore the stretch of beach highway and not to venture too far inland from the shoreline. Either way, it is possible to see the beach highway and the lakes but it could be pressing on the time frame to return back to the mainland.

This is why planning is necessary and this type of planning really won’t inhibit the overall adventure.

Fraser Island In One Day

Even though there is a lot to see on Fraser Island, it is possible to see all of the major points of interest on the island in one day. Specifically, there are tour groups that offer 1-day trips for guests via a tour bus that is designed to drive on the sands of the island.

Generally, these tours will include a small lunch and cart people around to see all the beautiful areas of Fraser Island. So what are some of the best things to see on Fraser Island during a day trip?

Below are the most notorious spots on the Island that can be seen on a day tour through a touring group!

Touring Group At Maheno Shipwreck

Best Sights To See On Fraser Island

Lake McKenzie – This lake is one of the purest perched lakes in the world with stunningly clear waters and soft surrounding sand. It is perfect for swimming! It has refreshing water and gorgeous surroundings like the forest and various other flora.

Central Station – This is a popular camping spot that is nestled right in the thick of the ancient rainforest. For day-trippers to the island, it is the perfect spot to soak in all of the natural beauty of the island, especially the rainforest trees!

75 Mile Beach – The 75 Mile Beach is a large stretch of beach that extends from the southeastern coastline of the island and extends north along the eastern coast. It is the ideal spot to experience a drive along the shoreline and be flanked by the inland landscape and ocean views.

The Pinnacles – Right near 75 Mile Beach, the Pinnacle sand dunes are an incredible set of coloured sands. With over 70 different colours, they are a huge attraction for visitors.

Maheno Shipwreck – The rusted skeletal remains of the S.S. Maheno lies on the shoreline of Fraser Island’s 75 Mile Beach. In the mid-1930s, a cyclone washed the ship on the shore and ever since it has stayed as a part of the island’s coastline.

Eli Creek – Eli Creek flows right out to sea but it is crystal clear and perfect for fishing and swimming. Additionally, the creek is known for having frogs, eels and a variety of other wildlife.

These are the major points of interest that most day tours will take visitors to while on the island. Even though there is a lot to see, these particular spots really showcase what makes Fraser Island so fascinating.

As expressed before, day trips via a 4×4 vehicle can also see these spotlights of the island as well!

The tour groups that go to the island depart in the early mornings and return in the evening, as per the departure times. They generally cost about $240 per person (for adults) with discounted prices for children.

Either way, it is a decent price for lunch and access to all that makes Fraser Island so wonderful!

Champagne Pools

Day Trips To Fraser Island From Hervey Bay

Hervey Bay is directly across from the western side of Fraser Island on the mainland of Australia. Because of this, Hervey Bay is known as being a focal point for guests wanting to visit the island.

Departures to the island are either from River Heads, just south of Hervey Bay or Inskip Point near Rainbow Beach which is just south of the island’s southern tip.

If someone is coming from Hervey Bay, chances are they will depart from River Heads.

Day trips to the island from Hervey Bay are totally possible! The most popular choice for day tours to Fraser Island from Hervey Bay is through Fraser Explorer Tours.

This company offers two packages, one starting at $239 per person and one starting at $299 per person. The $239 tour includes stops at all the key spots as well as a buffet lunch at Eurong Resort. Additionally, the price covers barge transfers too!

The $299 premium tour from Hervey Bay is ideal for couples or small groups wishing to have a private guided tour of the island. The tour makes all the same stops but includes complimentary beer, wine, or soft drinks.

This would be perfect for a wedding shower or other small group event. Both tours take place an on air-conditioned 4WD bus that guides guests to all the beautiful spots on the island to experience!

Fraser Island is a diverse natural sand island that really showcases the beauty that nature can have. While it is best seen throughout the course of a few days, day trips to the island are possible.

These days give guests with limited time the prime opportunity to see some of the most iconic spots on the island!

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The website is run by myself Daniel Clarke, I’m lucky enough to have been living in Hervey Bay, for 29 years so I’m classed as a local I have seen many changes over this time. I have been running websites since early 2000 and also have a tech business in Hervey Bay.

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