Lake Bowarrady (Fraser Island)

bowarrady lake

Fraser Island is one of Queensland, Australia’s treasured spots to visit. This massive sand island is the largest in the world.

The island is home to lavish rainforest trees that grow out of the sand, historical sites, wildlife, camping spots, and various perched lakes.

While there is plenty on the island to see and do, the perched lakes are among the most interesting for guests. Perched lakes are formed when sand and organic matter fuse together to rise above sea level.

This process generally takes many years, which is why the perched lakes on Fraser Island are so fascinating.

Fraser Island Lakes

Perched lakes are so interesting because of how they are formed. There are a few of these scattered about Fraser Island (one of the more popular ones being Lake McKenzie where the water is crystal blue) but one of the more known of them is Lake Bowarrady.

This perched lake sits at an impressive 120 metres above sea level. This is one of the highest altitude lakes known in the world.

While its altitude is one of its biggest features, the lake itself is absolutely stunning. A lot of Fraser Island is considered to be preserved due to the exotic flora, rainforests, etc that sit upon it.

Moreover, the island is a world heritage site area meaning that the overall naturalistic features and beauty of the island are highly regarded. This lake is one of the many reasons the island has this important title!

Bowarrady is surrounded by rainforest, including eucalyptus trees as well as wallum banksia heathlands. Because of its surroundings, the lake has tannin-coloured water.

This brown-yellow tea coloured tint is derived from plant matter that is around the lake. The colour of the lake certainly makes it truly unique! The colour is one reason the lake is unique but so is the structure of the lake as well.

Swimming here is prohibited because of the fragile shoreline that is easily damaged. While guests can’t swim here, they can soak up all the natural beauty that is around where the lake is nestled at!

Keith Sinclair, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Lake Bowarrady Walk

Throughout Fraser Island, there are various walking areas that have been dedicated for visitors to explore. These walking areas provide scenic views around key points of interest on the island.

Moreover, it makes navigating these key points of interest such an adventure for guests! The island is full of sand, which means that regular vehicles can’t travel on it. 4WD vehicles are required.

However, for those just looking to venture on foot around certain places on the island, the dedicated walking areas are ideal. Bowarrady is one of the places that has a walk for people to explore!

Bowarrady’s walking areaOpens in a new tab. is a 22.4km return path that takes about 8 hours to complete. The walk is considered to be a Grade 4 in terms of difficulty, so it is advised that people of moderate fitness partake in the walk.

The grade is a little higher than other walking areas on the island because of the lake’s elevation above sea level as well as the shifting landscapes around the lake.

The walk starts at the Dundubara camping areaOpens in a new tab. and splits to the right and left. The right track split leads to a circuit said to take a half-day and walkers are rewarded with seeing the Wun’gul Sand blow.

This sand blow is a stunning way to see over the sandy areas of the island and provides amazing views of wide, open spaces of blown sand. The sand blow is simply a great way to experience the natural beauty of Fraser Island.

The left track split leads guests through the woodland area right before the actual lake itself. Throughout the woodlands, guests will truly feel emerged into the rainforest that surrounds the lake.

This is a great opportunity to snap a few photos to capture the sheer beauty of the clusters of trees. Between the rainforest and the lake itself visiting here is such an experience!

As expressed, the lake is accessible from the Dundubara camping area. It is important to note that the camping area leading to the walk area is best accessed via 4WD vehicle.

Visitors are more than welcome to bring 4WD vehicles over from the mainland provided that they have the proper permits to do so.

All permits are processed on the mainland, so planning ahead is essential. For those who don’t want to bring a 4WD vehicle, there are touring companies from the mainland that provide tours of the island via their 4WD vehicles.

Regardless of how the walk or lake is accessed, Bowarrady proves to be quite a stunning place to visit.

Lake Bowarrady Things To Do

Swimming is something that everyone thinks of when visiting a lake, however, as expressed, swimming is not permitted here. This stipulation ensures that the lake stays preserved and protected.

Even still, there is plenty to do around the lake that makes any visit there quite enjoyable! Below are some other things to do around the lake!

Things To Do Around The Lake

Photograph The Lakes On Fraser Island

Photographs are a timeless way to capture important moments or events in our lives.

Considering that swimming isn’t allowed in the lake, photographs a great way to enjoy the lake and its surroundings.

From the plant life to the lake and its unique colour, there is plenty to snap a photo of!

Go Camping At Lake Bowarrady

The Dundubara camping siteOpens in a new tab. is a wonderful tent site. This camping site is located near the beach, so fishing is possible as well.

Campfires are allowed (with restrictions) watch your fires at all times, bushfires can happen quickly! this year in 2020 parts of Fraser Island burnt for over 2 monthsOpens in a new tab..

There is a payphone, flush toilets, paid hot shower sites ($2.00 Coin), picnic tables, and a waste transfer station.

It is certainly one of the more popular camping areas on the island. The campsite itself is sheltered and slightly inland from the coastline, so guests can enjoy access to the woodland areas and the beach at the same time!

There is also a dingo deterrent fence, which is important since Fraser Island is known for having dingoes.

The campsite has 42 groups of tent camping sites and 5 camper trailer sites. Camper trailers are only permitted if they are off-road certified and only one camper is permitted per site where they are allowed.

Either way, there is plenty of space for guests to set a tent up or bring the camper trailer! With plenty of common amenities and access to nature, there is a lot to be said for this camping area!

Visit Bowarrady Creek Camping Area

The Bowarrady Creek creek-side campingOpens in a new tab. area is only a 30-minute drive from the lake area. This secondary camping area is great for guests looking to explore Bowarrady Creek and is a great fishing spot as well.

This camping area is also tucked close to a shoreline, so there is a beach area to explore as well. The creek area also allows anchoring and boating! There is even some generator use allowed at the camping site as well.

For those who have a 4WD-vehicle, visiting this camping area is a real treat. Like Dundabara, it has tent camping and limited camper trailer sites.

This lake and its surroundings are truly one of the best ways to experience the naturalistic offerings of Fraser Island.

The scenery alone is worth the visit but camping in the area is a pleasure as well. No matter what, guests to Lake Bowarrady will find the lake amazing as well as the areas around it!

Daniel Clarke

The website is run by myself Daniel Clarke, I’m lucky enough to have been living in Hervey Bay, for 31 years so I’m classed as a local I have seen many changes over this time. Read more about us here

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