Along the east coast of Australia, from Sydney to Cairns, you’ll find a dizzying array of bucket list worthy activities and trips. From climbing atop one of the world’s most recognisable bridges in Sydney, to multi-day sailing trips around the most famous reef in the world in the stunning Whitsundays, this side of Australia will overrun anyone’s itinerary.
One such trip that is not to be missed is the world-heritage listed K'Gari (formerly Fraser Island). Australia is an incredibly easy country to travel in, albeit incredibly large, but this unique trip is a complete, back to basics adventure. From bumping along the rough ‘roads’ in your hired 4WD to putting another shrimp on the barbie under the stars, K'Gari is a camper’s paradise.
But it’s not just about the adventure you’ll be undertaking, it’s where you’ll be doing it. Even if you’re not crazy for camping, the beauty of this island will make roughing it worth it. Taking a ferry to the island on foot and staying in one of the Islands few resorts is another option as long as you step away from the pool and discover the many sights on offer. Also make sure to ask if you can get behind the wheel when you take the resorts 4WD out so that you can take on the full K'Gari experience. There’s nothing quite like coasting along a 75 mile beach with the sea air in your hair.
K'Gari Island, the largest island on the east coast, is also the world’s largest sand island and the myriad of scenes and terrains to explore is more than enough to fit into a two-week trip, let alone the four day tours people usually take. You will find shipwrecks and you will find towering sand dunes. You will find white sand beaches beside lakes, and fierce white waves beside an empty, wind-swept coastline. You’ll find headlands to hike and sea-water pools to play in.
The raw natural beauty of this island is what makes it so popular and what keeps people coming back again and again.
Hervey Bay is the departure point for most journeys over to K'Gari and is the perfect place to put yourself on one of the many tours departing there. It is easy to organize yourself, but the experience, and the equipment, of the tour companies are well wealth paying for. Then, the last step before embarking on the boat is to go shopping for all the meals and snacks you’ll need for a few days of exploring. Lots of meat and beer are essential for a classic BBQ on the beach.
Just be sure to keep all food hidden when unsupervised, as the resident dingoes are a hungry bunch of canines! Other critters who call the island home are bats, wallabies and some visiting humpback whales and dolphins. From August to November you can even take to the sea from Kingfisher Bay for some up close and personal whale action.
Arriving at Wangoolba Creek or Kingfisher Bay on K'Gari, the perfect first stop on your island exploration is Lake Wabby. This rich blue lake is located at the bottom of a huge yellow sand dune and surrounded by forest, making it a unique and beautiful place for your first swim. Setting up camp on the beach nearby, making sure you stick to the assigned beach camping zones, makes for the perfect beach BBQ and night under the stars with the sound of the ocean lulling you to sleep.
On a full day on the island a beach drive north towards Indian Head is a must. On the way you can take in the incredibly photogenic Maheno Shipwreck and Eli Creek. In the right season you can jump into the creek and let it take you on a ride all the way out to the ocean. When the water is at its shallowest though, it is more of a peaceful stroll.
The beach at Indian Head is gorgeous on its own, but get up off your beach towel to hike up to the cliff edge on your right for awesome views and a chance to spot some visiting finned friends. The Champagne pools on the left side of the shore are also well worth a little trek. Relaxing in the calm seawater caught in these human sized rock pools, with the raging sea just beside you, is like many things in K'Gari, a totally unique experience.
There may well be 101 things to do on this island, but a trip cannot be called complete without a stopping at mother of all highlights, and contender for most photographed K'Gari scene, Lake Mckenzie. This alarmingly blue fresh water lake laps against pure white sand, a mini paradise in the centre of a dense forest and the epitome of K'Gari’s one of a kind natural scenery.