MEG LAW and her family explore the beautiful beaches, 4WD tracks and freshwater lakes on Fraser Island (K’gari) in Queensland.
As our 4WD drove off the ferry and along the wooden jetty to Kingfisher Bay on K’gari (Fraser Island), we felt our family holiday adventure had begun. The air had changed, and the mood had shifted. The kids were already eagerly searching for dingoes in the back seat, and the ‘island life’ vibes were high, with bright warm sunshine filtering through the window and the distinctive smell of fresh sea air mixed with sunscreen.
We were about to explore one of Queensland’s most iconic eco-tourism destinations, a haven packed with jaw-dropping scenery, colour, adventure, and beauty. Nervous anticipation quickly followed as we knew we had to navigate some gnarly 4WD tracks and do a few nights of bush camping whilst keeping the kids safe from dingoes.
Kingfisher Bay Resort
Next, we were greeted with lush green rainforest and a stunning collection of timber and glass villas blending seamlessly amongst the tree-covered dunes. This was our home for the next few days: Kingfisher Bay Resort, the UNESCO World Heritage-listed island’s premier eco-accommodation.
The morning was spent exploring, returning mid-afternoon to lay by the pool, order a cocktail at the Sunset Bar, go on a nature stroll, enjoy fresh seafood and our favourite pastime… watching the dingoes gather along the far end of the beach at sunset.
Best day drives around Fraser Island
Each day was a mesmerising blur of white sand, untouched wilderness, blue sky, spectacular sunsets… and pure bliss. We spent our days flying along sandy 4WD tracks, floating down creeks in rubber tyres, hiking, exploring, and swimming in aqua blue lakes, rockpools and lagoons. It was tough.
Every morning the kids would eagerly clamber into the ole khaki 2012 Land Rover Defender, and we would make our way along the 4WD tracks to find new places. Every bump, pothole, lost mudflap, and the challenging tidal conditions brought a new sense of freedom. Using our recovery tracks and winch a few times to rescue other cars stuck in the sand, there was a strong sense of camaraderie and Aussie spirit; everyone had each other’s back.
Days rolled into each other with our heads bobbing up and down from the car vibrations, loud shrieks of laughter from the kids in the back, flying over the sand bumps holding the dashboard for dear life. The routine was simple. Find a patch of white sand beside a lagoon, pull out the awning, grab the togs and towels, sunscreen on, beach chairs out and straight in the water!
A trip to Fraser Island isn’t complete without a visit to the famous Lake McKenzie. It does not disappoint. A short walk through the bush and you arrive at an Insta-worthy paradise of bright aqua blue tones and pristine white sand — it’s as though someone has put a high contrast filter over your eyes.
The lake sits well above the water level, which means it only holds rainwater and does not flow to the ocean. Its base is made entirely of white silica sand, making it powdery soft underfoot. Other must-dos include Lake Wabby, Wanggoolba Creek, Eli Creek and a refreshing cheeky ale at Orchid Beach Trading Post and Driftwood Bar.
Exploring Fraser Island
A trip to K’gari feels like a Robinson Crusoe adventure. Our trip was packed to the brim with reef hopping, exploring the iconic S.S. Maheno shipwreck, making sandcastles and 4WD’ing along the sandy tracks that criss-cross the island. The large island is dotted with natural wonders, including giant sand formations, crystalline lakes, 75 Mile Beach and champagne pools you can swim in, which literally feels like swimming in fresh frothy bubbles.
At the end of each day, we were rewarded with, hands down, some of the best sunsets we have witnessed across Australia as the pastel blues slowly turned to orange, pink and red hues and the dark silhouettes of dingoes gathered on the beach.
Is it the white sandy beaches of the Great Sandy Strait, the rare wildlife, or the fact that this is the world’s largest sand island that make this place unique? Or is it something to do with the fact that you can’t access the island unless you sail or fly, making it even more remote and enchanting? Is it because it is the only place in the world where rainforest grows on sand? Or perhaps it is this lethal combination of awe-inspiring wonder that makes it one of the top tourist destinations in Australia.
As published in Out & About with Kids, May 2022