Fraser Island has always been a must visit for the both of us. We’d heard so much about it; the island, the indigenous history, and of course, the opportunity to explore the biggest sand island in the world while driving a 4×4. Booking a trip has never been easy for Jack and I – it takes us days or even weeks to actually decide on exactly what we’re doing, how to do it and what tour company to go with when it comes to booking a trip! In the end, we were swept in by a cool dude named Mike from Peter Pans in Byron Bay and ended up booking a two night, three day tag along tour with Dingo’s from Rainbow Beach.
What To Bring
We chose to depart from Rainbow Beach as it’s the closest place to Fraser Island (a 5-10 minute ferry trip) which also made it the cheapest place to depart from. The evening before our departure, we were all required to attend an hour long safety briefing at the Dingo’s Resort Hostel (we actually stayed at Rainbow Beach Holiday Park down the road). There, we were allocated to our groups as we watched an informative presentation on all things safety whilst having a beer. Now, as somebody with a very short attention span, I can assure you that this safety briefing is quick and pretty easy to follow; even with a beer or two. We were also given the opportunity to buy alcohol for the trip and gathered an understanding of what exactly to bring.
Jack and I were pretty prepared as we spoke with Peter Pans a week in advance, however many had no idea about what we could and couldn’t bring. I managed to take a cheeky snap of their ‘what to bring’ list:
- Some changes of clothes for daytime, long-sleeved shirt and pants to keep warm on cooler nights and/or to prevent mosquito bites at night
- Suncream, hat, sunglasses, swimwear, towel
- Insect repellent, deodorant, personal cleaning/hygiene products – $2 coins for hot shower
- Shoes or Flip-Flops
- Camera or phone (there’s no signal on the island), music and recharge cable (can recharge in vehicles), torch/flashlight – phone torches work perfectly fine.
- Rain coat for wet weather
- Bring a sleeping bag if you have one, otherwise you are able to hire one for $10 in the morning of your departure
- Drivers licence, money/card for souvenirs, treats or extra activities
- Refillable water bottle, plate, bowl, and cup you received at check in
- Any playing cards, balls or games you would like to bring
- Try to fit all luggage in a small bag
- You are able to leave the belongings you are not taking in a locked safety closest at the hostel!
Although the food was basic i.e cereal and fruit for breakfast, wraps for lunch, stir fry for dinner one night, steak and salad the next – you’re on a sand island, we did stop for places where you could buy lunch on two different occasions, as well as ice-cream, snacks, coffee, and souvenirs. Vegetables and salad were provided, too, as well as potatoes. We ate an awful lot better than I expected – we were also very lucky we had two decent ‘cooks’ in our group. Each group cooks between themselves, if you didn’t cook, you wash up. Simple!
Facilities and Accommodation
For every two people, there’s a two man tent. Our tour wasn’t fully booked up so some were lucky enough to have a tent to themselves. The tents are under shelter, with a fairly comfortable mat underneath. Although sleeping bags are available to hire or you can bring your own, you are not provided with pillows (however, people did bring blow up ones). Jack and I used our hoodies and towels as pillows, which worked quite well. Bear in mind you’re up early, exploring all day and most likely drinking in the evening – you will probably sleep reasonably well.
All cooking equipment, plates, bowels, cups and cutlery are all provided (does include a $10 deposit per person – basically look after them, clean them and keep them with your order to get this back and to prevent other people from taking your things). The toilets and showers are cleaned daily, and are flushable too. The showers require $2 for 5 minutes which is very well worth it after sweating your arse off all day!
What We Did | Day 1
After another morning brief at Dingos Resort, we packed our allocated cars, checked the equipment, and departed Fraser Island around 9:30am. The drive to the ferry is around a 10 minute drive, and a 10 minute crossing over to Fraser Island. There are 8 people to one car, 4 cars in one group and anyone over 21 with a manual licence gets the opportunity to drive the cars. I actually chose not to drive. I found that cars on sand can be VERY unpredictable and some of the roads are a little bit too much for my liking! If you’re not so confident with driving, I suggest you sit back and relax! I had sooo much more fun doing it that way! After arriving on the island, we then drove for around an hour to a cafe for lunch. We then made our way to our first stop, a tea-tree lake and well worth a swim! We spent around an hour or so swimming and chilling before making our way to the campsite for the evening, enjoyed an early dinner and played a cheeky drinking game or two with our new pals!
What We Did | Day 2
We arose in the morning (around 7ish) for a shower and a quick bight to eat before we began our jam-packed day on the island. Our first stop was the champagne pools, known for its pools of bubbling water. Sadly, the weather was a little bit too cold and grey for my liking so I chose not to swim; which I’m kinda glad of considering how busy the location actually was. Shortly after we travelled up to Indian Head, Fraser Island’s highest point. The views were breathtakingly beautiful and we were lucky enough to spot many mantarays and incredibly cute turtles in the crystal clear waters!
After heading back to camp for a spot of lunch, our next stop was at Maheno shipwreck for a chance for some photos and a short history lesson about the wreck! It was then time for our last stop at Eli Creek… a cool spot with it’s very own fresh water lazy river. Each group were provided with their own rubber ring to share to go down the river in! It was then time to make our way back to camp for the night. After a few drinks we decided to walk down to the beach to look at the stars… something I really do recommend!
What We Did | Day 3
This was our last day and also our earliest day. We set off at around 7:30am and took our last adventure to Lake McKenzie… a place considered to be Fraser Island’s most popular spot! The rain water lake was absolutely ~delightful~, crystal clear and just all in all, beautiful. Like the whole island, the lake itself boasts a lot of history with the indigenous people choosing not to swim in the lake. Our guide, Geoff, provided us with all of the facts lakeside and is well worth a listen! We spent just over an hour relaxing and swimming until it was time for a quick lunch and a drive back to the ferry!
Fraser Island is a spectacular place which boasts so much more than an 75 mile beach. Not only does it have cute little stop offs, lakes and a different type of experience to what anyone is used to, it also has an unbelievable amount of indigenous history which I’m keen to learn more on, so it was sad to see a large amount of litter all along the beach. In all honesty, the amount of litter on the beach was the first thing I even noticed about the island and probably the thing that has stuck with me the most. Lastly, before visiting Fraser Island you must be aware of the abnormal driving conditions! Even if you think you are on tarmac… this is a different thing altogether!
Dingo’s on Fraser were fabulous and I would highly recommend!