Ultimate guide to things to do in Fraser Island with kids
Fraser Island, also known by its Aboriginal name of K’gari, is located 250-kilometres north of Brisbane just south of the Great Barrier Reef’s coral cays. Stretching for 123 kilometres, it is the world’s largest sand island and one of five UNESCO World Heritage-listed sites in Queensland. Kids will never tire of exploring the diverse and naturally beautiful island, blessed as it is with unique wildlife, stunning ocean beaches, 100 dazzling freshwater lakes, and towering rainforests born from the bone white sand.
A destination for families who like the great outdoors,it is one of the east coast’s best spots for whale and dolphin spotting. Fraser Island’s other natural attractions include the stunning Rainbow Gorge and the otherworldly landscape of Kirra Sandblow, the startlingly beautiful freshwater Lake McKenzie and the Champagne Rock Pools, the only place on Fraser where saltwater swimming is allowed. Visiting families can take a 4×4 along sandy 75 Mile Beach highway, tube down freshwater Eli Creek, spot wild dingos and other native wildlife, and visit the rusting wreck of the Maheno.
No matter your accommodation needs, Fraser Island has the answer. Pack your camping gear and stay in one of the 45 designated camping areas on Fraser Island. The best for families are Central Station, Dundubara, Lake Boomanjin and Waddy Point which have dingo deterrent fences. Lovers of creature comforts will also find excellent resorts offering everything you could need for a comfortable stay, including full-service restaurants, swimming pools, guided tours and fun island activities for the kids.
Top things to do in Fraser Island
Fraser Island is all about nature with beautiful lakes, glorious beaches, fabulous fishing and brilliant wildlife. Here are ten must see sights.
- Take a dip in pretty Lake McKenzie
- Drive along 75 Mile Beach by 4WD
- Explore the Maheno Ship Wreck
- Float down Eli Creek
- Take a dip in the pretty Champagne Rock Pools
- Take the trek to Indian Head, the most easterly point on the island
- Spot one of the island’s native dingos
- Enjoy a spectacular sunset at Kingfisher Bay Resort Jetty or Old McKenzies Jetty
- Take a scenic drive to explore scenic lakes and sand blows
- Visit Wanggoolba Creek and Pile Valley
Things to do in Fraser Island with…
Pack the bucket and spade because Fraser Island is the biggest sandpit your sandcastle building kids are ever likely to encounter. When they’re not busy constructing sandy castles, take your tots for a dip in Lake Mackenzie or Lake Birrabeen, two calm, crystal clear lakes surrounded by soft, bone white sand. Both are startlingly beautiful but Lake Birrabeen is far less crowded than the more famous Lake Mackenzie, which makes it a lovely quiet spot for a paddle with the kids.
When travelling on Fraser with younger kids, we’d advise staying in a hotel, cabins, or holiday rental rather than camping, as there will be more for them to do and they’ll sleep more safely at night. Parents should be especially vigilant around
Fraser Island’s dingoes with younger children, because, as cute and appealing as the “doggies” are to youngsters, they’re wild animals.
At Kingfisher Bay Resort join the awesome Junior Eco Rangers programme (for kids aged from five to 14) during the school holidays, which is run in addition to the resort’s regular weekly activities. Kids of all ages will love the interactive and engaging nature-oriented activities, including stargazing, that help create a greater connection to the natural environment of the island.
There are plenty of places on Fraser to use their newfound natural skills. Central Station on Wanggoolba Creek is the historic heart of Fraser Island. Once the woman’s only area of the Butchulla people, the area has also been used as the headquarters of Fraser Island’s logging until the 1950s. Kids will enjoy exploring the botanical gardens, which are filled with towering Kauri Pines, Bunya Pines, Satinays and Flooded Gums. And be sure to stop to spot the fish, turtles and eels in crystal-clear Wanggoolba Creek.
Fraser Island is one of the best spots on the East Coast to watch the migrating whales who stop to rest, play and nurture their calves from late July to November.
Explore some of the incredible natural attractions on the World Heritage-listed sand island including Rainbow Gorge, the Champagne Rock Pools, Lake McKenzie and the wreck of the Maheno. Leap into Eli Creek, for a picnic and a paddle or float along the creek from the bridge with the help of a flowing current that pours up to four million litres of fresh, clear water into the ocean every hour.
Families staying at Kingfisher Bay Resort can also enjoy Segway adventures and a variety of water sports. The resort also offers guided bush tucker tours, which will teach you how to forage for food in the bush as well as respect for nature’s abundant offerings.
Driving a high clearance 4WD on the sandy 75 Mile Beach ‘highway’ provides an exciting ride, packed with bumps, drops and some wild corners. Stop to fish the island swells at Indian Head, Sandy Cape and Waddy Point, where you might be lucky enough to bag enough fish to feed the family.
Keen divers can explore the wrecks and artificial reefs with abundant sea life including turtles, sharks and rays.
Surf the Fraser Island sand dunes, you don’t even need special equipment, your boogie board will do the trick. Those who don’t like to rough it can stay in a resort, or there are plenty of formal campgrounds as well as informal beach camping behind the dunes within marked areas on the eastern beach.
For the ultimate thrill, take to the sky in a GA8 Air Van from the beach to get a birds-eye view of the island most spectacular sights.
Best time to visit Fraser Island as a family
Fraser Island boasts the kind of warm weather and fabulous sunshine that makes it an ideal all year-round destination. Summer, from December to February, sees temperatures rise to 30 degrees plus so remember to slip, slop, slap and have plenty of water to keep you all well hydrated. Winter, from June to August, offers milder weather and is also popular with families. In Autumn, from March to April, Fraser is especially beautiful as wildflowers are in bloom and spring is peak whale watching season, as humpback whales come close to shore to rest on their way back to Antarctica with their calves.
During Australian school holidays resorts and camp sites fill up fast, so pre-booking well ahead is a must. Prices increase during these times too, so if you’re on a budget it is worth considering travelling outside of these times.
Family-friendly places to eat in Fraser Island
Fraser Island is a remote location but the island’s resorts provide excellent meals and snacks. Supplies from the mainland supplement the island’s abundance of seafood along with produce from its natural and cultivated gardens to provide a variety of excellent cuisine. You can’t go past the burgers at Happy Valley, the awesome ice-cream at Eurong or the pizzas from Kingfisher Bay Resorts Sand Bar. And should you choose to stay at Kingfisher Bay Resort, kids play and eat free.
If you are staying in a resort, meals will be sorted for you, but if you are camping, you’ll need to self-cater. Make sure you are prepared and pack enough provisions to cover your stay. Should you run out there are places to top up supplies in Eurong, Happy Valley and Kingfisher Bay. Just remember though that anything taken on to the island needs to be taken out as the island is a designated national park.
Things to do for free in Fraser Island
- On Fraser Island, there are so many attractions for the family to do for free we couldn’t possibly list them all here. Some of our favourites include exploring 75 Mile Beach and Eli Creek, which is a perfect picnic stop where you can walk upstream and then float back down to the sea.
- A little further north, pay a visit to the rusting hull of the Maheno shipwreck. And the stunning coloured sands and champagne rock pools. Be sure to take the short walk to Indian Head to soak up the magnificent views out to sea, you might even spot dolphins and turtles along the long sandy coastline of the island.
- Inland, Lake Mckenzie, with its white sandy beach and crystal-clear water, intriguing scribbly gum forest and sand blows, is a must visit. At Central Station, once a thriving logging community, there is a walk along Wanggoolba Creek. Shrouded by Angiopteris ferns, the largest fern in the world, the creek walk leads to Pile Valley and a rainforest filled with giant trees.
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Ultimate guide to things to do in Fraser Island with kids Fraser Island, also known by its Aboriginal name of K’gari, is located 250-kilometres north of Brisbane just south of the Great Barrier Reef’s coral cays. Stretching for 123 kilometres, it is the world’s largest sand island and one of five UNESCO World Heritage-listed sites …
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Janeece Keller is the founder and editor of Family Travel. She mostly travels with her husband and two young kids. She has a large blended family that lives in Australia and Europe. She has visited 52 countries and lived on 3 continents. From camping to luxury resorts Janeece tries to make sure her family has diverse holiday experiences each year. She is an avid hiker and ocean swimmer who loves good food, margaritas and heading off the beaten path.