Camping Fraser Island, Australia
2 Nights, 3 Days Fraser Island Camping Trip. Sand Only. No Paved Roads!!!
Fraser Island is the largest sand only Island in the world, hasn’t been inhabited by humans for over 5000 years and is the only rainforest that grows on sand. I stayed at Dingo’s Resort on Rainbow Beach who I also booked the Fraser Island camping trip through. I traveled solo but met a few different groups and we decided to come together to book the van. The tour company organized all the gear and food, we just had to supply our own booze.
When you look at my photos that much booze was for 10 people for two nights. Hot weather causes thirst, which requires alcohol to replenish! We had a quick orientation the night before where they discussed all the do’s and don’ts of driving and camping on a sand only island. There were 8 groups leaving the next day which made for a busy and fun 10.00 am start.
I thought it would be interesting to provide excerpts from my diary, rather than write a more traditional post. I have not edited the content, so the wording will be generic, but authentic. I hope my experience can help you determine if this trip is for you.
Day 1: Fraser Island
Woke up to have the 7 am pancake breakfast. I had four instead of the allowed two – I was starving. We packed our vans and headed off at 10 am and took the 10-minute ferry ride to Fraser Island. Then the adventure began. Driving along the sandy beach is very liberating. A nice change from street driving. We made the 2-hour journey inland to Lake Mckenzie. Bumpity bump – but nowhere as bad as the road from Bangkok to Siem Reap. It’s a weird feeling driving through the sand ’cause with the top-heavy van sometimes it felt like we were going to topple over. The beach was happening. It was a crazy blue colored lake. Did a bit of wading in the water. Had a picnic lunch.
We drove for a while so we could find the shipwreck to sleep near. We set up our tents then it was dinner time. I decided to be the cook ’cause it seemed like it would take years to make if the others were in charge. Awful, I know, but I like my food! On the menu were steaks, salad, and potato salad. It wasn’t too bad – hard to make it in the dark. We had some Goon (boxed wine) and chilled on the sand. I was tired and went to bed.
Day 2: Fraser Island
We got woken up at 6 am to a Park Ranger giving us 3 x $45 fines because we were not camping in a designated spot. A bit annoying since Dingos told us we could. We headed about 10 minutes down the beach to Eri Creek. We played some water baseball. The guys were not doing so well with the bat (piece of stick) and ball coordination. My first time up I hit it right out of the creek and got a home run. I showed the boys!
That afternoon we drove about 1 hour up the island to a place called Indian Head. A police car and ambulance passed us on the way. When we arrived, there was a van accident. They decided to drive the van on the soft, sandy ledge, then drove off of it. Well, of course, the car toppled over. Luckily, no one was injured. We hiked up the rock face. We saw Manta Rays. If you stay for a long time sometimes you will see sharks and turtles. We were hungry so we ate roast beef sandwiches under the rock face, outta the sunlight.
The recommended campsite was about an hour drive away. We ended up spending hours contemplating where to stay ’cause the boys wanted to have lots of vans so we could party. We decided to camp at an open spot and have the party find us. Four vans ended up with us that night. Dinner was rice and chicken stir-fry. The water would not boil so I had everyone huddled around the stove. We decided to play the drinking game, Roxanne. You divide the group in half and one side drinks every time they hear ‘Roxanne’ and the other drinks to ‘red light.” It gets brutal about 3/4 of the way through. But, by the end of the song the water had boiled. We all ate on a massive tarp. Janna and I had an early night ’cause we wanted to get up for the 5 am sunrise.
Day 3: Fraser Island
Wasn’t too much of a sunrise, but just the smell and tranquility of early morning is nothing like it. We also did the previous nights dishes and got breakfast set up. We had scrambled eggs and toast. We packed our van and was about to head for our final destination on the island – Lake Wabby. A Ranger came by the campsite, but luckily just to say good morning. He said we could drive to the lake instead of the 45-minute walk we were going to do.
It took 20 minutes to walk to the lake from the car park. It is a tiny lake at the bottom of a sand dune. The dune stretched out for a while into the distance. You could run down the dune into the lake. One guy even went down on a boogie board. It poured at one point which was lovely. When in the water it was like being in an undiscovered place – the feel is indescribable. We had to be back for the 2 pm ferry and a guide told us to give 1.5 hours. It absolutely poured on the 30 minute uphill walk back to the car. The two bags of garbage we compiled made the van smell. But because of the rain, it made driving in the inland sand tracks a lot easier.
We had a bit of time to kill, so we had peanut butter sandwiches. We finally dumped our rubbish at a rubbish stop then headed to Shell to fill the tank with diesel. None of us had money in our pockets, so the guys had to climb on the roof racks in search of $$$. We got back to Dingos, unpacked, cleaned everything and got the ‘OK’ that we didn’t owe more money. Even though we lost a few cups and tent pegs.
The best part was the nice, hot fresh shower. I felt clean and pristine. No more peeing in bushes. I relaxed at the hostel and talked with Mattias, the Swedish guy. His ex-girlfriend nannied for Markus Näslund (a Canuck hockey player) in Vancouver. He texted her and we figured out that the ex also knows my Aunt. Small world. I made a burger and lentils for dinner. I had to catch the overnight bus to the Whitsundays. It was sad to leave Janna and the others, but more adventures are to come.
- What: Camping on Fraser Island
- Company: Dingo’s Resort
- Price: $165-445