K'gari (Fraser Island), Great Sandy National Park Fraser Coast

Wathumba Creek weaves its way to Platypus Bay. Photo credit: Rob Cameron © Queensland Government

Fraser Island (K'gari) is the traditional land of the Butchulla Aboriginal people and a world heritage area. Photo credit: Maxime Coquard © Tourism and Events Queensland

Critical information for your safety

Critical information for your safety is included in the conditions report—always check it before you visit. Photo credit: Maxime Coquard © Tourism and Events Queensland

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It’s official—Queensland National Parks have the best beaches! How do we know? There’s a list going around of Australia’s Top 101 beaches to visit. Photo credit: © Tourism and Events Queensland

Be inspired: Queensland National Parks’ best-loved camping areas

We are truly a nation of coast dwellers, so when it comes to camping holidays, where do we head? To the water, of course! Photo credit: © Tourism and Events Queensland

Wathumba (tent site) camping area

Set up camp nestled behind the foredunes at the mouth of creek and on the western beach of the island.

Accessible by

  • High clearance 4WD
  • Boat

Camping area facilities

  • Wheelchair access (may require assistance)
  • Toilets (flush)
  • Picnic tables
  • Anchoring allowed
  • Tent camping
  • Short walk to tent
  • Walking
  • Scenic drive
  • Canoeing and kayaking
  • Boating
  • Fishing

This spot is particularly favoured by anglers—freshwater from the creek meets the salty ocean which is a great environment for fish. Try you luck at reeling in your dinner.

Launch small boats and kayaks from the beach and explore the Great Sandy Marine Park. Behind the mangroves is a tiny sand beach and another spot to fish or launch a kayak.

The camping area is alive with birdlife. Search the sky for whistling and brahminy kites and in the forests for honeyeaters, woodswallows, doves and finches. During winter you might be lucky enough to spot migrating humpback whales off the beach.

This park is part of the K'gari (Fraser Island) World Heritage Area, famed for its exceptional natural beauty, outstanding examples of coastal dune landform development and evolutionary history.

Getting there and getting around

Wathumba camping area is on K'gari (Fraser Island), 15km off the coast of Hervey Bay and about 300km north of Brisbane.

  • The camping area is on the western beach at Platypus Bay.
  • From the Eastern Beach scenic drive, take the Middle Rocks Bypass Road and drive 4.7km to Orchid Beach (past the Waddy Point Road turn-off).
  • Drive to the northern end of Orchid Beach, past the general store, and after 1.3km turn left onto Wathumba Road.
  • Follow Wathumba Road for 15km to the camping area.
  • The Eastern Beach scenic drive is only accessible 2hrs either side of low tide.

Getting to K'gari

You can get to the island by high clearance 4WD, on foot, by plane or with a commercial tour.

By 4WD

  • Your high clearance 4WD must have low range functions.
  • Remember all vehicles must be registered, drivers must be licensed and all Queensland road rules apply, even on beaches.
  • Read 4WD with care for important information on 4WD safety and minimal impact driving.
  • A vehicle access permit must be purchased. Display the permit on your windscreen before driving in the recreation area.

From Inskip Point (15mins from Rainbow Beach)

  • At the end of the bitumen on Inskip Point Road, reduce tyre pressure, engage 4WD and drive 500m onto the beach.
  • Drive onto the Manta Ray barge for the 10–15min trip to Hook Point on the southern tip of K'gari (Fraser Island), and the start of the Eastern Beach scenic drive.
  • Bookings for this barge are not required.

From River Heads (east of Maryborough)

  • Travel 10.6km along River Heads Road to the Fraser Island Barges landing area.
  • The trip to Wanggoolba Creek on western K'gari (Fraser Island) takes 30–45min.
  • The trip to Kingfisher Bay on western K'gari (Fraser Island) takes 50mins–1hr.
  • These barges run at fixed time and bookings are essential.

On foot

  • Walkers can board a vehicle barge to the island (details above) or arrive by plane.

By plane

By private vessel

  • Access K'gari (Fraser Island)'s sheltered western coastline by private vessel. The eastern coastline of the island is extremely hazardous and exposed to very rough ocean conditions.
  • Launch your boat at one of the many boat ramps on the mainland between Tin Can Bay and Burnett Heads. There are no boat ramps on K'gari (Fraser Island).
  • See Maritime Safety Queensland's Beacon to Beacon Guides for the Great Sandy Strait and Hervey Bay for detailed navigational maps.
  • The waters adjacent to Fraser Island are in the Great Sandy Marine Park.

Commercial tours

  • You can join a range of tours that leave from a variety of centres.
  • For tourism information for all regions in Queensland, see Queensland.com, and for friendly advice on how to get there, where to stay and what to do, find your closest accredited visitor information centre.

Before you visit

Opening hours

Wathumba camping area is open 24 hours a day. Check-in to your camp after 2pm and check-out by 11am on the day of departure.

Check park alerts for the latest information on access, closures and conditions.

Map: K'gari (Fraser Island) Recreation Area map (PDF, 381.6KB)

Camping area features: 'park and walk-in' camping area, set behind the foredunes, near mangroves—expect mosquitoes and sandflies all year round, but especially in warmer, wetter months.

Location: western side of K'gari near the mouth of Wathumba Creek.

Access: high clearance 4WD, boats (high tide access upstream of mouth of Wathumba Creek), off-road camper trailers.

Number of sites: 8 sites in grassed open area, maximum of 60 people at any one time within this area, three designated trailer sites. Please note: You must specifically book your camper trailer into a camper trailer site. Tent sites are not separately defined, so please consider others and keep your camp compact.

Camp sites are suitable for: park and walk-in tent camping—that is, vehicles are parked a short distance away from tents. Three trailer sites.

Camp site surface: sand

Facilities: toilet block, picnic tables and nearby day-use area

Open fires: prohibited

Generators: not permitted

Essentials to bring: fuel or gas stove, first-aid kit, prescription medicines (if needed), water containers, rubbish bags, insect repellent, sand pegs, tarpaulins, extra poles, ropes and lockable food storage containers. Smokers should bring small sealable canisters for cigarette butts. Also see: Before you visit.

Bookings: book online or learn about our camping booking options. Advance bookings (up to 6 months) required for holiday periods.

Mobile phone coverage: intermittent.

Visiting safely

For more safety information see Visiting K'gari safely and camp with care.