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

Take a day to explore the island's Central Lakes areas. Photo credit: © Lise Pedersen

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.

Central Lakes scenic drive

Explore lush tropical rainforest and towering woodlands on the way to world-famous Lake McKenzie and picturesque Lake Wabby.

Journey type
4WD, trail bike, scenic drive
Distance
27.2km one way A path where the start point is different to the finish point
Time suggested
Allow 3hrs driving time
Grade
Unrated
Where
View map

Accessible by

  • High clearance 4WD

Journey facilities

  • Lookout (natural and constructed)
  • Toilets (non-flush)
  • Scenic drive
  • Trail bike riding

Setting off from the Central Station day-use area your first stop will be in the cool respite of Pile Valley with its towering satinay trees.

Heading north you’ll soon see the dazzling white sand and crystal blue waters of Lake McKenzie. Stop here for a picnic, swim or kayak before heading inland.

The short detour to the Lake Wabby lookout walk is well worth the view of the Hammerstone Sandblow engulfing the barrage lake. If you’re keen, continue down the steep slope to the lake on the Lake Wabby walk.

Back on the main drive, take in views over the Stonetool Sandblow before arriving on the Eastern beach.

This park is part of the 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

The Central Lakes scenic drive is on K'gari (Fraser Island), 15km off the coast of Hervey Bay and about 300km north of Brisbane.

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.

Wheelchair access

There are several wheelchair-accessible facilities on the Central Lakes scenic drive. Obstacles and sandy car parks and approaches at some of the facilities may mean that assistance is required.

You will find wheelchair-accessible:

Drinking water

  • Bring your own drinking water or fill up your containers at the Central Station day-use area. The water is treated.
  • Use water wisely and report damaged or leaking taps and tanks.

Before you visit

Opening hours

Central Lakes scenic drive is open 24 hours a day.

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

Visiting safely

For more safety information see: