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

Stop for a splash and paddle in the cool waters of Eli Creek. 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

Eastern Beach scenic drive

Explore 175km of glorious island coastline on this 4WD route dotted with spectacular sights, sounds and opportunities.

Journey type
4WD, trail bike, scenic drive
Distance
137.9km one way A path where the start point is different to the finish point
Time suggested
Allow 5hrs driving time (dependent on tides).
Grade
Unrated
Where
View map

Accessible by

  • High clearance 4WD

Journey facilities

  • Lookout (constructed)
  • Toilets (non-flush)
  • Electric/fuel barbecue (free of charge)
  • Scenic drive
  • Trail bike riding

Spend days visiting unique and incredible landscapes, impressive cultural and historic sites, and quiet beach-side picnic areas.

Stretch your legs on walks to Champagne Pools, Kirrar Sandblow and Rainbow Gorge, Eli Creek, Lake Allom, Lake Bowarrady, and Sandy Cape lighthouse.

At night, pick your favourite camping area from the multitude scattered along the coastline and be lulled to sleep by the gentle crash of waves washing ashore. Don’t miss the chance to greet the sun each morning as it rises over the ocean horizon.

When your Eastern beach experience is over, jump onto one of the other scenic drives and explore the treasures on the rest of the island.

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

  • The scenic drive travels along the east coast of the island, from Hook Point to Sandy Cape and can be accessed at various locations along its length.
  • The main access points are at the barge landing at Hook Point, the Eurong township and Cornwells Break Road.
  • You need more than a day to complete this drive because you can only drive two hours either side of low tide. Access to facilities and features will also be dependent on tides.
  • Drivers heading on Ungowa Road and north of Ngkala Rocks on the Eastern Beach scenic drive must travel in groups and have the necessary experience and recovery gear.

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 Eastern Beach scenic drive.

Drinking water

Before you visit

Opening hours

Eastern Beach scenic drive is open 24 hours a day.

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

Seasonal closures

To protect nesting and hatching sea turtles, you can only drive north of Ngkala Rocks on the Eastern Beach scenic drive, between 6am and 6pm from 15 November to 30 March.

Visiting safely

For more safety information see: