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

Discover the green heart of the island on this fantastic scenic drive. Photo credit: Adam Creed © 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.

Lake Garawongera scenic drive

Jump in the 4WD and leave the crowds behind on this inland sand track through an ever-changing landscape.

Journey type
4WD, trail bike, scenic drive
Distance
19km one way A path where the start point is different to the finish point
Time suggested
Allow 2hrs driving time.
Grade
Unrated
Where
View map

Accessible by

  • High clearance 4WD

Journey facilities

  • Toilets (non-flush)
  • Scenic drive
  • Trail bike riding

You'll travel off the beaten track on this enchanting adventure. From the Happy Valley township head inland through resilient coastal woodlands and then into a more open forest of gums, bloodwoods and blackbutts.

Gradually the vegetation softens and transforms into lush rainforest. Stop for a break at the Lake Garawongera day-use area and cool off in the nearby lake, perched high in the dunes. If you’ve got a kayak, this is a great place to explore.

Back on the track you’ll pass through a reverse of the vegetation types as you head towards the coastline. The drive finishes on the Eastern Beach.

For something different, try this drive in the opposite direction!

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 Lake Garawongera 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 no wheelchair-accessible facilities.

Before you visit

Opening hours

Lake Garawongera 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: