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
- Scenic drive, 4WD, trail bike
- 19km one way A path where the start point is different to the finish point
- Time suggested
- Allow 2hrs driving time.
- High clearance 4WD
- 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 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
The Lake Garawongera scenic drive is on K'gari, 15km off the coast of Hervey Bay and about 300km north of Brisbane.
- The scenic drive joins the Happy Valley township and Bogimbah Road in Poyungan Valley.
- The Happy Valley township is on the Eastern Beach scenic drive, 20.7km north of the Eurong township and 11.1km south of the Dundubara camping area.
- Poyungan Valley is also on the Eastern Beach scenic drive, 14.6km north of the Eurong township and 17.2km south of the Dundubara camping area.
- The Eastern Beach scenic drive is only accessible 2hrs either side of low tide.
- The Lake Garawongera scenic drive is not suitable for trailers.
Getting to K'gari
You can get to the island by high clearance 4WD, on foot, by plane or with a commercial tour.
- Check the K'gari conditions report for the latest information on access, closures and conditions within the recreation area.
- Subscribe to the RSS feed to receive automated updates. (About RSS feeds).
- 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, 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 Barges landing area.
- The trip to Wanggoolba Creek on the western side of K'gari takes 30–45min.
- The trip to Kingfisher Bay on the western side of K'gari takes 50mins–1hr.
- These barges run at fixed times and bookings are essential.
- Walkers can board a vehicle barge to the island (details above) or arrive by plane.
- Flights leave from Hervey Bay and Maryborough.
By private vessel
- Access K'gari'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.
- 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 K'gari are in the Great Sandy Marine Park.
- If you're heading out on the water make sure you know your zones so you can follow the rules.
- Read boat and fish with care for tips on boating and fishing safety and caring for parks.
- 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.
There are no wheelchair-accessible facilities.
Before you visit
Lake Garawongera scenic drive is open 24 hours a day.
Check park alerts for the latest information on access, closures and conditions.
For more safety information see:
- Temporary Closure Beach Camping Zone 9 (Diray and Carree) 24 August to 24 November 2023
- Temporary closure of beach camping zones 3, 4, and 5 for wongari (dingo) management 11 August to 1 December 2023
- Woralie Road Dump Ezy Temporary Closure 13 July 2023 to 13 July 2024
- Park Alert-Tukkee Wurroo (Indian Head) walking track temporary closure 14 June 2021 to 15 December 2023
- Happy Valley grid maintenance - temporary road closure 9 October 2023
- Cornwells Road (Kingfisher Hill) road repairs 9–13 October 2023
- Poison canisters washing up on Southeast Queensland beaches 4 September 2023 to 31 March 2024
- Dingo (Wongari) Seasonal Information - Whelping Season 1 June to 30 November 2023
- Ngkala Rocks to Sandy Cape Beach Conditions 24 August to 24 November 2023
- Threatening dingo activity - Eli Creek and Waddy Point 24 June to 8 October 2023
- K'gari (Fraser Island) Great Walk - advanced booking restriction 1 November 2023 to 29 February 2024
- Cornwells Road, No Heavy Traffic 31 August 2022 to 6 December 2023