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

Twilight illusion as the moon rises over the lilac-tinged waters of Lake McKenzie. 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. Photo credit: Maxime Coquard © Tourism and Events Queensland

Lake McKenzie circuit

See the beautiful rainforests of Central Station, mysterious Basin Lake and well-renowned Lake McKenzie on this glorious two-day walk.

Journey type
Walk
Distance
18km circuit The same start and finish point, but the traveller doesn’t return along the same path
Time suggested
Allow 8.5hrs walking time.
Grade
Grade 4 walking track
Where
View map

Accessible by

  • High clearance 4WD

Journey facilities

  • Walking

From the Central Station day-use area immerse yourself in the rainforests of Pile Valley and Wanggoolba Creek.

Stop for a dip in Basin Lake, considered by many as the island’s most beautiful, before continuing on to Lake McKenzie. The sight of the lake’s white sandy shoreline and crystal blue water are a just reward for the day of walking.

Set up camp in the Lake McKenzie walker’s camp before rinsing off the day in the lake. After a peaceful night, take an early morning dip before continuing on the circuit, seeing new features and beautiful landscapes along the way.

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 McKenzie circuit 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.

Drinking water

Before you visit

Opening hours

Lake McKenzie circuit 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 Visiting K'gari safely and Walk with care.