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

Walk to a quieter section for a different view of the lake. Photo credit: Robert Ashdown © 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 McKenzie walk

Take in ocean views from the western cliffs, and enjoy a refreshing dip in the clear, cool waters of Lake McKenzie.

Journey type
Walk
Distance
13.8km one way A path where the start point is different to the finish point
Time suggested
Allow 5.5hrs walking time.
Grade
Grade 4 walking track
Where
View map

Accessible by

  • High clearance 4WD

Journey facilities

  • Lookout (natural)
  • Walking

You’ll have to conquer some steep hills and soft sands but the visual rewards along the way make it worthwhile.

After zig-zagging up a steep hill from Kingfisher Bay take a breather atop the North White Cliffs. Drink in the magnificent views over the Great Sandy Strait and Marine Park. Get your history on at the World War II ruins and McKenzie Jetty.

Heading inland, the next stop is Lake McKenzie, where the clear blue water will entice you in for a welcomed dip. This renowned lake is the jewel in the island’s crown and a must-see for all visitors.

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

  • The walk links the Kingfisher Bay barge landing to Lake McKenzie on the Fraser Island Great Walk.
  • From the barge landing follow the jetty road to the resort roundabout and turn right.
  • Walk for about 100m along the bitumen driveway, past the tennis courts, shop and fuel pumps, to the trail head.

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

  • Bring your own drinking water, or fill up your containers at the tour operators' area in the Lake McKenzie walkers' camp.
  • Treat all water before use.
  • Use water wisely and report damaged or leaking taps and tanks.

Before you visit

Opening hours

Lake McKenzie walk 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.