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

You'll travel through a variety of Fraser's plant communities. Photo credit: Rob Cameron © Queensland Government

K'gari (Fraser Island) fire update

Visitor access to the island is restricted until further notice while fires are being managed. Follow Queensland Fire and Emergency Services and Park Alerts for updates. Camping and vehicle access permit holders are able to amend to cancel their booking via www.qld.gov.au/camping.

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.

Northern Forests scenic drive

Spend a day driving through an ever-changing landscape, exploring diverse forests, shady day-use areas, inland lakes and impressive sandblows.

Journey type
4WD, scenic drive
Distance
42.4km one way A path where the start point is different to the finish point
Time suggested
Allow 4hrs driving time.
Grade
Unrated

Accessible by

  • High clearance 4WD

Journey facilities

  • Lookout (constructed)
  • Toilets (non-flush)
  • Scenic drive

Starting at Happy Valley, this drive takes you through coastal woodlands and into Yidney Scrub rainforest. Declared a beauty spot in the 1930s, the scrub has been protected from logging and is virtually intact.

Stop and spend a few hours walking the stunning Northern Forests walk, or take a stroll to the shallow Boomerang Lakes.

Have a picnic lunch in the shady Lake Allom day-use area and then stretch your legs on a circumnavigation of the lake.

The last stop on this driving adventure is a lookout over Knifeblade Sandblow. At 2.8m long and 1.3km wide, it is the largest on the island.

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 Northern Forests 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

Northern Forests 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 Visiting K'gari safely and Four-wheel drive with care.