Northern Forests walk
You’ll be in awe of the forest diversity on this long distance walk, considered one of the best on the island.
- Journey type
- 12.4km one way A path where the start point is different to the finish point
- Time suggested
- Allow 5hrs walking time.
- Grade 4 walking track
- High clearance 4WD
- Photo credit: Rob Cameron © Queensland Government
- Photo credit: Jenna Tapply © Queensland Government
- Photo credit: Jenna Tapply © Queensland Government
From the northern entry point on the Northern Forests scenic drive venture through heathlands and low wallum banksia woodlands dotted with grass trees, swamp banksias, and stunted eucalypts and paperbarks.
After a short detour through eucalypt forest to Coomboo Lake the vegetation begins to tower over you. Look up at the canopy of scribbly gums, blackbutt, rusty gums and bloodwoods.
Hidden Lake appears suddenly on your right and then the vegetation transforms into lush rainforests of satinay, hoop pine and brush box.
Just before the southern picnic area, the forest once again opens up. Return back along the track or arrange for someone to pick you up.
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 Northern Forest walk is on K'gari (Fraser Island), 15km off the coast of Hervey Bay and about 300km north of Brisbane.
- The walk is on the Northern Forests scenic drive and has two entrances.
- The northern entrance is 23.2km from the Happy Valley township and 19.2km from Woralie Road. The southern entrance is 11.3km further south.
- The Northern Forests 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 (Fraser Island) 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 (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.
- 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 (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.
- 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
Northern Forests walk is open 24 hours a day.
Check park alerts for the latest information on access, closures and conditions.
For more safety information see Visiting K'gari safely and Walk with care.
- Prescribed Burn Boorangoora (Lake McKenzie) North 22 May to 6 June 2023
- Zone 9 (Carree and Diray) Erosion Damage 22 May to 14 July 2023
- Park Alert-Tukkee Wurro (Indian Head) walking track temporary closure 14 June 2021 to 30 June 2023
- Prescribed Burn - Dundubara North 1–5 June 2023
- Dingo (Wongari) Seasonal Information - Breeding Season 1 June to 31 August 2023
- Cultural heritage event at Central Station on 7 June 2023 31 May to 7 July 2023
- Prescribed Burn Dillinghams Road 29 May to 5 June 2023
- Waddy Point Beachfront camping area temporary capacity reduction 26 April to 3 July 2023
- Park Alert - K'gari Planned Burn Season 2023 21 February to 31 August 2023
- Smoke Alert - K'gari Planned Burn Season 2023 21 February to 31 August 2023
- Cornwells Road, No Heavy Traffic 31 August 2022 to 6 December 2023
- Beware crocodiles
- Be dingo-safe
- Beware marine stingers (jellyfish)
K'gari (Fraser Island) conditions report Updated 23 May 2023
Critical information for your safety is included in the conditions report—always check it before you visit.