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, 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 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
Northern Forests walk is open 24 hours a day.
Check park alerts for the latest information on access, closures and conditions.
- 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