Sandy Cape lighthouse walk
Discover historic Sandy Cape lighthouse and the amazing life and stories of the light keepers who lived there.
- Journey type
- 4.8km return Start and finish points are the same and the traveller must return via the same path
- Time suggested
- Allow 2hrs walking time.
- Grade 3 walking track
- High clearance 4WD
Take on this steep walk for a tour of Queensland’s second-oldest (and tallest!) lighthouse and a fascinating insight into the state’s early history.
Stop at the signs and learn about this culturally-significant precinct, which is on the Queensland Heritage Register. Read about life at the lighthouse, the history of the area and past maritime incidents before taking a stroll on the grassy lawns.
Near the beach, a side track winds through vegetation to a former World War II bunker, which the army used to detect enemy aircraft and ships during the late-war period. Farther on, you’ll find a lighthouse keeper’s grave.
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 Sandy Cape lighthouse walk is on Fraser Island, 15km off the coast of Hervey Bay and about 300km north of Brisbane.
- The walk starts at the northern end of the Eastern Beach scenic drive.
- The Eastern Beach scenic drive is only accessible 2hrs either side of low tide.
Getting to Fraser Island
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
Sandy Cape lighthouse 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.
- Central Station Construction Works 24 March to 1 April 2023
- Temporary closure - Waddy Point beachfront camping area 1–31 March 2023
- Park Alert-Tukkee Wurro (Indian Head) walking track temporary closure 14 June 2021 to 30 June 2023
- Dilli Village South 20–31 March 2023
- Dingo (Wongari) Seasonal Information - Mating Season 1 March to 31 May 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
- Beach driving - low tide only 9 January to 28 May 2023
- Cornwells Road, No Heavy Traffic 31 August 2022 to 6 December 2023
- Marine Stingers 15 November 2022 to 31 May 2023
- Marine turtles breeding season 1 November 2022 to 30 April 2023
- Beware crocodiles
- Be dingo-safe
- Beware marine stingers (jellyfish)
K'gari (Fraser Island) conditions report Updated 23 Mar 2023
Critical information for your safety is included in the conditions report—always check it before you visit.