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

The beautiful Lake Boomanjin is one of Fraser's more accessible lakes. Photo credit: Rob Cameron © Queensland Government

Critical information for your safety

Critical information for your safety is included in the conditions report—always check it before you visit.

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Southern Lakes scenic drive

Drive through ever-changing forests to lesser-known (and less crowded!) lakes, challenging walks, gentle strolls and cool picnic spots.

Journey type
4WD, trail bike, scenic drive
27.6km one way A path where the start point is different to the finish point
Time suggested
Allow 3hrs driving time.

Accessible by

  • High clearance 4WD

Journey facilities

  • Toilets (non-flush)
  • Scenic drive
  • Trail bike riding

Pack everything you’ll need for a day of fun and head off from Central Station day-use area, through lush rainforest to Lake Birrabeen day-use area. Have a cuppa in the shade and then stroll down the sandy path to the lake for a swim or kayak.

Back on the road, drive through open forests and wallum banksia woodlands to Lake Boomanjin. Walk down to what is reputedly the world’s largest perched lake and be enticed past its white sandy shoreline to the cool, clear waters. You can explore the far reaches by canoe or kayak as well.

Heading back to the coast, you’ll drive through coastal forests and end up on the Eastern Beach.

For something different, try this drive in the opposite direction!

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

  • The drive travels between Central Station day-use area and Dilli Village on the Eastern Beach scenic drive, 25.1km north of Hook Point barge landing and 10.2km south of the Eurong township.
  • It 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.

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 several wheelchair-accessible facilities on the Southern Lakes scenic drive. Obstacles and sandy car parks and approaches at some of the facilities may mean that assistance is required.

You will find wheelchair-accessible:

Drinking water

  • Bring your own drinking water or fill up your containers at the Central Station camping area (treated), and Lake Boomanjin camping and day-use areas (untreated).
  • Use water wisely and report damaged or leaking taps and tanks.
  • Treat untreated water before use.

Before you visit

Opening hours

Southern Lakes 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: