Kgari Island (AKA Fraser Island) is located on the East Coast, approximately 5 hours North of the Sunshine Coast, and is in our opinion, is one of the best islands for a 4WD camp trip. Hoooooly moly, this place was absolute heaven.
When thinking about Kgari Island, the first thing that comes to mind are the epic beach drives, you can basically drive the whole length of the island on the beach, and I don’t know about you, but this gives you a special sort of feeling… especially when it’s at sunset.
However, Kgari has so much more to offer than just long beach drives. The inland routes of this place are epic. There’s a section of the inland scenic track called Pile Valley, a lush, majestic rainforest that grows 80m trees tall out of the sand. This was mind bending, such a magical place to spend a day wandering, it actually reminded us of the redwoods in Cape Otway.
Now the Lakes. We visited Lake Mackenzie and Lake Wabby. Lake Mackenzie is by far the most beautiful, bluest, fresh water lake we’ve ever swum in. It has crystal white sand which fools you into thinking you’re just spending the day at the beach. There are a few metres of shallow water at the shore, until it drops about 7-8 metres causing the drastic change in colour. Lake Wabby not far from Mackenzie, Wabby is a very green lake, the deepest on Kgari, hidden deep within the sand blows which advances about 1m per year, and in time will eventually mean Wabby will disappear.
Now the creeks. The most popular of the bunch Eli Creek - now we did enjoy Eli, however it’s super accessible and a family favourite. So it gets packed out really quickly.
North of Angala Rocks. Maybe the last 20% of the north west side of the island is inaccessible to tour groups due to the 4WD track of large coffee rocks. Crossing this is very tide dependent and shouldn’t be attempted at a rising tide (unless you want the ocean to swallow your car). But by far this was the most fun to do in the cars. There were some challenging sections, some big drops, boosters and boggy sand. I hate to admit we did get briefly bogged, but self-rescued, so it doesn’t count.
Zone 9 - Sandy Cape. The tippy tip top of Kgari Island, this camp zone only allows 30 people each night, and is extremely hard to get in to. We booked last minute on a cancellation, and were so lucky we got this spot. We watched the sun set over the forests from the top of the dunes, whilst a full moon rose over the ocean. It was pure bliss.
East side is the popular tourist side, there’s a raw ocean, tour buses, no swimming, sharky waters, and loads of people. The true beauty lies on the west side. Tour buses can’t get over there, so there are significantly less people. The coast is mostly protected, and the whole time we were there the ocean was clean and beautifully blue. Swimming is completely safe, and marine life is incredible. Spear-fishing is also allowed and there are fresh water creeks to wash off in. There are big rainbow cliffs, palm trees and the beach drives are more picturesque than ever. You will also find Wathumba Creek aka Kgari’s version of the Whitsundays, and we can confirm it’s pretty epic.
Here we discovered one of our favourite campgrounds in all of Australia. We spent the nights playing monopoly deal with our mates, cooking up fresh fish for tacos, beach driving, and dancing and singing on the beach.
A seriously underestimated place in our opinion. The variety and scenery of Kgari Island is second to none. We will be returning.
Article and images by Claire from @saltylap (IG)