Home 4X4 Fraser Island & Lake Mckenzie

Fraser Island & Lake Mckenzie


Fraser Island, where rainforests and sand dunes merge in one place, it is the perfect place to stimulate your sense of wonder. No visit to the island is complete without a long leisurely float in the beautiful blue waters of Lake McKenzie.

Located off the East Coast of Australia, Fraser Island is the worlds largest sand island. Also known as K’gari, the island is a popular tourist destination and an all-year-round favourite. Not only known for its vastly long beaches, but also for its amazing and numerous lakes.
Fraser Island Beach driving
Driving along the Fraser Island Beaches
We head out with Matt Swift from ARB, Lez and Geoff. Hoping off the barge, we get stuck into a full weekend of camping, beach driving, swimming and 4WDriving. With the help of the ARB Linx and the use of our tyre pressure gauge, we are ready to roll onto the sandy tracks of Fraser Island.

How To Get To Fraser Island

If you’re planning a holiday to the island for a tour or to do a bit of 4WDriving, you can access the island from two different locations. These locations including Hervey Bay, or Rainbow Beach off Double Island Point. Whether you’re on a tour or you’re planning on driving up to the barge yourself, your trip may include a pickup location such as Brisbane or Noosa.

Fraser Island 4WD access

If you are planning on making your way up to Hervey Bay or Rainbow Beach pickup locations, you can catch a Greyhound or Premier Bus line which both stop at the Sunshine Coast, Rainbow Beach and Hervey Bay. Alternatively, you can rent a car or hire a van and drive yourself to either pickup location.

Hervey Bay/ River Heads

Fraser Island is located just 15 km off the coast of Hervey Bay, making it a popular launching point from which you can access the island. The Kingfisher Bay Barge leaves from River Heads which is just outside the town of Hervey Bay.

Kingfisher Bay barge to Fraser

Rainbow Beach/ Inskip Point

If you’re planning on jumping aboard the barge from Rainbow beach, it’s important to take into consideration the time and fuel it will take to travel up the beach. The trip up to Rainbow Beach to Inskip Point is about a 15-minute drive away. Once you reach Fraser Island, you will land at Hook Point, the southernmost end of the Island. From Inskip Point, the barge only take around 10 minutes as the distance between the two islands is a short distance.

Fraser Island Inskip Point Ferry
Fraser Island Ferries and Barge

National Park Permits

If you are planning on taking your own vehicle onto the Island, a vehicle access permit must be obtained before driving on to the island. If you do not have a vehicle permit and fee and fines may apply.

All vehicles must have registration and a valid permit when on the island. When displaying the permit, you need to place it into a clearly visible location (on your windscreen) which display the details of your vehicle’s permit in case of inspection.

Four-wheel-driving on Fraser Island

Fraser Island (K’gari) Recreational Area Fees

A vehicle permit for 1 month or less can be purchased at around $52.75. If you plan on purchasing a permit between 1 month to a year, the permit can cost you up to $265.30.

Fraser Island (K’gari) and Cooloola Recreational Area

For visitors interested in purchasing a combined permit for Fraser Island and Cooloola, a 20% discount will occur. The price for 1 month or less would cost $84.65. For visitors looking to purchase a permit between a month to a year can cost up to $424.70.

National Park Permit
Don’t forget to purchase a National Park Permit before you reach the island

Lake Mckenzie

These fluorescent blue waters are one of the most visited natural wonders in Australia. Also known as Boorangoora meaning waters of window by traditional owners of the land, Lake Mckenzie’s famous turquoise tones have earned its title as the jewel of the island.

These still and calm waters make Lake Mckenzie the perfect place to bring the family and little one for playing in the shallows. With the high natural acidity levels, the lake makes it virtually impossible for a lot of plants and fish to survive in these waters, making Lake Mckenzie one of the most spectacular and beautifully calming swimming spots.

Lake Mckenzie the beautiful natural wonder

Accessible by 4WD, you can reach the lake down along one of the inland tracks. Located just 6 km drive from the resort, it offers a popular day-spot for tour groups. Not only is the lake accessible by 4WD, but you can also trek along one of the hiking trails with a return look from the Kingfisher Bay Resort and along the Great Walk of Fraser Island.

Lake Mckenzie contains only rainwater as it is not fed by any natural springs or creeks. The ‘Perched’ lake acts as a basin giving the illusion of a sandy bottom swimming pool. As organic matter falls into the lake, there becomes a build-up that naturally forms the bottom of the lake.

Swimming in Lake Mckenzie
Swim in the turquoise hues of Lake Mckenzie

If you’re looking for paradise you’ll find it here, with white silica sand which you’ll also find at the Whitsundays this place is not only gorgeous to look at, but to walk on as well. These beautiful sandy white edges help provide that crystal blue colour of the water.

Make sure you grab a National Park and Beach permit before you leave. Make sure you check out our Fraser Island Driving Checklist before you go. For more information on Fraser Island, camping, attractions and more, head to our article on everything Fraser Island.

white silica sand at Lake Mckenzie
Walk on the white silica sand that surrounds the lake


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Dean Miller - Campr Dean has been a trailblazer in the adventure television space for more than 15 years. With a passion for fishing, forged as a young fella growing up on Groote Eylandt NT, the only thing he loves more than boating, camping and touring is sharing a yarn.