K’gari Fraser trip
The colours at Lake McKenzie are breathtaking.

Planning a K’gari Fraser trip

As we move into April and the second month of autumn, the days get shorter, the nights cooler and anticipation levels greater! K’gari Fraser trip

Why, you may ask. K’gari Fraser trip

Well, cool weather means one thing to me – that the peak beach fishing season in Queensland is not far away. K’gari Fraser trip

With K’gari (formerly known as Fraser Island) one of Australia’s beach-fishing meccas, I thought I’d share a few tips from my 25-years plus of visiting the island, which will hopefully benefit those who have never been or those who need a little reminder that it’s time to go back!

Getting there

First – unless you plan to stay at Kingfisher Bay Resort and get bus tours around the island – you need a four-wheel-drive to travel across K’gari’s many beautiful sand tracks.

To get there, you have three main options.

Option one is to catch a barge from River Heads, which is 20-minute drive from Hervey Bay, to the western or calm side of the island.

K’gari Fraser trip
The author at Kingfisher Bay at sunset with brother Ron. Memories that will last a lifetime.

From River Heads, you can catch the Fraser Island barge – it takes about 30 minutes and lands at Wanggoolba Creek.

From there, it is about 45 minutes across to Eurong Beach Resort and Eastern Beach.

Alternatively, you can take the Kingfisher Bay Ferry from River Heads to Kingfisher Bay Resort – about a 45-minute trip.

This is a beautiful location for families, with good fishing from the flats and the jetty.

Otherwise, it is about a 50-minute to an hour drive from Kingfisher Bay Resort to Eurong Beach Resort and Eastern Beach.

These ferries run to a timetable, with the Kingfisher Bay Ferry running more frequently – normally four times a day compared to two times on the Fraser Island barge to Wanggoolba.

Depending on the length of your stay, I recommend a stopover at the beautiful Lake McKenzie or Central Station along the way to the beach.

K’gari Fraser trip
Sitting by Eli Creek on a sunny day with a cold beverage is a tradition not to be missed.

Option two is to catch the Manta Ray Fraser Island barge from Inskip – about a 15-minute drive from Rainbow Beach – to Hook Point.

Hook Point is at the southernmost point of K’gari.

Ideally, time your trip to coincide with a low tide to head up the beach on the other side or you will be forced to take the rough inland track soon after you get off the ferry.

This ferry ride is a short 10-minute trip, with no fixed timetable.

Be aware that during busy holiday periods and weekends, you may have to wait a few barges to get across, so get there early in the day if you can.

Make sure you let your tyres down too before you drive onto the tricky sand track to the ferry.

Each vehicle is different, but 18-20psi gets you around comfortably on most parts of the island – except for the South Ngkala Rocks bypass where about 14psi can be required.

A final tip if you go this way is to make sure you stop at Gardiner Fisheries at 1 Karoonda Rd, Rainbow Beach before your trip.


About Sean Thompson

Sean caught the fishing bug bad one very cold Canberra day 20 years ago when he was bored and picked up and read Angler's Almanac by the fireplace. Since then he has filled his mind with knowledge from fishing magazines, books, the internet, TAFE fishing courses, guiding fishing charters (estuaries, beach, bay and mountain lakes) and of course 'on water' experience. He and a group of mates formed a social fishing club and soon started to share what they learnt and caught online. Sean is the admin for Ontour Fishing Australia on Facebook, which is a page that shares information, reports and sponsor giveaways and welcomes all to the site. He plans to move into blogging on his new website when time allows.

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