The Fraser Island Great Walk is one of the best hikes in Australia, which just so happens to be on a World Heritage listed island. What a combination. But unless you’re a seasoned hiker with bags of experience under your belt, the prospect of a 90km, 6-8 day hike probably sounds like a tall order. You’re not alone. Few visitors actually commit to the entire trail. Thankfully it’s easy to take on just a few bite size chunks of the route and still get to experience all the beautiful scenery and amazing wildlife the world’s largest sand island has to offer.
Tackling the Fraser Island Great Walk
Depending on how fit you’re feeling, you can choose from short hikes lasting no more than a couple of hours, to longer day hikes of 8-10hours. But all of them will lead you through Fraser Island’s many gorgeous landscapes, from coastal heathland to rainforests and mangrove forests, crystal-clear lakes and enormous sand dunes. No matter what time of year you choose to hike, always take plenty of water, sun protection (hat, suncream etc) and a guide if possible.
Here are a couple of the easiest, yet rewarding hikes on offer.
The Beerillbee Trail – This gorgeous little ridge trail leads across a huge sand dune just above Kingfisher Bay Resort. Taking just 2-3 hours to complete, this is a perfect starter hike offering breathtaking views across the Great Sandy Strait.
Lake Wabby carpark to Lake Wabby – A hot and sandy hike over exposed dunes rewards you with a cooling dip in the pristine waters of Lake Wabby (remember to wash off sun cream and insect repellent before you dive in). At just 3km return this one is more a nice little wander than a hike, but well worth doing.
For something a little more challenging, check out these longer routes which are still very do-able to anyone of average fitness.
Lake McKenzie Circuit Walk – A 25km (8-10hr) hike which takes you inland to the beautiful shores of Lake McKenzie, a perched lake located above the water table meaning its waters are pure rainwater. This is one of the most visited lakes on the island and for good reason, she’s a real beaut.
Central Station to Lake Birrabeen – With far less people than Lake McKenzie, Lake Birrabeen is a haven of peaceful solitude and well worth the 13km return (4-6hr) hike to get there. Pack your swimmers.
Fancy tackling the entire route? Make sure you book all camping permits in advance and come fully prepared to remain self-sufficient for at least 10 days. It’ll be a week to remember.
Written by; Kate Moxhay