Fraser Island Trip – day one

We took a trip to Fraser Island (K’Gari) in late October, and I am just getting around to writing about it – mostly because I love reading about people’s trips to Fraser, so feel like I should add to the blogs about them.

We’d started out our morning in Hervey Bay, so we didn’t have far to go to get to the River Heads barge. With the combination of tides and current and wind, the barge didn’t get straight on to the ramp and one side was higher than the other, making me very glad that I wasn’t the one driving. One car coming off even got stuck for half a minute, we think the towbar got hooked on the barge ramp. Overall it was more stressful than going across on the soft sand at Inskip Point, which I wasn’t expecting.

It was an 10.15am barge, so we were across and driving off just after 11am. It was a bit rough on the barge across, so with small children with us, we stayed in the car instead of climbing up the narrow stairs.

Our first stop across the island was Central Station. I love the smell here that comes from the trees. Last time we came here it was a quick stop just for me to get out and smell the place, as it was the last day on our trip and our children were in rebellion. So this was the first stop this time, so we could (hopefully) enjoy our time here a bit more. We had lunch first at a picnic table under a shelter (for shade), then went to have a look around at the buildings. We went for the walk along the boardwalk beside Wangoolba Creek and read up on the logging that used to happen here. The kiddos marvelled that the creek was so clear that it didn’t look like there was any water in it at first.

Wangoolba Creek

We also had a look at the Central Station campground – we camped here before we had children, and want to stay here again once we get brave enough to camp on a sand island with our children (they love sand). After our successful lunch stop, we headed a bit north to Lake McKenzie. We’d planned for this and kept sand toys and swimming gear handy. There’s lots of toilets at the toilet block at Lake McKenzie with benches and hooks for getting changed, so that was easy enough besides the obvious challenges of herding small children who just want to go for a swim.

We made it down, and into the water which was warm in the very shallow parts, then got colder as it got deeper. It was shallow (like knee deep) for many metres out which meant that we could all have a splash around without worrying about little people getting out of their depth.


There were a few people at Lake McKenzie but it was big enough that it didn’t feel crowded. We’ve been here before when it was crowded and headed across to the second beach (when you’re facing the lake, walk to the left – at the end of the beach, there’s a boardwalk, follow this path and it will take you through to the second beach).

There’s a fenced picnic area at Lake McKenzie, and no food is allowed at the lake shore due to the dingo activity in the area.

Our time at Lake McKenzie was lovely, and we reluctantly left to go to Eurong Beach Resort, where we were staying. We all enjoyed digging in the sand, playing in the water and going for a swim in fresh water on a hot day.

Things that worked well:

  • having lunch boxes made up for the kiddos so whenever they declared themselves hungry, we could pull out their lunchboxes and they could help themselves to a snack.
  • Being prepared for the day and having swimming gear and sand toys handy so we could go to Lake McKenzie on our way across the island.
  • Stopping at Central Station first – this is an essential stop for me and seemed to work well getting it out of the way first, rather than trying to squeeze it in on the way to somewhere else.

Things that didn’t work:

  • not having adult lunches pre-made – by the time we’d made our wraps for lunch, the kids were done and wanting to get moving
  • the number of flies at Central Station – so many flies. They only appeared once we settled in at a picnic table and the food came out. Eating in the car would have been better.

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