K’gari (Fraser Island) with kids: best family-friendly things to do

How to have an unforgettable island holiday with plenty of family adventure.

Woman in the water with child on shoulders playing with inflatable ring at Lake McKenzie, K’gari (Fraser Island). Image credit: Tourism and Events Queensland
  • Jetstar
  • September 2022

K’gari (Fraser Island) offers a unique brand of paradise: one for nature enthusiasts and families who love the beach,with added adventure. While there’s the option to treat yourself at world-class eco-resorts, for most folk the attraction is the camping, four-wheel driving, sunsets and cooking up your catch by the campfire. And with dune surfing, wildlife encounters, lake swims and epic walks, you can see how K’gari is all about family fun.

Pitch a tent and bust out the marshmallows

Childhood memories are made sitting around a crackling fire, toasting marshmallows under a star-filled night sky. And that's where the magic of visiting K’gari lies: in the outdoors, and camping right among it. Cooking out in the elements is part of the fun, and given the lack of supermarkets out this way, dangling a line to reel in dinner is a great family experience. Unless you want to go full Robinson Crusoe, most camping areas offer hot-water showers and barbecues. Otherwise, the only thing separating you from nature is a sleeping bag and canvas.

Family standing around a campfire near their tent at night, at Cathedrals on Fraser campground, K’gari. Image credit: Tourism and Events Queensland
Island camping bliss at Cathedrals on Fraser campground. Image credit: Tourism and Events Queensland

Hang on tight for some four-wheel fun

From the beach 'highways' to sandy inland tracks, K’gari is one big four-wheel drive adventure park. And without a single patch of tarmac, four-wheel drives are a way of life here as much they are a thrill. The frustration of hitting a ‘road block’ can quickly turn to exhilaration when you realise you get to drive through that river! Hire a four-wheel drive or join a tour and embark on a wild and bumpy ride along the 75 Mile Beach as you pass coloured sand cliffs, shipwrecks, lakes and dunes.

Aerial view of 4WD driving along 75 Mile Beach, K’gari (Fraser Island). Image credit: Tourism and Events Queensland
Drive the island’s ‘beach highway’, 75 Mile Beach. Image credit: Tourism and Events Queensland

Plunge into glorious freshwater lakes

For what is the world's largest sand island, the fact that its best swimming takes place inland is just another quirk of visiting K’gari. While crocs here aren't an issue, the rips are, and with no surf life patrol, ocean swimming is best avoided (or past your knees, anyway). Fortunately, the island is blessed with freshwater alternatives. Kids will love beautiful blue Lake McKenzie with its clear waters and white sands, and the rainforest-blanketed Lake Wabby featuring sand dunes you can tumble down into the water. Another highlight is Champagne Pools, a natural spa rock pool that bubbles away at low tide as you kick back ocean-side admiring the views.

Child in an inflatable ring playing in the shallow water at Lake McKenzie, K’gari (Fraser Island). Image credit: Tourism and Events Queensland
Splash about in the sparkling fresh waters of Lake McKenzie. Image credit: Tourism and Events Queensland

Surf K’gari’s monster sand dunes

Leave the tempestuous ocean swell for more experienced board riders and let the kids surf K’gari’s sand instead. Bring along your boogie board (or cardboard box or esky lid or anything resembling a toboggan) and take a ride down the colossal dunes. Standing or seated, kids will have a ball tearing down nature's giant sand slide. The only hassle is the walk back up! If that sounds too action packed, you can appreciate the dunes at a gentler pace along the K'gari Great Walk.

Mother helping her son on a toboggan while he takes a photo, at the sandblow on K’gari (Fraser Island). Image credit: Tourism and Events Queensland
Pack your boogie board for the K’gari dunes. Image credit: Tourism and Events Queensland

Spot dingoes, wallabies, echidnas, birds and whales

Out of all the wildlife on K’gari, none is more famous (or should that be infamous...) than its population of dingoes. Regarded as one of the purest strains in Australia, spotting these beautiful animals (from a distance) is a highlight for all the family. You'll find them roaming across the island, an evocative sight amid a backdrop of rainforest and dunes, but always ensure you keep a safe distance and absolutely never feed them. There’s plenty of other wildlife to tick off here (wallabies, echidnas, goannas and 350-plus birds), and keep your eyes peeled offshore, too. The sweeping views from atop Indian Head offer the perfect vantage point to spot dolphins, dugongs and humpback whales.

A dingo on the beach on K’gari (Fraser Island). Image credit: Tourism and Events Queensland
K’gari is famous for its wildlife. Image credit: Tourism and Events Queensland

How to get to K’gari (Fraser Island)

Fly Jetstar to Hervey Bay (HVB). Ferries leave from both Hervey Bay and Rainbow Beach for the short journey over to the island.

Find out more about Hervey Bay