K’gari (Fraser Island) is the world’s largest sand island. Located just off the East Coast of Queensland on the Great Sandy Strait, the only way to get there is by sea or air from Hervey Bay or Rainbow Beach. There are also some public and private transport options from destinations in Queensland and New South Wales. No matter how you decide to get to Fraser Island, it's important to plan in advance and give yourself plenty of time.
Getting to Fraser Island by boat
You can jump on a ferry or barge either as a foot passenger or in your 4WD from River Heads (20 mins south of Hervey Bay) or Inskip Point (also known as Manta Ray Barge) at Rainbow Beach. The barge journey takes between 30 to 50 mins depending on which Fraser Island port you get off at.
Getting to Fraser Island by air
If you're coming from afar, you can fly into a nearby airport and transfer to one of the ferry ports. The closest airport to Fraser Island is Hervey Bay (HVB) which is serviced by Virgin Australia and Qantas. You can also fly into Bundaberg (BDB) or Caloundra (CUD) and take the train to Maryborough West. From here, you can transfer on the RailBus Coach to Hervey Bay.
You can also fly from Hervey Bay in a light aircraft. After some incredible bird's eye views, you will land on 75 Mile Beach, Fraser Island's sand highway (or 'runway' in this case). There are a number of scenic flight packages available to suit different budgets.
Driving to Fraser Island
Driving is a popular option as you can take your 4WD on the ferry. If you are driving to Fraser Island, it’s important to note that only 4WDs are allowed. If you don’t have a 4WD, you can rent one in Hervey Bay or Rainbow Beach and leave your vehicle in one of the free or paid car parks. You will need to purchase a vehicle permit from Queensland National Parks to enter Fraser Island with your car.
Below are the typical driving times from nearby destinations:
- Brisbane: It takes about 3.5 hours to drive to Hervey Bay and 3 hours to drive to Rainbow Beach via the Bruce Highway
- Noosa: It takes 2.5 hours to drive to Hervey Bay and 2 hours to drive to Rainbow Beach
- Byron Bay: It takes 8.5 hours to drive to Hervey Bay and 8 hours to drive to Rainbow Beach
- Sydney: It takes 13 hours to drive to Hervey Bay and 12.5 hours to drive to Rainbow Beach. You can also take the train (see below).
Getting to Fraser Island by rail
There are no direct train routes to Fraser Island, but Queensland Rail runs trains from Brisbane, Rockhampton and Cairns to Maryborough West (the closest train station to Fraser Island). From here you can transfer to Hervey Bay on the RailBus Coach operated by Queensland Rail. You can also take Tilt Train from Brisbane to Cooroy and then transfer to Rainbow Beach by bus from Cooroy to Rainbow Beach (total journey time takes 4.5 hours).
If you are travelling from Sydney, you can take a NSW TrainLink from Sydney to Brisbane and then onto Maryborough West or Cooroy stations. From here, you can transfer to Hervey Bay or Rainbow beach via the RailBus Coach service.
Getting to Fraser Island by bus
There are no public bus services to Fraser Island, but there are a number of private bus companies including Greyhound Australia, Oz Experience and Premier which operate daily coach services from Childers, Maryborough and Sunshine Coast to Hervey Bay and/or Rainbow Beach.
Our Fraser Island tours