What You Need to Know About Camping on Fraser Island

Fraser Island, located just off the East Coast of Queensland, is the largest sand island in the world, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of Australia’s greatest attractions.

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It’s the only place in the world where the rainforest grows right out of the sand dunes. It is home to over 350 species of birds, possums, wallabies, sea turtles, dolphins, and, of course, Australia’s favourite wild dog – the dingo. 

Fraser Island was home to the Butchulla people, and they called it K’gari, meaning ‘paradise’ in their language. In 2021, Fraser Island was officially renamed K’gari, recognizing the deep cultural ties of the Butchulla people, who’ve lived there for about 50,000 years. The change aims to honour the Indigenous connection to the land, marking a significant moment in Queensland’s history.

When you visit the island, you’ll see why it earned such a name for its natural beauty. But if that is not enough, Fraser Island is truly stunning and the perfect place to spend a few days relaxing surrounded by natural beauty.

Camping On Fraser Island

In our opinion, camping is THE way to go on K’gari Fraser Island… it gives you the chance to get back to nature and experience one of the best things to do in Australia to the max.

But we understand that things can get confusing when it comes to camping on K’gari Fraser Island. So, we have broken it down in layman’s terms to make planning your adventure to K’gari Fraser Island a breeze.

Camping on Fraser Island, View from the top of Indian Head, Fraser Island
View from the top of Indian Head, Fraser Island
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Where To Camp

Where you camp should be based on what you want to see and do on Fraser Islandhow much time you have, and how much you are willing to rough it. What facilities are a must for you?

East Coast

The east coast is wild and unfiltered. It is home to the island’s main artery, 75 Mile Beach, and some of its top attractions like Indian Head, the Red Canyon, and Wabby Lake. 

West Coast

The west coast is calm, sheltered, and untouched. While the northern and southern tips are remote and tranquil.

If you have limited time we suggest that you focus on the south-central part of the island (Lake MacKenzie, Wanggoolba Creek, etc.) and the east coast!

Camping on Fraser Island, Coloured sands on Fraser Island
Coloured sands on Fraser Island

Public And Private Campsites

K’gari (Fraser Island) in Great Sandy National Park has 45 camping areas. There are both public (Queensland Parks) and private campsites on the island. Private campsites are few and far between on the island but offer more amenities and typically better facilities. Meanwhile, Queensland Park campsites are plentiful and, therefore, the more popular choice.

K’gari Fraser Island is not the kind of place where you will be able to show up and ‘wing’ it. Planning a camping trip to Fraser Island requires some forethought. If you are reliant on those creature comforts, camping, especially with Queensland Parks, can be quite threadbare.

Champagne Pools, Fraser Island
Champagne Pools, Fraser Island

Queensland Parks

Queensland Parks Permits

So you want to go camping on Fraser Island? Then, the first thing you’ll need to do is obtain a camping permit from the Queensland Parks and Wildlife Services. You can do it online here or in person at any one of their offices. 

Be prepared, and do your research; this is Australia, you don’t want to be under-prepared for anything.

Keep in mind that no park ranger will be able to arrange a permit for camping on Fraser Island for you once you’re on the island. So plan ahead!

When you arrange your camping permit, you will be required to choose which campsite you would like to stay at. Each campsite can be booked for a maximum of 2 nights, for groups of 8 or less.

The permit should be pinned to the outside of your tent and visible at all times to avoid fines.

Fraser Island Vehicle Permits

Unless you are doing the Fraser Island Great Walk, then you’ll likely be arriving in a 4-wheel drive vehicle. If you don’t have a suitable vehicle there are a few 4WD hires on Fraser Island, but it is typically cheaper to rent in Hervey Bay.

This too, requires a permit which can be obtained here.

Ensure you are diligent of tide times when planning your adventure. Some stretches of beach (aka your highway) are only accessible at low tide.


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Queensland Parks Campsites

Fenced Campsites

These are the most popular and well-developed campsites on Fraser Island. They are fenced-in to prevent dingoes from entering the campsite area and offer more amenities than the other government-operated campsites on the island. 

Unless you are really looking to rough it, we recommend booking your stay at one of these campsites.

Central Campsite

Central Campsite is located in the central south section of Lake Fraser, on the site of an old logging station. This Central Station Camping Area is located within the rainforest, close to the Wanggoolba Creek ferry port, Lake McKenzie (Fraser Island favourite of ours) and many popular walking trails.

There are 40 tent sites and 15 trailer sites on site. The facilities include $2 coin-operated showers (hot!), flushable toilets, washing facilities, and garbage disposal.

Camping on Fraser Island: Lake Mackenzie, Fraser Island, Australia
Lake Mackenzie, Fraser Island

Dundubara Campsite

Dundubara is located on the east coast, minutes from the shoreline in a coastal forest. It is located 19 km south of Indian Head, minutes from Red Canyon and north of Eli Creek and the Maheno shipwreck.

There are over 40 tent sites and a handful of trailer sites on the property. Facilities onsite include untreated water taps, flushable toilets, $2 coin-operated hot showers, picnic tables, washing facilities, and communal fire rings. Nearby, you’ll find portable toilet waste and garbage disposal facilities.

Camping on Fraser Island: Maheno Shipwreck, Fraser Island
Maheno Shipwreck, Fraser Island

Waddy Point Campsite

Waddy Point is located 5 km north of Indian Head and close to Champagne Pools on the east coast. Waddy Point beachfront camping area is divided into two sections; one section is located back from the beach within the coastal forest, and the other is beachfront on a protected bay.

There are 25 campsites and some trailer sites at this campsite. Facilities onsite include untreated water taps, flushable toilets, $2 coin-operated hot showers, picnic tables, washing facilities, and communal fire rings. Garbage disposal is located nearby at Orchid Beach.

Camping on Fraser Island: Lake Wabby, Fraser Island
Lake Wabby, Fraser Island

Lake Boomanjin Campsite

Lake Boomanjin camping area is one of the smaller fenced-in campsites. It is located just a short stroll from Lake Boomanjin. Vehicles are not permitted within the campsite and must be parked outside. Facilities include flushable toilets, washing facilities, and picnic tables.

Cornwall Campsite

This campsite should be mentioned since it is fenced in. However, it is only suitable for large groups of 20-40 people, and there are no facilities on site.

Camping on Fraser Island: Dingo on beach on Fraser Island
Dingo on beach on Fraser Island

Non-Fenced Campsites

The remaining Queensland Park campsites offer the bare minimum. The few that offer picnic tables and toilet blocks are few and far between. Instead, you can expect an area to pitch your tent and lay your head for the night.

It is very important to only camp in designated camping areas to preserve the island’s natural vegetation and save yourself from getting a fine!

Northern Tip Campsites

Experienced campers can head straight to Sandy Cape on Fraser Island to bypass the crowds. It’s a secluded camping site at the island’s tip, a 5-hour drive from Kingfisher Bay Resort. Sandy Cape is the ideal beach camping zone with its serene ambiance, white sand, and calm turquoise waters, but beware of the challenging Ngkala Rocks along the way. Remember to book in advance and avoid open fires to ensure a smooth stay on Eastern Beach (zone 9).

East Coast Campsites

The east coast is divided into 9 camping zones and then into subsequent campsites. As you might expect, campsites on the east coast are more popular and abundant than the other non-fenced campsites (west, south and southwestern campsites).

They are located adjacent to the beach, just behind the sand dunes. You are required to use the 4WD tracks in place to reach them. Find the eastern camping zone map here.

Fraser Island
Fraser Island

West, South, and South Western Campsites

These campsites are considered remote campsites on the South Western coastline that are only available by 4WD, long treks, or via the water.

They are the ultimate place to experience the wilds of Fraser Island in near solitude. Consult the Fraser Island map for the exact locations of these campsites.

Things To Remember

  • All campsites observe quiet hours between 9 pm and 9 am. This includes generators.
  • Fires are strictly forbidden except within designated fire rings at Dundubara and Wabby Point on K’gari (Fraser Island). To enjoy a hot meal, make sure to bring a portable gas stove as an alternative to open fires. This ensures compliance with fire safety regulations and helps maintain the pristine environment of the island.
  • You will need to bring your own milled timber as there is no firewood for sale at the Queensland campsites, and collecting kindling from the island is strictly prohibited.
  • Be wary of dingoes! You are bound to see your fair share on a camping trip to K’gari Fraser Island. But no matter how cute and cuddly they seem, these aren’t your typical house dogs.
  • Never feed them to avoid habituation and potential risks. Store your food somewhere secure, never keep it out or around your campsite or in your tent and dispose of food scraps properly to avoid attracting dingos. If possible, opt for fenced camping areas and watch children closely. Also, stay in groups and be mindful not to accidentally entice dingoes by running by them.
  • If you’re driving from campsite to campsite, keep in mind that beach driving is best done on either side of low tide when the sand has been packed down. Plan accordingly, as some stretches of beach (aka the highway) are only accessible at low tide. Learn more about 4WD hire on K’gari Fraser Island and what to do on K’gari Fraser Island here.
  • Consult an island’s conditions report before visiting the island. Weather plays an important role when it comes to camping on Fraser Island.
  • As part of the Great Sandy National Park, K’gari Fraser Island is right up there will other great Queensland National Parks like the Daintree National Park and Noosa National Park. But remember that no matter what park you are visiting, it is always important to leave only footprints.
  • Travel sustainably! Never leave rubbish behind or do anything that would negatively impact the island, like driving over fragile vegetation or sand dunes. 
  • Remember to use the access tracks made available or get out and walk.
  • REMEMBER TO BRING ALL YOUR OWN CAMPING GEAR! Queensland Park campgrounds do not offer any camping essentials. So it is absolutely imperative you are self-sufficient and bring all your own camp equipment and groceries.
  • There are a few places on the island that sell groceries and water, but the markups on these products are quite substantial. The shops can be quite a distance from one another, the stock is sometimes unpredictable, and getting bogged down in the sand seems to happen even to the best of us, so ensure you’ve got your own supply of food and water to tide you over and equipment to cook with.
Camping on Fraser Island: Lake Mackenzie beach
Lake Mackenzie beach
Camping on Fraser Island: This dingo looks friendly, but he's not
This dingo looks friendly, but he’s not
Camping on Fraser Island: 4WD
4WD on Fraser Island
Camping on Fraser Island: Fraser Island dock
Fraser Island dock

READ NEXT: Fraser Island Tour – Sand Dunes, Rainforests, & Beaches

Private Campgrounds

There are a few private campgrounds on K’gari Fraser Island. Private campgrounds are an excellent choice for visitors who don’t have much time to explore the far reaches of the island or for visitors travelling light!

Most private campgrounds offer tents for hire or permanent tents for rent, and some even have dining facilities. Plus, they typically have better overall facilities and more amenities than the government-operated sites.

These do not require any camping permits however, if you are bringing a vehicle, then, of course, you will still need a vehicle permit.

Camping on Fraser Island
Fraser Island

Cathedrals on Fraser

Cathedrals on Fraser is a K’gari Fraser Island favourite. You can expect to find a well-stocked convenience store, a bottle shop, hot meals, a fuel station, and great facilities. They offer hot showers, guest laundry facilities, communal fire rings, and treated tap water. 

Cathedrals on Fraser have dingo deterrent fences and are located a short drive from Maheno Shipwreck and Eli Creek on K’gari Fraser Island’s Eastern Beach.

Kingfisher Bay Resort 

Kingfisher Bay Resort on Fraser Island is a luxurious but pricier option, offering various accommodations like suites, villas, and houses. Despite being on the opposite side of the island, it provides numerous luxury facilities, including four swimming pools, restaurants, bars, a spa, child minding, conference facilities, and adventure tours.

Kingfisher Bay Resort
Kingfisher Bay Resort. Photo credits: Tourism and Events Queensland.

Dilli Village

Dilli Village is operated by the University of the Sunshine Coast primarily as an environmental education camp. They offer a fenced-in, grassy area to pitch your tent for the night. They have powered and unpowered campsites, kitchen and BBQ facilities, and shower and toilet blocks. Day passes are available for a small fee. Dilli Village is one of the beach camping zones close to Boomanjin Lake and Inskip Port, south of Wabby Lake.

K’gari (Fraser Island) is a must-see and one of the great stops on a Brisbane to Cairns road trip. While you will definitely see the island on a typical Fraser Island tour, we recommend making the most of your visit by camping your way through the island so you can get off the beaten path and experience more of what K’gari Fraser Island has to offer.

Have You Been Camping On Fraser Island? What Was Your Favourite Campsite?

2 thoughts on “What You Need to Know About Camping on Fraser Island”

  1. Stuart Hearn

    I have been to 56 countries Australia is the most regulated of them all and there is no such thing as free camping nothing is free in Australia this is a place The Nanny state I have lived here for 20 years and being born in the bush it drives me crazy you’re better off going to the Gulf country getting off road where there are no rules and regulations packing your Land Rover with tinned food sleeping in the back or with a tent when nobody can bother you up there there are thousands of Miles of Tracks far from the madding crowd
    you don’t need permits and you will be at peace in the bush nobody for miles and miles and miles

    1. Rules and regulations aren’t always a bad thing. Camping rarely costs more than $5-10/night, so it’s quite affordable and the proceeds from the fees help maintain the campsites with toilets and picnic benches and sometimes even water. So while of course, it would be nice to camp for free, we think paying a small fee for the quality of the campsites in Australia is totally worth it.

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