Fraser Coast and Fraser Island Visitor’s Guide

It’s all about the water on the Fraser Coast. The region is the whale-watching capital of the world, with thousands of humpbacks migrating past each year, as well as one of Australia’s top fishing destinations.

The town of Hervey Bay is a bustling holiday hub known for its family-friendly beaches. Just offshore, you’ll find the world’s largest sand island, Fraser Island, a place of sparkling lakes and 4WD adventure.

Fraser Island

Fraser Island is the jewel of the Fraser Coast. It's the largest sand island in the world, a huge bank that stretches for more than 120km north to south and is dotted with ancient rainforests, more than 100 lakes, vast dunes and deserted beaches.

Tours and things to do on Fraser Island

Lake McKenzie 

Lined with pure white sand and filled with crystal clear rainwater, Lake McKenzie is Fraser Island’s most popular attraction. Take a dip, or wake up early to see it lit up at sunrise.

The Maheno Shipwreck

An iconic landmark of Fraser Island, this ill-fated trans-Tasman liner was driven ashore in 1935. Its rusting skeleton still stands on the sand north of Happy Valley, slowly eroding away in the salt and wind.

Four-wheel driving

Fraser Island is a 4WD playground and one of the few places in Australia where you can drive along the beach (just watch out for the tides). Pick up your permit and don’t miss a spin along the full length of 75 Mile Beach.


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Things to do on the Fraser Coast

Whale Watching

The Fraser Coast is the whale watching capital of the world. More than 7000 of these gentle giants make their way along the coast from July to November and you can spot them from the shore, cruise with them in a boat, or jump in and swim alongside them.

Fishing

The region’s ocean, rivers and lakes are teeming with trevally, queenfish, barramundi, tuna, snapper, marlin and more. The extensive seagrass beds of the Great Sandy Strait act as a nursery for prawns and juvenile fish, and a feeding ground for larger species. Fraser Island also draws huge schools of tailor fish during breeding season. Ready to go fishing?

Places to visit

From World-Heritage islands to historic ports and rolling sugar cane fields, you’ll be captivated by the Fraser Coast.

Hervey Bay

The unofficial capital of the Fraser Coast is packed with hotels, restaurants and shops, and is the gateway to Fraser Island or tours of the region. 

Maryborough

One of Queensland’s best heritage towns, Maryborough dates to the mid-1800s and has many well-preserved buildings, a historic port area, galleries and museums, and hosts the annual Mary Poppins Festival.

Burrum Coast

The cruisy coastal community, 20 minutes from Hervey Bay, is known for its quiet beaches and mangrove-lined rivers, perfect for exploring by boat. Head south to loll about in the calm waters of the Great Sandy Strait or north to explore great fishing on the Burrum Coast. 

Hinterland

Sugar cane, macadamias and cattle fill the Fraser Coast Hinterland, along with farmers’ markets, peaceful lakes and winding stock routes.

From the Blog

Local Tip

I love floating down the clear, fresh water of Eli Creek on Fraser Island. Kate Duffy
Eli Creek, Fraser Island

What’s on in the Fraser Coast

Head to Hervey Bay for the annual humpback whale migration and the accompanying celebrations, or experience markets, concerts, food and cultural festivals, and other events across the region. Show me what else is on in region.

Where to Stay

Camp right on the sand dunes of Fraser Island, rent a spacious holiday house or check in to a stylish resort in Hervey Bay, on Fraser Island or along the coast. Show me more accommodation options.

Getting There

By Plane

Just 15 minutes outside of town, Fraser Coast Airport services direct flights from Brisbane and Sydney.

Driving

The Fraser Coast is about 270km north of Brisbane and the drive takes just over three hours. The route travels along the Bruce Highway, through the Sunshine Coast and into Maryborough. From the Sunshine Coast, the Fraser Coast is about 180km and drive time is about two hours. The road runs inland through the regional centre of Gympie.

Getting to Fraser Island

The easiest way to get to Fraser Island is by boat – passenger ferries and vehicle barges make the journey many times a day. The Fraser Venture Barge leaves from River Heads, about 20 minutes south of Hervey Bay, and lands at Wanggoolba Creek on Fraser Island. The journey takes about 30 minutes. The Kingfisher Bay Ferry also departs from River Head and lands right at Kingfisher Bay Resort. The journey takes about 50 minutes.

Manta Ray Fraser Island Barges depart from Inskip Point near the town of Rainbow Beach, which is off the south coast of Fraser Island and about 100km from Maryborough. The barges run on demand throughout the day and the journey is 10 minutes.

Getting Around

Hervey Bay is relatively compact and easy to navigate. Renting a car lets you explore the town as well as the surrounding countryside. Or, to just explore the town itself, consider hiring a bicycle or scooter. Wide Bay Transit provides a good bus service, and taxi services are plentiful as well.

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