There are several options to consider when staying at Fraser Island; from camping sea-side on the beach front camping grounds, to rental houses, to resort style accommodation.
When considering camping at Fraser Island remember that you aren’t just a drive to the shop if you forget something. Due to the barge only access to the mainland the island shops are expensive so with this in mind consider all the necessities which need to be taken with you. Major differences exist between staying for a weekend or staying for longer. Basic camping can get you through a weekends stay with basic essentials and camping gear. If anyone in your group of travellers is concerned about access to toilets or showers there are a number of camp grounds, fenced and unfenced across the island.
The true Fraser experience comes from camping on the main beach as thousands do each year. There are dedicated areas for beach camping outlined in maps available from the Rainbow Beach ranger station, which you should attend anyway to get your camping and vehicle permits before heading across. Access to these areas is via four-wheel drive only, as you need to travel on the sand to get there. Having someone with previous experience driving on the beach is essential to keep up your groups safety. Driving on the sand is unlike driving on bitumen and for the first timer can end in a short costly holiday. Signposts for campgrounds are clearly stated on signposts on the beach. A suggestion is to pick somewhere mid way along the beach between Happy Valley and Dundubara. This area is central to the major attractions and in the unfortunate event something happens the resident ambulance and police are at Happy Valley.
When planning a weekend trip, consider the normal camping gear (tent, chairs, bedding, food) plus the following:
- Portable toilet
- Portable stove or BBQ
- Gas for stove or portable gasmate style portable stove with pack of gas canisters
- Lockable storage for food
- Lockable esky or portable fridge
Note: wildlife does frequent the camping areas and are not afraid of getting into your belongings so locking up food, eskies, rubbish and, most importantly, tents is essential.
When planning the long duration stay consider the following:
- Spare fuel for vehicles or generators
- Spare gas for BBQ
- Canned food
- Gas or electric fridge
- Solar panel (small trickle charge type or large one to keep up power in batteries if choosing to run lights etc on them)
- Lighting either gas, unleaded fuel or electric type (if gas or petrol lanterns remember spare mantles)
- Spare rope for tents
- Portable toilet and spare chemicals
- Spare bedding in a chriovac bag to keep spare in the event of main bedding getting wet
- Shower (either a thermal bag type or electric pump type)
These few things help make your trip more enjoyable but of course there is an abundance of gadgets and gear at stores like BCF. You can buy pop up kitchens and bathrooms etc with all the equipment required.
What to Know
Fraser Island is prone to being subjected to severe South East Queensland thunderstorms and when camping on an open beach this can cause issues from damaging winds and flooding. In my experience a large marquee or large tarp covering the sleeping tent and acting as the kitchen area is the best set up for long-term stays. To storm proof this design some thick (15mm is good) rope is essential especially if going in a known storm season (December-April). 2 lengths of this rope that covers the length of your tarp with overhang at 45 degrees is by far the best way to stop the tarp lifting and all of your belongings becoming destroyed by wind and rain. Again many ways exist to storm proof your camp but this simple technique helps. It can take several years to get together the gear that you see many camps have but comfort and practicality is the key.
Note the setup in the above photo, typical of a camp set up on Fraser. You can see the storm ropes over the top as mentioned earlier. We did cop a decent storm this trip, and added sides to the back of this to keep everything dry.
For those who would prefer not to camp can take advantage of some of the islands rental houses. Of particular note is the choice of houses at Orchid Beach on the most Northern part of the island. Frequented by reef fishermen, there are many affordable houses at Orchid Beach which can house a family or group of up to 12. Splitting between couples or groups can make the stay fairly cheap for all. This is the best option for the keen reef fishermen, who are often seen launching boats from the beach on the northern side of Waddy Point. Most houses at Orchid Beach have full fish cleaning facilities available and freezer room for the catch.
The following are two of the most notable resorts on Fraser Island.
Eurong Beach ResortEurong Beach Resort, Eurong
Fraser Island, QLD 4581 Telephone:
Facsimile: +61 7 4120 1644 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Prices from $138 per night
Kingfisher Bay ResortPMB 1 Urangan Hervey Bay
Queensland 4655 Australia Toll FREE
Facsimile: +61 7 4194 9230 Email: email@example.com Prices from $188 per night.