Sand, glorious sand! That’s what Fraser Island is all about. As the largest sand island in the world, unsurprisingly, one day tours to Fraser Island are extremely popular from nearby towns like Hervey Beach and Noosa. And the heritage-listed island has some rare features that make it extra special including a healthy rainforest, rooted in the high dunes, plus many perched lakes, which are permanent water features formed when sand in depressions in the dunes combines with decomposing organic matter to create a cement like substance preventing the water from seeping away.
Finding a cheap tour to Fraser Island via Rainbow Beach that allows you to make the most of these amazing natural features isn’t always easy. We have sifted through all those that are out there to filter out the best five tours available that leave from either Hervey Beach or Noosa. We’ve selected tours that include key Fraser Island experiences like swimming in the perched lakes, snorkelling trips and exploring the rainforest. We also take into account each tour’s value for money, reviews from previous travellers and the quality of the guides.
FROM A$185/per person
Exploring Fraser Island from both land and sea is the main aim of this excellent day tour from Hervey Bay. You will have the opportunity to swim, snorkel and kayak in the immaculate turquoise waters. Be on the lookout for turtles here, with dugongs and dolphins also possible sightings along the way. And from mid-July to December, you might even be lucky enough to see a humpback whale up close, if the conditions allow. You can also hike inland up the dunes and take a walk along the beach, where it’s possible to spot dingoes and various birds.
From A$195/ per person
For those based in Noosa, there’s a top-notch tour available that really pushes inland on Fraser Island to explore the remarkable perched lakes and rainforest ecosystems. Head to Lake McKenzie, with its white sand beach and beautiful waters in varied shades of blue. Here you can swim and have a picnic lunch before hiking through the rainforest to valleys and creeks. There is also a drive along the beach highway, a many miles-long stretch of sand by the sea that is navigable in your air-conditioned bus for the trip. There’ll be a final stop in Rainbow Beach, a gateway town to Fraser Island before heading back to Noosa.
From A$239/ per person
For a similar tour that explores the best of inland Fraser Island leaving from Hervey Bay, consider this coach tour. You’ll start out from a former logging station and follow the boardwalk at Wanggoolba Creek to see the amazing flora there, then head to Lake McKenzie for some quality swim and sand time. One of the big highlights though is a trip to the shipwreck of the Maheno, which rusts away, right on the beach. Finally, stop by the Pinnacles, which are formed of coloured bands of sand laid down over many centuries.
From A$399/ per person
If Fraser Island sounds like your jam, then a day trip from Noosa or Hervey Bay might not be long enough for you. The good news is there’s a two-day tour that allows more time to roam the island and reach remoter points of interest. In addition to visiting Wanggoolba Creek, the tropical rainforest of Pile Valley and the Maheno shipwreck, you’ll also get to relax in the Champagne Pools (not as inebriating as they sound), where crashing waves create something of a Jacuzzi effect, then trek across the island to Lake Wabby, a green freshwater (perched) lake among the dunes. Hotel accommodation and four meals are included in the price.
From A$420/ per person
Like all good ideas, there are a few good two-day tours to Fraser Island from Hervey Bay. This one mirrors many of the highlights of the other tours and includes a BBQ lunch, a chance to take a tube ride at Eli Creek, plus a little time allotted for a game of beach volleyball. There’s plenty of opportunity afforded for swimming in remote lakes and, perhaps the best perk of all for this tour is the chance to drive yourself around in a shiny, pink 4WD vehicle, provided that you bring your driver’s licence of course.