Fraser Island is not only famous for its beautiful coastal views and diverse marine wildlife.
It also boasts exceptional landforms, ranging from complex dune systems to vast mangrove forests, eucalyptus woodlands, and rainforests growing straight from the sand.
All these make the island an ideal spot for avid campers. If you’re on the hunt for the best places to camp on Fraser Island, this guide is for you.
You will find easy-to-navigate Fraser Island maps of all the camping zones for your convenience. Plus, we’ll share exclusive tips and hacks to make your trip worthwhile.
Deciding Where To Camp On Fraser Island
Deciding where to camp is a tough decision, as you don’t want to get here and be disappointed. Further to this, camping on the island is very popular, so you should try to secure a spot as soon as possible, as places fill up fast during the holiday season.
Before planning a camping trip to Fraser Island, you need to ask yourself a few very important questions.
- Do you want to freestyle campsite?
- Do you want to stay in a managed campground?
- Where on the island do you want to stay? (North, South, East, West or Central)
To find the best spot for you on Fraser Island, you will need to first decide if you want a freestyle campsite or if you want to stay at a managed campground.
So, what is the difference between a campsite and a campground?
What is a Freestyle Campsite?
A freestyle camp is where you are totally self-sufficient. This type of camping requires a camping permit, however, you will have a little more privacy and not be confined in such a restrictive area. These campsites are for both tent and camper-trailer access.
Most of the freestyle sites have beachfront access and ocean views.
However, you will need to have your own toilet and shower facilities. This includes having sufficient water supply for both drinking and washing.
This type of camping allows a little more freedom and a larger choice of camping areas to choose from.
What is a Managed Campground?
Managed Campgrounds are typically shared with lots of other campers in a restrictive area. You will need a camping permit and you can choose between a tent site and a camper trailer site.
They have a Dingo deterrent/protection fence, picnic tables and access to toilet and shower facilities.
Generators are not permitted and they have restrictive arrival and departure times. Some campgrounds allow campfires if fire rings are present and there are no weather restrictions.
What Part Of The Island Do You Want To Camp?
Fraser Island has a whopping 45 camping areas over 9 Zones, making it one of the most camping-friendly destinations in Australia. Before you go, what you need to ask yourself is where you want to camp on the Island.
- Do you want a central location with easy access to to the main sightseeing tourist attractions?
- Do you prefer to be in a more remote area with no camping neighbours?
- Do you want to be close to freshwater swimming spots?
- Do you want to keep the kids safe from beachside vehicle traffic
Once you have decided this you will need to find which part of the island you want to camp at.
Do You Want To Camp With A Dingo Protection Fence?
It is advisable that if you are camping with small children you may want to consider a managed camping ground that has Dingo deterrent/protection fences.
The best camp areas for this are the Managed Campgrounds at :
- Central station campground
- Dundubara campground
- Waddy Point (Top campground)
- Dilli Village
- Wathumba campground
- Eli Creek campground
- One Tree campground
- Wongai campground
- Lake Boomanjin campground
Do You Want To Have A Campfire?
If you would like to be able to cook on a campfire and roast marshmallows with the kids you will need to get a camping permit for a Managed Campground that has suitable fire pits.
Fires on the beach or in freestyle campsites are totally prohibited on the island.
Once you think you know where you want to go and what side of the island you prefer you need to find a spot or zone that is suitable to your needs.
Once you have decided on the place to set up camp you can then go and book your camping permit.
You can access this online at the Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service QPWS website and book your campsite. You are able to do this up to 6 months prior.
Eastern Freestyle Campsite Zones
Map of the Eastern Campsite zones on Fraser Island
The east coast of Fraser Island along 75 Mile Beach gives you access to 9 camping zones that can accommodate up to 1,600 people.
These Fraser Island campsites feature a range of set-ups suitable for different types of campers, from walk-ins to those taking off-road trailers or putting up their tents.
The only downside of some of the camping areas on the eastern coast is the lack of facilities. This is due to the fact that the campsites are dotted along the beachfront.
Apart from the managed camp-grounds that fall within these zones, they do not have toilet facilities and you will need to bring your own water.
As they are beachfront with ocean views and situated along 75 Mile Beach they are heavy traffic areas with 4WD vehicles driving at high speeds.
This can be very dangerous when you have small children playing on the beach. If this is concerning for you then perhaps a managed and fenced camping ground is more suited.
Zone 1 – Dilli Village to Eurong ( Govi & Wangai sites)
This zone has both freestyle campsites and managed campgrounds ( see further below) within this area.
The freestyle beachside camping is permitted along 75 Mile beach from Dilli Village turn off to the Eurong Exit. These sites are known as Govi & Wangai campsites.
Look for the camping and no camping signs to ensure you stay within the camping zones.
They have no toilet facilities and you will need to bring your own water. Telstra mobile phone coverage is intermittent depending on wind direction.
Zone 2 – Eurong to Poyungan Rocks (One tree, Cornwells, Gabala)
If you’re looking for a campsite that gives you easy access to the beautiful lakes on Fraser Island, consider Beach Camping Zones 1 or 2.
Both these areas are a short drive from the Hook Point barge landing area and close to Eurong, Lake Mackenzie and Central Station.
They are beachfront, have no toilet facilities and you will need to bring your own water.
Zone 3 – Poyungen to Happy Valley (Poyungan & Winnam)
Around this area is a great place to set up camp. Most of the sites are located just behind the small dunes overlooking the beach.
This is perfect when the easterly winds are blowing a gale as you have some protection.
Also, a great location as you are located in the middle of 75 Mile Beach and close to the shops at Happy Valley and other attractions.
Zone 4 – Happy Valley to Eli Creek (Guluri & Eli)
This camp zone is a favourite of our family. It is beachfront and most sites are slightly elevated on top of small sandy dunes or nestled in behind paperbark trees.
Great when the easterly winds are blowing a gale as they give some protection.
It’s the perfect location as it’s so easy to drive to the toilet facilities and the general store at Happy Valley.
Great when the kids want ice cream or you don’t feel like making another ham and cheese wrap for lunch and prefer some hot chips or a burger instead.
And in this zone, Eli Creek will not be far away so it’s great when the kids want to swim in a freshwater creek on a hot summer day.
The only issue is that this stretch along 75 Mile Beach can be extremely busy with vehicles. Remembering this strip is a designated sand highway.
So having small children on the beach can be dangerous with all the traffic.
Zone 5 – Eli Creek to Pinnacles (Maheno & Wahba)
Another great camp area with ocean views. Great in the summertime when you want a freshwater swim at Eli Creek.
There are also toilet facilities at Eli Creek if you need them.
Zone 6 – Pinnacles to Dundubara (Eugarie, Yurru, Guruman)
Guruman Camping Zone – between the Pinnacles and Dundubara
Nice beachfront location, usually not so populated with campers so if you want a bit of privacy this is the spot.
Cathedrals Township is located between this camping zone.
Zone 7 – Dundubara to Indian Head (Wyuna & Burad)
Burad Camping Zone – Eastern beach
Perfect if you want some privacy however can be busy with passing traffic during peak holiday times.
Freestyle Northern Camping Zones
Zone 8 – Waddy Point to Ngkala (Marloo, Ocean Lake, Duling)
Dulling Camping Zone – The northern end on the eastern beach
This camping area is located around Orchid Beach township.
Waddy Point is to the south and Ngkala is heading north towards the Sandy Cape.
There is a fenced camping area at Waddy Point on the upper-level campground.
Great if you want to protect the kids from the Dingoes.
Only the Waddy campground has toilet and shower facilities.
North of Orchid Beach are the camping grounds Marloo, Ocean Lake and Duling. These 3 make up the eastern Beach Zone 8 camping areas.
Zone 9 – Nkgala (Browns Beach) to Sandy Cape (Diray & Carree)
Carree camping zone at the Sandy Cape
If you prefer a remote location, you can go as far as Beach Camping Zone 9. It’s a gorgeous camping area located between the Sandy Cape Lighthouse and Brown Rocks.
Again this is beachfront camping with no facilities.
So if you don’t have a portable toilet you will be digging a hole in the sand, so don’t forget a shovel !!
Western Freestyle Campsite Zones
Eight camping zones comprise the western part of Fraser Island and can only accommodate as many as 215 people.
However, these campsites give you some of the most stunning views on the island. You probably won’t find another camper for miles
The caveat is that they are extremely remote and some sites are only accessible by boat. Tent and camper trailer sites are typically available in these areas.
One of the most popular western campsites is Bowarrady Creek which is accessible only by boat.
This site gives you wonderful views of Platypus Bay, a cove known for whale watching and fishing.
Be warned there are lots of sand flies in this area so bring insect repellent ” Bushmans or Rid.” No facilities and bring your own water.
If you prefer a spot on the west coast that’s reasonably accessible, head to Woralie Creek.
It sits at the entrance of a 4WD track leading to the east coast. It’s one of the best options for camping or even a day trip.
Another great fishing spot for whiting and flathead. No facilities and bring your own water.
This camping site is located 8km North of Moon Point in Platypus Bay. Accessible by 4WD or by boat.
It is a remote area but is fairly popular with campers who come by boat from Urangan Hervey Bay to enjoy some quality fishing in the bay.
No facilities and bring your own water. It does have good Telstra mobile phone coverage.
This camping area is accessible by 4WD and by boat. Great fishing spot but in a remote area with not a lot of other campers around. It has no facilities and you should bring your own water.
If you enjoy fishing, consider the Wathumba campground on the western side of the island.
If you enjoy fishing the whiting and the dart are plentiful. It’s also a great spot for Kayaking and bird watching in the estuary of the creek.
It can be a very popular spot for day users who come from Orchid Beach during peak times of the school holidays.
It has toilets and picnic tables and lots of shady trees that give protection from the sun and the wind which is a bonus.
It also has Telstra mobile phone coverage on higher ground, however, sometimes it is intermittent depending on the wind direction.
You would normally access Wathumba Creek via Orchid Beach. It is about a 35-minute drive from Orchid Township.
Most of the track is sand and only one vehicle wide so if you meet another vehicle along the way there will be some reversing until a clearing is found so you can pass safely.
This spot is a favourite for us the only downside is that at sunset the sandflies and mosquitoes are rampant.
Be sure to have insect repellent. Speaking of sunsets, this spot is magic for the perfect sunset photos.
Freestyle Central and Southern Campsite Zones
The southern central inland zones have three main camping areas with 2 of them being fenced and managed we will also cover them in the Managed campground area below.
Ungowa Camping Area
This campsite area is great for off-road camper trailers and tents. Facilities include picnic tables and toilets.
You will need to bring your own water supplies. Nice spot to catch some fish for dinner.
This campsite is located just slightly west of the southern part of the island, near the Hook Point barge landing area.
A handy spot if you arrive late on the barge at high tide and can’t travel the beach a bit like a rest stop.
It has picnic tables and is great for tent and camper trailers. No toilet facilities and you will need your own water.
Lake Boomanjin Camping Area
Another interesting camping site in the south of Fraser is the Lake Boomanjin Camping Area. This is a great spot for swimming and kayaking.
You can set up your tent in front of the gorgeous Lake Boomanjin, which is the world’s largest perched lake.
If you wish to camp here, you can’t take your 4×4 or off-road trailer as it is a walk-in campsite.
Also, facilities are limited to toilets and picnic tables only.
The managed camping options on Fraser Island are nowhere close to your idea of “glamping” or luxury camping.
These formal campgrounds feature basic facilities, with most having toilets, showers, barbecues and communal washing-up and picnic areas.
Below are some of the most popular Managed Fraser Island campgrounds.
Central Station Campground (Central Zone)
Central Station is a camping ground that is set in a majestic moss-covered rainforest setting. With towering Santinay trees and king ferns all around.
Wanggoolba Creek runs past the campground and it is a beautiful spot to enjoy a stroll along the boardwalk.
- 40 Tent sites
- 15 camper trailer sites
- Hot showers ($2)
- Picnic tables
- Undercover picnic areas
- Mobile phone tower/reception
- Picnic Cages
A dingo deterrent fence encloses the campground, so it’s perfect for families with younger kids.
Generators are not permitted and fires are prohibited.
Things you can do include:
- Watch the abundant birdlife
- Take a walk along Wanggoolba Creek rainforest boardwalk
- Take a scenic drive to the Central and Southern Lakes of Lake Boomanjin and Lake Birrabeen
- Enjoy the views
Dundubara Campground (Eastern Zone 7)
This large, fenced camping area is a managed campground and home to a local QPWS Ranger Station.
If you want all the camping facilities this is the spot. It is located only 200m up from the beach.
It is protected from the wind and has large trees and plenty of shady areas and grass.
- 5 Camper Trailer sites
- 35 Tent sites
- Hot Showers ($2 per 5 mins approx.)
- Campfire rings
- Dump/rubbish station
- Mobile phone reception tower
It’s also close to many attractions on Fraser Island
- Eli Creek
- Maheno Wreck
- Red Canyon
- Cathedral Beach
Waddy Point Campground (Northern Zone 8)
This inland retreat area is set in coastal woodland close to a rocky headland.
It’s also close to some of the island’s top attractions, such as the Champagne Pools and Binngih Sandblow.
It’s a perfect spot for wilderness camping with ocean views.
There is a high and low campground area. The higher area has ocean views from the front camps and behind you are protected from the wind and rain under huge trees.
From the lower campground, you can certainly hear the waves, and if there is an extremely high tide you can often be surrounded by big pools of water that get trapped in the tyre ruts.
So sometimes you are camping and driving through salt water. The camp spaces in this area are generous and a toilet block is also located down on this ground level.
- Tent sites
- Camper trailer sites
- Hot showers ($2)
- Fire rings
- Gas BBQ (coin-operated)
- Ranger Station
- Mobile phone reception
Things you can do around Waddy Point include:
- Go rock fishing off Waddy Point Lookout ( 1km away)
- Go kayaking or canoeing on a calm day in the bay
- Explore the natural rock pools at the point
- Stroll along the dunes to Conner’s Corner
- Go sandboarding on Big Mumma Sand Dune…You won’t miss her she is big and steep
- Find beach worms at Middle Beach ( restricted vehicle access)
Dilli Village Campground (Central/Eastern Zone 1)
Dilli Village is located on the southern end of the island on the Eastern side. It is a campground that has a Dingo deterrent/protection fence.
It is a great spot if you want to do some hiking as it is only 100m from the start of the Great Southern Walking Track.
It is also en route to the Southern Lakes of Lake Birrabeen and Lake Boomanjin. It’s a lovely grassy area with large surrounding trees.
Often it is home to visiting school kids on annual camping excursions.
- Tent sites
- Showers ($2)
- picnic tables
Things to do and see around Dilli Village
- Go hiking on the Great Southern Walk Track
- Swim at Lake Birrabeen
- Swim at Lake Boomanjin
- Visit Central Station for a picnic
- Drive to Eurong and stop at the Bakery for lunch
- Enjoy some beach fishing.
Fraser Island Camping Ground Etiquettes And Best Practices
It takes conscious effort to maintain the beauty of this World Heritage Site. It’s important for everyone to Keep It Clean and Don’t Harm or feed the Animals
Here are some things you can do to make your stay on the island eco-friendly:
- Avoid using body care products containing chemicals that may harm the reefs, impact water quality, and affect wildlife. This is especially important in the perched lakes.
- Take your garbage with you or use the trash bins provided at the campsite (if any). Don’t leave a trace. Always bring trash bags anywhere you go.
- Never light a campfire. Open fires are prohibited on Fraser Island, except for communal fire rings at select campgrounds. (Waddy point, Central station, Dundubara)
- Observe quiet hours between 9 pm and 9 am.
- Don’t feed or approach native animals, especially the Dingoes.
- Generators are permitted in most campsites.
- Strictly no pets are allowed on Fraser Island unless for medical reasons and a special exemption permit needs to be acquired.
Other Camping Tips:
Here are a few more important notes:
1. Before you go camping on Fraser Island, you have to obtain a camping permit from Queensland Parks and Wildlife Services. You can get it online or go to their office.
2. You can book each campsite for a maximum of 29 nights, and there’s a max of eight people per group.
3. Make sure you bring camping essentials, most especially food and drinking water. You’re not going to see a restaurant or food stop anywhere near the Fraser Island beach camping areas.
Most Commonly Asked Questions by Fraser Island Campers
1. Can I Camp Anywhere on Fraser Island?
Technically, you can camp anywhere on Fraser Island, but you have to get a permit first.
Aside from the public parks and campgrounds mentioned above, there are also a few privately owned Fraser Island campsites and rental houses.
Most of these campgrounds are complete with facilities, amenities, and even accommodations. For example, some sites have cabins and permanent tents that you can rent.
Some even have camp kitchens where you can cook, plus a general store where you can buy essentials, snacks, and even ice cream.
If you’re willing to spend more in exchange for comfort, you can choose a private campsite.
2. What Is the Best Campsite on Fraser Island?
It depends on what kind of camping experience you’re after. Some of the best campgrounds on Fraser Island are Central Station, Dundubara, and Waddy Point.
You can enjoy the rugged outdoors and still have access to basic facilities like toilets and washing areas. They also have a Dingo Protection Fence to keep the kids safe.
3. Can You Free Camp on Fraser Island?
Fraser Island is a beautiful, rugged destination where you can camp your own way. However, nothing in life nowadays is free so you will need to purchase a camping permit.
Camping permits are for a maximum of 29 nights (30 days.)
4. How Much Does It Cost To Camp on Fraser Island?
Camping permits cost as little as $7 per person, and families and groups are usually given discounts. Camping fees are site-specific but are relatively cheap.
5. Are there any campgrounds with facilities on Fraser Island?
Yes, there are camping areas with facilities. See all the managed campgrounds here
6. What are the rules regarding waste disposal on Fraser Island?
Campers are advised to keep their campsites free of scraps and store all food, bait, fish, fishing gear, and rubbish in well-secured containers. It’s crucial not to leave any rubbish behind when camping or hiking.
All rubbish should be taken home or disposed of appropriately at designated dump points, with recycling and composting recommended where possible. Where to dump your rubbish on Fraser?
Camping on Fraser Island: The Conclusion
Even though Fraser Island is not an ideal place for beach swimming due to the harsh waves and sharks, it is very much camping-friendly.
Camping is a great way to immerse yourself in the natural beauty of the island. It makes for a wonderful family holiday and a great cheap adventure for our international Backpackers that visit.
There are plenty of things to see and do on Fraser Island, especially if you enjoy 4×4 driving. You can bathe in Champagne Pools (the only safe place to swim in salt water).
Swim & relax in freshwater at Eli Creek, drive to the Maheno Wreck, or fish in the ocean and catch dinner.
You can do everything from hiking the rainforest trails, canoeing Platypus Bay, fishing for whiting, catching beach worms and even going birdwatching.
More (K’gari) Island Attractions
- Lake Mckenzie Fraser Island
- Platypus Bay Fraser Island
- Champaign Pools Fraser Island
- Eli Creek Fraser Island
- Central Station Rainforest
- The Pinnacles – Coloured Sands
- The Maheno Wreck Fraser Island
- Indian Head Fraser Island
- The Sandy Cape Lighthouse