Situated off the coast of Queensland Australia, Fraser Island is a UNESCO World Heritage listed site, famous for its unique natural landscapes, and of course, being the largest sand island in the world!
I recently joined Tasman Venture on a day trip to Fraser Island to explore this natural wonder. Read on to hear about the experience.
Travelling to Hervey Bay (Tour Departure Location)
The day began at 7:45am at the vessel, at the Great Sandy Strait Marina, Hervey Bay. The tour departed at 8:00am. This may vary depending on the season so make sure you check!
Travel time by road to Hervey Bay (allow extra time due to roadworks at the time of this article):
From Brisbane: 3.5 hrs
From Gold Coast: 4.5 hrs
From Sunshine Coast: 2.5 hrs
From Bundaberg: 1hr 40min
There is ample parking available on site. I parked at the Security Carpark Opposite the Whale Bay Marina:
Once parked, walk through the Whale Bay Marina, bear left along the boardwalk, then follow the path around to the right until you see the Great Sandy Straights Marina:
Head down the ramp until you see the Tasman Venture vessel and check in with the crew. I was on the Pure Dive vessel for my trip.
If you arrive at the Marina early, there are a number of cafes nearby to get a coffee, or food, before your boarding time. There are also toilets inside the Great Sandy Straits Marina complex.
For those who don't have a car, Tasman Venture also offer pick up options from local hotels. Please liaise directly with them to arrange.
Locations & Activities
The crew gave us a safety briefing as we departed the Marina and we ventured out for our journey. Westerly winds were strong as we were heading out to Fraser Island, but thankfully the seas were thankfully not too choppy!
Fraser island was named after Eliza Fraser who was onboard a passenger and cargo vessel which sailed from London - Hobart - Sydney - Singapore. The vessel allegedly struck a coral reef en-route Sydney to Singapore. It's an interesting story if you'd like to read about it, but in short, Eliza was rescued near Lake Cootharaba on the island and the island was subsequently named after her.
After a short boat ride, we were transferred in groups to Platypus Bay where got to walk up some sand dunes and see the views from the top:
The rocks you see are actually made out of sand! The various neutral colours are a build up of different minerals over time.
During this stop we also walked along the western coast of Fraser Island where we saw Eagles unique to the region. Depending on the season you may also see turtles and whales too.
We then headed back to the boat and moved onto the next location along the sandy beaches for a kayaking experience. I was advised usually the tour would head further north for a snorkelling session, however, due to the wind conditions, and the use of 'Sealegs' (amphibious vessel that transferred us to shore), it was more appropriate to head back down south.
At the kayaking location, you were welcome to swim, go tubing, relax, or go for a little walk and explore. It was a perfect end to the day.
Morning tea, lunch and afternoon team were served to keep you energised - all of which were included in the price of your ticket. Here's what was served on the day of my trip:
Morning tea: cakes and cookies
Lunch: roast chicken, cold meats & salads
Lunch (veg): falafels with relish, salads (I'm vegetarian so I went with this one. Make sure you request this at the time of booking.)
Afternoon tea: chorizo, cheese & crackers
Afternoon tea (veg): cheese & crackers
What to Bring
There is really not much you need to bring on this day trip, but here are a few essentials to pack:
Swimmers / bathers /budgie smugglers (whatever you call them in your country 😊)
Towel (the Dock & Bay sand free towels are a must have!)
Phone (with a waterproof case) / camera / GoPro
Seasick tablets (I saw a girl get seasick, it didn't look pleasant)
Ditch the shoes, its island day, everyone was barefoot for most of the day.
The tour is currently listed at $195 per person at the time of this article. I used the travel vouchers offered by the Queensland Holiday Dollars initiative and got 50% (up to $100) off the tour.
For the unique experience, a full day of activities (including kayaking, snorkelling and tubing at no extra cost), and food, I personally think it's reasonably priced amongst other tours and activities on the market. The big plus was the crew was lovely! This is definitely a nice way to explore a part of Fraser Island without a 4wd!
I would suggest keeping your eyes peeled for more deals as the economy recovers from COVID. Who knows then more holiday dollars might drop for locals.
I hope this has given you inspiration for your next day trip or weekend getaway. Make sure to tag us in your photos!
Happy travels and keep wandering.