Great Sandy National Park
The Great Sandy National Park encompasses both part of mainland Queensland and the UNESCO World Heritage site Fraser Island, the world’s largest sand island. The park is divided into two sections: the Cooloola section is situated on the coast between Noosa Heads and Rainbow Beach, and the Fraser Island section encompasses almost all of the island.
Both sections of the park offer ways to explore in a number of unique ways. The Cooloola Section is home to ancient coastal cliffs and pristine forests. You can hike along coastal paths, canoe through the Noosa River, or drive a 4WD along the beach. The Fraser Island section is separated from the mainland by a shallow sand reef which can be crossed by barge. The island has an incredible stretch of white beach running unbroken down its eastern coast while the interior is home to rainforests, sublime freshwater lakes where you can swim, and remarkable sand dunes.
As Fraser Island has no sealed roads, part of the challenge (and fun) of visiting is driving on the sand. For this reason, many visitors opt for an organized tour from the mainland.
Things to know before you go
*If visiting Fraser Island independently, bring your own supplies (food, water, medical supplies). *Campfires are only permitted in designated fire rings. *Be aware of dingoes on Fraser Island. *Apply for a camping permit beforehand if you want to camp on Fraser Island.
How to get there
There are plenty of buses running up and down the mainland coastal section of Great Sandy National Park. To get to Fraser Island, you will need to either catch an airplane or take a barge from Inskip heads, River Point or Hervey Bay. Travel on the island requires hiring a 4WD or booking with a tour.
When to get there
You can visit all year-round but, to avoid the biggest crowds and highest temperatures, spring (from September to November) and fall (March through May) are possibly the most comfortable seasons. Campgrounds typically fill up during school holidays.