On our trip to Fraser Island over Christmas last year, we camped in three different spots: Central Station, Waddy Point (Top) and Dundabara. Here’s what we thought of camping on Fraser Island.
All three campgrounds are Queensland National Parks ones, and whilst you have to pre-book them, there’s no specific campsite allocation. You simply choose the campground online and then you pick your own site when you get there. We drove around each of the campgrounds a few times before settling on a site, as we usually do because you’ve got to assess the situation fully, right?!
Each of these campgrounds is surrounded by dingo-deterrent fences and has toilet and shower facilities. But don’t forget your $2 coins if you want to scrub that stickiness off you.
Read more: 9 lessons I learnt on Fraser Island
If you camp outside of peak season (Dec/Jan), you’ll probably have lots of sites to choose from, and won’t find camping on Fraser Island quite as noisy as we did.
CENTRAL STATION – KAURI SECTION
We stayed here for three nights at Christmas with the first two being relatively quiet. It’s a fairly big campground (60 sites) with some of the tent sites having platforms. It’s hard to get your car into these for easy access though so we ended up picking a flat one.
There are two sections: Kauri and Satinay. The former seemed much less popular than Satinay, which suited us fine so we stayed there. I couldn’t quite work out why there were way more people in Satinay than Kauri. The run to the toilet block seemed to be the same…
Pros: Tons of shade, picnic tables on most sites (yay, we love having a picnic table available!), cold showers for free, and easy access to Wanggoolba Creek, Pile Valley and a couple of other walks. Also handy for exploring Lake McKenzie or Lake Boomanjin in the south.
Cons: Insanely busy during holiday season. It’s in a valley so any sound is amplified and echoes through the whole campground. It feels like everyone is right next to you even when they’re miles away, which is really annoying when people are into drinking and shouting all night. Toilets were a bit dirty, though that’s probably the crowds. Being in a rainforest, it was also pretty wet and had its fair share of mozzies, though thankfully no sand flies or horrible midges.
Outside the wet season and holiday madness, this is probably a really pleasant campground among tall trees.
WADDY POINT (TOP)
Waddy Point has two campgrounds, one fenced in with amenities (top) and the other along the foreshore (beach) with only composting toilets. The husband booked the top one, for whatever reason, for our next three nights and luckily for us, that turned out much better than being joined with boofheads along the beach front.
Pros: Close to the beach without being on the beach (i.e. you don’t get blown away by the massive winds), almost no mozzies or other annoying insects, quite a few shady sites, fairly clean toilets, despite the dingo fence and gate it didn’t feel cage-y, and overall a more isolated feel than Central Station
Cons: A constant stream of cars (and 4WD cars are generally noisy) coming in to use the toilets and showers, which ground on my nerves, and showers that wanted $2 whether hot or cold
Probably our favourite campground of the three.
We spent our last two nights at Dundabara campground, right next to water pumps! Sleep was somewhat elusive until way past midnight when the pumps stopped.
Pros: Lots of shady sites (though if you’re late, you’ll probably be stuck with the non-shady ones), two toilet blocks which helps with the through-traffic of constant toilet/shower users, picnic tables on some sites, and a fairly short drive to Fraser’s main attractions (Maheno Wreck, Eli Creek, etc.) on 75-mile beach
Cons: Water pumps right next to us, super noisy people but obviously that can happen at any campground, no views of anything particularly special
Lots of people obviously choose to camp on the beach, and I think that could be quite attractive during less busy times. I’ve seen amazing photos of sunrises and sunsets on the beach! You do need to bring your own toilet or at least a privacy shower/toilet tent and I’ve heard some rather horrid ‘poo everywhere’ stories… So we opted for campgrounds with facilities this time.
Not sure what the tents and mozzies mean? Check out my tents and mozzies guide.
So that’s it! Feel free to leave comments or post questions if you want to know more about our experience camping at Fraser.