After Pat’s adventures on K’gari (Fraser Island) in Season 13, he took the ferry back over to the mainland to explore the rest of the Fraser Coast. Discovering that there is indeed more to the region than K’gari, Pat described the Fraser Coast as a “sleepy jewel that is absolutely worth the journey up here.”
Although the area is well known for the beachside city of Hervey Bay, for those who love off-road adventures and camping in the outdoors, we’ve got you covered. Don’t miss these top spots for outdoor enthusiasts on the Fraser Coast.
Wongi Waterhole camping area
Find Wongi Waterhole camping area around 20 kilometres northwest of Maryborough in the Wongi State Forest. With Melaleuca trees hanging over the edge of the water, Pat describes this camp area as a “classic Aussie campsite”.
Tannins from the paperbark trees have stained the waters over the years, giving it a deep rich brown colour. As a result, it acts like a mirror, reflecting the trees and anyone who peers into it back towards them. Explore off-road trails, go bushwalking or kayaking, or just sit on the water’s edge and relax.
There is a large open site for bush camping that suits caravans, tents and motorhomes. Picnic tables, flushing toilets and cold showers are provided. You can even bring your furry friend, providing you keep them on a leash and pick up any messes.
Not far from the Wongi Waterhole Camping area via a rough dirt road is Lake Lenthall. With a capacity of 29,500ML, the lake is the main water supply for Hervey Bay and the surrounding region. As a result, no swimming is permitted in the lake however you can enjoy picnics, camping, boating and fishing here.
Keen fishermen can expect to nab barramundi, silver perch, Australian bass and golden perch. If fishing isn’t your thing, there are a few bushwalking tracks here. However, the best views are from just before the ranger’s station as a caged walkway allows you to climb up and get a better view over the dam.
Burrum Coast National Park
Of course, Pat found some pretty fun sandy 4WD tracks in the Burrum Coast National Park. The trails take you through a large banksia forest which if you visit in late summer, looks spectacular in bloom. As you get closer to the Burrum Coast, the ground underwheel gets softer. This is your opportunity to really enjoy the sand driving!
For a traditional camping experience, head to Riverside Eco Tourist RV Park. Camp in privacy with plenty of space and although civilization is only a stone’s throw away, you are surrounded by nature nestled between the Burrum River Section of the Burrum Coast National Park and the Isis River.
While you’re here, check out the small town of Burrum Heads. Here you’ll find that life revolves around the water in one way or another.
After driving through the Tuan State Forest Pat pulled into Hedleys Camp in the dark, only to discover a serene campsite by the light of day. Accessible only by high-clearance 4WD or boat, this camping area on the edge of the Great Sandy Straight is sheltered by K’gari. This means the water, which is filtered by the surrounding mangroves, is perfectly still and often clear.
Here you can boat, kayak, 4WD or just enjoy the serenity on the edge of Kauri Creek.
Great Sandy Strait
Speaking of the Great Sandy Strait, this place is a boaties paradise. Sitting in a prime location between the Fraser Coast’s mainland and K’gari, there are some fantastic boating spots in this region as well. The Great Sandy Biosphere spans 540,000 hectares of marine park and in 2009, was highlighted by UNESCO in the same class as the Galapagos Islands, Uluru and the Central Amazon.
Don’t just take Pat’s word for it, make sure you visit these lesser-known places on the Fraser Coast the next time you head up to K’gari. You won’t be disappointed, I can guarantee it.