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Cruises to Fraser Island

Fraser Island (Photo:Flash-ka/Shutterstock)

About Fraser Island

Fraser Island (known as K'gari in the local Aboriginal language) is the largest sand island in the world, accessible only by ferry and the occasional cruise ship.

Situated 200 km north of Brisbane, it is the largest of Queensland's 100-plus islands, and has been classified as a UNESCO World Heritage site for its diverse range of landscape features.

Located a few kilometres offshore from Hervey Bay across a body of water called the Great Sandy Strait, Fraser Island is 124 km long and about 24 km wide.

The west coast is sheltered, as it faces the mainland, while the east is 'wilder' and made up of a series of long beaches, collectively known as 75 Mile Beach (120 km) for obvious reasons. In between the coasts are areas of towering rainforest, more than 100 freshwater lakes, huge sand dunes and sand blows, multi-coloured sand cliffs, hiking trails and almost 1000 km of narrow one-lane 4WD vehicle tracks.

One of the main attractions of Fraser is the allure of driving a 4WD along the endless east coast shore, stopping off at fascination sites along the way such as the famous Maheno shipwreck (which has been stuck in the sand since 1935) and amazing landforms such as the Stonetool Sand Blow and Eli Creek, the largest on the island.

Camping and fishing are traditional pastimes, while today accommodation is rather more sophisticated with two resorts, a few small hotels and a variety of holiday homes. Bird and animal life is plentiful on the island, with more than 350 species of birds and many reptiles including monitor lace lizards and snakes (one or two of the poisonous variety).

Dingoes also roam the island, although you may not see one during a short port visit. Numbers are estimated to be between 150 and 200 and people are warned to keep their distance (and to especially watch their children) and not to feed these wild dogs or leave food lying around.

Cruise passengers wanting to see beyond the island's west coast-located Kingfisher Bay Resort, need to book a tour -- be it a half-day 4WD tour, a Jet Ski trip and a guide walk, or strike out on one of the many self-guided bushwalks that range in length from 1.2 km to about 6 km.

Kingfisher Bay itself has a calm beach ideal for families and swimming. It is possible to hire a 4WD for half a day -- it takes about an hour to get to the east coast from the resort, although 4WD is only recommended for experience drivers. The island's terrain is hard to tackle and time is limited.


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  • 39 Night
    Cruise to Fraser Island

    Leaving:
    Melbourne
    Visiting:
    Sydney, Mooloolaba ... see more
    Cruise Line:
    Windstar Cruises
    View Deal
    View Cruise Info
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    • Itinerary
    • Ship Details
    • Reviews
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    Itinerary

    Cruise Itinerary

    39 Night Cruise to Fraser Island Route (Windstar Cruises)
    • Day 1
      Melbourne
    • Day 2
      Cruising
    • Day 3
      Sydney (Australia)
    • Day 4
      Sydney (Australia)
    • Day 5
      Cruising
    • Day 6
      Mooloolaba
    • Day 7
      Fraser Island
    • Day 8
      Middle Percy
    • Day 9
      Airlie Beach
    • Day 10
      Cruising
    • Day 11
      Port Douglas, Australia
    • Day 12
      Cairns
    • Day 13
      Lizard Island
    • Day 14
      Cruising
    • Day 15
      Thursday Island
    • Day 16
      Cruising
    • Day 17
      Cruising
    • Day 18
      Triton Bay
    • Day 19
      Kokas
    • Day 20
      Pulau Banta
    • Day 21
      Cruising
    • Day 22
      Cruising
    • Day 23
      Loh Liang
    • Day 24
      Bali
    • Day 25
      Lembar
    • Day 26
      Loh Liang
    • Day 27
      Ende
    • Day 28
      Cruising
    • Day 29
      Ujung Padang, Indonesia
    • Day 30
      Cruising
    • Day 31
      Cruising
    • Day 32
      Sabah
    • Day 33
      Cruising
    • Day 34
      Puerto Princesa
    • Day 35
      Boracay
    • Day 36
      Coron
    • Day 37
      Manila
    • Day 38
      Hundred Islands
    • Day 39
      Cruising
    • Day 40
      Hong Kong
    Ship Details

    Star Breeze - Windstar Cruises

    Pros

    Small-ship cruising, port-intensive itineraries

    Cons

    Limited entertainment and enrichment activities

    Bottom Line

    Terrific upscale yet casual cruise line for active travelers

    Reviews

    Star Breeze Reviews

    Cruise Critic Editor Ratings
    Overall
    4.0/5
    Cabins5.0
    Dining4.0
    Service4.0
    Value4.0

    The 212-passenger Star Breeze, which joined Windstar's fleet in May 2015, is a yacht-style smal...

    Cruise Critic Member Ratings
    Middlesister63
    Sail Date Jan 2019
    Panama Canal-Wonderful Cruise with Friends Bucket List
    Read More
    plight0
    Sail Date Jul 2019
    Desperately ready for an overhaul
    Read More
    Cabin Comparison

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    Call to plan your cruise 866-501-1694 866-501-1694
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    Fare Includes

    What’s included in My Cruise Fare?

    • Cabin
      Room with bed and private bathroom
    • Port Taxes & Fees
    • Service Gratuities
    • Most Onboard Entertainment
    • Kids Club
    • Shore Excursions
    • Wi-Fi
    • Spa Services
    • Select Dining
      Main dining room and/or buffet
    • Specialty Alternative Dining
    • Room Service
    • Butler Service
    • Basic Drinks
      Still water, coffee, and tea
    • Soft Drinks
      Soda and Juice
    • Alcohol
      Beer, wine, and spirits
    • Specialty Coffee Drinks
      Including smoothies and blended drinks
    • Specialty Fitness Classes

    ** inclusions in your cruise fare are based on Cruise Critic’s editorial expertise and not provided by the individual cruise lines. When you book with one of our cruise partners, please be sure to check their site for a full disclosure of all applicable fees. Cruise Critic does not guarantee any specific rates, prices, or amenities included in the fare. Inclusion items in the fare may change at any time and fees may apply for additional items.

  • 23 Night
    Cruise to Fraser Island

    Leaving:
    Melbourne
    Visiting:
    Sydney, Mooloolaba ... see more
    Cruise Line:
    Windstar Cruises
    View Deal
    View Cruise Info
    Hide Cruise Info
    • Itinerary
    • Ship Details
    • Reviews
    • Cabin Comparison
    • View All Prices
    • Fare Includes
    Itinerary

    Cruise Itinerary

    23 Night Cruise to Fraser Island Route (Windstar Cruises)
    • Day 1
      Melbourne
    • Day 2
      Cruising
    • Day 3
      Sydney (Australia)
    • Day 4
      Sydney (Australia)
    • Day 5
      Cruising
    • Day 6
      Mooloolaba
    • Day 7
      Fraser Island
    • Day 8
      Middle Percy
    • Day 9
      Airlie Beach
    • Day 10
      Cruising
    • Day 11
      Port Douglas, Australia
    • Day 12
      Cairns
    • Day 13
      Lizard Island
    • Day 14
      Cruising
    • Day 15
      Thursday Island
    • Day 16
      Cruising
    • Day 17
      Cruising
    • Day 18
      Triton Bay
    • Day 19
      Kokas
    • Day 20
      Pulau Banta
    • Day 21
      Cruising
    • Day 22
      Cruising
    • Day 23
      Loh Liang
    • Day 24
      Bali
    Ship Details

    Star Breeze - Windstar Cruises

    Pros

    Small-ship cruising, port-intensive itineraries

    Cons

    Limited entertainment and enrichment activities

    Bottom Line

    Terrific upscale yet casual cruise line for active travelers

    Reviews

    Star Breeze Reviews

    Cruise Critic Editor Ratings
    Overall
    4.0/5
    Cabins5.0
    Dining4.0
    Service4.0
    Value4.0

    The 212-passenger Star Breeze, which joined Windstar's fleet in May 2015, is a yacht-style smal...

    Cruise Critic Member Ratings
    REO
    Sail Date Mar 2019
    Had a Wonderful Cruise
    Read More
    Jackrosie
    Sail Date Mar 2019
    Great
    Read More
    Cabin Comparison

    Compare Cabin Prices

    No Results Found
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    View All Prices

    Compare Prices

    Call to plan your cruise 866-501-1694 866-501-1694
    Loading...
    Fare Includes

    What’s included in My Cruise Fare?

    • Cabin
      Room with bed and private bathroom
    • Port Taxes & Fees
    • Service Gratuities
    • Most Onboard Entertainment
    • Kids Club
    • Shore Excursions
    • Wi-Fi
    • Spa Services
    • Select Dining
      Main dining room and/or buffet
    • Specialty Alternative Dining
    • Room Service
    • Butler Service
    • Basic Drinks
      Still water, coffee, and tea
    • Soft Drinks
      Soda and Juice
    • Alcohol
      Beer, wine, and spirits
    • Specialty Coffee Drinks
      Including smoothies and blended drinks
    • Specialty Fitness Classes

    ** inclusions in your cruise fare are based on Cruise Critic’s editorial expertise and not provided by the individual cruise lines. When you book with one of our cruise partners, please be sure to check their site for a full disclosure of all applicable fees. Cruise Critic does not guarantee any specific rates, prices, or amenities included in the fare. Inclusion items in the fare may change at any time and fees may apply for additional items.

  • 11 Night
    Cruise to Fraser Island

    Leaving:
    Melbourne
    Visiting:
    Sydney, Mooloolaba ... see more
    Cruise Line:
    Windstar Cruises
    View Deal
    View Cruise Info
    Hide Cruise Info
    • Itinerary
    • Ship Details
    • Reviews
    • Cabin Comparison
    • View All Prices
    • Fare Includes
    Itinerary

    Cruise Itinerary

    11 Night Cruise to Fraser Island Route (Windstar Cruises)
    • Day 1
      Melbourne
    • Day 2
      Cruising
    • Day 3
      Sydney (Australia)
    • Day 4
      Sydney (Australia)
    • Day 5
      Cruising
    • Day 6
      Mooloolaba
    • Day 7
      Fraser Island
    • Day 8
      Middle Percy
    • Day 9
      Airlie Beach
    • Day 10
      Cruising
    • Day 11
      Port Douglas, Australia
    • Day 12
      Cairns
    Ship Details

    Star Breeze - Windstar Cruises

    Pros

    Small-ship cruising, port-intensive itineraries

    Cons

    Limited entertainment and enrichment activities

    Bottom Line

    Terrific upscale yet casual cruise line for active travelers

    Reviews

    Star Breeze Reviews

    Cruise Critic Editor Ratings
    Overall
    4.0/5
    Cabins5.0
    Dining4.0
    Service4.0
    Value4.0

    The 212-passenger Star Breeze, which joined Windstar's fleet in May 2015, is a yacht-style smal...

    Cruise Critic Member Ratings
    kimleg11
    Sail Date Mar 2019
    Travel Group on Windstar
    Read More
    kafgill
    Sail Date Feb 2019
    Interesting Panama Canal Cruise!
    Read More
    Cabin Comparison

    Compare Cabin Prices

    No Results Found
    Loading...
    View All Prices

    Compare Prices

    Call to plan your cruise 866-501-1694 866-501-1694
    Loading...
    Fare Includes

    What’s included in My Cruise Fare?

    • Cabin
      Room with bed and private bathroom
    • Port Taxes & Fees
    • Service Gratuities
    • Most Onboard Entertainment
    • Kids Club
    • Shore Excursions
    • Wi-Fi
    • Spa Services
    • Select Dining
      Main dining room and/or buffet
    • Specialty Alternative Dining
    • Room Service
    • Butler Service
    • Basic Drinks
      Still water, coffee, and tea
    • Soft Drinks
      Soda and Juice
    • Alcohol
      Beer, wine, and spirits
    • Specialty Coffee Drinks
      Including smoothies and blended drinks
    • Specialty Fitness Classes

    ** inclusions in your cruise fare are based on Cruise Critic’s editorial expertise and not provided by the individual cruise lines. When you book with one of our cruise partners, please be sure to check their site for a full disclosure of all applicable fees. Cruise Critic does not guarantee any specific rates, prices, or amenities included in the fare. Inclusion items in the fare may change at any time and fees may apply for additional items.

More about Fraser Island

Why go to Fraser Island?

Pros: This is the largest sand island in the world and has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Cons: 4WD is the most ideal and the most popular way to get around, but the terrain can be challenging.

Bottom Line: With its diverse landscape and plentiful wildlife, Fraser Island is an ideal destination for nature lovers.

Where You’re Docked

Very few cruise ships actually visit Fraser Island, as navigation along the Great Sandy Strait, the waterway that separates the island from the mainland, requires exact precision. Vessels must enter and exit the strait at specific times to coincide with the tides as the waterway is very shallow in parts. Ships anchor in the strait about 500 metres off the island on the sheltered western side, at the same point on the island as the biggest accommodation provider, Kingfisher Bay Resort. Passengers are tendered to a jetty that extends for several hundred metres into Kingfisher Bay. They then walk along the jetty to Sunset Beach. It's then a five-minute walk through bushland pathways to the resort itself. There is a day visitor pavilion near the jetty that offers a bistro, games area for teens and children and two swimming pools, while the beach itself is calm and perfect for families, although it's quite shallow at low tide.

Fraser Island Cruise Port Facilities

As time ashore on Fraser Island is likely to be between five to seven hours depending on how soon passengers disembark, there is good reason for independent passengers (those not taking shore tours) to stay close to Kingfisher Bay and the nearby Kingfisher Bay Resort.

Facilities for day visitors are located near the jetty -- two swimming pools, a play area for teens and children with video games and pool tables and the Sand Bar bistro. The Jetty Hut, located on the jetty itself, doubles as a bar and tour booking kiosk for short tours such as canoes, stand-up paddleboards and Segway bikes. It also serves as a bar selling alcoholic drinks as well as soft drinks and ice creams. A beach volleyball court is nearby. Sunset Beach is a long sandy beach fronting the resort. Other west coast beaches are located within an easy walk and are generally calm, making them good for young children and families. During cruise ship visits, tourism and resort staff set up stalls near Sunset Beach selling souvenirs and providing information about the island.

The Kingfisher Bay Resort Village Store, a five-minute walk from the beach, sells an array of beach wear (such as swimming costumes) as well as fluffy animals (dingoes and other creatures), groceries and toiletries, sunglasses, sunscreen and fishing gear. It also sells snacks, such as hot pies and sandwiches and soft drinks and bottles of wine and other alcohol. There is also a petrol station nearby.

The resort welcomes visiting cruise passengers who are free to use the bar, restaurant and other facilities.

Good to Know

Expect lots of sand on the world's largest sand island. 4WD drivers can be easily bogged and sink into the deep sand or be thrown about by the deep ruts and potholes in the tracks. Tides on the eastern side of the island mean that beach driving is only possible at certain times of the day. There are no 4WD driving tracks on the west coast.

Dingoes (wild native dogs) roam the island. While there may look like normal dogs, they are not and should not be approached and certainly not fed.

Getting Around

On foot: It's an easy walk five-minute walk to Kingfisher Bay Resort and minute or so to the village store. There are several bush and beach walks that begin at the beach: a 10 to 15-minute walk to the lookout for a glorious view over Great Sandy Strait to the mainland; a three-hour return walk along the beach to another jetty called McKenzie Jetty and various short walks over boardwalks in the rainforest area around the resort.

By Segway: Guided Segway tours with a ranger take place on the sandy beaches when the tide is out. No set times are provided and interested cruise passengers should ask at the Jetty Hut or resort reception desk about departure times. Tours are $79 per person for an hour.

By 4WD vehicle: Apart from taking a tour the only way to see beyond the west coast area is to hire a car and drive along the sandy roads leading to the main visitor sports Lake McKenzie, Central Station and east coast beaches. Aussie Trax 4x4 Rentals offer half-day rentals from Kingfisher Bay Resort. All cars are manuals, so passengers wanting an automatic car must pre-request it. Two types are available: a small version seating two passengers; and a larger vehicle with up to eight seats. Renters must buy a national parks permit (provided by the 4WD operator on the day) and undergo a comprehensive briefing. Driving on the sandy tracks of the island is quite challenging, and should only be attempted by experienced drivers.

Currency & Best Way to Get Money

Currency is the Australian dollar (AUD). It's best to come to the island with enough cash for the day. There's just one Automatic Teller Machine (ATM) in the foyer of the Kingfisher Bay Resort, however there are EFTPOS facilities available to pay for drinks at the bar and meals at various resort outlets. Credit cards are accepted by the car hire operators, in and around the resort, and in the resort village store. For currency conversion rates, visit www.xe.com.

Language

Fraser Island is in Australia, so the language spoken is English.


Fraser Island Cruise Reviews

Cindy's mum
Sail Date: Mar 2018
Very beautiful and undisturbed. No roads, just the beach and inland sand tracks. Great day tour....Read More
Pacific Aria
Nauticaldreamer3010
Sail Date: May 2017
We just mossed around the resort area and returned to the ship....Read More
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