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Wathumba camping area

Rob Cameron © Queensland Government

Wathumba camping area

Tent camping No tent camping
Caravan camping No caravan camping
Campervan camping No campervan camping
Motorhome camping No motorhome camping
Camper trailer camping No camper trailer camping
Toilets (flush) No toilets
No showers
Camp fires allowed (conditions apply) No camp fires
No barbecues
Generators allowed (conditions apply) No generators
Picnic tables No picnic tables
Dogs allowed on leash No dogs
Wheelchair access (may require assistance) No wheelchair access
World Heritage Area

Legend

Tent camping No tent camping
Caravan camping No caravan camping
Campervan camping No campervan camping
Motorhome camping No motorhome camping
Camper trailer camping No camper trailer camping
Toilets (flush) No toilets
No showers
Camp fires allowed (conditions apply) No camp fires
No barbecues
Generators allowed (conditions apply) No generators
Picnic tables No picnic tables
Dogs allowed on leash No dogs
Wheelchair access (may require assistance) No wheelchair access
World Heritage Area

Set up camp nestled behind the foredunes at the mouth of creek and on the western beach of the island.

Choose a beautiful camp site nestled in cypress pine woodland.
Choose a beautiful camp site nestled in cypress pine woodland. Rob Cameron © Queensland Government
View map
Park Fraser
Traditional Owners Traditional Owners
Park Ranger Park Ranger

This spot is particularly favoured by anglers—freshwater from the creek meets the salty ocean which is a great environment for fish. Try you luck at reeling in your dinner.

Launch small boats and kayaks from the beach and explore the Great Sandy Marine Park. Behind the mangroves is a tiny sand beach and another spot to fish or launch a kayak.

The camping area is alive with birdlife. Search the sky for whistling and brahminy kites and in the forests for honeyeaters, woodswallows, doves and finches. During winter you might be lucky enough to spot migrating humpback whales off the beach.

This park is part of the Fraser Island World Heritage Area, famed for its exceptional natural beauty, outstanding examples of coastal dune landform development and evolutionary history.

At a glance

Camping layout: Open area without defined sites
Site surface: Grass
Camp sites are suitable for: Short walk to tent; camper trailer
Facilities: picnic tables
Permits and fees: camping permits

Getting there and getting around

Wathumba camping area is on K'gari (Fraser Island), 15km off the coast of Hervey Bay and about 300km north of Brisbane.

  • The camping area is on the western beach at Platypus Bay.
  • From the Eastern Beach scenic drive, take the Middle Rocks Bypass Road and drive 4.7km to Orchid Beach (past the Waddy Point Road turn-off).
  • Drive to the northern end of Orchid Beach, past the general store, and after 1.3km turn left onto Wathumba Road.
  • Follow Wathumba Road for 15km to the camping area.
  • The Eastern Beach scenic drive is only accessible 2hrs either side of low tide.

Getting to K'gari

You can get to the island by high clearance 4WD, on foot, by plane or with a commercial tour.

By 4WD

  • Your high clearance 4WD must have low range functions.
  • Remember all vehicles must be registered, drivers must be licensed and all Queensland road rules apply, even on beaches.
  • Read 4WD with care for important information on 4WD safety and minimal impact driving.
  • A vehicle access permit must be purchased. Display the permit on your windscreen before driving in the recreation area.

From Inskip Point (15mins from Rainbow Beach)

  • At the end of the bitumen on Inskip Point Road, reduce tyre pressure, engage 4WD and drive 500m onto the beach.
  • Drive onto the Manta Ray barge for the 10–15min trip to Hook Point on the southern tip of K'gari (Fraser Island), and the start of the Eastern Beach scenic drive.
  • Bookings for this barge are not required.

From River Heads (east of Maryborough)

  • Travel 10.6km along River Heads Road to the Fraser Island Barges landing area.
  • The trip to Wanggoolba Creek on western K'gari (Fraser Island) takes 30–45min.
  • The trip to Kingfisher Bay on western K'gari (Fraser Island) takes 50mins–1hr.
  • These barges run at fixed time and bookings are essential.

On foot

  • Walkers can board a vehicle barge to the island (details above) or arrive by plane.

By plane

By private vessel

  • Access K'gari (Fraser Island)'s sheltered western coastline by private vessel. The eastern coastline of the island is extremely hazardous and exposed to very rough ocean conditions.
  • Launch your boat at one of the many boat ramps on the mainland between Tin Can Bay and Burnett Heads. There are no boat ramps on K'gari (Fraser Island).
  • See Maritime Safety Queensland's Beacon to Beacon Guides for the Great Sandy Strait and Hervey Bay for detailed navigational maps.
  • The waters adjacent to Fraser Island are in the Great Sandy Marine Park.

Commercial tours

  • You can join a range of tours that leave from a variety of centres.
  • For tourism information for all regions in Queensland, see Queensland.com, and for friendly advice on how to get there, where to stay and what to do, find your closest accredited visitor information centre.

Road conditions

K'gari (Fraser Island)'s sandy beaches and tracks have dry powdery sand and all vehicles and trailers must have high clearance. Vehicles must also have 4WD and low range functions. The island is not suitable for caravans, campervans and motorhomes, and trailers cannot access all areas. We don't recommend all-wheel drive vehicles.

  • Tides control access to some beaches, creeks, creek crossings and facilities. We recommend you read all the access information before travelling on the island.
  • Beaches and creek crossing change daily. Deep washouts can form at any time, particularly after heavy rain and rough seas. Wave action can expose dangerous rocks, wash up debris and expose tree roots that are particularly hard to see at night.
  • The roads around the Kingfisher Bay and Eurong resorts are sealed.

Parking

  • At camper trailer sites you can park your 4WD at your camp.
  • At tent sites you will need to park in front of the bollards and carry your gear to the camping area.

Fuel and supplies

You will find fuel (no autogas), supplies, restaurants and takeaway food outlets in the towns on the island.

Wheelchair access

The toilets are wheelchair accessible with assistance. The sand in the car parks and on the tracks is very soft and powdery and can be difficult to navigate.

When to visit

Opening hours

Wathumba camping area is open 24 hours a day. Check-in to your camp after 2pm and check-out by 11am on the day of departure.

Check park alerts for the latest information on access, closures and conditions.

Climate and weather

K'gari (Fraser Island) has a subtropical climate with temperatures moderated by proximity to the sea. Average coastal temperatures range from 22°C to 28°C in December and 14°C to 21°C in July. Annual rainfall varies across the island, from 1200mm on the coast to 1800mm inland. The wettest months are January to March, with about 160mm rainfall per month. The drier months are winter and early spring. Moderate winds predominate from the south-east. Storms—occasionally quite severe—are common in spring and early summer.

Permits and fees

Vehicle access permits

  • A vehicle access permit must be purchased. Display the permit on your windscreen before driving in the recreation area.

Camping permits

  • To book a group camp site you need to apply for a special account by:
    • logging onto www.qld.gov.au/camping
    • selecting ‘Create account’
    • following instructions to create a group account
    • using this group account to book your group camp site.

Organised events

  • If you are planning a school excursion or organising a group event such as a wedding or large gathering, you may need an organised event permit. Maximum group sizes and other conditions apply depending on location and activity type.
  • To protect dingoes and participants, running events like fun runs and marathons are not allowed on K'gari (Fraser Island).

Pets

Domestic animals are not allowed here.

Staying in touch

Mobile phone coverage

None. Check with your service provider for more information.

Tourism information

For tourism information for all regions in Queensland, see Queensland.com, and for friendly advice on how to get there, where to stay and what to do, find your closest accredited visitor information centre.

Be prepared

  • Parks are natural environments and conditions can be unpredictable. You are responsible for your own safety and for looking after the park.

  • Serious injuries have occurred from climbing; running, sliding or tobogganing down; and digging into sand dunes and sand cliffs.
  • Wear protective clothing and insect repellent to protect yourself from bites and stings.
  • If you're travelling or staying in areas without reliable mobile service, consider bringing a personal locator beacon (PLB).

Be dingo-safe

  • NEVER feed dingoes.
  • Always stay within arm’s reach of children, even small teenagers.
  • Walk in groups.
  • Do not run. Running or jogging can trigger a negative dingo interaction.
  • Camp in fenced areas when possible.
  • Lock up food stores and iceboxes (even on a boat).
  • Never store food or food containers in tents.
  • Secure all rubbish, fish and bait.
  • Plan carefully to be dingo-safe on K'gari (Fraser Island).
  • Report negative or close encounters with dingoes to the nearest ranger, or by phoning 07 4127 9150 or emailing dingo.ranger@npsr.qld.gov.au.

Open fires

  • Open fires are not allowed.
  • Bring a fuel stove for cooking and heating. The stove must be at least 20cm off the ground and use manufactured fuel (not timber). Take the stove and used fuel when you leave.

Rubbish

  • The nearest bins are at the Middle Rocks bypass road (across from the junction with Waddy Point Road).
  • There are no bins on the western side of the island.

  • If the bin is full, please use another. Never leave rubbish lying around the rubbish bins.
  • In all other locations you will need to take your rubbish with you when you leave.

Drinking water

  • Bring your own drinking water or fill up your containers at the camping area.
  • Treat all water before use.
  • Use water wisely and report damaged or leaking taps and tanks.

Driving

  • High-clearance 4WDs with low range capabilities are needed to explore Fraser Island Recreation Area.
  • Check the K'gari (Fraser Island) conditions report for the latest information on access, closures and conditions within the recreation area.

  • Remember all vehicles must be registered, drivers must be licensed and all Queensland road rules apply, even on beaches.

  • Serious injuries and deaths from vehicle accidents have occurred on K'gari (Fraser Island). Reckless and risky driving, pranks and speed have all contributed to vehicle rollovers and crashes. You need to be aware of the driving conditions and ensure your vehicle is in good mechanical condition.
  • Slower is safer and a safe driving speed may be lower than the signed speed limit. Speed limits on K'gari (Fraser Island) are generally:
    • 80km/hr (maximum) on the Eastern Beach
    • 30km/hr on inland roads
    • 40km/hr in beach pedestrian areas (including the Maheno shipwreck site)
    • 50km/hr on Hook Point inland road
    • 10km/hr in shared-use areas.
  • If you’re hiring a four-wheel-drive vehicle, make sure you are familiar with the specific laws.
  • Avoid beach driving 2hrs either side of high tide.
  • Beach conditions change daily. Deep washouts can form at any time, particularly after heavy rain and rough seas. Wave action can expose dangerous rocks, wash up debris and expose tree roots. Approach washouts, rocks and debris slowly, and use bypass roads if necessary. Avoid travelling at night as these hazards can be difficult to see.
  • Stay on the formed tracks and do not drive or park on the fragile foredunes. The dunes may be soft and unstable, collapsing under the weight of a vehicle.
  • When driving on inland roads give way to buses, trucks and to vehicles travelling downhill or towing trailers. Make use of passing bays and try to drive forward (not reverse) into them.

  • Read 4WD with care for important information on 4WD safety and minimal impact driving.

Camping

  • When outside dingo fences, never leave children alone in tents.
  • Some camping and day-use areas are surrounded by dingo-deterrent fences that have an electrified vehicle grid. Make sure that children are well supervised and that you use the pedestrian gates to access these areas. At all camping and day-use areas ensure you store food in lockers, where provided, in your vehicle, or in strong containers with lockable lids.

  • You can use generators between 9am and 9pm if less than 65dB(A) at 7m from the generator.
  • Read camp with care for tips on camping safely and camping softly.

Walking

  • It is safer to walk during daylight hours. Beware of vehicles when walking on the beach.
  • Read walk with care for tips on walking safely and walking lightly.

Canoeing and kayaking

  • The island's eastern coastline is extremely hazardous and exposed to very rough ocean conditions. The sheltered western coastline, Marloo Bay, and the lakes of the island are better for canoeing and kayaking.
  • Read water safety for important information about staying safe in and near water and caring for parks.

Boating and fishing

  • You can only get to this camping area by boat during high tide.
  • The waters adjacent to Fraser Island are in the Great Sandy Marine Park.
  • If you're heading out on the water make sure you know your zones so you can follow the rules.

  • Launch your boat at one of the many boat ramps on the mainland between Tin Can Bay and Burnett Heads. There are no boat ramps on Fraser Island.
  • Fraser Island's eastern coastline is extremely hazardous and exposed to very rough ocean conditions. The sheltered western coastline of the island is better for boating.
  • See Maritime Safety Queensland's Beacon to Beacon Guides for the Great Sandy Strait and Hervey Bay for detailed navigational maps.
  • Wear high-visibility vests and use glow sticks when fishing at night.
  • Fish cleaning is prohibited in camping areas and on some sections of the beach—heed all signs. Where you are allowed to clean fish, ensure no dingoes are nearby and bury frames and offal in a 50cm deep hole, just below the high tide mark.
  • There have been credible sightings of estuarine crocodiles in waters of the Great Sandy Straits.

Swimming

  • There are no patrolled beaches, lakes or creeks on K'gari (Fraser Island) and we don't recommend swimming in unpatrolled waters. If you decide to swim, you enter the water at your own risk. The nearest patrolled beaches are on the mainland at Rainbow Beach Inskip Point and Hervey Bay.
  • Strong rips and sharks may be present in the ocean.

Last updated: 22 March 2018
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