The Fraser Island tour was definitely one of the highlights of my trip to Australia. This was one of the only actual group tours I did while away but I think that it was worth it. Fraser Island is Heritage Listed and the largest sand island in the world!
I ended up doing Fraser Island through Palace Adventures from Hervey Bay. They have a hostel in Hervey Bay where you stay the night before and after the tour, and also run the whole tour. The Fraser Island tour included the 2 nights at the hostel, 2 nights of camping and 4×4’ing on the island. I think it was about $525AUD, which honestly did seem like a lot, especially because you also had to provide and cook your own food.
Amy and I ended up booking with Palace not only because they had good reviews, but also because my lovely friends Liam and Stacey were already booked in, and I’m easily convinced seeing as I don’t generally make my own plans. We took the bus from Noosa up to Hervey Bay, which was about 3 – 4 hours.
The night before the tour was to start there was a group meeting with the 34 people and one guide that would be bringing us along, and then we got put into groups of 8 and headed out grocery shopping. Now let me tell you, grocery shopping and meal planning with 7 other people who you don’t really know well is a pain in the ass. I was the only vegetarian, which is a pain for other people I’m sure. It was awkward just meeting these people then basically trying to get that all sorted. If there was one thing I would recommend them changing it would be to provide the food for the tour.
It was an early morning the next day, we were checked out of the hostel by 6am and it was time to hit the road! There was 4 SUVs in our convoy and the ferry to the island was about 45 minutes away from the hostel. The next days were filled with swimming, a serious rain storm, a lot of group bonding, listening to the song Closer by The Chainsmokers an embarrassing amount of times and of course driving along the beach!!
Other than the snake I saw in Byron Bay…Fraser Island was a low point for creepy wildlife. So so so many creepy spiders, including one that Liam had to kill in our tent that had us all screaming. Other than the spiders we saw some dingos and had a small run in with a frog while trying to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night, so all in all not too bad.
Trying to drive the manual vehicle on the beach, on the wrong side of the vehicle, while at home I only drive automatic was a little bit traumatic, maybe more so for the passengers who were with me at the time. I may have gotten stuck in the sand and the clutch didn’t sound so good when I got out. Oh well…it was fun!!
We met a great group of people and definetly had an amazing time.
If you’re thinking about doing Fraser Island I would recommend Palace, but to be honest I have heard good things about most of the other tour operators also. Getting one that provides the food might be a good option too…it was nice to be able to cook for ourselves but it was also a bit of a pain!