There’s a reason why the 75 Mile Beach on Fraser Island is one of Australia’s most iconic 4WD tracks for road tripping. Stretching over 120km, a drive down this highway guarantees incredible stretches of sand, some of the world’s most picturesque swimming holes, and breathtaking views at every turn.
Note: You can’t take your Thrifty hire car over to the island, but once you take the barge across, you can rent a 4wd there. And Thrifty is here to get you to the barge. We have two locations very close by to the barge terminal. Both our Hervey Bay and Hervey Bay Airport car hire locations make it easy to pick up a car, scoot around the beautiful region on the mainland, and then when you are ready, you can head to Fraser Island.
Need more convincing? Here are our top nine reasons why the 75 mile highway is the world’s best beach drive.
1. You’ll be driving on the largest sand island in the world
With an area of 184,000 hectares and measuring 123km long by 22km wide, Fraser Island is the world’s largest sand island and a World Heritage Listed site. Brimming with wildlife and rainforests, and the amazing 75 Mile Beach, Fraser Island ranks with Uluru and the Great Barrier Reef as one of Australia’s most treasured natural environments.
2. You literally get to drive a 4WD along an endless stretch of beach
There aren’t many spots in the world where you can hop in your 4WD and just drive for hours along an epic stretch of sand, but on the 75 Mile Beach on Fraser Island is one of them. The sand makes a squeaking noise as you drive over it, and on a good day the sand on the Fraser Island 4WD tracks are hard and packed in, making for a relatively smooth cruise along the coast.
3. There are shipwrecks along the way
The SS Maheno was a WWI Hospital Ship from NZ that washed up on Fraser Island after a cyclone. Luckily, a small crew were on board and the survivors were spotted by a passing plane three days after the wreck. During low tide, the Maheno Shipwreck is a one of the main stopping points on the 75 Mile Beach – just make sure to get a photo while you’re there!
4. You can stop and take a dip in the Champagne Pools
Located between Waddy Point and Indian Head, the Champagne Pools is the perfect spot to stop for a dip (and take an Instagram picture or two!). The Champagne Pools were formed by volcanic rocks, and got their name because the waves crash over the rocks and settle as fizzing foam – just like a glass of bubbly. The pools are shallow and quite safe to swim in, which means it’s also ideal for the whole family.
5. See one of Australia’s most pure freshwater lakes…
Located 100 metres above sea level, Lake McKenzie has some of the purest water in Australia – in fact, it’s so pure that no natural life can actually live in the lake’s waters! The surrounding beach is shimmering white, thanks to the sand being made of pure silica, and there’s also a picturesque heart-shaped tree by the lake. Stop by the lake on your beach drive for one of the most picturesque picnics and swims you’ll ever have.
6. …and swim in the red waters of Lake Boomanjin
If the white sand and crystal clear freshwater of Lake McKenzie isn’t enough to convince you that driving on Fraser Island is unlike anywhere else in the world, the red colours of Lake Boomanjin might just win you over. The name Boomanjin refers to the tea trees that surround the lake and give it its unique colour, as well as a beautiful fresh fragrance. The great thing about Lake Boomanjin is it’s also not too touristy, so you can enjoy some peace and quiet in one of the country’s most beautiful spots.
7. You can drive down a sand landing strip for planes
Not only is the 75 Mile Beach coastal track a National Highway – it actually also serves as a landing strip for aircrafts. While most people will never get to drive down a runway in their lifetime, the Fraser Island roads give you the unique chance to drive down one of the world’s few sand landing strips. Just make sure to be safe and keep your eye out for planes while driving!
8. The drive finishes with an incredible view
The Indian Head is a volcanic rock structure on the east side of Fraser Island, and offers up one of the best views on the island. With sweeping panoramas of the surrounding beaches, Indian Head is also home to sharks, turtles, dolphins, and rays in the winter (and, if you’re lucky, humpback whales!). You can also sit back and enjoy a spot of fishing, or just soak up the sun…pure bliss.
9. …and it’s still a hidden gem (for now!)
Worried about the tourists? The good news is that the 75 Mile Beach is still (relatively) off the beaten track, so you can hit the road without worrying too much about fighting through traffic jams with other visitors.
Lock in your Thrifty 4WD car rental today to get you to the barge, and then set off on your beach drive before the secret gets out about the world’s best coastal drive!