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fraser island sailing tour

A Sweet Escape: K'gari (Fraser Island) Bareboat Yacht Charter Holidays

Self drive yacht holidays from $83 per person per night.

Sweet Escape Yacht Charters offers luxury, affordable boating holiday experiences, cruising the spectacular world heritage renowned K’gari (Fraser Island) waters, Queensland, Australia.

You’re the skipper, you plan the experience, at your own leisure and pace. Infinite opportunities for adventure and discovery await, limited only by your imagination. Fraser Island, the Great Sandy Strait and north to the Great Barrier Reef offer a magnitude of safe waterways and quiet, picturesque anchorages which can be yours alone to enjoy.

Share the experience and adventure of a lifetime with a family, a large group of friends, or business colleagues and charter world class area that is Fraser Island. No licence is required, just some prior boating experience, as you will receive a comprehensive briefing before you set sail on your Sweet Escape yacht Charter.

Whether you have limited experience, wanting to learn to sail, or you are a seasoned sailor wanting to cruise the Queensland coast, we offer a variety of services to make sure your boating holiday with us is enjoyable and memorable. Please enquire about our sail training, option of hiring a skipper, guide or instructor for local and extended cruises.

With over 10 years experience in yacht and catamaran sailing charter operations in the Fraser Coast region, we have extensive local knowledge and can offer assistance and advice on all aspects of your boating or sailing holiday to the Fraser Island Coast and Hervey Bay in Queensland’s most beautiful waters. We offer a personalised, professional service and our aim is to ensure that your Sweet Escape charter is memorable and enjoyable.

A Unique Boating Holiday

Sail in paradise with no licence required.

Yacht Hire Hervey Bay


A bareboat is a boat hired without a skipper or crew. You are the captain, with no licence required. A little knowledge and common sense is all you need. The Fraser Coast is home to some of the finest cruising grounds in the world and the sheltered waters on the western side of Fraser Island are calm making it perfect for first timers and seasoned sailors alike.

Sweet Escape Guided Charter


If you are new to bareboating and want a little more confidence before embarking on your self-drive experience, or whether you want to learn sailing, or gain that extra bit of local knowledge, then having an experienced Guide is a great option.  If you are interested in our extended cruising zone to the Southern Great Barrier Reef, having a Guide is mandatory.

Yacht at anchor with person on paddleboard


Whether you are looking for day, or overnight private charters to celebrate a birthday, a honeymoon or a way to host a unique corporate function, Sweet Escape Charter can help you create a skippered charter that will be fun, safe and memorable cruising in Queensland’s best kept secret paradise (Fraser Island waters).

The Premier Choice

For your fraser island yacht charter experience.

The Great Sandy Strait and Fraser Island’s West Coast is Paradisiacal, nothing less than a wonderous marvel. From pristine Wathumba Creek to Kingfisher Bay Resort, the cruising area offers breathtaking beauty and exclusive experiences yours only to enjoy.

Whether you seeking a relaxation holiday on the water, an immersive natural experience, or something more of an adventure, the area offers soft, white sandy beaches, secluded bays, serene creeks and indescribable sunsets, with no lack of activities or places to discover. Swimming, fishing, snorkeling, bushwalking, kayaking, whale watching… there are so many ways to enjoy the wonders on your Queensland Yacht Charter holiday to the Fraser Coast.

Our Favourite Anchorages

fraser island sailing tour

Wathumba Creek

Known as the Hill Inlet of the Fraser Coast, Wathumba Creek is a magical, picturesque place with all your favourite activities on offer. Snorkel in the creek with turtles, swim in the crystal clear waters, navigate up the creek in the tender, or walk along the white sandy beaches. It is no wonder this is one of the favourite anchorages.

fraser island sailing tour

Triangle Cliffs

The coloured sand hills of Triangle Cliffs make for a perfect spot to watch the sunset across the ocean. The stretches of white beach make for a great spot to enjoy a picnic or game of beach cricket.

fraser island sailing tour

Moon Point is the closest anchorage to the harbour and provides protection in a variety of winds. The area is full of adventure with close access to Moon Point creek for fishing and crabbing, or Pelican Bank for swimming and relaxing.

Discover the Difference

Birds eye view of Pelican Bank Fraser Coast

Our cruising area encompasses the safe and sheltered waters of the Great Sandy Strait and north into Platypus Bay on the remote western side of Fraser Island. Our home port of Hervey Bay and Fraser Island is a short 3 hour drive north of Brisbane, while the local Fraser Coast Airport offers direct flights from Sydney and Melbourne.

The Fraser Coast is Butchulla country and the locals call Fraser Island, K’Gari, which translates to ‘paradise’. 

People swimming at the back of a Yacht

Whether it is a bareboat charter (self drive), half or full day fishing charter, or a guided sailing charter, we offer you a unique boating experience in one of the most idyllic places on earth.

This aquatic playground offers first timers, and experienced yachtsman alike, a variety of experiences from snorkelling, hiking, fishing, sailing, animal watching to sunset watching, sand hill climbing and lots of relaxing.

Two girls laying on front of yacht

It is one thing to explore this paradise by car, but hiring one of our luxury catamaran vessels will give you an unique and exclusive opportunity to explore the area in style and at your own pace.

Although having qualifications is great, this holiday experience is no-licence required. We brief you completely before you set sail and are there to help you throughout your charter.

Check availability today.

Explore and Experience

A word from our past guests, sweet escape moments, sweet.escape.charters.

fraser island sailing tour

  • Great Sandy Straits Marina, Urangan, Hervey Bay, QLD 4655 Australia

fraser island sailing tour

Ready to escape?

© sweet escape yacht charters 2024. all rights reserved., acknowledgement of country: by visiting the fraser coast, you are staying on land traditionally owned and inhabited by the butchulla people. “we acknowledge the butchulla people, the traditional custodians of this land on which we work and live, and recognise their continuing connection to land, water and community. we pay our respects to elders past, present and emerging. we extend that respect to all aboriginal and torres strait islander people. “.

K'gari (Fraser Island) and Whitsunday Tour Packages

K'gari (Fraser Island) and the Whitsundays are two of Australia's top travel destinations!  Both offer incredibly beautiful and unique natural attractions that draw in international travellers and Aussie locals alike. From the famous Whitehaven Beach in the Whitsundays to the rainforests and lakes of the world's largest sand island of K'gari (Fraser Island), these two locations are undoubtedly worth a visit!

Travellers in Australia may choose to book tours individually, and there is a huge array of tours in both the Whitsundays and on K'gari (Fraser Island). But if you plan on visiting both places, save yourself time and money by booking a combo package ! You'll get a discount on each tour and enjoy the convenience of one booking process that organises both tours for you. 

K'gari rainforest

There are different types of K'gari & Whitsunday tour packages to suit all kids of travellers. Whether you're a backpacker looking for a social tour, a couple looking for a peaceful tour, or a family looking for a safe and kid-friendly tour, you have options! Let's briefly discuss some of the best options for booking a K'gari (Fraser Island) and Whitsunday Tour Package that save you money and ensure you can experience the best of East Coast Australia ! We'll also include a brief overview of what to expect on your tours in each location. 

whitsundays, backpackers

K'gari (Fraser Island) Tours

K'gari (Fraser Island) has two types of tours available: guided and tag-along. Guided tours are a classic type of tour where you travel in a 4WD bus and have a knowledgeable tour guide lead you around the island. Tag along tours include multiple 4WD vehicles and you can sign up to be a driver! The lead tour guide navigates around the island while you follow in your own 4WD. In addition to choosing between guided or tag along, you can choose what type of accommodation you want. Most K'gari (Fraser Island) tours offer either a camping experience in the wilderness or a resort stay. It's up to you!

Some of the top destinations on this magical island include the sapphire perched lake, Lake McKenzie , the dense rainforests of Central Station , the refreshing stream of Eli Creek , the golden sand dunes of Lake Wabby , and the natural rock pools of Champagne Pools . Your itinerary will vary based on which your is included in your package, but there is no shortage of incredible things to see and do on K'gari (Fraser Island)!

Lake McKenzie

Whitsunday Tours

Tours in the Whitsundays generally involve lots of frolicking in the ocean and exploring the lush tropical islands!  From the famous white sands of Whitehaven Beach , to excellent snorkelling in the fringing reefs of the Great Barrier Reef , there are endless treasures awaiting you in the Coral Sea.

The best way to experience the Whitsundays is a boat tour , and most tour packages include a 2 or 3 day boat tour. You'll get to spend a night or two out at sea, watching the sun rise and set over the ocean. Most tours include snorkelling, and some tours also offer scuba diving , or have extras such as paddleboards, kayaks, or onboard spas! You can also look forward to Hill Inlet Lookout and seeing many of the many islands as you sail or cruise around. 

Whitsunday Blue

While the majority of these tour packages are backpacker-focused, there are some family-friendly ones as well! Depending on your travel style, couples could also have a blast on the backpacker tours. But we'll also list some more relaxed, couple-geared tours as well. 

Backpacker Tours

  • Backpacker Package -  3-day, 2-night Whitsunday sailing tour on Solway Voyager + 3-day, 2-night Pippies Tag Along Camping Safari on K'gari
  • Cheap Backpacker Deal - 2-day, 2-night Whitsunday sailing tour on New Horizon + 2-day, 1-night Dingos 4WD Safari on K'gari
  • Authentic Sailing Combo - 2-day, 2-night Whitsunday sailing tour on a maxi yacht + 2-day, 1-night Fraser Dingo 4WD tour on K'gari
  • Catamaran & Camp Package - 2-day, 2-night Whitsunday catamaran tour on Powerplay + 3-day, 2-night Pippies Tag Along Camping Safari on K'gari
  • Super Saver Package - 2-day, 1-night Whitsunday sailing tour on Atlantic Clipper + 2-day, 1-night Fraser Dingo 4WD tag along tour on K'gari
  • Backpacker Adventure Deal - 2-day, 1-night Whitsunday sailing tour on Atlantic Clipper + 3-day, 2-night Island Expeditions 4WD tag along camping tour on K'gari
  • Backpacker Island Saver Deal - 2-day, 2-night Whitsunday sailing tour on New Horizon + 3-day, 2-night Island Expeditions 4WD tag along camping tour on K'gari

Lake Wabby

Family Tours

  • Day Trip Combo - Day boat tour on Whitsunday Bullet + Day trip to K'gari with Fraser Adventure Tour
  • Catamaran & Resort Package - 2-day, 2-night Whitsunday catamaran tour on Entice + 2-day, 1-night guided tour on K'gari with resort accommodation
  • Extended Package - 4-day, 3-night Whitsunday sailing tour on Blizzard + 2-day, 1-night guided tour on K'gari with resort accommodation


Couples Tours

  • Resort & Sail Package - 3-day, 3-night Whitsunday tour on Whitsunday Blue + 2-day, 1-night Guided K'gari Tour with resort accommodation
  • Catamaran & 4WD Deal - 2-day, 2-night sailing tour on Whitsunday Adventurer + 2-day, 1-night Dingos 4WD Tag Along Camping Safari on K'gari
  • Island Deluxe Package - 2-day, 2-night Whitsunday catamaran tour on Powerplay + 3-day, 2-night Island Expeditions 4WD tag along camping tour on K'gari
  • Premium Sailing Package - 2-day, 2-night catamaran tour on Whitsunday Getaway + 2-day, 1-night Guided K'gari Tour with resort accommodation

Whitsundays couple having fun on whitehaven

Traveling between the Whitsundays and K'gari (Fraser Island)

K'gari (Fraser Island) and the Whitsundays are about 860km apart and tours may require a day or two in between, depending on which tours you choose! Guests can opt to fly or drive between the two destinations, and can also use the Greyhound Bus to make their way up or down the coast. All these packages include an option an checkout where you can include the Greyhound bus, which saves you some hassle in terms of planning your travel. 

Also take advantage of our live chat window so you can use the local knowledge of our travel agents when planning your trip! By working with one of our agents, you can book your tour from beginning to end, not only including your tours but your transportation, accommodation and anything else you can think of! By booking all of your travel together, you can save some money and have a dedicated expert to help you with all your travel needs. We can help you plan your entire holiday package to ensure you are able to have the best time possible while making your way around Australia!


Are you ready to see some of the best Australia has to offer? See our full list of combo packages here , or chat with our friendly travel experts to book your combo tour today! 

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Sailing Whitsundays acknowledges the Ngaro, Gia and Juru people as the Traditional Owners of the lands and seas in which we operate. We pay our respects to Elders past and present, and extend that respect to all First Nations peoples.

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Every weekend is an adventure

k’gari (fraser island): sailing adventure in the great sandy strait.

  • Post published: 18 September 2017
  • Post category: Australia / Oceania/South Pacific / Queensland

Let me introduce you to my perfect (very) long weekend break: sailing the Great Sandy Strait along the west coast of K’gari (Fraser Island) .

From Hervey Bay , you can take possession of a nice catamaran and go for an adventure with your friends along the wildest coast of Fraser Island, the world’s largest sand island called Paradise (K’gari) by the local Aboriginal people.

fraser island sailing

It’s disconnected from the world. It’s remote. It’s relaxing. It’s in connexion with nature. It’s my favourite place in Australia . And it’s close to Brisbane .

If you look for the best destination for sailing in Australia , the Whitsundays Islands in Queensland always make it to the top. And the Great Sandy Strait often comes second.

I think the photos will be enough to describe why I keep going back for more sailing around Fraser Island/K’gari. Still, let’s make a quick list of why I love this destination:

  • the stunning contrasts of the deep blue and the sandbanks
  • the incredible opportunity to access remote places on my favourite island in the world (empty beaches, beautiful coloured sand cliffs, freshwater creeks…)
  • the amazing marine life (dolphins, sharks, rays…)
  • the sunsets on the ocean

fraser island sailing

Sailing is not as hard and as expensive as you think

Sailing is not cheap, that’s true. but it was way more affordable than i first imagined  if you compare to holiday costs in australia..

On our catamaran, the Magnetic Islander, the most expensive rate is $690/night for up to 8 people. Less than $90/person. That’s the price of most hotel rooms in Australia – and they don’t have unlimited sea views and activities included!

Compare it to an all-included package. A sailing trip includes accommodation and activities. You’ll have to purchase your own food and drinks, but that’s no extra cost compared to what you’d spend at home. It’s even cheaper if you’re lucky when fishing! My point is that there’s no extra expense and temptations when you’re on the water (except if you’re too impatient and use the motors – as fuel is charged extra).

fraser island sailing

Sailing is not easy, that’s true. There’s no license required to drive the boats but there’s no point in signing for it if you don’t know what you’re doing. However, if you know the basics of sailing and have experience on a small catamaran, it won’t be too hard to take control of the bigger catamaran there. The Great Sandy Strait is well protected and the water is rather flat. Dangers and areas to avoid are quite easy to see. Risks are limited, and the GPS helps a lot.

No one in your group has sailing experience? You may try to charter a boat with a skipper included if you have the budget. Otherwise, your best option could be to join a tour. Viator* has a selection of tours from Hervey Bay, click here to see it.

Sailing isn’t for everyone

fraser island sailing

Some will get bored. Some will get seasick. Some won’t have enough comfort. Some will miss the long showers…

I love sailing, but I know it won’t please everybody.

Being on a boat for a few hours is different from being on a boat for a few days .

If you’re not interested in manoeuvring the boat, pack some good books or games to keep you entertained.

Good news: while sailing the Great Sandy Strait, it was easy to anchor the boat and reach the beach to vary the activities.

How to organise a sailing trip around Fraser Island

fraser island sailing

We hired our boat with Fraser Escapes . They have four vessels to sleep from 6 to 11 people.

The minimum rental duration during off-peak season is three nights, which means you need a five-day break for this adventure . Be prepared to have a long briefing in the morning when you arrive; you won’t leave Hervey Bay port before midday.

You’ll sail on the west side of Fraser Island. Don’t expect to visit all the touristy spots that usual Fraser Island tours include . You’ll be sailing on the other side of the island.

Responsible travel tip : The water you use for showering and washing dishes or your teeth will go directly into the ocean. The best solution is to choose eco-friendly products, like the natural handmade soap from Lush. At least, avoid using those with microplastic, bleach or chlorine. An eco-friendly sunscreen and insect repellent will make a difference as well as not pollute the ocean and protect marine life.

Ready to try? Or have you already been on sailing holidays? Leave a comment below to share your experience!

Looking for more sailing destinations? Read my Guide on How to charter a bareboat for sailing in Australia !

Where is K’gari (Fraser Island)?

It takes 3.5 hours to drive from Brisbane to Hervey Bay , on the eastern coast of Australia. From there, you can rent a boat and sail around Fraser Island. Hervey Bay airport also has direct flights from Brisbane, Melbourne, and Sydney.

Hervey Bay is famous for being the holiday destination for humpback whales during winter . They take a break there during their annual migration along the east coast.

Did you like this article about sailing K’gari (Fraser Island)? Add this adventure to your Pinterest board:

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This Post Has 31 Comments

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The Fraser island was on my list when I was down under. But due to a storm brewing as per the forecast we had to change our plans. And as it turned out, the storm was pretty bad. Guess we missed it though. Nice pics!

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Hi, Sreekar. I’m sorry to read you had to change your plans. But that was a good idea, bad storms are never fun. I hope you’ll have the opportunity to come back one day! 🙂

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Would you believe that I have never gone sailing before but somehow I feel like I should as it looks like an incredible adventure. It is amazing that you were able to access remote island and explore freshwater creeks!

Hi, Ana! Sailing is good fun, maybe you should try it! It’s always a great feeling when you arrive somewhere only boats can reach. 😉

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When I was young, my family had a summer cottage on a lake and my uncle had a sail boat. The afternoons spent out on the water are some of my best memories. x

I’m glad my article brought back good childhood memories, Alison. My memories from sailing on a very small boat as a kid are painful: I was always dreaming and I many times did not react quick enough when the boom was changing position… Many bumps on the head ahah!

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Sailing is indeed an amazing adventure and I have loved every bit of it. In 80%of my travels, it has been, either by luck or what so ever, I have sailed through some bays, lakes and all those have given me immense beautiful memories.

80%! Wow, you make me jealous! I don’t find it that easy to sail here. I mean, except if you can afford to purchase a tour, but sailing tours are often quite expensive.

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All my friends know how to sail. We live in Greece after all. Unfortunately hubby get sea sick so I don’t go that often.

Sailing is definitely less fun when you get seasick! I’d love to sail in Greece, all the photos I’ve seen looked amazing. I sailed once in Turkey and my phone kept sending me notifications “Welcome to Greece!”, so I guess I almost did it 😉

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Wow, there are so many shades of blue in the sea! I like how you took care to alert us regarding being eco friendly in the ocean. It looks like you had a blast! I definitely want to go sailing soon!

Yes, the water had stunning colours and we really loved it! I think it’s very important to be eco-friendly when you go sailing. The ocean really needs it and I believe every single small effort counts 😉

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I have always thought that sailing is super difficult and expensive as well. Just saw a tv series of sailing and some how got interested in it. And now your post made me really want to give it a try!

I hope you’ll give it a go, Tiina! If you don’t know anything about boats, it’s very overwhelming. They have their own language and you don’t always understand what’s going on. But if you go with a group, you actually only need a couple of people to be active – so you can choose to take it easy. The others can relax, or participate in other ways (cooking for example ;). Having your own boat and maintaining it is expensive. But from our experience, hiring one with a group of friends was not more expensive than another type of holidays!

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What a great idea….I love sailing and I haven’t thought to look for an outfit that offers an over night experience in CA.

Staying overnight on the boat is really a great experience! If you’ve got the opportunity to try it, I really recommend it!

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Wow that looks incredible! I have never been sailing, not in this capacity, but it is something I would love to do. I love being at sea!

If you love being at sea, you’ll probably love sailing! 🙂 I hope you’ll get a chance to try it!

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Wow! I would love to go sailing, it sounds very freeing and filled with unique opportunities! Your pictures are beautiful and yes they talk by themselves!

Thank you, Kallia! Yes, you’re right. It’s filled with unique opportunities 🙂

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I have been sailing once. and it was such a great experience. We have not been able to go a second time but Fraser Island sounds like a wonderful experience.

If you enjoyed it, I hope you’ll have a chance to go again! Fraser Island is my favourite place down here, so being able to explore it this way was like a dream 🙂

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Thanks for sharing another adventure. I wish to experience sailing as well, and hope the right opportunity comes in. Lovely photos!!

Thank you, Blair. I really hope you’ll get the opportunity to sail soon. It can be challenging, but I always find it fun and rewarding 🙂

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I was a seamen , sailing as a crew ship all around the world . It was very cheap for me and even earn money , hehehe . But I am sure I can’t afford to do like what you did . Sailing is not hard , yes I agree because I’ve been doing for almost 10 years . Sailing is not expensive as we thought , for me still can’t afford it and also I have to be sailor anymore .

Oh! That’s amazing that you got a chance to sail around the world and earn money from it! I have friends with sailing skills who are able to travel the world for very cheap as they help on sailing boats like you did. I wonder if I’ll get to do that one day!!! When I say it’s not expensive, it’s in comparison to other holidays in Australia. Of course, this kind of budget would be really expensive in some other countries.

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It might seem weird, but I’ve never gone sailing before. I feel like I’m missing on something huge now that I’ve read this post

Hi, Mei! It’s not weird at all! Sailing isn’t for everyone, and you need to have the right opportunity to give it a go! I’m always attracted by new adventures so I think if you ever get a chance, try it 🙂

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This looks incredible, so detailed and so full of passion LOVE it! Do you know how much is it from london??? Never been sailing, thanks for the mention!

Thank you 🙂 You’d need to get to Hervey Bay in Australia first, so that would be very expensive from London. However, I’m sure there are other sailing opportunities in the UK as you’re on an island! I am originally from Brittany, the western part of France below the UK, and we have many sailing boats around!

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I’ve been on bareboat charters in the Whitsundays (with work mates, for team building). With the family I tried it in Hervey Bay near Fraser Island. I’d say near Fraser Island is a bit easier for beginners, as there are fewer passages, reefs and coral bommies. The Great Sandy Strait is well protected by Fraser Island, which is the greatest sand island in the world and offers plenty of anchorages. Since there are now two bareboat charter companies in Hervey Bay (Fraser Island Boat Charters and Sweet Escape Yacht Charters) there are many boats to chose from, for any budget and space requirement.

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fraser island sailing tour

Fraser Island Boat Charters


Bareboat + skippered yacht charters | k'gari [fraser island].

Welcome to Fraser Island Boat Charters, your ultimate destination for bareboat charters and yacht hire in Queensland. Explore the wonders of the Great Sandy Strait and K'gari (formerly Fraser Island) with a unique water based adventure.

Experience the freedom of a bareboat [self drive] yacht charter as you set sail on your own private adventure. With our wide range of yacht hire options, you can navigate the pristine waters of the Fraser Coast (Queensland) at your own pace, immersing yourself in the natural beauty that surrounds you.

Once you depart from Hervey Bay, you'll be exploring the Great Sandy Strait. This UNESCO biosphere is a marine paradise teeming with life, and you'll be right in the heart of it all. Prepare to be captivated by an incredible array of marine creatures that call these waters home.

From majestic humpback whales and playful dolphins to an array of fish species, the underwater world here is nothing short of awe-inspiring. And let's not forget about the world's first Whale Heritage Site in Hervey Bay! This pristine sanctuary is where majestic humpback whales gather to rest and play during their annual migration, providing an unforgettable spectacle for lucky onlookers.

Whether you're a seasoned sailor or a leisurely traveller seeking a tranquil escape, our fleet of sailing and power catamarans awaits you. From intimate couples retreats to spacious vessels for family and friends, we have the ideal yacht to meet your needs.

Opt for a bareboat charter and take the helm yourself, feeling the exhilaration of controlling your own destiny on the waves. Or perhaps you prefer a more relaxed approach? Our private skippered charters allow you to sit back, unwind, and let our experienced crew take care of everything while you soak up the beauty that surrounds you.

Contact our team or make a booking today and you could be sailing away in no time!


Bareboat Charter, Yacht Hire, Hervey Bay, Fraser Isand

self paced travel

Get ready for a holiday that lets you travel at your own pace and charter your own unique path with bareboat self-skippered yacht hire.

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Don't worry if you have no boating license, our experience skippers will teach you everything you need to know and are always available.

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Whether you would prefer to do it alone, need an extra sail guide lesson or would like a skipper to take care of it all, we have you covered.

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a sailor's paradise

The Fraser Coast rivals the best as a sailing destination with sub-tropical weather year round, untouched locations and an array of marine life.


Travel Blog, Boat Charter, Hervey Bay

The team at Fraser Island Boat Charters would like to acknowledge the land and oceans which we are so fortunate to operate in, Butchulla country. We also extend our respects to Butchulla elders: past, present and emerging.

what our guests had to say

Amazing way to explore a spectacular destination. The team here is experienced and friendly with a varied selection of vessels to choose from. Awesome memories!

Derek - Google

Wow....how amazing was that experience? We sailed out of Hervey Bay Mariner Saturday 23 September and just had the best 3 days out on the boat. The scenery was amazing and the ever-changing conditions just meant there was something new on each turn of the wheel. Oh and the whales ...how spectacular! We hired Aquila Sunrise - a very luxurious vessel and just so simple to operate - within the first half hour all my fears of having to drive a big boat were allayed. Scott and Mal made everything so simple and easy. Will definitely be coming back!

Robert - Google

My husband and I chartered “Alida” for 5 nights. From my initial enquiry through to the finalisation of our charter Steph, Scott and Michael were professional, courteous and helpful throughout. The catamaran was well maintained, prepared and so clean and tidy which we appreciated. If we could give more stars we would. We had a blast - the weather was perfect, we had wind every day and the sunsets were sublime. We loved it so much we are looking to return in the Christmas holidays and will stay longer (yes, it was THAT good!).

Carol - Google

Find out about upcoming specials + more.

Best of Queensland Experience Fraser Island Boat Charters

fraser island sailing tour

  • Best Fraser Island Tours vs Tag Along vs Self Drive

In this guide, I’m sharing the best Fraser Island tours as well as tag along tours and whether you should hire a 4WD and do it alone in a self driving option. Considering there are a fair few ways to visit the world’s largest sand island, I’m breaking it all down so it’s easier for you to understand what’s the best way for you to see this popular East Coast bucket list place.

After my recent visit to K’gari (formerly Fraser Island), it’s only right that I share some home truths about what to expect before you decide on how to visit the World Heritage listed K’gari.

Table of Contents

Top K’gari Tours

3 day tour with k’gari explorer tours from hervey bay.


You can read all about the 3 Day K’gari Explorer Tour which we did and absolutely loved. This popular 3 day tour includes a stay in the beautiful Kingfisher Bay Resort as well a K’gari Beach Resort so there’s no camping involved.

You’ll spend the first day at Kingfisher Bay Resort before embarking on a 2 day adventure around K’gari (Fraser Island) to see all of the main sights. It’s a good enough time not to feel rushed while enjoying everything and learning loads on the most comprehensive tour without the stress of getting bogged or having problems with the car hire for the discerning traveller.

2 day tour from Hervey Bay


If you’re short on time, why not do the 2 Day tour from Hervey Bay instead of the three day tour to K’gari (Fraser Island)? You’ll see the same sights except you won’t spend a night at the beautiful Kingfisher Bay Resort. Even though you’ll spend less time at the World Heritage listed K’gari, you won’t miss out on the main tourist attractions.

2 day tour from Rainbow Beach


If you’re heading up from Sunshine Coast but don’t want to drive as far to Hervey Bay, why not jump on this 2 day tour from Rainbow Beach instead? Visit the World’s largest sand island and see all of the same sights as you would in the 2 day tour from Hervey Bay and you’ll join the coach at Lake Mckenzie for two days of fun.

Private tour with Kingfisher Bay Resort


If you’d prefer to have someone drive you and your loved ones around Fraser Island, book a private tour where you’ll be picked up from your accommodation in Hervey Bay. This tailor made itinerary is perfect for those who are looking to visit specific places and spend your own time at them. And by the way, Kingfisher Bay Resort is fantastic too!

Day tours from Hervey Bay


A Fraser Island day trip from Hervey Bay with K’gari Explorer Tour is a great way to see the island if you’re stuck for time. You’ll get to see almost the same sights as you would in the three day tour except Kingfisher Bay Resort and Lake Wabby. Note that you won’t get as much time at the famous attractions on this full day tour, but you’ll be able to tick them off your list when visiting the world’s largest sand island at K’gari (Fraser Island).

Explore the remote western side of Fraser Island


Looking to do something a little different on K’gari, formerly Fraser Island? Why not explore the remote Western side of the World Heritage listed K’gari by jumping on this day tour which includes kayaking, snorkelling, swimming and hiking as well as lunch.

Fraser Island 4-Hour Eco-Sailing Adventure


Meet at Hervey Bay for an unforgettable four hour eco-sailing adventure to the calm waters of the Great Sandy Strait. Here you’ll head to the heart of the dolphin playground while enjoying the pristine waters of Pelican Bank. This is a fantastic relaxing half-day trip for anyone looking for things to do in Hervey Bay.

Swim with whales in Fraser Island


Hervey Bay and K’gari (Fraser Island) is some to some of the best whale watching tours in Australia. Jump on this affordable 9 hour day trip to swim with whales ! You’ll also get an opportunity to kayak in the crystal clear waters of Awinya or Bowarradt Creek while cruising along the pristine Great Sandy Strait in Fraser Island.

Tag along tours & self drive options


Tag along tours are a great way to drive Fraser Island without having to worry too much about getting stuck on your own. You’ll have a tour guide who will drive one of the car while the other cars follow along. With these tours, you will spend the entire trip driving with other strangers and from what we saw, these tours cater for a backpacker market.

Bare in mind, you’ll be given a run down about the places you visit when you arrive at them but not while you’re driving there so you won’t learn as much as you would if you were on a K’gari Explorer tour. You’ll also need to be over 21 to drive on these tours, but if you’re younger you can still join, just not drive. Most cars don’t have aircon either so you might find it quite hot if you’re in a car with eight people.

If you’re thinking of doing it alone and hiring a 4WD, just bare in mind that if you get bogged or stuck at any point, you’ll more than likely have to wait for another car to come past and help you as there’s very little phone reception on the island. Personally, if you’re not confident with driving on sand, I wouldn’t do this option.

Pippies tag along camping safari


Pippies Fraser Island Tours and Beachouse is located in Rainbow Beach offering multi day tours from there, Noosa and Brisbane for anyone wanting to do a tag along tour which includes camping. You’ll see all of the sights, and camp under the stars at the very basic campsites in Fraser Island.

Fraser Dingo 4WD Adventures


Fraser Dingo 4WD Adventures offer multi day tag along tours offer all the sights but instead of camping, you’ll stay at a private beach house in share rooms.

We had planned to book the couples 4WD self drive and do a self-drive but the cars are actually pretty small. Considering we always overpack, I now know these cars would have been way too small for us!

Hire a car from Kingfisher Bay Resort


While most of the car companies are based on the mainland, why not hire a 4wd from Fraser Island so you don’t have to worry about paying all the fees for bringing a car over. If you hire a 4WD from Aussie Trax at Kingfisher Bay Resort , you can choose the length of the rental from half-day options and more including motels, and camping.

Things to know about booking a tour over a tag-along and hiring a 4WD for self-drive

If you’re unsure which route to take when booking your tour, here’s some tips I learnt on my recent visit.

1. Everyone gets stuck in the sand


We did the 3 night K’gari Explorer Tour and even our tour guide was an ex military driving instructor, driving one of the biggest vehicles on the island has got stuck in the sand from time to time. If you’re considering doing the tag-long or hiring a 4WD to drive it alone, if it’s your first time driving on the sand, consider that you will most likely get stuck a lot. You won’t be driving on the road, it’s literally all sand from the moment you get off the ferry.

We did see cars literally abandoned on the island because they had been rolled or the tyres blew up etc. There is a towing service which I heard is expensive to get towed back to Hervey Bay. Be also careful about how fast you go because there are police on the island who will stop you.

2. You won’t learn as much on a tag along or self-drive


Our guide Sarge is extremely knowledgeable and passionate about K’gari that he taught us so much about the island during our tour. If you did a self-drive 4wd hire, you won’t learn anything about the places to visit in Fraser Island or discover the history behind them. It would essentially be like rocking up to Lake Mckenzie or Eli Creek and knowing nothing about them.

This is similar with the tag along tours where you get to drive a 4wd but follow a tour guide. You won’t learn anything about the places while driving until you arrive at a tourist attraction. So, you’ll just be driving from one place to the next without really getting a good understanding of it like you would on the K’gari Explorer Tour.

3. If you rely on Google Maps, you’ll probably get lost


Fraser Island is pretty remote.The majority of the island is rainforest and mostly without phone reception, so if you get lost or stuck, you’ll have to hope and wait for another car to pass you by. You’ll need to bring a paper map with you when exploring the island as you could end up getting lost several times.

4. You’ll need to be more prepared than you think


If you’re thinking of hiring a 4WD or coming to the island in your own car, then be prepared to bring everything with you. For example, if you’re camping you’ll need to bring your own toilet with you, (you’ll literally be camping on the sand opposite the beach), as well as a shovel and all the necessary pieces of equipment to get you out of the sand if needed. You’ll also need to get camping permits and pay for national park fees as well.

Let’s not forget about understanding the tide times as well. This will be crucial for driving K’gari (Fraser Island) if you’re doing a self-drive option because you’ll be driving a lot along the Seventy Five Mile Beach.

More Fraser Island travel guides


Need more inspiration for your next trip to K’gari? Check out our popular guides!

  • 31 Best Things To Do In Fraser Island (K’gari)
  • 7 Best Fraser Island Day Trips From Hervey Bay
  • What The K’gari Explorer Tour To Fraser Island Looks Like
  • 15 Things To Know About Planning A Fraser Island Trip
  • 10 Tips To Know Before Visiting Eli Creek In Fraser Island
  • 13 Things You Might Not Know About Lake Mckenzie In Fraser Island
  • 12 Crucial Things To Know About The Champagne Pools In Fraser Island
  • Tips For Visiting The Famous Maheno Shipwreck On Fraser Island
  • My Honest Fraser Island Kingfisher Bay Resort Review

Best Fraser Island Tours


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Fraser Island & Whitsundays Guide

Written by: Katie Tobias

Most visitors to Australia will be planning an epic journey along the East Coast of Australia – stopping at each of the sights along the way... Sydney, Byron Bay, Brisbane, Australia Zoo, Noosa, Magnetic Island and Cairns - the adventure capital of Australia. The long stretches of roads and overnight buses will lead you through the big cities, to the surf coast and through to the tropics and the Great Barrier Reef.

However... there are 2 MUST DOS that most visitors to the east coast have on the top of their bucket lists– Sail the Whitsunday Islands and drive a 4WD along Fraser Island. Backpacking the Whitsundays and Fraser Island is one of the most popular to do's for all east coast travellers. So here’s what you need to know.

Backpacking Whitsundays

What are they.

The Whitsundays are made up of 74 stunning islands – Whitsunday Island being the most popular and home to the famous Whitehaven Beach – where the sand is so pure it squeaks and the water is so clean you can wash your teeth with it!

whitehaven beach guide to the whitsundays

How do I get there?

Whitsunday Sailing Tours depart from Airlie Beach – a tiny, tropical party town located about 9 hours drive north of Fraser Island. You will need at least a day to drive there – or if you are travelling north from Rainbow Beach or Hervey Bay – an overnight Greyhound or Premier Bus. Alternatively you can fly to Whitsunday Coast Airport, Hamilton Island Airport or Mackay Airport, located around 1 hour from the town of Airlie Beach.

Whitsunday Sailing Trips

We suggest a 3 Day / 2 Night Sailing Trip. It takes a few hours to sail to the islands from Airlie Beach so an overnight trip is best – plus a great way to meet other people. And who wouldn’t want to sleep out on the ocean and under the stars? 3 Day / 2 Night Sailing Trips usually depart in the afternoon. You usually have to check in with the boat company in Airlie Beach by 11:00am the day of departure so give yourself enough time to get there!

If you have slightly less time to spend in paradise, there are also 2 day / 1 night tours. If you are tight on time, you can also choose a 1 day tour with Ocean Rafting or Southern Cross

If you are staying at Base Airlie Beach you can store your luggage there while you are sailing away! Trips include food, BYO alcohol & snorkelling gear. You also have the option to pay extra for a scuba dive. You will spend the 2 nights sailing around the islands, exploring Whitehaven Beach and snorkelling the Great Barrier Reef.

atlantic clipper whitsundays sailing

What do the tours include?

Most tours to the Whitsundays will include a stop by Whitehaven Beach. One of the best views of the beach can be captured from Hill Inlet Lookout which requires a short 20 minute tropical rainforest walk to reach the viewing platform (look out for wildlife)! As the Whitsundays are located within the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park, mostly all sailing tours will offer the opportunity to snorkel or scuba dive in the Great Barrier Reef. The Whitsundays are a popular place to spot Turtles, tropical fish and more! Many of the overnight sailing tours will also lead you through to a number of other islands within the Whitsunday Islands Group.

  • Read our Full and Comprehensive Guide to The Whitsundays .

the whitsunday islands

Backpacking Fraser Island

Why is it so popular.

It is the biggest sand island in the world and it can justifiably be described as paradise! Rich with aboriginal history, eucalyptus forests, natural swimming holes, white sand, dingos and of course – highways allowing you to drive across the island by 4WD!

Fraser Island can be accessed by ferry from either Rainbow Beach or Hervey Bay. Rainbow Beach is located about 240km north of Brisbane whilst Hervey Bay is 290 km north of Brisbane. If you are travelling south along the East Coast, Hervey Bay is about 870km south of the Whitsundays – about 10 hours drive!

TIP : Begin your 4WD Tag Along tour from Noosa (1.5 hours south of Rainbow Beach) to experience the mighty sand dunes of Cooloola National Park on the way!

If you are travelling on a Greyhound or Premier Bus the journey takes a little longer as the buses stop for breaks. Travelling south you will need to get an overnight bus from Airlie Beach (the Whitsundays). We suggest stopping for 2 nights at 1770 – where the surf coast meets the Great Barrier Reef and the second place in Australia that Captain Cook visited – very chilled out, cool little town!

lake wabby fraser island

Where to Depart from?

Noosa, Rainbow Beach or Hervey Bay...

Noosa - Nomads offer some pretty great tag along tours that begin in Noosa. Nomads offer dorm style accommodation on the actual island, whereas the tag along tours from Rainbow Beach and Hervey Bay usually offer camping (which is also loads of fun)! The highlight of booking a self guided tour from Noosa is the opportunity to see the sand dunes of Cooloola National Park on the way! Check out their tours nomadsfraserisland.com

Hervey Bay has an airport close by so it tends to be popular with the Aussie locals. The town is bigger than Rainbow Beach with a lot more shops, bars and restaurants. The Esplanade is beautiful and the beach is calm with little waves – so it's great for those not too comfortable in the surf! When staying there we recommend our Base Mates Palace Hostels. They also organise 4WD Tag Along camping safaris to the island.

Rainbow Beach has grown its popularity on the backpacker trail over recent years and there are 3 hostels available that organise accommodation & 4WD Tag Along Safari Packages. Our Base Mates Frasers On Rainbow have a great set up! Rainbow Beach has great surf and gives the feeling that you are literally in the middle of nowhere! This quiet town shuts down early (forcing most of the town to Frasers On Rainbow most nights for some live music) and has just one little street of shops and cafes. If visiting Rainbow Beach – be sure to check out Carlo Sand Blow – it is stunning!

You can stay at Nomads Noosa, Palace Hostels and Frasers on Rainbow by purchasing a multi night Bed Hopper Pass .

Fraser Island Tours

You've got 2 choices!

Guided Tours

Guided Tours are a great option for those wanting dorm or private accommodation on the island and for those on a really short time frame for travelling the East Coast. Meals are generally prepared and you will be accompanied with a Tour Driver who will guide you around the island in a 4WD bus. As the island is so big we suggest at least a 2 or 3 day tour. Guided Tours depart from Surfers Paradise, Brisbane, Noosa, Rainbow Beach and Hervey Bay – a great option for those short on time!

Tag Along Safaris

Tag Along Safaris tend to be more popular! They tend be cheaper and you have the option to drive the 4WD vehicle! This is how they roll... you will meet the day before departure at your hostel in Noosa, Rainbow Beach or Hervey Bay for a briefing. You will meet everyone else on the safari (sometimes there can be up to 60 people)! You will be put into a group of 6 – 8 people and your group will be given a 4WD vehicle, tents, cooking & camping facilities, food and maps! The lead vehicle will have a professional guide / driver who will lead the convoy out to the island. You will spend 3 days and 2 nights exploring and camping, Nomads Noosa however also offer dorm accommodation on the island – an experience like no other!

driving on fraser island

  • Book your 4X4 Fraser Island tour !


We recommend purchasing a Greyhound or Premier Bus Pass for your travels. You can buy a 3 month or a 6 month pass between Cairns and Melbourne, Sydney, Byron Bay and Brisbane. The buses allow you to hop on and hop off along the way! We also suggest pre-purchasing a Fraser Island & Whitsunday Sailing package as you will usually save about $100 when buying the 2 tours together. Travelling along the East Coast you will find that you will continue to bump into fellow travellers that you have met along the way!

  • Check out our Complete Guide to Travelling The East Coast
  • Or maybe you're looking for some budget travel tips for the East Coast
  • Or do you want to make sure you see all the unmissable places on The East Coast ?

East Coast Accommodation

An easy way to save $ when travelling the East Coast is to buy a Multi Night Bed Hopper Pass ! You can book each hostel as you go! We have numerous hostels where the Bed Hopper Pass is accepted all up the East Coast of Australia.

For more information on Whitsunday and Fraser Island packages email [email protected]

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Fraser Tours

Fraser Tours is a locally owned and operated travel agency offering day and overnight adventures throughout the Fraser Coast. This area is known as the home of Australia's best nature experiences including mainland and island adventures starting in Noosa, Rainbow Beach and Hervey Bay. Our team of local Fraser Coast specialists will tailor your holiday to find you the perfect escape for you anywhere on the coast!

  • Overnight Tours
  • Whale Tours

Popular Fraser Island Day Tours From Hervey Bay

Full-Day Guided 4WD Tour


Departs Hervey Bay

Low Numbers, Air Con

Personalised Service

Small Group

Only 6 Guests

Max 4 Guests

Lunch & Alcohol Included

Most Popular Tagalong 3 Day 2 Night - Backpacker Sale

3 Days, 2 Nights

Self Drive, Exclusive Campsite

From Rainbow Beach

RETAIL  $529

ON SALE $509

3 Day, 2 Night

RETAIL  $549

Drive Your Own 4WD

Departs Noosa Or Rainbow


Glamping Safari Tents, Self Drive

Departs Noosa & Rainbow Beach


Fraser Island Day Tours From Rainbow Beach & Noosa

Stay Longer at Lake McKenzie, Aussie Bush Picnic Departs Noosa & Rainbow

Visit Amazing Lakes, Eli Creek & Maheno Wreck

Departs Noosa + Rainbow

See It All In One Day

Family Friendly

Departs Rainbow Beach

Great For All Ages

Air Conditioned Comfort

Short On Time - Two Day 4WD Adventures

2 Days, 1 Night

Eurong Beach Resort

All Ages, Fully Guided

Departs Hervey & Rainbow

2 Day, 1 Night

Fully Guided + Camping

Departs Wed & Sat

Camp or Resort Stay

Ask us for Departures



Compare our full range of 3 Day 2 Night Camping & Resort Tours to Fraser Island



Compare Our Full Range of Fraser Island Day Tours Departing from Hervey Bay


Vehicle Hire: 1 - 5 Days

Get off the beaten track,

See more of Fraser Island

Vehicle Hire: Single Day

Start Early to See More

Get Behind the Wheel

Transfers From Hervey Bay

Ask for a Price

Group Hire or Couples,

Resort & Camping Options

Vehicle Hire: 2+ Days  

Self Guided 4WD Hire

Resort Accommodation

Noosa Experiences

Electric Bike Hire

Half Day or Full Day

Explore the Easy Way

Ask to save!

2 Hour Surf Lessons

Beginner to Immediate

Lessons Twice Daily

Full Day Canoe & Boat Tour

Relaxing Everglades Cruise

Diverse ecosystems

Skydive Experience

60 Second Free Fall

Reach speeds up to 200kmph

Rainbow Beach Activities

Half Day Kayak Tour 

Chance to See Turtles, Dugongs and More!

Stand Up Paddle Lessons

Learn in Sheltered Bays,

See Native Wildlife

Half Day Surf Adventure

4WD Adventure to Australias Longest Break

Half Day Kayak Tour

See Dolphins or Whales,

Enjoy Secluded Beaches

Whale Watching Tours - 2024 Season Starts July 15

Full-Day Tour

Eco friendly award winning

Low guest numbers

Complimentary beverage 

Half Day Tour (AM or PM)

Spacious luxury catamaran 

Six viewing decks

Great for families

Half Day Morning Tour

Award-Winning Tour

Ariel Spotter

Wheelchair and pram access

Afternoon  Half-Day Tour

Ariel Spotting Plane

Guaranteed Sightings

Licensed bar on board


  • Can answer all your Fraser Island questions
  • We will build you exclusive packages to save you money
  • Our experts are all experienced locals
  • Live chat with a real person

Quick Enquiry

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Fraser island news.

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  • Fraser Island
  • Whale Watching
  • Sunset Cruises
  • Lady Elliot Island

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  • 07 4197 0778
  • [email protected]
  • 625 Charlton Esplanade, Hervey Bay QLD 4655

Eco Sailing Adventure

fraser island sailing tour

Half Day: 8:30am - 12:30pm

Aboard a comfortable multi award-winning sailing vessel we will take you right to the spot where the dolphins are enabling you to watch pods of the bottlenose (aduncas) and indo-pacific humpbacks (sousa chineses) dolphins, as they play along the coast of the Great Sandy Straits

In the summer, weather permitting, there is often the opportunity to take a swim near one of the shallow sand banks as well as enjoy our aqua mat and boom netting for an immersive water experience like no other.

  • Tour Highlights
  • What to bring
  • Morning Tea
  • Licensed bar available
  • Boom net to go swimming
  • Expert commentary with 30 years experienced with marine mammals
  • Wifi on board
  • Sense of adventure
  • Water bottle
  • Sunglasses & Hat
  • Comfortable shoes
  • Jacket if chilly or windy

fraser island sailing tour

Copyright Fraser Island Tours • Created by Dana Baggett


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