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Fraser Island – Bus Tour or 4WD?

If you are in the area of Brisbane, Fraser Island is a must-see. But the question is: Should you go on a organized bus or a 4WD?

What is the best way to see Fraser Island? A bus tour or a 4WD drive? The truth is, there is no simple answer to it. Do you feel save to drive a 4WD? Do you have time and money? Let me tell you what you can expect on each of the tours, so you can make an informed decision. In any case, if you own your own 4WD drive, you should definitely take it to Fraser, of course.

Check out some pictures so you know what to expect.

Start from Harvey Bay or Rainbow Beach?

You have the choice to start your Fraser trip from Hervey Bay or Rainbow Beach. Most people start from Hervey Bay, which is a bit further away from the island. The higher demand and longer distance make it also a bit more expensive. We definitely suggest to start your Fraser tour from Rainbow Beach – it’s easy for Vanlifers.

Explore Fraser Island

Fraser Island is definitely a must-see on the east coast of Australia. The highlights of Fraser Island are definitely the free-living dingoes, the shipwreck and the lake McKenzie.

Fraser Island by Bus Tour

Various bus tours are offered to Fraser Island. For those who are on a budget or do not have much time to spare, a day trip ist just right for you: You get to visit everything worth seeing and also food is included. The full-day tours are done with a big 4WD bus and cost about $200. They are booked in the visitor office in the village center of Rainbow Beach, just in front of the large parking lot – you can’t miss it.

It ‘s definitely an experience, even though you are not spending days on the island. But you are definitely going to see the highlights and the bus ride is quite cool as well. And you have the chance to meet your date for the next day as well.

Fraser Island by 4WD

If you don’t own a 4 wheel drive, you can rent one in many places on Rainbow Beach and Hervey Bay. This option is way more expensive, but if you are willing to spend the money, it will make it worth the money: You can even drive around the beach and in the rainforest without being dependent on others.


ATTENTION: You should be aware of the danger, driving on the sandy beach is dangerous! Speed ​​limits are to be kept in any case! And you would not be the first to die, because by avoid an incoming wave your car has been knocked over. In 2011, 3 backpackers from Italy and England were killed in such a case.

You also have to be careful when you return the car. Make sure they are not trying to charge for something you haven’t done or caused, for example driving in saltwater, which is forbidden because it affects the car.

Always make sure that when you return the car is inspected and approved right in front of your eyes. Some leases state that the company has 24 hours to do so. Insist that this is done with you!

I cannot particularly recommend a company myself, mine was probably average, but I have been told that a good offer from Fraser Magic, 4WD Rental, which operates from Harvey Bay, not Rainbow Beach.

How much to rent a 4WD for Fraser?

Hiring a car for Fraser is much more expensive than elsewhere, as the cars are much more stressed by driving on the island.

Did you know?

The island is practically just a big sand dune, nothing else. Sand just piled up coming in from the ocean, until it formed an island. It is the largest sand island of the world!


It is up to you if you want to go by an organized bus tour or explore the island with a 4WD. The must-see sights of Fraser can all be easily visited, be it with an organized or self-guided tour. The 4WD drive, however, gives you much more flexibility and maybe a higher fun factor.

READ MORE: Our tips for Brisbane!

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