Located off the eastern coast of Queensland, Australia, Fraser Island (or K'gari in the indigenous language) is the largest sand island in the world. The amount of adventure that fits into the island's 184,000 hectares is unfathomable. Because of all the prime opportunities for action and adventure, there are several tours available. From multi-night off-road excursions to jet ski tours to eco sailing adventures, it is easy to scratch your adrenaline-junkie itch. You can drive down 75 Mile Beach in your 4x4 or you can go on a walking tour and try to spot a dingo. Even with all the options, one tour can easily be counted as one of the best Fraser Island tours: Tasman Venture's Remote Fraser Island Experience.
Best Fraser Island Tours | Remote Fraser Island Experience
Tasman Venture's Remote Fraser Island Experience is a day trip that leaves from the Great Sandy Straits Marina in Urangan. An early morning departure (approximately 8:00 am) ensures that your full-day tour will be jam-packed with endless opportunities to check items off your bucket list. My wife and three daughters (ages 9, 11, and 13 at the time), were able to have the adventure of a lifetime.
The experience also held special meaning to me and my wife. I proposed to her on Fraser Island while we were studying abroad at Central Queensland University so many years ago (she said yes, btw). This time, we were able to bring our girls with us to show them what it is that is so special about the place. Needless to say, the tour lived up the expectations--and I left more in love with Fraser Island than I already was.
Here is a rundown of our unforgettable day. And be sure to check out the Best Fraser Island Tours | Remote Fraser Island Experience vlog on The Wandering Firefighter YouTube channel for even more detail and footage!
Fraser Island Whale Watching - and SO MUCH MORE!
The day started by letting the boat's captain and the phenomenal and knowledgeable crew search out some whales. Humpback Whales frequently hang out off the coast of Fraser Island. The whales are generally in the area between the months of July and October. Along the way, we watched pods of dolphins cruise along next to our sea vessel.
The staff knows what they are doing. We found a few Humpback Whales almost immediately! We spent several minutes watching the giant mammals bask in the water and make several passes under the boat and then back out of the water on the other side. Our experts informed us that they were "curious" and this statement became more and more obvious the more we watched and studied them. Incredible!
Then, a question was asked that we were hoping we'd hear, but knew it wasn't a guarantee: "would anyone like to get into the water with these guys?" Say what?!? We were being given the opportunity to see these magnificent creatures up close and personal in their natural habitat? YES! One of the best Fraser Island tours? Also, YES!
In the Water!
The water was pretty cold, but the supplied wetsuits and snorkel gear made the temperature more than tolerable. The above picture is an example of how close we were able see our fellow mammals. (Again, check out the YouTube channel for more footage of our encounter!)
While we were clinging to the boat, our guides kept constant watch over us and carefully monitored the behavior of the whales. For a good amount of time (it's pretty easy to lose track of exactly how much time in a situation like this), the whales were more than content to swim under us, make eye contact (yes, really!), and then come back for another pass before surfacing for a little air. It was one of the most surreal and unique experiences of our lives!
Eventually, the behavior of the whales changed a bit. We never felt threatened or in danger, but it was obvious that the whales had satisfied their curiosity with us. After our guides quickly recognized the body language of the whales, we exited the water and let them have their space. Our time sharing the ocean with our fellow mammals was over, but the memories will live on forever. Just one of the reasons why the Remote Fraser Island Experience is one of the best Fraser Island tours around! (By the way, you can book your tour using my unique link on the banner below!)
Amphibious Watercrafts & Kayaks
After our unbelievable encounter with the Humpback Whales, we hopped on an amphibious watercraft. This thing was so cool and I'd love to own one someday (pending the wife's approval...)! The boat was pretty similar to a Transformer, or if you're an 80's kid like me, more like a vehicle from M.A.S.K. (one of the most underrated cartoons and toy lines of all time...but that's a whole other story...).
Anyway, we cruised to shore in the boat and as soon as we hit the sand, the boat's tire system lifted us up off the ground and we were driving further onto the beach. How cool is that? The crew then tied our kayaks to the back of the boat...or car...or whatever...and pulled them to our launching point at the crystal clear Wathumba Creek.
Wathumba Creek is a freshwater creek that winds throughout Fraser Island. The creek is lined with mangrove trees--resilient plants that thrive at the borders of saltwater and freshwater in tropical locations. Tropical birds sit on the branches of the mangrove trees while below the surface of the water is teeming with fish. Staying near your guide during this part of the tour is advisable because one could easily lose their way with all the twists and turns of the stream!
After our slower-paced and relaxing kayaking experience, the crew sped things up again and took us tubing in the ocean. The tube was a seated-type tube and we were able to fit 3-4 at a time on it. Those pulling us knew what they were doing and I'm pretty sure we caught at least 135 feet of air a couple times.
Another Reason it is Amongst the Best Fraser Island Tours Around - Great Snorkeling!
Following out time on the island, we boarded the M.A.S.K. vehicle again and headed back out to the boat. We took a little break and had a light lunch. We then found ourselves in a pretty amazing snorkeling spot (seriously, this crew knows where they're going and what they're doing).
Almost immediately upon sticking our goggled faces into the water, we spotted a beautiful sea turtle. We followed that guy (or gal?) for several minutes, lost in an encompassing and crystal clear underwater world. We also saw different fish that looked like they were from some alien planet.
Not only did we get to swim with whales and kayak on a beautiful stream, our snorkeling experience was top notch as well!
The Sand Dune of Flour
Okay, so technically its a sand dune of silica sand. But, man, it sure feels like a giant mound of flour when you're trying to climb it!
So obviously, the next part of our tour included hiking up the highest sand dune on the island. Our great tour guide, Marc, challenged our girls to sprint up the dune as fast as possible. And then we sat back and watched them all slip and fall as soon as they hit the base. They fell. We laughed. It was awesome.
The laughing simmered down a bit once my wife and I began our trek up the dune. Talk about challenging! People were slipping and falling and crawling and crying all the way up--but we all made it! The view at the top was really worth it. Panoramic views of the wildlife and plant life on one side and views of the white sand and turquoise water on the other. We could have stayed up there forever, but we eventually began the journey back down.
Conclusion to Best Fraser Island Tours | Remote Fraser Island Experience
The hike down the sand dune brought our tour to an end. We were exhausted, but we loved every second of our adventure. The crew was great. They were attentive, safe, knowledgeable, and pretty fun too! Each one of them really added to the overall experience and I'm glad they were with us.
Once we arrived back on the mainland and to our campervan, we had great conversations. We couldn't stop laughing and recalling in awe all the amazing things we were able to do that day. We were in the ocean with whales. WHALES! What an amazing opportunity my family and I had. We'll cherish this shared experience for the rest of our lives--and I really hope to revisit again someday!
The island's indigenous name of K'gari translates as "paradise". It's pretty easy to see what those who walked the shores so many years ago also saw.
If you want to book this trip, or browse hundreds of other tours in Australia, you can use my unique link or the banner below. If you do end up using my link, I will get a small commission at no extra cost to you, so THANK YOU for the support! And please, if you're interested, head over to the YouTube channel or watch the video up top for a whole new perspective on this trip!
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