Basin Lake Swimming Hole
Great Sandy National Park, Fraser Island, QLD, Australia
The Basin Lake is roughly the size of a football field and can be as deep as eight metres. Vegetation borders the water, creating a natural wind break and when combined with the lake’s location, gives a peaceful secluded swimming experience. A perched lake, The Basin Lake formed when organic matter (like leaves and dead plants) gradually decomposed and hardened into depressions created by the wind, making a lake bed that is actually above sea level. It is important that visitors do not wear sunscreen or bug spray while swimming as it kills the delicate ecosystem.
How To Get There: The Mantaray Ferry leaves from Inskip point and arrives at the Southern most point of Fraser Island. Information on times and prices can be found here. Once off the ferry, turning right will put you on 75 Mile Beach, which runs the length of Fraser Island’s East Coast. Follow the beach to Eurong Resort (about 33km) and take Eurong road inland to Central Station. At Central station there will be signs for Lake McKenzie, leading north along Lake McKenzie road.
There are three different ways to get to the Basin Lake. Driving from Lake McKenzie, turn left at the first junction, driving past the great walk that crosses the road. After about 3km, there will be an unmarked path on the left that leads up a hill. Opposite the path, there is a clearing large enough for 2 to 3 vehicles. The path zigzags up the hill for about 400 metres, where you will cross the great walk path that leads to Lake McKenzie (4km away) in one direction and Central Station (2.5km away) in the other. It is possible to use those as access routes as well. From this cross in the paths, walk down the hill 170 metres to the lake. The path will lead you straight onto the water.
Difficulty of access: 2/10 The walk is a little over 500m in length, and though most of the paths will be well-defined, there may be sections of soft sand which can make walking slow, especially for children.
All vehicles driving on Fraser Island must have a current Fraser Island vehicle access permit. Driving should be done cautiously and will take more time because the roads are sand. The inland tracks are suitable for high clearance four-wheel-drive vehicles only.
Opening Times/Seasons: The Basin Lake is open all day, year-round.
Entrance Fee: Prices for Vehicle Access Permits for Fraser Island can be found here. Camping fees vary depending on duration of stay and age.
Facilities Nearby: There are no amenities at this location, though there are some at Lake McKenzie and Central Station.
Other Activities: This is a small lake for swimming only, but there are over 300 species of birds that make the sky ripe for birdwatching, and further away at the 75 Mile Beach many visitors enjoy beach fishing.
Other Places of Interest Nearby: Central Station is very close to the Basin Lake. Originally established as a forestry camp, Central Station is now a beautiful walk through the rainforest where visitors can learn about the development of the island and its various flora and fauna.
Wildlife: There are many birds on Fraser Island, lace monitors and dingoes roam the area.
Places to Eat: If you fancy a night off from cooking, there are several restaurants, many of which are found within the Kingfisher Bay Resort, such as the Sand Bar and Bistro and the Seabelle Restaurant. More restaurants can be found within the Eurong Resort and in Happy Valley.
Where to Camp: There are 35 camping options on Fraser Island, some with dingo deterrent fencing. Same camping sites are offered to car-less visitors near Lake McKenzie.
Other places to Stay: There are lodges, hotels, and resorts on Fraser Island, including the Kingfisher Bay Resort, which is close by, and Happy Valley (2hr Drive). A helpful pdf of the camp zones can be found here.
Nearby Towns: A ferry ride off the island will take you to several towns that have shops and restaurants, the closest town being Hervey Bay.
Comments: This lake may be on the smaller side, but it is worth a trip to swim in a quieter location.