Fraser Island, Queensland, Australia
Lake Birrabeen is a wide expanse of crystal clear lake surrounded by a pure white sandy shoreline, which melts into the bush. This swimming hole is very similar to Lake McKenzie but less crowded meaning that your view of this stunning swimming location may well be uninterrupted. This is a perched lake, which means it has been formed on an impermeable layer of rock and is self-contained, not fed by rivers or flowing to the sea. Despite this the water is super clean because the organic colloids are filtered out by the sand. Fraser Island’s traditional name is K’gari and the Traditional Owners are the Butchulla. They have a long and ongoing relationship with the area and ask that ‘Wanya nyin yangu, wanai djinang djaa.’ ‘Wherever you go, leave only footprints.’* For more info on the lakes of Fraser Island and why they are so special check out FIDO’s website. Heres a link to a great pdf: Fraser Islands Fresh Water
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 Dilli Village and take the exit onto Dillinghams Road. Drive for 2.6km and turn right to keep on Dillinghams Road. Drive for another 5km with signs for Lake Boomanjin and turn right onto Birrabeen Road. Once passed Lake Boomanjin drive for another 1.7km and turn right to stay on Birrabeen Road. In 2.1km the track will bear right and continue as Birrabeen Road. After 2.7km keep left and in 3.5km Lake Birrabeen will be on your right hand side!
The Kingfisher Bay Ferry leaves from River Heads The barge pricing information and times can be found here. Once off the barge, drive towards Cornwells Road and follow for 4km. Turn right onto Northern Road for 700m and then right again onto Bennett road. Keep left in 2.4km to stay on Bennet Road and follow to Lake McKenzie Road. Signs for Lake McKenzie will be at intersections. Total distance from Kingfisher Bay to Lake McKenzie is 12km. From Lake McKenzie head south following signs for Lake Birrabeen for roughly 10km.
Difficulty of access: 3/10 A short walk with a couple of steps will lead you on to the sand beside the lake.
Opening Times/Seasons: All year/ All day
Entrance Fee: There are camping and vehicle access permit fees for the Great Sandy National Park on Fraser Island. Details of vehicle access permit fees can be found here.
Facilities Nearby: Hybrid toilets can be found in between the two car parks. There are picnic tables at the larger car park with wooden supports for a tarp for shade or rain cover. The closest place to buy food and fuel is in Eurong. There is also a public phone here.
Other Activities: There is good fishing from 75-Mile Beach where a wide variety of fish can be caught depending on the season. The bird-watching potential is also pretty huge with over 325 different species of birds frequenting the island.
Other Places of Interest Nearby: There are several impressive sand blows on the island, huge sand dune formations, which are not to be missed. The wreck of the Maheno trans-Tasman passenger liner lies on the beach between Eli Creek and The Pinnacles.
Wildlife: The lake itself only houses a small variety of fish due to the lack of organic matter but turtles and Sea Eagles are also in residence. The dingoes on the island are one of the purest remaining populations in Eastern Australia.
Places to Eat: The closest place to eat is the Eurong Beach Resort in Eurong which has a cafe, bar and restaurant. There is also a small convenience store in Eurong to buy picnic supplies, which is highly recommended as Fraser Island is full of amazing picnic spots, including the one right at Lake Birrabeen.
Where to Camp: There are 35 camping options on Fraser Island, some with dingo deterrent fencing. The closest car camping is at Lake Boomanjin, followed by Central Station and the many camping zones on 75 mile beach. Hikers will find the Lake Benaroon Hikers Camp is relatively close by.
Other places to Stay: Fraser Island is an amazing place for camping and we recommend the low-key approach but if you’re looking for an easy, hassle-free option with more creature comforts then Drop Bear Adventures have the answer with their permanent en-suite tents and beach house accommodation. Or get really fancy in one of the Beachcamp Eco Retreat‘s luxury glamping tents. Additionally resort style accomodation can be found at Eurong, Kingfisher Bay Resort and Happy Valley. A helpful pdf of the camp zones can be found here.
Nearby Towns: Eurong, Happy Valley, Inskip Point, Rainbow Beach
Other Swimming Holes Nearby: Lake Boomanjin, Lake Benaroon, Lake McKenzie, Basin Lake, Lake Wabby, Lake Garawongera, Eli Creek, Champagne Pools, Ocean Lake.
Comments: Fraser Island is an incredible wild swimming destination with so many spots to swim at and Lake Birrabeen itself is a real gem as it’s a little quieter thank some other swimming holes but just as beautiful.
*Information taken from the Great Sandy National Park Visitor Guide published by the Queensland Government.