Fringed by ancient king ferns and lush rainforest, and with waters so clear that you can see the silvery sands rippling below; Wanggoolba Creek is one of the many natural wonders of the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Fraser Island. Hidden away at the heart of the island, it’s an idyllic spot for strolling and wildlife watching.
Wanggoolba Creek flows from the Pile Valley in the center of the island, all the way to the west coast, but the most scenic stretch lies around the Central Station. The Wanggoolba Creek boardwalk affords the best views; a half-mile (700-meter) or 30-minute walk that loops along rainforest trails. It’s easy to explore independently, but visiting with a guide provides insight into the island’s diverse flora and unique ecosystems, as well as increasing your chances of spotting birdlife. Admire views over the creek, head down to the waterside to dip your toes in the crystalline waters, or continue hiking to the Pile Valley and Lake McKenzie.
Things to know before you go
*Fraser Island has soft sandy roads accessible by 4WD only. All vehicles that enter or are driven on the island require special permits. *Although the rainforest provides plenty of shade, it can get extremely hot in the summer months—be sure to pack insect repellent and plenty of water. *There are picnic areas and restrooms at the Central Station Campsite. *The Wanggoolba Creek boardwalk is accessible for wheelchairs and strollers.
How to get there
Ferries from River Heads land at the Kingfisher Bay Resort on the western side of Fraser Island. From there, head inland along the Wanggoolba Creek road to reach the boardwalk, close to the Central Station Camping Area, an about 30-minute drive. The only way to explore the island is by 4WD and most visitors without their own transport opt to join a tour.
When to get there
Fraser Island is busiest in the summer months (December to February). The boardwalk can quickly fill up with day-trippers at this time—opt for an early morning or late afternoon visit to avoid the crowds.