Southeast Queensland is home to three stunning islands: Moreton, Stradbroke, and Fraser. Discover which Island will work best for your next adventure holiday.
Modern life has an abundance of conveniences and benefits, but after days locked away in an office or hours caught in traffic, it is important to get away from it all. Visitors who seek the solace of a holiday in nature, know how relaxing and rejuvenating it is to unwind and explore the great outdoors.
What better way to enjoy a holiday than on a pristine Island? With three incredible islands just off the Queensland coast, it can be hard to decide which island to visit. Knowing the distances, highlights, and conditions of the islands will help you make an educated choice on which island will be perfect for you.
Quick Links To The 4wd Adventure on Fraser, Moreton & Straddie: What to Expect
- A 4×4 Adventure
- See the best of Queensland with Brisbane as Homebase
- Stradbroke, Fraser and Moreton: What Island is best for you.
- Regulations and Safety
- Come visit paradise
Here Goes Each One Of The Adventure Highlights In Details:
To see and explore the islands, a 4×4 is required as roads are few and far between or completely non-existent. Fraser, Moreton and Stradbroke are home to some of the best four-wheel drive tracks in the world. Experience the ultimate thrill of off-roading on these islands with a 4×4 vehicle. It is possible to hire 4×4 vehicles from FleetCrew in Brisbane.
Visitors from out of state, or even from out of the country, will have a unique opportunity to see the real Australia, something that cannot be accomplished with a guided tour. A 4×4 vehicle gives you greater ease and convenience, as it allows you to drive from Brisbane to the ferry and from the ferry to any beach, lake, or trek of your choice on the Island.
If you rent recreational 4×4 vehicles from FleetCrew, the vehicles come equipped with the best safety equipment, so you can be sure that no matter where you’re headed, you’ll be able to do so with the safest equipment. Once you reach the Island, you can drive off onto the sand and begin your 4WD holiday!
Brisbane, the capital of Queensland, is the perfect basecamp for a southeast Queensland holiday. The city is only a few hours from many places of exceptional beauty and fun. The city itself offers shopping, restaurants, and plenty of live arts venues, while being in close proximity to rainforests, the ocean, islands and fresh water lakes. Staying in Brisbane will give you easy access to all of South East Queensland’s treasures. In addition to Stradbroke, Moreton and Fraser Islands, Brisbane is close to the Glasshouse Mountains, Gold Coast Hinterland and Mt. Mee.
|Island||North Stradbroke Island||Moreton Island||Fraser Island|
|Area||275.2 KM2||186 KM2||1,849 KM2|
|Approx. Distance from Brisbane||42 km SE of Brisbane||60 km NE of Brisbane||265 km N of Brisbane|
|Roads and Treks||Roads link small towns across the island, as well as roads passable only by 4×4. Moderate to easy 4WD treks||Very few roads in towns that is accessible by 4×4. Moderate to easy 4WD treks||Few roads only within resorts. Moderate to Challenging 4WD treks|
|Travel Times||45 min drive from Brisbane CBD, 25-45 minute ferry ride depending on ferry service to the island||30 minutes from Brisbane CBD, 50-minute ferry ride to the island||3.5 hour drive from Brisbane CBD , 15-30 minute ferry ride depending on ferry service to the island|
Located in Moreton Bay along the coast of South Brisbane, North Stradbroke Island is home to many natural wonders, including white sandy beaches, sheltered coves, pristine lakes, and a magnificent Aussie wilderness. “Straddie,” as it is referred to by the locals, is almost completely covered in sand. It has dunes that reach surprisingly tall heights. The island boasts a diverse range of wildlife including wallabies, kangaroos, koalas and even bandicoots. You can also see whales, and dolphins. Humpback whales pass by on their way to and from their breeding ground in Hervey Bay.
Unlike Fraser and Moreton, there are roads that cross the Island. However, some favourite locations on Stradbroke Island are only accessible with a 4WD vehicle, such as Tripod Lookout and the entire southern portion of the Island.
Spend the day sun bathing, kayaking, sandboarding, or fishing in one of the world’s best locations. The Island’s close proximity to Brisbane allows for day or weekend trips. You can plan a day tour to see some of the best that Stradbroke Island has to offer, or organise several days’ worth of activities. A great place to visit while on the island is Myora Springs where the natural fresh water attracts an abundance of wildlife in the surrounding forest. To learn more about Stradbroke Island, read our article, “Top 10 Things to do on Stradbroke Island”. For a map of the roads and places of North Stradbroke Island, click here.
There are plenty of diverse accommodation options available, including remote and campground camping, luxury home rentals and hotels. Of the three islands, Stradbroke offers the most in terms of amenities and services, but therefore it is a bit more built up and has less true wilderness to explore. However, if you visit during the off-season and you head down to Main Beach and camp near the southern end, you can find long stretches of quiet beaches. Beach camping on Stradbroke is a rustic affair without amenities, such as toilets or running water, so come prepared. Hot coffee and supplies are available at Point Lookout, which is an approximately 30 minute drive along the Beach depending on your camping spot. This is a significant distinction from Fraser, where sourcing supplies can require much more time.
Fraser Island was designated in 1992 as a World Heritage site, and a prime spot for nature lovers and adventure seekers. Like Moreton and Stradbroke, Fraser has majestic beaches, freshwater lakes, and an abundance of wildlife. Nevertheless, Fraser is generally viewed as being the crown jewel of all the islands, as it is even more remote, magical and beautiful.
Fraser Island is the world’s largest sand island and home to over 300 bird species including the endangered ground parrot and other wildlife like the major skink and dingoes. The topography of the island includes ancient rainforests, freshwater lakes and miles and miles of beach. Some of the highlights are Lake Wabby, Lake McKenzie, Yidney Scrub, Champagne Pools and Indian Head. Swimming is not encouraged in the ocean but fishing and boating are allowed in designated areas. To learn more about Fraser, including ferries, permits, accommodations and things to do, read our article “Fraser Island on 4WD”.
Fraser is significantly further from Brisbane than the other two islands. Drive time and ferry time combined can take 5 hours (or more) from Brisbane to the Island. The additional beauty and natural wonders of the Island make up for the additional travel time. Fraser is a true expedition. The Inland treks are moderate to challenging and are generally not suggested for beginner 4WD drivers. Beach treks are easier to drive, but can still require river or water crossings. Due to the great size of the island, more time is required to drive to the different parts of the island. Many beaches tend to be busy, so be aware of traffic. In addition, beware of the high currents, dangerous treks and potentially aggressive dingoes. They add to the Fraser Island sense of adventure, but safety needs to remain a priority.
If you are staying on Fraser Island for a few days, you can choose to stay at one of the resorts, rent a holiday home, or camp. You will find plenty of campgrounds or you can opt for remote camping. Note: check on which beaches remote camping is permitted).
During certain fishing seasons and school holidays, thousands of tourists from Australia and abroad visit this magnificent island. Make sure to obtain a driving permit and secure accommodations in advance. Due to the sheer size of the island and the distance from Brisbane, a long weekend is suggested as a minimum to see all of the gems this island has to offer.
Similar to Stradbroke, Moreton is close to Brisbane and ideal for a weekend getaway or a relaxed and sun filled day trip. The vast majority of the Island’s western side is perfect for swimming as it consists of a single stretch of kilometres long white sandy beach and aquamarine waters. Since this beach is on the bay side, it is sheltered from strong currents and large waves. You can usually spot dolphins, Loggerhead turtles and starfish along this beach. The Tangalooma Wrecks are near both ferry landings. It is an absolute delight to swim the shipwrecks and see the marine life of the Wrecks.
Like all three islands, areas of the Island can become busy and booked out, especially during school holidays. Booking your accommodation and having access to a personal 4WD will allow you to see the best of Moreton and find quite secluded patches to explore.
Moreton is safer for kids as the currents on the bay side are significantly less, and the beach tends to have less traffic (except at the ferry landing and the Tangalooma wrecks). Additionally, there are no dingoes, which have proven dangerous on Fraser in the past. Finally, 4WD is easier on Moreton than on Fraser, which can be a pro or a con depending on your driving abilities. Similar to Fraser and Stradbroke, there is ample accommodation types to choose from, including bed and breakfasts, ‘glamping,’ camping and resorts.
If you’re planning on a 4×4 Island getaway, safety and regulations need to be remembered. All islands require visitors to purchase a 4×4 permit to drive on beaches. Don’t forget to arrange your camping permits in advance as well.
Four-wheel driving is a fun sport, but it is important to pay attention while driving and be mindful of road rules and speed limits. Every year many 4wd vehicles are claimed by the ocean due to careless driving. Keep track of the tide – no one wants to get caught in high tide. Always check road and beach conditions before heading out. Remember that driving on sand takes longer than other types of driving, so factor extra time into your travel plans.
FleetCrew can increase the safety and security of your holiday by providing a wide range of safety equipment, including extra spare wheels and tyre gauges to air pump compressors, snatch straps and D shackles, and MaxTrax recovery gear.
All three islands offer magnificent views of the ocean, offer an opportunity to view Australia’s unique wildlife and have a holiday experience of a lifetime. Hiring a four-wheel drive vehicle gives you the freedom to forge your own path and create your own adventure. Take the chance to visit rare and wild spots that highlight some of the most breathtaking beauty on the planet! Four-wheel driving on any of Queensland’s islands is a magical experience.
What island do you want to visit? If you are interested in hiring a four-wheel drive vehicle, please contact us!