Lake Mckenzie, Fraser Island

Heritage-listed Fraser Island is a sight to behold. As well as stunning white-sand beaches characterised by unique sand dunes and colourful Aboriginal history, it is home to over 100 unique freshwater lakes. The most popular of these (and the most visited attraction on the island) is Lake McKenzie.

Lake McKenzie

This so-called “perched” lake sits well above the water level, which means it only holds rainwater. The thick layer of sand and built-up organic matter at the bottom of the lake prevents any rainwater from draining away which is how the lake stays full year-round.

Perhaps the most stunning thing about the lake is the pure white sand that surrounds it. Not only is it incredibly beautiful to look at, but its unusually soft, too. This acts as a kind of filter that ensures the water is crystal clear, but it also means that, because the water is so pure, it can’t support any animal life. What it also means is that it acts as a natural exfoliant for your skin!

To see the lake at its best, visit just as the sun is coming up or going down, as the low light really brings out the blues and greens of the water.

Top Things to Do at Lake McKenzie

  • 1. Go Camping

    There are plenty of places for camping on Fraser Island, giving you the chance to see Lake McKenzie early in the morning and late in the evening. Grab a spot at Lake McKenzie itself, where you can marvel at the unique natural wonder under the canopy of Australia’s night sky. The great thing about this camping area is that each site has its own campfire space and the wood is provided for you. Nearby you’ll find the toilets and showers so that everything you want while camping is within walking distance.

  • 2. Go Swimming

    Swimming at Lake McKenzie

    Lake McKenzie’s incredibly pure waters are ideal for swimming in. Not only are there no creatures to dodge, but the soft sand underfoot makes it an incredibly peaceful experience – and works wonders on the skin. Be sure to avoid wearing sunscreen, soap, or oils when swimming in Lake McKenzie, as these are considered to be pollutants to the pure water.

  • 3. Have a Picnic

    Fraser Island boasts a backdrop of pristine sands and stunning lakes, providing the perfect place to enjoy a picnic with all the family. Around Lake McKenzie, there are numerous picnic tables for you to try out so you can enjoy a hearty meal set against the surreal beauty of the water. There’s also a BBQ facility around the lake however you might want to claim this spot for an early lunch and the area does get quite crowded.

    Lake McKenzie really does look like it has just stepped out of a novel. The white sand and the vivid blue water bathe the surroundings in serenity, but taking a swim and exploring the surrounding region should be high on your to-do list, too.

  • 4. Visit Maheno Shipwreck

    Maheno Shipwreck

    Fraser Island proudly holds the title as being the largest sand island in the world, an oasis of nature that showcases emerald lakes and ancient rainforests. You’ll need to hop on a tour or hire a 4WD to navigate through the 123 kilometres of the sandy tracks. Due to the unique landscape, it has been listed as a World Heritage Site, as the island is constantly evolving and shifting.

    Visit the Maheno Shipwreck to see the remnants of the luxury liner turned ghost ship that washed up on the shores of Fraser Island after a cyclone ripped through chains that were in use to tow her to Japan. It’s also become one of the most photographed spots on Fraser Island due to its dramatic positioning and look into early 20th century ships.

  • 5. Eli Creek

    This freshwater creek has been purified by the sand that sits at the bottom for over 100 years, resulting in some of the purest water imaginable. It’s an incredibly popular attraction on the island perfect for tubing and swimming through.  While there are many creeks on the island perfect for these activities, Eli Creek is the largest on Fraser Island, pumping 3.5 million litres of fresh water into the ocean every hour. If it’s high tide avoid the water and instead make use of the area as a great picnic spotting.

Best time to visit Lake Mckenzie

The subtropical climate of Fraser Island means that no matter what time of year you visit the weather will always be consistently warm. There are a few things to keep in mind, such as when you come in summer expect hot, dry and humid conditions as well as a particularly wet season!

In autumn, the temperature remains quite hot however rainfall should be expected, with the average temperature sitting in the low 20’s, however it’s still a great time to visit between March to May. Winter brings along perhaps the most exciting season of the year as the whales continue on their annual migration from Antarctica. With low humidity and still warm temperatures, this is a great time to visit Fraser Island. Just be sure to pack a jumper as the nights do get cool!

Spring is a wonderful time to visit for the most consistent temperature, as there is little rain and temperatures range from early to mid-20’s all year round. As like all parts of Australian, the weather can be unpredictable throughout the year and being in a tropical climate, the wet season can bring along unforeseeable rainfalls.

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