The Champagne Pools on Fraser Island are so much fun – Imagine a fizzy swimming pool on the beach, how cool would that be? Well, imagine no more; because they actually exist on Fraser Island.
The Champagne pools were formed over the years by volcanic rocks and today it is being used as a massive jacuzzi. Overtime these rocks have formed beautiful natural swimming holes for us all to enjoy.
However, these aren’t just your average swimming holes. You also have a stunning view of the ocean whilst the waves crash on the rocks. The waves from the rocks fizzle and bubble into the swimming holes creating a luxury spa experience, hence the name ‘Champagne Pools’.
We give you everything you need to know about the champagne pools, including how to get there, which tour to go with and some top tips from our personal experience!
How to get to the Champagne Pools on Fraser Island
The Champagne Pools are located on Fraser Island which is separated from the mainland of Australia. With no bridge access, the only ways to access the island are by sea or air.
Fraser Island By Ferry
You can catch a ferry from Rainbow Beach or Hervey Bay to access Fraser Island.
The most popular way to get there for backpackers is via a tour which will depart from either of these areas. Read on for our recommended tour company.
Driving on the sand
Driving on sand is an amazing experience and definitely something you’ll always remember, it’s so cool!
The only way to get around Fraser Island is by 4WD which means you will be driving on sand most of the time. So unless you are part of a tour like we were, then you will need to own or rent a 4WD.
Depart from Rainbow Beach
If you choose to depart from Rainbow Beach then you need to head to Inskip Peninsula. This is around 14 km from Rainbow Beach, approximately a 10 min drive. You will then take the Manta Ray Barge across to Fraser Island, bringing you to the most southern part of the Island.
If you drive to Champagne Pools straight from here it will take you a ridiculously long time so it’s best to stop off at places such as Lake Mackenzie, the Fraser Island Shipwreck and probably checking it out the next day when tides change (as most tours do).
Depart from Hervey Bay
If you want to depart from Hervey Bay then you can get a ferry from River Heads which is 20 minutes south of Hervey Bay. This will bring you to Kingfisher Bay Resort on Fraser Island. Although it is closer to the Champagne Pools than if you were to arrive via Rainbow Beach, it is still a considerably long drive. You are looking at around 3 hours.
Champagne Pools are located between Indian Head and Waddy Point on the 75 Mile Beach.
Flying Fraser Island By Air
Flying to Fraser Island will give you some jaw-dropping views.
This is a great option if you want to view the Island in all its glory. However, once you land you will have to make sure you have access to a 4WD to get to the Champagne Pools.
Once you are on the Island and you have your 4WD.
Recommended Fraser Island Tour
The worry of renting your own 4WD and making your way to the Champagne Pools can all be swept away by booking a tour.
You can book Fraser Island tours from Hervey Bay and we have listed the best tours available from there. However, if you are departing from Rainbow Beach then we can recommend one in particular.
There are 2 main tours, a guided tour and a tag-along tour.
Guided Fraser Island Tour (Bus)
A guided Fraser Island tour will have someone else driving you around the Island and visiting places such as the Champagne Pools. This can be huge monster buses with massive wheels adapted for the sand.
Tag-along Fraser Island Tour (4WD)
A tag-along Fraser Island tour will enable you to drive your own 4WD (usually shared with other people taking it in turns) as you follow the guide in their own 4WD.
We did the latter and had an unbelievable experience and would 100% recommend booking a tour with Pippies Beach House in Rainbow Beach.
We booked the 3-day 2-night tag-along tour and had the time of our lives.
Best time to visit the Champagne Pools
The great thing about the Champagne Pools being in Queensland is that it’s usually pretty good weather all year round.
There are some things to consider though depending on what you want.
The summer months of December – February will likely have some very hot days and more possibility of rainfall. However, it is not the peak season so you may be able to get cheaper prices. Just be prepared to get wet and have hot nights.
The winter months of June – August is whale season! So you may be able to spot some when you’re relaxing in the natural jacuzzi. The weather is a lot more bearable than summer and you’ll have a decent night’s sleep. This is peak season though so be prepared to pay a little more for accommodation or/and tours.
Any other times outside of these months are great options with a nice combination of weather and prices.
What to expect at the Champagne Pools
The Champagne Pools are probably one of the best swimming holes you’ll experience in your life.
Once you have parked up you head down towards the pools. You are immediately greeted with jaw-dropping panoramic views of the 75 Mile Beach and the ocean. You will feel like you’re on cloud nine with the salty sea breeze blowing through your hair (unless you’re bald, maybe through your eyelashes).
Walking to the Champagne Pools
To access the swimming holes you will start by walking up the sandhill.
Then after hiking up the sandhill, you will walk along a man-made wooden boardwalk with stairs leading down to the mouth of the pools.
It is not strenuous at all and it helps to have a great view to admire on the way down.
As you reach the Champagne Pools, get yourself a nice cosy spot to rest your gear and take a dip into the cool, crystal waters.
This once natural fishing trap used by the Butchella people is the only place you can swim safely in saltwater on Fraser Island. The ocean is not patrolled and is hazardous. Such things include strong rips and undertows and that’s not even mentioning the stingers and hungry sharks that infest the waters.
All that being said, we has a great time so make sure you enjoy these pools as much as you can and take it all in.
If you are visiting during whale season this is also a perfect spot to catch them swimming around. You can stand on the cliff above the pools like a meerkat and look out for those enormous mammals.
How to keep safe at Champagne Pools
The main thing is to use common sense but there are a few points to take note of.
- As you get into the pools you will have a few rocks underneath you so be sure to take care stepping in and don’t do any diving
- Look out for the large waves that create the jacuzzi-like effect. It may look cool but sometimes the waves can be thunderous so keep a safe distance from the edge
- The waves can sometime knock you around so don’t get too cosy to strangers
TOP TIPS for visiting the Champagne Pools
- Go as early as possible, this place gets busy because it is so good
- Bring a hat – There isn’t much shade at the pools
- Pack plenty of sun lotion – Don’t be that person who gets burnt and ruins their own trip
- Consume plenty of water – It’s easy to forget to drink when you’re in such a beautiful place relaxing in a natural pool, however, the Australian sun is no joke
- Bring a towel – Something to lay on which you can put down on the rocks to relax
Once you have done tanning yourself on the rocks, there are some great nearby options to check out.
Indian Head is the most easterly point on Fraser Island giving you more stunning views. You can even spot turtles here too!
S.S Maheno, also known as the Fraser Island Shipwreck, is an abandoned ship with some interesting history and lovely photo opportunities.
A ferry from Hervey Bay or Rainbow Beach will take you to Fraser Island. From there you must have access to a 4WD or a tour company.
The Champagne Pools are on the 75 Mile Beach on Fraser Island between Indian Head and Waddy Point.