Lake McKenzie: Your Guide to the crystal waters on K’Gari

Lake Mckenzie on Fraser Island K'gari Australia

Hidden on K’gari, Lake Mckenzie is one of the most beautiful tourist destinations you can ever visit. I could not wait to dive into the clear waters. And with over 150 hectares of space it was easy for our group to find a space to relax. I visited here as part of my tour from Brisbane to Cairns with G Adventures, and it remains a highlight of my trip.

Girl Standing In Lake Mackenzie on K'Gari Fraser Island Australia

How Lake McKenzies stays so clear

Lake Mckenzie is classed as a “perched” lake, this means it is fed purely by rainwater. Not a drop comes from groundwater or streams, and neither does it flow into the ocean. The sand and organic matter that form the lake make the perfect system for collecting and storing rainwater. Trapping it and preventing it from draining away. In fact, the water here is so pure it’s unsuitable for plant and aquatic life. That’s the secret to its crystal clear water. There is no natural waste keeping it pure. 

Lake Mckenzie on Fraser Island K'gari Australia - brads backpack travel blog

Unfortunately, as this has become more and more popular with tourists, they have introduced compounds into the water. Sunscreen, soaps and lotions wash off our bodies and can threaten the pristine blue lake. Another threat is littering, Lake Mckenzie is a beautiful place but will only remain that way if we look after it. When you visit take all of your rubbish away with you, there are bins provided to dispose of litter properly.

Skin Softening sand

What you may not know is that the sand on Lake Mckenzie is made from pure white silica. Silica sand is made of pure white quartz that has broken down over time, this means each grain of sand is perfectly round. Just walking on this sand feels so soft and silky smooth. Not only is it comfortable but it is also amazing for your skin, acting as an exfoliant, many travellers give themselves a makeshift body scrub in the waters.

Camping by the waters of Lake McKenzie

I didnt camp here myself, but with fully stocked areas I wish I had. You’ll find showers (although cold ones because you are in the middle of nature) and toilet facilities. Like a lot of Australia’s national parks, there are even BBQ’s for you to use as long as you have your own food and equipment.

Lake Mckenzie is one of the highlights of my trip to Australia. My entire experience on K’Gari really stood out as an area of national beauty. I could have stayed here for longer and wish I had the time. If you are coming alone it isn’t an easy journey. You need to have a low range 4WD, and be comfortable driving in deep sand. But it is absolutely worth it and can’t be missed. Come alone or come with a tour, just make sure you find your way here.

Lake McKenzie FAQs

What activities are here?

You can camp, swim or stop for a picnic here.

How can I get to Lake McKenzie?

Lake Mckenzie is accessible by walk or drive. The walk is on soft sand, so it won’t be easy but it is worth it. If you choose to drive you must have a high clearance 4WD with low range functions. If you are uncomfortable driving on soft sand or don’t think your car can survive it. You can join a tour, leaving you to relax and enjoy the water. You can book a tour with Get Your Guide. By doing so it won’t cost you any extra but I may receive a commission which helps support the blog.

How can I stay safe on Lake McKenzie?

There is a chance that the area can be visited by dingoes, especially if you go to a more secluded area. As long as you follow some basic rules, such as bringing food to the designated picnic areas, only bringing drinking water to the lake, and don’t run you should be safe.

Where can I stay nearby?

When I visited Lake Mckenzie I stayed at Beach camp Retreat, out of every hotel and hostel I stayed at during my time in Australia, this was the best. Clean, stylish, and in an amazing location. I would really recommend staying here. However if you are insisting on camping there are nearby campsites but it’s recommended you book a plot in advance.  

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