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“Incredibly Pleasant and Nice” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Fraser Island Retreat

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Fraser Island Retreat
Postan St, Happy Valley, Fraser Island, Queensland 4581, Australia (Formerly Fraser Island Backpackers)   |  
Hotel amenities
5 reviews 5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
“Incredibly Pleasant and Nice”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 18, 2009

The Backpacker staff was incredibly helpful and nice. The rooms are no frills but you will want to spend your time driving on the beach and hiking through the rain forests and sand dunes to the fresh water lakes. There is a full service restaurant and bar, and although comfortable and pleasant, it's mostly there for utility dining and drinking, and closes down rather early in evening. There's a kitchen and a laundry room, and a great little pool for evening dips. I would highly recommend buying some groceries in Hervey Bay before taking the ferry because there isn't much commerce on the island.

You will need to rent a 4wd vehicle from someone in Hervey Bay. I think you can also call this hostel, and they will pick you up and drive you around on tours if you're too scared to drive yourself. The 4wd vehicle is a bit expensive if not shared with a medium sized group. I rented a small suzuki jeep, and we got "bogged" a couple of times in some deep dry sand -- but just make sure to floor it through the dry stuff and you'll be fine. The bigger land rovers and trucks with higher ground clearance seemed to have an easier time than us and our tiny jeep. Make sure to call and talk with someone though, b/c you'll also need somebody to book you a spot on a car ferry and you'll have to take into consideration driving times cause you can't drive on beach during high tide.

We stayed here cause the other places on the island looked cheesy, were more than twice as expensive, and yet still looked to be a little bit dumpy. If you can afford it, it might be slightly more comfortable at other places, but it'll also be more crowded with tourist groups. We had an amazing time here. Highly highly recommended. Hostel staff was super friendly. Hope I can go back some day.

  • Stayed February 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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12 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
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Brisbane, Australia
Senior Contributor
23 reviews 23 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
23 helpful votes 23 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 30, 2008

We stayed for 5 nights at the Fraser Island Wilderness Retreat, and had a fantastic time. We had a lodge overlooking the pool. The lodge was a large room with double bed, lounge & TV, and kitchen; with a separate bathroom and a small verandah. The lodge had a fan, which was adequate cooling for the weather at the time. Unfortunately the windows did not all have mosquito screens, so we had to close a lot of them at night. And of those that did, one fell down during one night, resulting in lots of bites for us! We made sure it was up properly after that. The kitchen was reasonably well stocked, although could use a cutting board, dish drainer, and some new sharp knives.

The Retreat is located in Happy Valley, mid-way up the east side of the island. It's a perfect location for accessing all areas of the island, as staying at either the top or the bottom of the island would make it too difficult to see the other end. The Retreat is accessible by both beach and inland tracks.

The Retreat has a small shop where you can buy certain foodstuffs and necessities, and a restaurant and bar with a delicious smelling bbq. We didn't eat there as we had a self-catering lodge, but did have some good cocktails and cheap jugs of beer at the bar. There was also a bbq provided for guest use. The Retreat shop also served as one of the very few places to buy (expensive!) fuel on the island, and guests were provided with a hose to wash down cars. We stocked up on food on the mainland before we crossed to the island, so we were able to live cheaply for the 5 days we were on the island, as food, alcohol and fuel are very expensive there. I would recommend anyone staying at the Retreat to do this.

We hired our own 4WD, at a special rate the Retreat organised for us with Safari 4WD hire at the time of the booking.

The only disappointment was that the Satinay bar wasn't really "happening" past about 8pm. It stayed open but no-one was there, which was a shame because it was a really great spot. In the end that didn't really matter as we had brought our own wine and beer to drink in the lodge.

Staying at the Retreat in an eco-lodge was really great. We stopped for lunch at the Kingfisher Bay Resort, and we were very glad that we stayed at the Retreat. It was a place for more independent travellers, and not so children-oriented, so was perfect for us.

  • Liked — Comfortable size of the lodge- perfect for 2 people
  • Disliked — Not enough mosquito screens on the windows
  • Stayed January 2008, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Fraser Island Retreat

Address: Postan St, Happy Valley, Fraser Island, Queensland 4581, Australia (Formerly Fraser Island Backpackers)
Location: Australia > Queensland > Fraser Island
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #4 of 4 B&Bs / Inns in Fraser Island
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Number of rooms: 9
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Also Known As:
Fraser Island Backpackers Hotel Fraser Island

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