TRAVEL GUIDE: FRASER ISLAND, AUSTRALIA
There’s something to be said about travelling close to home; there’s just something special about it. And it’s also something I have found myself become fonder of since having Dusty. It’s no secret I love travelling around Australia, and this year, it’s become a big focus of mine.
Often, I’m guilty of looking for places to explore around the world that I forget how beautiful my own backyard is. So, at the start of the year, I wrote down a (long) list of places I wanted to explore with my little family because there is nothing I love more than being able to bundle my boys in a car or on a flight for a long weekend adventure close to home. And it may come to some of you as no surprise that Fraser Island in spectacular, sunny Queensland was on the top of that list.
Looking back at the wonderful weekend we’ve just had, I can’t help but think it’s often the closest destinations that take us the longest to get there. In fact, it’s crazy to think that I spent my school years in Brisbane and now, living on the Sunshine Coast, and haven’t been able to make it over to Fraser Island. I did visit years ago with my parents when I was seven or so years old, but hardly remember a thing.
If you love the outdoors life, filled with sun soaked beaches and crystal clear freshwater lakes, as well as adventurous four-wheel driving and staying in beautiful eco accommodation – Fraser Island is for you. Read on and enjoy my latest travel guide showing off one of the most beautiful rugged islands that hugs the eastern coastline of Australia.
World Heritage listed Fraser Island is a rare and beautiful holiday destination. Located at the start of the Great Barrier Reef in Queensland, it offers a refreshing change from the hustle and bustle of mainland life. With a population of 194 people, the island is everything you would expect – wild, untamed and rugged. Stretching over 120km, Fraser Island is known for its unbelievably beautiful freshwater Lake McKenzie, panoramic viewpoints from Indian Head, the sculptured ribbons of coloured sand at the Cathedrals and the crystal-clear waters of Eli Creek. Expect nothing but pure Australian wilderness here.
The main ferry to Fraser Island is located about three hours north of Brisbane, at Inskip. If you want to explore Fraser Island, there are only two ways to go about it – by self-driving, or organising a paid tour. If you are self-driving, you absolutely need a 4WD and you need to have experience driving on sand and the beach. You need to know the rules about driving on the beach and know how to read the tides. You can get on a ferry at Inskip (I’ve been told getting on and off the ferry with a 4WD requires skill) but if you stay at Kingfisher Bay Resort, you can catch their ferry across to Fraser from River Heads (which is almost four hours north of Brisbane) and simply drive onto their breathtakingly beautiful jetty - aka no sand.
If you have no experience or knowledge about driving on sand and the beach, that’s ok. You can hire a 4WD on the island but you will be required to undertake a hours briefing beforehand, and it’s not cheap. On the other hand, if you want a stress-free day or weekend, I highly recommend organising a paid tour. They’re awesome! And such a great way to see the highlights of Fraser Island without having to think about driving on sand, the tides and so on.
Sure, you can camp on Fraser Island and there are several spots over the island; just remember you do need to pre-book as it’s very busy all year round. But if you are looking for something more comfortable, more luxurious and more special, you can’t go further than Kingfisher Bay Resort. Awarded the 2017 Certificate of Excellence by Trip Advisor, as well as winning six Australian Tourism and nine Queensland Tourism Awards, Kingfisher Bay is a stunning, eco-luxury resort with mirror lakes and waterholes, all whilst blending seamlessly with the island’s sensitive ecological systems.
Whether you’re travelling with a group of friends, or you’re looking for somewhere to stay over the school holidays with your family, or you’re a couple wanting a romantic weekend away, Kingfisher Bay Resort is perfect for everyone; guests can choose from Resort Hotel Rooms, to Villas, to Houses, and Lodges to suit all tastes, styles and budgets. We stayed in on of the Sanitay Villas, which came complete with a kitchen – perfect for making meals and heating up Dusty’s milk. With two restaurants, three bars, tennis courts, two swimming pools, a general store, and a day spa, you can take your Fraser Island adventure as fast or as slow as you want. If you are looking for adventure, Kingfisher Bay offers a range of tours, cruises and holiday activities, which can be organised at Reception. And they can organise 4WD hire for you too. Bascially, anything you need, the Resort will look after you. It’s the most amazing feeling!
SEE & DO
Lazy days on Fraser Island are the stuff that holidays are made of. But if you want to seek out some adventure and nature, there is certainly lots to see and do on the island.
Lake McKenzie: Just a short 4WD trip from Kingfisher Bay you’ll find Lake McKenzie. A ‘perched’ lake, it only contains rainwater and is therefore not fed by streams nor does it flow into the ocean. The sand at the lake is pure, white silica and is not only beautiful to look at but feels beautifully soft to walk on. It’s so beautiful I highly recommend a full day here – even then it won’t feel like enough time.
Eli Creek: This creek is the largest on the eastern beach of Fraser Island and pours up to four million lites of clear, freshwater into the ocean every hour. It’s a very popular picnic and swimming spot, with a boardwalk that follows the creek inland through banksia and pandanus trees.
Maheno Wreck: The Maheno, the most famous of the Fraser Island wrecks, was driven ashore during a cyclone in 1935. Once a well-known trans-Tasman liner, the Maheno was bound for a Japanese wrecking yard when she met her stormy end. Today the hull lies slowly deteriorating in the harsh salt environment and is an absolute must-see when visiting the island. Unfortunately we didn’t get enough time to head up the eastern side of the island but we will next time for sure.
Indian Head: Located at northern end on the eastern side of Fraser Island, Indian Head is a coastal headland that provides stunning views of Fraser Island and the Coral Sea. It’s the perfect place to spot dolphins, sharks, whales, turtles and more!
Dingo spotting: If you’re lucky, you may come across a dingo or two! Sadly we didn’t see any but they are a wild animal so it’s best to keep this in mind if you do spot a dingo or two. They really are beautiful!
Segway Tour: Exploring the island by Segway is certainly my idea of fun! And the team at the Kingfisher Bay Resort can organise this for you. It’s such a great way to see and experience Fraser Island!
Bush Tucker Talk & Taste: Discover the delights of Australia’s native bush tucker at this amazing class at Kingfisher Bay.
Island Day Spa: Now all this adventuring and sightseeing would not be complete without an indulgent afternoon spent at the Kingfisher Bay Resort Island Day Spa. Whether it’s a full body massage, a facial or a manicure, this is the perfect place to rest your adventure weary feet.
This post is in collaboration with Kingfisher Bay Resort.