Fraser Island – the getaway you need.
Kingfisher Bay on Fraser Island is a great place for a short break. We managed to get a good deal by purchasing a voucher from one of the online sellers for a three day trip. They are available from time to time for about $400 for three nights for two people that includes daily buffet breakfast, return passenger ferry transfers, complimentary bottle of wine, and a guided nature walk. If you can’t find them on Google. The room rate is currently around $200 per night so you will get one night free (if you ignore the cost of food).
Kingfisher Bay Resort is on the inland side of Fraser Island so the water is quite calm. It is reached by ferry from River Heads, Hervey Bay. However, keep your eyes opened as you drive towards the ferry because the check in terminal is a few kilometres back on the right hand side, from where the ferry lands, and its easy to drive right past just like we did! They like you to turn up around 40 minutes prior to the ferry departure so you can have time to check your bags in and ride the bus to the jetty.
Once on the Island its easy to get sucked into island living. With a 4 wheel drive you can explore many bush tracks which criss-cross the world’s largest sand island. And it is surprisingly large – around 120 Km from top to bottom and at its widest, 22Km.
Don’t be put off if you aren’t a 4 wheel driver or don’t want to hire one. Many places are too far to walk but there are good and easy walking tracks around the resort. You can also pay for day trips on the Islands busses. They will take you to most of the places you want to see.
Throughout the year there is an ever-changing display of flora and fauna. If you get to Central Station, the vegetation around here is stunning and the creek is something to behold. The water in the creek is absolutely clear – so much so you can’t see the top of the water most of the time. We visited in July and there were virtually no mosquitos or sand flies. But one of the locals warned us it’s a different story at Kingfisher Bay in summer. So if you are heading there at that time of the year take some insect repellant.
You can eat in 7 or 8 different eating places. If you want to explore the local food of the original inhabitants – the Butchulla people, you can do that in the main restaurants but if you prefer a buffet or a steak or even a pizza you can easily find them as well.
To escape the Queensland heat, enjoy the breezes and a cool ice cream, head down to the Sunset Bar at the Jetty. The Jetty itself is the resort’s main marine hub and the place where the ferries come and go. The staff there will be happy to hire you some marine gear, if you are a bit more adventurous than me.
We had a cheese platter included in our room costs, so we took the chance to watch the sunset, and enjoy some cheese and wine. The beach to the left of the jetty had dingos visiting as the sun set as well.
Even Whales Go There!
From August to October there will usually be whales visiting Hervey Bay so from time-to-time you’ll spot them from the end of the jetty of the ferry.
However whatever time of the year you can get some great sunset pictures from the jetty and you may even be able to catch a fish or two. Of course you have to be there when the clouds add sufficient detail to the photos but by choosing your day carefully you can get some great shots.
Of course a visit to Fraser Island should include at least one day trip to the ocean side where you can visit the Maheno wreck, Eli Creek and Central Station on the way over or back.
The track through the centre of the Island was very rough when we were there and was very difficult to navigate. There were significant ruts in the sand, steep hills and traffic coming the other way meant we had to back up to a place where the “road” was wide enough for two vehicles to pass. My exercise monitor thought I had done a serious workout by the end of the day. It wasn’t far wrong but it was all done sitting down being jostled from one side to the other!