Explore Coast to Coast on Heritage-Listed K’gari
August 23, 2023
Go from glittering waters to lush rainforests on this idyllic Queensland island, which boasts an array of adventures for the whole family.
From historic shipwrecks to 75 Mile Beach and a UNESCO biosphere with dugongs and dolphins, there’s no shortage of spectacular sights at K’gari (formerly Fraser Island). In order to make the most of your trip to the world’s largest sand island, we recommend staying in the heart of the action at Kingfisher Bay Resort.
While camping, holiday home rentals and smaller hotels are available, Kingfisher Bay Resort is the only accredited ecotourism accommodation on the island. The four-star resort has tours and activities across K’gari for every type of traveller, whether you want to swim with whales, venture into the rainforest or unwind with a massage. There’s no need for any research or planning — just slap on some sunscreen and dive right in.
On the Water
K’gari is known for its expansive beaches and turquoise waters, so there’s no better way to start exploring the island than from the renowned Great Sandy Strait. Kingfisher Bay Resort offers a multitude of aquatic trips, so you can get up close and personal with whales and dugongs or sit back with a drink and enjoy the sunset.
For the active explorer, the resort offers guided canoe tours to nearby Dundonga Creek. During this easy paddle, suitable for kids and even the least sporty adults, you’ll learn about the various wildlife that inhabit the creek and its surrounds, such as sea birds, turtles, crabs and various types of fish.
Those after something bigger can try their luck at spotting a humpback on a whale-watching cruise. Operated by a family-run team of experts, the boat will get you as close as possible to the animals, but if that’s still not enough, you can even opt in for a swim with the monumental creatures.
Keep the marine safari going with the West Coast Explorer Cruise, which will take you through the Great Sandy Strait — a UNESCO-listed biosphere that is home to dolphins, sea turtles and dugongs. The three-hour journey includes stops along the way for guided walks and swims. For a low-maintenance option that’s equally as stunning, opt for the Sunset Cruise and watch the daylight fall with a complimentary drink in hand.
Images: Ethan Cole, Mark Seabury
If you prefer to find your footing on steady ground, explore the island with one of the many tours put on by the rangers at Kingfisher Bay Resort. Socialise with fellow guests on a group adventure or go luxe with a personalised tour and a picnic lunch.
The Beauty Spots Tour will take you through the greatest hits of K’gari in an air-conditioned coach. Take a dip in tranquil Lake McKenzie and Eli Creek, wander ancient forests and marvel at the SS Maheno shipwreck, while enjoying lunch and refreshments.
If you don’t want to commit to a full day of sightseeing, you can jump on a segway tour across the beach or join a free guided walk. Once the sun sets, discover a different type of nightlife with a guided walk after dark, focused on the island’s nocturnal inhabitants. Keep a keen eye out for rare frogs, bats and sugar gliders.
Images: Danny Kukulka, David Kirkland
Take A Breather
After a day spent on the water or out in the bush, unwind with a spa treatment or a drink at one of the Kingfisher Bay Resort’s four bars.
Don’t let the non-stop sunscreen and frequent ocean swims do too much damage to your skin — soothe any dehydration with a lemongrass body wrap or pink champagne sugar scrub at the Island Day Spa, with the option to add on a conditioning hair treatment. Or you can let the pros eliminate any exploration-related aches with a facial or massage.
If you prefer your self-care in liquid form, head to the Rainforest Bar for island-inspired cocktails with native Australian flavours, or chill poolside at Maheno Bar with a cold craft beer. Close out the day with music and a spritz at the waterfront Sunset Bar, where you can take your drink to the bean bags along the beach or for a wander along the jetty.
It’s never been easier to travel with the whole family at Kingfisher Bay Resort. Take advantage of free accommodation and meals for the kids with this package. And if you desperately need a spa session or a boozy beachside afternoon during your holiday, the experts at the resort will happily keep your kids entertained and screen-free for the day.
With the Junior Eco Rangers program, you can leave your little ones in the hands of experienced hotel rangers, who will take them for a morning or evening session (or both), with meals included. Expect to hear all about their newfound friends and days filled with scavenger hunts, bush walks, beach games, campfires and animal sightings.
For fun that includes the kids, most of the resort tours and cruises are family-oriented. You can also rent a paddle board or kayak to take out on the water, kick off a game of cricket or volleyball on the beach, try your hand at archery or tennis, or cosy up with a board game indoors.
Between exciting expeditions, be sure to fuel up at one of the various dining options at the hotel. For breakfast and lunch, Sand & Wood offers modern Australian dishes, including a full buffet breakfast. If you don’t want to leave the water, The Sand Bar is ready poolside with pizza, burgers, ribs and chicken parmigiana for lunch and dinner. And for something more upscale, Dune Restaurant serves Asian fusion cuisine such as dumplings, curries and noodles in a newly renovated space.
Those seeking a culinary adventure should book in for the Bush Talker Talk & Taste experience. You’ll get to sample native Australian ingredients such as lemon myrtle or berries, many of which are grown on the island, and learn how to use them in your own cooking. Guests can also enjoy the produce paired with barbecued meats, while enjoying a complimentary beer or wine.
Celebrate being in one of the most stunning places in the world at one of Kingfisher Bay Resort’s social events. Up next on the social calendar are Oktoberfest in the bush, a wine dinner and Christmas by the beach.
Trade the pub for somewhere different this Oktoberfest. Live it up with a German smorgasbord and beer in the openair Wongari Den on Saturday, October 28, surrounded by the island’s lush bushland. Or you can enjoy a six-course degustation dinner hosted by Lane Vineyard on Saturday, November 18. The menu includes beef tartare, mackerel with crab croquettes and venison wellington, paired with a selection of wines. Close out the year in classic Aussie fashion at the Kingfisher Christmas Party, which includes a two-course meal, three-hour drinks package and a live DJ by the beach.
Image: Mark Seabury
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