Ready for royals
Why our island is set to impress
IT’S NOT long now until Prince Harry and Meghan Markle make their way Down Under, which includes a visit to Fraser Island.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex will tour the World Heritage-listed site, which is their only stop in Queensland – on Monday, October 22.
They are in Australia for the fourth Invictus Games to be held in Sydney.
Prince Harry created the games after seeing the Warrior Games in the United States in 2013.
The royal couple will visit Fraser Island as part of the dedication of the site to the Queen’s Commonwealth Canopy Initiative which was launched in 2015.
The Prince of Wales added Fraser Island to the Queen’s Commonwealth Canopy Initiative during his visit to Bundaberg in April, while he was in Queensland for the Commonwealth Games.
With its 75 mile beach, tall rainforest, coastal heaths, freshwater lakes and everevolving sand dunes, Fraser Island is sure to amaze.
In pristine rainforest, Their Royal Highnesses will be met upon arrival by the traditional owners of K’gari, and the Premier of Queensland.
They will take part in a traditional Welcome to Country Smoking Ceremony and unveil a plaque for dedication of the Forests of K’gari to the QCC.
Fraser Island rainforest is home to the island’s satinay trees, some more than 1000 years old.
They are known for their hardiness in water and used to build the London docks in the 1930s.
The Queen made an appeal to all 53 Commonwealth nations to contribute areas of indigenous forest to be preserved in perpetuity to mark Her Majesty’s lifetime of service to the Commonwealth.
The Duke and Duchess will then visit Lake Mckenzie to meet with local elders and national park rangers to learn more about the island.
From here, The Royal Highnesses will travel to the beach to learn about the history of the island’s logging trade, as well as its use as a training base for the Australian Z Special Unit during World War II.
The remains of the Z force Commando school’s training camp are hidden among the forest of the North White Cliffs on the western bay near Kingfisher Bay Resort.
This is where the secret unit trained from 1942 for both jungle and amphibious training in preparation against the Japanese expansion.
They will then travel to Kingfisher Bay by boat, where the visit will conclude with a walk along Kingfisher Bay Jetty.
Kingfisher Bay Resort’s senior ranger Annie Bauer, says it’s great to see the young royals take the opportunity to see first-hand Fraser Island.
“K’gari has it all – unique natural beauty, cultural significance and a secret military history,” Ms Bauer said.
“It’s no wonder they picked Fraser Island for their time in Queensland.”
This is the Duke and Duchess’ third trip together outside of the UK since their wedding on May 19.
They have visited Ireland, Botswana and Norway since then.
Australia will be their first stop on a three-week trip which includes visits to Fiji, the Kingdom of Tonga and New Zealand.
COUNTDOWN: Prince Harry and Meghan Markle will visit Fraser Island on October 22.