ROYAL TREAT­MENT

LIT­TLE PRINCES AND PRINCESSES WILL BE IN THEIR NAT­U­RAL ELE­MENT UN­LEASHED ON THE WORLD’S BIG­GEST SAND­PIT

The Gold Coast Bulletin - Gold Coast Eye - - FOOD - WORDS AND PHO­TOS: NARELLE BOUVENG

Fraser Is­land is a pre­cious jewel nes­tled in a pro­fusely sparkling crown (or tiara) of is­lands that dot the Queens­land coast. As lo­cals, we are blessed to count this as our own back­yard and as proud Aussies, roy­ally chuffed our lit­tle piece of royal blue par­adise has just been beamed all over the world. With the Duke and Duchess of Sus­sex’s visit thrust­ing Fraser Is­land into a blind­ing world spot­light, pre­dic­tions are it’s about to be­come the fam­ily hol­i­day du jour. Here’s why:

PLAY IN THE WORLD’S BIG­GEST (AND THERE­FORE BEST) SAND­PIT

The world’s largest sand is­land has no short­age of places to tote a tiny bucket and spade. At 123km long and 22km at its widest point, Fraser is made up of mainly sand. More than 250km of shore­line adds up to plenty of places to build an epic sand­cas­tle, try on a sandy mer­maid tail or whip out the boo­gie board to slide down the dunes straight into Lake Waddy. Lake McKen­zie is also all about the sand. A nat­u­ral perched lake fringed with crys­talline turquoise waters, lit­tlies can wade, dad can wal­low and mum can pol­ish the jew­els with the mostly sil­ica sand, fine enough to keep gold and sil­ver sparkling.

JOIN THE JU­NIOR RANGERS

What bet­ter way to equip the fu­ture cus­to­di­ans of the world than with an ecol­ogy les­son in the heart of a World Her­itage Listed icon? Ju­nior Rangers is a fun ac­tiv­ity of­fered by King­fisher Bay Re­sort that teaches kids the ways of the Aus­tralian wild, in­clud­ing how to iden­tify na­tive flora and fauna, what to do when faced with a slip­pery snake or a dan­ger­ous dingo and how to tell an epic story around the camp­fire un­der­neath a canopy of stars. Kids can make new friends while hang­ing out with cool rangers … and par­ents can re­lax and en­joy a few Pimms at the bar.

SEE NA­TURE AT ITS MOST BEAU­TI­FUL

For some­thing the lit­tle thrill seek­ers in the fam­ily will love to tell their friends about, join the King­fisher Bay Ranger for a bumpy ride in the gi­ant, all-ter­rain bus while you ex­plore Fraser’s most pic­turesque places on the Beauty Spots tour. This full-day guided ad­ven­ture takes you and the crew to Lake Macken­zie for a swim fol­lowed by sup­per of tea and bis­cuits, and on to Cen­tral Sta­tion to walk among gi­ant trees left by a forestry past. See the re­splen­dent and rare king palm and marvel at rain­for­est un­der­pinned by the crys­tal clear Wang­goolba Creek. This is a cul­tur­ally sig­nif­i­cant area for the lo­cal Butchulla peo­ple, used as a birthing spot for the Butchulla women and vis­ited by the Duke and Duchess of Sus­sex as part of the Queen’s Com­mon­wealth Canopy ini­tia­tive. From lush green rain­for­est to su­gar sand, the bus hits Fraser Is­land’s fa­mous beach next for a cruise up the unique sand high­way on 75 Mile Beach. Dodge waves, feast on a sump­tu­ous buf­fet lunch and jour­ney on­ward up the east coast to the Ma­heno Ship­wreck, stop in for a float at Eli Creek and on to the gor­geous rib­boned coloured sands at The Cathe­drals. Travel writer and photographer Narelle Bouveng ex­plores with daugh­ters Baylee and Tiah. See more of their ad­ven­tures at alit­tleat­large.com or on In­sta­gram.

IF YOU GO

Self-driv­ing to Fraser Coast from Bris­bane is an easy three-hour trip on the Bruce High­way with ferry and barge ser­vices de­part­ing from Rain­bow Beach and Her­vey Bay. You can take your car to Fraser Is­land, how­ever, only 4WDs are per­mit­ted out­side of the King­fisher Bay Re­sort area. If you are tak­ing your 4WD, per­mits are re­quired for ve­hi­cle ac­cess on the is­land. We stayed overnight at Oaks Re­sort & Spa Her­vey Bay (for­merly Oceans Re­sort) in a two-bed­room apart­ment over­look­ing a la­goon pool be­fore trans­fers to King­fisher Bay Re­sort, king­fisherbay.com.au For more go to vis­it­fraser­coast.com.au or queens­land.com

EYE ES­CAPE

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