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