Take off from the beach and see World Heritage listed Fraser from the air with a joy flight over the island flying with Air Fraser.
Welcome to Fraser Island international airport says the fresh-faced pilot as he smoothly lands the Air Fraser plane on the hard-packed sand after our joy flight.
There are no luggage trolleys or even a coffee kiosk at Fraser’s airport, but the view of the long stretch of eastern coastline, the opposite side to Kingfisher Bay Resort, at 75 Mile Beach with its blue sky and rolling lines of waves is hard to beat. It’s merely the best patch of beach that could be scouted out this morning by the Air Fraser beach spotter.
I’ve been in some unusual airports. Birdsville has a dusty track where the plane pulls up opposite the pub for the shortest stroll to the bar. Koh Samui, an island off Thailand had free food and cordial for all as we waited for the plane in an open-air pavilion seated high-backed cane chairs. Fraser Island’s airport is in a class of its own.
Will it impress Prince Harry and Meghan during their royal visit to the island in October? Hopefully, they will get the chance to see Fraser Island from the air during their travels around the island but they are sure to the magical environment. Fraser Island is one of two Australian sites included in the Queen’s Commonwealth Canopy initiative, announced by Prince Charles in April 2018.
Four-wheel driving on Fraser Island
We’ve been driving Fraser’s sand tracks in a hired four-wheel drive from our weekend accommodation at Kingfisher Bay Resort to reach the beach. It was a bouncy journey made more interesting by our lack of four-wheel drive experience, but fun!
Scooting up the smooth beach was a massive pleasure after the 20km per hour crawl over the soft white sand tracks. It was only 60 km per hour, but it felt like speeding. However, when we hit the first bump the words of the instruction video came back strongly. The beach is not as smooth and flat as you think.
Finding the Fraser Island airport
Heading for the wreck of the Maheno, we tracked down the ‘airport’ and our potential joy flight. There was time for a cuppa and morning tea courtesy of our Kingfisher Bay Resort picnic pack and a bit of sightseeing while we wait for the aircraft to return.
The small plane takes off lightly over the sand ‘runway’ stained a rusty red by the decaying iron of the stranded ship, quickly gaining height as the pilot starts his commentary. There are the coloured sands, that’s the butterfly lake, this is the biggest sand blow on Fraser, see the tourists swimming in Eli Creek and campers on the sand dunes.
It’s 15 minutes of flying time, but it feels like five as we drop down through the sky to land again safely on the beach. The treat is over way too quickly.
There’s plenty of chances a visitor to pick up a joy flight. It’s just a matter of a quick chat with the Air Fraser spotter, and then you wait your turn.
Scenic flights over Fraser Island depart from 75 Mile Beach and cost from $100 per person. It is a perfect trip highlight in addition to a stay at Kingfisher Bay Resort, to put the island in perspective.
There’s plenty of chances for a visitor to pick up a joy flight. Find out more from Air Fraser.
Here’s another Fraser Island/ Kingfisher Bay Resort experience you won’t want to miss – Whale watching from Fraser Island
Horseback riding on the beach at Rainbow Bay is another exceptional local experience.
Queensland has many beautiful islands to visit. Add Stradbroke Island to your list for a relaxing stay.
Disclaimer: Ed+bK flew courtesy of Air Fraser.