What are the must-do things to do at Kingfisher Bay while staying on World Heritage Listed K’gari / Fraser Island?
Whether this is your first time or one of many times you are visiting K’gari, there are some things that just have to be ticked off your list. The island is a natural wonder and full of amazing things to discover. Some you’ll already know about, but others will definitely surprise you. I’ve visited K’gari many times over the past 30 years, and I’m pleased to say it has changed very little during that time. It’s as beautiful now as it was when first became a World Heritage Area. It’s also 30 years since Kingfisher Bay Resort was built on the island. The resort fits the landscape so easily it’s only the jetty that you see on approach. As that’s just how it should be in this special part of the world.
Here are my favourite things to do at Kingfisher Bay. I hope they become yours!
Jetty sunset at Kingfisher Bay Resort K’gari / Fraser Island IMAGE Kevin Gordon
Things to do at Kingfisher Bay
Watch a sunset from the jetty
The sunsets from the jetty are absolutely spectacular and must not be missed. I like to pre-order a platter of local prawns and peel them while sipping a glass of white wine or a cocktail. Don’t go when the sun first sets! The show is only just starting, and you’ll enjoy another hour of beautiful colours.
The Maheno wreck. Photo Kevin Gordon
K’gari Beauty Spots Tour
Even though I’ve been to K’gari many times, I can never get enough time at the special places on the island. The K’gari Beauty Spots tour does them all in one day, a big day, and I highly recommend that all visitors do it. When are you going to be back here again? Make the most of it!
The K’gari Beauty Spots Tour starts from the shop at Kingfisher Bay Resort and heads straight out to the other side of the island. First, the 4WD bus has to negotiate the roller coaster of the first section of the sand trail. This time we are lucky. The sand tracks are compacted from the recent rain and recently graded, so it’s one of the smoothest rides I have enjoyed on the island. Well done, Jarrad, who is our driver and guide for the tour. K’gari’s roads were originally made for the timber industry, which started in 1862.
The first stop is at K’gari Beach Resort which has recently been renovated. It’s a chance to put your swimming togs on to enjoy a float down Eli Creek, which comes later in the day. Next, we are heading through the sand dunes onto the sand beach of the island’s eastern side. The four-wheel drive bus makes an easy entrance. Although it is a beach, it is a gazetted road and a smooth ride. The speed limit is 80 km per hour.
As we drive along the beach, Jarrad tells us about the option of a scenic flight with Air Fraser. It’s $100 per person and a great chance to see whales on a 75 km loop around the island. I’ve done this before, and it was so interesting to see the island from the air. It really puts everything in perspective.
While we are driving quickly up the beach, we also looking out for large splashes in the sea, which means whales. Then we stop at the wreck of the SS Maheno. Built in 1895 as a luxury passenger ship, it was very fast. During WWI, it became a hospital ship and was used by the Anzacs. The ship was eventually sold to a Japanese company, but it was hit by a bad storm while being towed to Japan for scrap and washed up on 75 Mile Beach.
While we were stopped looking at the wreck, a car pulled up, and the driver started chatting with us. During WWII, SS Maheno was used for target practice, and he shared that his grandfather was the one who shot the mast off the Maheno! He was in Z Force, the secret commando unit stationed on the western side of the island.
Driving to our next stop, we see a male and female dingo frolicking on the beach. They look like a couple of friendly pups having fun but Jarred reminds us that dingoes are the island’s ace predator. They are wild animals and, by law, must be treated with caution. The bus pulls up at an outcrop of coloured sands on the dunes. The colours in the sand are caused by rain passing through and depositing the minerals. There is 41 km of coloured sands on the island.
Eli Creek. Photo: Kevin Gordon
We stop for 30 minutes at Eli Creek, and I am brave and get into the water even though the day temperature is 20 degrees Celsius. The creek is warmer than I expected, and the water is crystal clear. I don’t want to get too wet thinking about having wet togs for the rest of the day. I could have floated down to the sea with a pool noodle, but instead, I walk through the water, which ranges from knee to bottom depth. Oh well, wet swimmers, it is. The water is very refreshing.
Time for a buffet lunch at K’gari Beach Resort, then it’s on to explore the island’s interior and see the huge Queensland Kauri trees that grow up to three metres in diameter. They produce a cone up to 2 kg in weight. Don’t stand under these trees in November or December.
Giant Satinay tree. Photo Kevin Gordon
So clear you can’t really see the water, Woongoolba Creek, also known as whispering creek because it’s so quiet or crystal creek because so clear.
Our final stop for the day is Lake McKenzie. It’s a stunning blue water perched lake surrounded by the softest white sand. I decide to go for another dip, and it’s bracing! This lake is cold on a warm day, but today it’s definitely cooler but very invigorating. I could spend a lot of time relaxing at Lake McKenzie, but it’s the last stop for the day, and we head back to Kingfisher Bay for a well-deserved rest.
Lake McKenzie on a K’gari Beauty Spots Tour. IMAGE: Kevin Gordon
Whale spy. Photo: Kevin Gordon
Hervey Bay is where the whales stop and rest on their annual migration. It’s a wonderful place to go whale watching and you’ll see whale behaviour that they don’t exhibit elsewhere. I’ve been whale-watching here several times. Here’s my experience.
Bush Tucker tasting platter.
Taste Bush Tucker
Bush tucker is the amazing variety of Australian native plants that you can eat, many of which grow on K’gari. The bush tucker tasting is held on the deck outside Seabelle Restaurant, and you’ll end up eating Australia’s Coat of Arms. Best of all, it’s delicious.
Walking through the tidal zone. Photo: Kerry Heaney
Guided Beach Walk
One of the free activities at the resort is a ranger-guided beach walk. It takes place in the tidal zone just to the right of the jetty. Leave your shoes behind and get your toes in the sand to see some fascinating things.
10 things I discovered on beach walk in the tidal zone
- Dingo footprints cruising the shoreline
- Yabbie holes in the sand. Interesting fact- when you walk on the beach you are walking in crab spit and yabbie poo. That’s the black stuff that sticks to your feet when you walk on the sand.
- Blue Soldier Crabs that confuse their enemy by grouping together. They are food for stingrays and birds.
- Stingray wallows that show where stingrays have dug into the sand on the beach, waiting for prey.
- A Half Moon Snail that expels its stomach over its prey to eat it.
- Green paddle worms
- Bubbler Crabs, also known as ghost crabs.
- Eighty per cent of the fish we eat start off on the mangroves.
- Snail egg sacks that look like a half-crescent jelly fish.
- Water that’s 100 years old.
More things to do at Kingfisher Bay
I stayed for four nights and it was so relaxing I could have stayed longer. Of course, I only scratched the surface on the things to do at Kingfisher Bay. You can really spend a lot of time exploring here.
For more information on what to do visit Kingfisher Bay Resort.