Kingfisher Hill - a notorious 400 metre stretch of unsealed, rutted uphill track that provides direct access from Kingfisher Bay Resort into the Great Sandy National Park - will be tar-sealed in a major ten-week construction project starting in early May.
The road, which is on national park land, is the major thoroughfare for guests wishing to access Fraser Island from the western side and has attracted widespread criticism for the damage the rough conditions have caused vehicles. Conditions are so rough that current QPWS signage warns motorists of the dangers on both approaches to the stretch of road.
A team of eight workers expected to take 10 weeks to grade and seal the hill and motorists will follow a short detour on the resort’s fire break during the construction phase.
Kingfisher Group General Manager, David Hay, said there was no doubt in his mind that difficulties navigating the track and the potential for vehicles to be damaged had been deterring visitors from accessing the National Park from the western side of the island.
“We’ve had resort visitors drive to the bottom of the hill and flatly refuse to negotiate the track,” he said. “And rain events haven’t helped matters as sand is constantly washed down the slope to the bottom of the hill making conditions worse.”
Mr Hay said Kingfisher Hill had been included on National Parks capital works budgets for around six years and added for the last fifteen years the resort group had been vigorously lobbying the State Government to provide a solution.
“It’s a common misconception that Kingfisher Hill is on resort property and, over the years, we’ve spent a lot of time and money maintaining it - so we’re understandably thrilled with the decision to seal it and are supporting DERM’s efforts by providing complimentary accommodation for workers and barge services during construction.”
Mr Hay said Queensland Parks and Wildlife Staff conducted a viability study last year to determine the best surface material and concluded sealing it was the best alternative.
“It’s a little bit of short term pain for long term gain,” said Mr Hay. “But, we believe this project will result in an improved experience to all who visit Fraser Island.
“One great example is drivers who tow trailers will now be able to safely traverse this section of road via Kingfisher Hill as well as from Wanggoolba Creek.”