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Fraser Island: News from the Kingfisher Bay Resort Group

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QUEENSLAND: Australia's Kingfisher Bay Resort, Eurong Beach Resort, Fraser Explorer Tour and Cool Dingo Tour programs are designed to provide enjoyable nature-based tourism experiences on Queensland's Fraser Island.

KINGFISHER BAY RESORT: Fraser Island Resort Gets A Birthday Makeover

AS Kingfisher Bay Resort enters its twentieth year of operation, resort management has announced the popular eco resort is undergoing a conferencing and Centre Complex facelift; is revamping its Lake McKenzieshaped main swimming pool; and is at 'prototype stage' for a hotel room refurbishment program, which is expected to roll out in 2013/14.

The resort's Director of Sales and Marketing, Kerry Brough, said both restaurants in the Centre Complex would come under the designer's knife in the coming months – with a view to enhancing guest experiences and maximising the space.  ew Executive Chef, Kenneth Clapham is also working with the kitchen team to enhance the menu offerings.

"The conference refurbishment – which has seen the addition of high tech AV equipment, lighting, soundproof walls as well as soft and hard furnishings will bring the resort in line with current industry standards and expectations," she said.

In addition, the resort has revamped its Natural Therapies clinic – which is now operated in-house – and has expanded the massage and beauty services product offerings for guests.

"We are also looking at our product and activity offering and making some exciting new changes – including a Fraser-inspired outdoor dinner and interp experience, which will launch in August this year."

An Afternoon At Lake McKenzie – Launching July 2012.

KINGFISHER Bay Resort has introduced a new afternoon tour to Fraser Island's most popular Beauty Spot, Lake McKenzie, in response to consumer demand. The afternoon tour will leave Hervey Bay at 1230 (and offers a pick-up service to local accommodation houses); and departs the resort bound for Lake McKenzie at 1330.

Guests will spend time on the sandy shores of Lake McKenzie – one of the island's famous perched dune lakes; visit the historical heart of the island – Central Station; and experience four-wheel-driving on Fraser Island's famous sand tracks.

The Lake McKenzie Tour is priced at $115 for adults and $75 for children 4-14 (ex the resort). A family rate is also available. 

Marine Activities Galore On Fraser Island

WITH Humpback Whale Watching season just over a month away; Kingfisher Bay Resort has announced a series of new summer marine activities on Fraser Island's calm western side to follow the popular whale season.

In addition to the popular Ranger-guided canoe paddles and fishing clinics, the resort has partnered with the crew from Freedom III to deliver a range of cruise products – the morning adventure cruise with dolphin/dugong search; a sunset cruise with drinks and nibbles; a fishing experience with gear and bait supplied; and a Great Sandy Cruise for group bookings.

The Resort's Jetty Hut has also expanded the activity schedule and offers Stand Up Paddle Boarding and for those less inclined to hit the water – a range or gorgeous bush-inspired canapés and platters at sunset.

A Partnership That Protects Our Oceans

KINGFISHER Bay Resort has recently finalised a partnership agreement with the Australian Marine Conservation Society - Australia's only national charity dedicated exclusively to protecting our oceans. They, along with patron Tim Winton, work on the big issues concerning the sea - creating sustainable fisheries, recovering threatened species and creating marine national parks.

Kingfisher Bay Resort Managing Director, Gary Smith, said there were some nice synergies with projects in and around Fraser Island concerning dugong and sea turtles.  "Over the coming months we'll be rolling out initiatives across our various touch points in our business - retail, front office, marine and touring – to spread the word about ocean conservation in our region," he said.

Fraser Resort Named A Green Tourism Leader

KINGFISHER Bay Resort has just been named a 'Green Tourism Leader' by Eco Tourism Australia, in recognition of our commitment to environmental tourism in Australia.  Eco Tourism Australia - the peak, national body for green tourism operators - began recognising certified operators some two years ago and has accredited just 60 operators Australia-wide.

In awarding the accreditation, Eco Tourism Australia said Green Tourism Leaders were "trailblazers in responsible travel having been ECO certified for ten years or more. Long before most people were thinking about 'green' issues, these businesses saw the importance of the environment to tourism and wanted to ensure they behaved in a responsible, ethical and sustainable way."

Kingfisher Bay Resort's General Manager, Warwick Kahl, said the resort team were chuffed their hard work had been recognised.

"We have built our 'name' on our commitment to eco tourism and are thrilled the natural environment has been recognised by organisations like Eco Tourism Australia and through strategies like the Federal Government's National Long Term Tourism Strategy as a significant part of our appeal as a long-haul holiday destination.  We look forward to introducing new and exciting eco products and activities into our resort experience and to a long and continued partnership with Eco Tourism Australia," he said.

EURONG BEACH RESORT: Fraser Trips From Brisbane Or The Coasts!

HOLIDAYMAKERS in Brisbane, The Gold Coast or Sunshine Coasts will now be able to book accommodated tours to Fraser Island, staying at Eurong Beach Resort on Fraser Island's famous 75-Mile Beach. Sunset Safari tours run two and three-day accommodated tours to Fraser Island – with several departures each week from the Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast and from Brisbane.  Tours visit Fraser Island's famous sites including Wanggoolba Creek and 75 Mile Beach's many attractions.

Sunset Safari tours include accommodation at Eurong Beach Resort, meals and activities in the tour cost. Backpacker Tours are also offered.

FRASER EXPLORER TOURS: Fraser Island Unearthed For Foreign Visitors

GERMAN, Korean, French, Italian, Spanish, Chinese, Simplified Chinese and English visitors will be given a taste of home on Fraser Island, with the introduction of hand-held, foreign language, interpretive guides for all Fraser Explorer Tours (ex Hervey Bay and Rainbow Beach); Beauty Spots Tours (ex Kingfisher Bay Resort); and Cool Dingo Tours (ex Rainbow Beach and Hervey Bay).

The German, Korean and Spanish language spiels would be rolled out later this month at Kingfisher Bay Resort; with the rest rolled out progressively over the ensuing months.

Group General Manager, David Hay, said he hoped the foreign language guide value-add to the tour would help visitors gain a greater understanding of Fraser Island's incredible natural environment.

"We have condensed the island's European and Indigenous history; stories of creation and sand formation; flora and fauna facts along with interesting facts and figures about the island's iconic sites into a digestible format – with bite sized pieces of information at each site," he said.

COOL DINGO TOURS:  Rainbow Beach Now On The Itinerary!

TRIP Advisor has ranked Fraser Island Cool Dingo Tours for 18-35s as the number one tour on Fraser Island... but the product is set to get better!  From July 1, Cool Dingo 2 Day 1 Night Tours and the popular 3 Day 2 Night Tours will depart from Rainbow Beach as well as the regular departure from Hervey Bay.

Tour Manager Colin Anderson said the one very big advantage was the 3 Day 2 Night Tour offered a 'through fare' option – allowing guests the choice of starting their tour in Rainbow Beach and finishing in Hervey Bay or back in Rainbow Beach.

"The beauty of this new touring option is that time-poor travellers will not waste travelling time in either direction," he said.  "The 2 Day 1 Night option departs ex Rainbow Beach and Hervey Bay, but because of itinerary configurations could only finish in Hervey Bay."

Quick News Snippets: New Kingfisher Resort Team

WARWICK Kahl has joined the Kingfisher Bay Resort team as Resort General Manager and brings with him a very strong management background in tourism and hospitality, both in Australia and overseas.  Prior to this, Warwick completed a four-year stint at the Port of Brisbane Authority where he oversaw the restructure of hospitality operations and the privatisation of significant commercial assets.

He is results driven, has a strong food and beverage background and extensive experience in effective yield management to ensure maximum occupancy and rate.

Paul Parrant recently joined the resort team as Rooms Division Manager and has held senior management roles in a number of properties in NZ, the UK and Australia.

Kenneth Clapham is also on board as Executive Chef and has worked in this role in a variety of resort environments including RACV (Resort) Inverloch; Heron Island Resort; The Elandra Mission Beach; The Sebel Resort and Spa – Hawkesbury Valley; and, closer to home, at O'Reilly's Rainforest Guest House - Tamborine Mountain.

Laurel Zhang Takes On Sales Manager Asia Role

THE Kingfisher Bay Resort Group has appointed Laurel Zhang (Sha Zhang) to the position of Sales Manager Asia (based in Brisbane) – representing Kingfisher Bay Resort; Eurong Beach Resort; Fraser Explorer Tours; Fraser Island Barges; and Cool Dingo Tours.

Laurel will join the Kingfisher Sales team at the end of June and has previously held similar roles with Quicksilver Connections (Cairns); Kenya Airways and Qatar Airways (Guangzhou, China).

Hervey Bay Humpback Whale Watching Season Starts August 1

HERVEY Bay's whale watch season runs from 1 August til the end of October with some of the most prolific whale spotting in Australia.  Invariably during the season inquisitive humpbacks, referred to as 'friendlies', will approach whale-watching boats very closely, often staying under or near the boat for many minutes.

Half-day trips depart daily from Kingfisher Bay Resort from 0745 during the season (Aug 1 - 31 Oct). Accommodation and Touring packages start from $379 per person and include 2 nights' resort accommodation, hot buffet breakfast daily; return passenger ferry transfers from River Heads and a half day whale watch cruise.

A Natural Choice For Group Series Travel

FRASER Island and Kingfisher Bay Resort offer competitively-priced packages for group travel and educational study tours – talk to your Kingfisher Bay Group in-market representative for details.


Editor's Notes: Why Fraser Island?

  • NATIONAL Geographic has recently named Fraser Island as one of the World's Best Beaches, reporting: "This World Heritage site is an ecologist's dream with 640 square miles of unspoiled natural paradise. Rainforests with 1000-year-old trees sprout from the sand."  The Queensland sand island was the only Aussie location to make the 2012 list.
  • AUSTRALIAN Geographic listed Hervey Bay in the top ten places to Whale Watch in Australia; and The Courier Mail named Fraser Island as one of the 'Top Ten Best Getaway Drives in South East Queensland' (June 2012).
  • LONELY Planet recently named Fraser Island in their Top Five Treasured Australian Islands (May 2012).
  • THE Daily Times (UK) named Fraser Island's eastern beach in their list of the world's STRANGEST beaches... rainforest growing in sand; swimming in fresh water on an ocean beach; it's a gazetted highway; it's a landing strip for planes... we call that pretty awesome!  (June 2012).

Our Top Five On Fraser Island

1 - ALTHOUGH it is the world's largest sand island Fraser surprisingly supports over 100 fresh-water lakes ringed by white, sandy beaches perched in the tops of the dunes, and fast-flowing streams – all perfect to relax, swim and picnic.

Discover Fraser's beauty spots on a 4WD Ranger-guided or personalised tour from Kingfisher Bay Resort or hire a 4WD from the resort and explore the lakes at your own pace.

Lake McKenzie's sapphire-blue waters are ringed by white sandy beaches and a rich blackbutt forest. This spot is regarded as the prettiest of the island's 42 perched lakes and undoubtedly one of the island's most photographed.

2 - CLIMB Indian Head, the best lookout point on the island, for spectacular views along Fraser Island's eastern coastline – during certain times of the year, humpback whales, dolphins, turtles, sharks and huge rays can also be spotted from here along with an abundance of bird life. The name Indian Head was given to the headland in 1770 by Captain Cook. As he sailed past he saw aboriginals standing on the headland looking out to sea.

While in the neighbourhood, don't miss a swim in the Champagne Pools on the eastern side of Fraser Island.  These natural rock pools are likened to a Jacuzzi because bubbles form by waves crashing into rock pools on the edge of the surf.

3 – FRASER Island contains many sites of archaeological, social and spiritual significance.  Middens, artefact scatters, fish traps, scarred trees and camp sites bear witness to the lives of the original inhabitants.

Timber loggers discovered a rainforest wilderness and plundered it for its bounty of soft and hard timbers, which were used for everything from furniture to piles to line the banks of the Suez Canal.

Logging stopped in 1991, so today you can experience the peace of Central Station, a former logging camp, which is now a Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service Ranger Station with an excellent interpretive centre. There are stands of huge kauri pines, satinays and brush box trees towering over an under storey of palms and rainforest plants.

Walk along the banks of Wanggoolba Creek, as its clear waters flow silently through rainforest. Wanggoolba is the Aboriginal name for macrozamia and this creek area was a rich source of food for the Aborigines.  The King Ferns growing on this part of Fraser Island are a relic from when tropical rainforests were more widespread and are not found in anywhere else on the island.

4 – TREK across the stunning Hammerstone Sand Blow from the eastern beach to swim in the fresh water of Lake Wabby – an oasis in a desert.  The beautiful twin emerald green lakes which form Lake Wabby are surrounded on one side by a massive sandblow and on the other side by eucalypt and rainforest. This impressive barrage lake is being slowly engulfed by Hammerstone sandblow, but is definite must see.

It is the deepest of all Fraser Island's lakes and supports more fish than all the other lakes.  Enjoy a swim and explore the sand blow and lake surrounds.  You can walk to the lookout for great views or walk across the sand to Seventy-Five Mile beach.

5 – EXPLORING Fraser Island takes on a whole new meaning when viewed from above.  Local operator – Air Fraser Island – conducts scenic flights, which take off and land on the eastern beach.  Marvel at lakes which look like silver butterfly wings when viewed from the air, and gain a perspective of the size mighty sand blows tracking their way across the ocean and the golden beach, which stretches as far as the eye can see.  You can also spot migrating whales as they breach and come up for air in the ocean
waters and dolphins at play.

Tours and self-drivers can stop on the beach and arrange a suitable time with the pilots or with staff at Kingfisher Bay Resort.

We can assist with planning itineraries and famils and with images and story ideas for your visit to the world's largest sand island. Visit our online Media Centre at

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