According to Kingfisher Bay Resort's Kerry Brough, the Kiwis, Brits and Victorians are only just discovering what Queenslanders have known for a while - that World Heritage-listed Fraser Island is in a class of its own when it comes to school excursions.
In the last month, students from Torbanlea State School, Urangan State High, St Peters Lutheran College from Brisbane, Mountain Creek State High from the Sunshine Coast, and participants in the Hervey Bay Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island Youth leaders program have visited Fraser Island – as part of Kingfisher Bay Resort's Nature's Classroom school program - with very different educational agendas.
"The school groups we have had through over the past twelve months, and the subjects they are covering, are as diverse as the island itself," Mrs Brough said.
St Peter's Lutheran College opted for two days of touring, ranger-guided eco walks and campfires, whilst Torbanlea State School used the island for the ultimate mother-daughter bonding session.
Bundaberg East State School chose hospitality and sustainable tourism modules; St Helens State School in Maryborough and St Luke's Anglican College in Bundaberg learned about Butchulla culture whilst on island, Mountain Creek's school band entertained resort guests and Urangan State High gave their international exchange students from Germany and Sweden the ultimate Australian geography lesson in situ.
"By combining the knowledge base of our Resort Ranger team with teachers' curriculum requirements, we are able to deliver a custom-made program for students covering topics from biology and environmental disciplines as well as hospitality, leadership and team building," she said.
"We've had a lot of interest from local schools and hosted school groups from Kempsey in New South Wales and Lilydale in Victoria (for a band camp excursion) as well as King William's College in the UK and New Zealand's John McGlashan College.
Kingfisher Bay Resort currently offers interpretative half and full day touring programs on Fraser Island where primary, secondary and tertiary students can apply the principles of earth science, marine studies and geography and eco-tourism as they explore World Heritage-listed Fraser Island. Customised education modules are also available at Eurong Beach Resort and aboard Fraser Explorer Tours of Fraser.
"We're aiming for curriculum-based educational appeal with an emphasis on the fun side to learning – across a wide spectrum of ages," Mrs Brough said. "Younger students can study leaf, plant, tree, ecosystem and animal-print track identification; whilst more advanced students can get into the nitty gritty of the island's formation and discover how and why rainforest grows in sand on Fraser."
On their recent visit, 15 participants from Hervey Bay's Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Youth Leaders Program spent two action-packed days touring sites of ecological, cultural and historical significance.
Acting Indigenous Regional Liaison Officer, John Upton, said the Fraser Island visit was everything they had anticipated and more.
"These children have been identified as having that something extra to become future Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Leaders," he said. "We had two of the students from our group selected to be a part of the Fraser Coast Regional Council for a day where they learnt about how the local government processes community concerns and work on future plans to better the Fraser Coast Region."
"The Fraser Island weekend visit was as much an educational experience as a reward for their hard work during the course of the program."
Study doesn't have to be the only thing on a Fraser Island agenda, the resort can help facilitate leisure activities like outdoor laser skirmish, shelter making, Humpback Whale Watching, orienteering, canoe exploration, campfire nights and fishing challenges.
"Call us biased, but we think Fraser Island has been purpose built over the last two-million years to become nature's interactive classroom," Mrs Brough said.
For more information visit our website or contact Danae Schmid on +617 3032 2816.