KINGFISHER BAY RESORT: Rolling Resort Refurbishment Program
KINGFISHER Bay Resort's rolling refurbishment program has seen the conference area, Centre Complex soft furnishings, 120-seat Maheno Restaurant, pool, jetty and access roads into the national park upgraded. Resort hotel rooms will also undergo a soft furnishing refurb with new carpets and bedding expected to be in room by the end of July. The Sand Bar restaurant underwent a kitchen refurbishment and equipment upgrade and reopened in time for Easter 2014.
KINGFISHER BAY RESORT: The Great Barrier Reef AND Fraser Island In One Package
Lady Elliot Island Eco Resort and Kingfisher Bay Resort Fraser Island have teamed up together to showcase two World Heritage-listed locations in a brand new 4 day/ 3 night package. The new package can easily fit into self- drive itineraries from the Gold Coast, Brisbane or Sunshine Coast. There are also direct flights from Sydney to the Fraser Coast (see snippet news section below).
Departing from Hervey Bay, the package includes one night on picturesque Lady Elliot Island - the southernmost island of the Great Barrier Reef. Guests will be treated to an untouched marine sanctuary with a maximum limit of 150 guests. Throughout the year guests may be lucky enough to see over 1500 different species of marine life plus turtles nesting, turtle hatchlings, whales and of course the majestic manta rays that Lady Elliot Island is renowned for. All meals and guided activities and accommodation at the Eco Resort are included.
An additional two nights will be spent on the world's largest sand island, Fraser Island, at the beautiful Kingfisher Bay Resort. The package includes a full day, off-roading Fraser Island Beauty Spots Tour in which guests will experience the gorgeous crystal clear waters of Lake McKenzie, the breathtaking rainforest at Central Station, Seventy Five mile beach's famous highway/air strip, the Maheno Shipwreck and Eli Creek.
Bookings through Lady Elliot's reservations team on 1800 072 200 (toll free in Australia).
Click for more information.
KINGFISHER BAY RESORT / EURONG BEACH RESORT: AusWalk Partnership
Kingfisher Bay Resort has partnered with the market leader in Australian walking holidays – Auswalk – to develop an exciting package featuring Fraser Island's famous Great Walk national park hiking trails. Their 8 day trip (with six days walking) starts in Hervey Bay. Once on Fraser, you'll enjoy six day, 100km self-guided walking experience will include four nights at Eurong Beach Resort on Fraser Island's eastern side and the top and tail nights at Kingfisher Bay Resort to the west. The package will also include breakfast, lunch and dinner, luggage, ferry, National Park fees, walking maps and notes.
For hikers who are looking for the ultimate guided walking experience, there is an option to upgrade and include the services of a local ranger guide. Auswalk will also launch a 7-day group walk with transfers ex Brisbane. These products will be launched by Auswalk later this year.
Kingfisher Bay Resort has also developed five-night group itineraries for Fraser Island that include the services of a guide and an opt-out option for those that may not wish to cover the full trail distance. A six-night self-guided group itinerary will also be on offer later this year.
FRASER EXPLORER TOURS, COOL DINGO TOURS & KINGFISHER BAY RESORT: Foreign Language Guides Available On Fraser Island Tours
GERMAN, Korean, Japanese, 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).
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: Departures Now Available Ex Gold Coast
FRASER Island's number 1 rated Cool Dingo Tour of Fraser Island now departs from the Gold Coast (on selected dates) as well as the regular departures from Hervey Bay and Rainbow Beach.
The 2 Day, 2 Night Tours Gold Coast tours depart from the Southport Transit Centre at 12.30 pm with a second pick up from the Brisbane Roma Street Transit Centre at 1.30 pm. On your last day, guests leave from Fraser Island on the 5.00 pm Kingfisher Ferry and arrive back at 10.00 pm (Brisbane) or 11.00 pm (Gold Coast.
2014 tour dates are out now: 25 Apr; 4, 11 and 18 Jul 2014. Additional dates may also be released.
KINGFISHER BAY RESORT: Hervey Bay Named As The World's Most Important Habitat For Endangered Humpback Whales
HERVEY Bay: A two-decade long research study shows Hervey Bay in south-east Queensland is the world's most important habitat for endangered humpback whales. The study, published in February by Southern Cross University researcher Trish Franklin, is the first comprehensive look at how important Hervey Bay is for the survival of the species.
Her husband and fellow researcher, Wally Franklin, says the study shows 95 per cent of whales return on a yearly basis because the bay provides a safe haven for mature females and their calves.
Humpback 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 Whale Watch cruise packages start from $379 per person and include 2 nights' resort accommodation (and a bonus THIRD night free with breakfast for guests who have time in their itinerary), hot buffet breakfast daily; return passenger ferry transfers from River Heads and a half day whale watch cruise.
KINGFISHER BAY RESORT / EURONG BEACH RESORT: Fraser Island Is In A Class Of Its Own
It's no secret that the world's largest sand island has long attracted holiday makers from all corners of the globe, but with 90 kilometres of sand tracks to hike; the largest and the highest perched dune lakes in the world and the most complete age sequence of coastal dunes in the world to study, Fraser is attracting a new kind of visitor to town – educational groups with a penchant for learning in the perfect interactive classroom.
According to Kingfisher Bay Resort's Kerry Brough, the rest of the world are only just discovering what Queenslanders have known for a while - that World Heritage-listed Fraser Island really is in a class of its own when it comes to school excursions.
Our Education Groups Coordinator works closely with Queensland Parks and Wildlife Rangers on content and with international and domestic agents to manage the educational requirements of visiting school groups. Our secret is in custom designing packages to meet each group's requirements. Modules cover a range of topics including, but not limited to, Geography, Biology, History and Culture, Marine Studies, Ecotourism, Hospitality, Leadership and Team Building.
In the last 12 months the teams at Kingfisher Bay Resort and Eurong Beach Resort have welcomed schools from United Kingdom, New Zealand, United States, and Italy; and had education groups visiting from Japan, Germany, Sweden and China.
Accommodation options are varied, allowing for the budget minded education groups in our Wilderness Lodges (or hotel rooms for higher end guests) at Kingfisher Bay Resort (on Fraser Island's western side) or our backpacker-style dormitory accommodation at Eurong Beach Resort, which enjoys absolute beach frontage.
EURONG BEACH RESORT: New Self-drive 4WD Package Released
Coastal sight-seeing and holidaying are popular pursuits for visitors and locals alike and Eurong Beach Resort's brand new Fraser 4x4 makes it even easier for people from all walks of life to explore Fraser Island's natural attractions.
Eurong Beach Resort's latest holiday package bundles three days' four-wheel-drive hire from Atlas 4WD in Hervey Bay; return vehicle ferry transfers ex River Heads (Hervey Bay); two nights' accommodation at Eurong Beach Resort (in hotel or self-contained apartment accommodation), vehicle permits and buffet breakfast daily*.
Two flexible itineraries offer the choice of afternoon ferry transfers on the day of arrival and departure or an afternoon arrival and early morning departure from Fraser Island with prices starting from $518pp twin share.
Eurong beach-style motel and apartment style accommodation offers more than just rooms with great views – the casual, relaxed atmosphere is a draw card for the families, 4WD-ers, budget travellers, friends on safari and fishing enthusiasts who return World Heritage-listed Fraser Island year-upon-year.
KINGFISHER BAY RESORT GROUP: Chinese Website and Social Media Sites Online
HOT OFF THE PRESS: Kingfisher Bay Resort Group has just released a new website for the Chinese market. The site mirrors the current kingfisherbay.com in look and design, but markets 'Destination Fraser Island' first and foremost along with Kingfisher Bay Resort, Eurong Beach Resort, Fraser Explorer Tours and Cool Dingo Tours packages as brochured in market.
Fraser content is also well represented on Chinese social media sites, Weibo, Sina blog, Youku (Chinese version of YouTube) and Instagram.
In the past 12 months, the resort group has rolled out Chinese marketing collateral and Mandarin MP3 commentary machines on Fraser Island day tours; has developed a special menu for Asian groups; has run cultural training sessions for staff; has employed Mandarin and Cantonese-speaking staff at the resort; has launched their presence on Chinese social media sites; and has distributed Chinese brochures.
According to Director of Sales and Marketing, Kerry Brough, Chinese group business on Fraser Island is showing growth as is the FIT Market, who are looking for something different.
Visit www.kingfisherbay.cn for more information.
FRASER ISLAND: 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.
FRASER ISLAND: Quick News Snippets
QantasLink Announces New Domestic Flights Between Sydney And Hervey Bay
Last month, QantasLink announced it will offer direct services between Sydney and Hervey Bay from 17 May 2014. Customers travelling from Sydney to Hervey Bay would normally have to travel via Brisbane, but now the direct services shaves over an hour off the trip.
QantasLink CEO John Gissing said the airline had listened to customers who told them they wanted a direct service from Sydney and Hervey Bay. Fraser Coast Mayor Gerard O'Connell said he was delighted QantasLink had chosen the Fraser Coast to provide direct flights and that the decision was a great sign of confidence in the region.
"This is a real boost for our tourism industry and is about growing the market and ensuring the Fraser Coast continues to thrive as a tourism destination."
The services will be operated by a Boeing 717 aircraft, with iPad entertainment for every passenger, with one return service on Saturday and Sundays.
Rhyming Lingo Promotes Dingo Safety on Fraser Island
'On Fraser never forget, a dingo is not a pet' is one of several new rhyming signs that has been erected across Fraser Island to remind people to be Dingo Safe.
Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service have placed new dingo signs along island tracks and at barge departure points as a reminder to tourists not to be complacent around the wild animals. The signs have simple rhymes so they stick in the memory to increase dingo education.
Fraser Island Great Walks Reopen
Everyone can enjoy the Fraser Island Great Walk. While the entire 90km Great Walk takes 6–8 days to complete, short easy walks are also available from your base at Kingfisher Bay Resort and Eurong Beach Resort. These range from easy strolls to half-day and full-day adventures.
The following sections of the Great Walk are open:
• Central Station to Lake McKenzie (via both Basin Lake and Pile Valley)
• Kingfisher Bay to Lake McKenzie (via both McKenzie's Jetty and Dundonga Creek)
• Access tracks from Wanggoolba barge landing and Eurong
• Lake McKenzie and Central Station walkers' camps are also open.
It is expected that other sections of the Great Walk and associated walkers' camps will reopen shortly. For more information: http://www.nprsr.qld.gov.au/parks/great-walks-fraser-island/index.html .
Junior Eco Ranger Program Receives National Accolades
This year, Australian Traveller magazine has named our Junior Eco Rangers program in their top 100 things to do with the kids this summer. In 2013 the Essential Kids website listed our Junior Eco Rangers program in their ten top kids clubs in Australian and worldwide and Holidays with Kids magazine listed us in their top ten family resorts (4 star and under) in Australia.
Four Wheel Drive Training Course To Reopen
Kingfisher Bay Resort is opening our four-wheel-drive training track on Fraser Island and will work with local operators, including Dave Darmody from P7, to run training courses for novice drivers.
The 14th Annual Clean Up Fraser Island
The good folks at Four Wheel Drive Queensland have ear-marked the last weekend in May for their annual Fraser Island Clean up. This grand-scale clean ups was conceived by two mates sitting around a camp fire and embraced by the folks at Four Wheel Drive Queensland and their associated Queensland clubs. The teams at Eurong Beach, Fraser Island Barges and the Kingfisher Bay Resort Group were chuffed to get on board.
Last year, the event saw more 290 volunteers from 19 four wheel drive clubs across the state band together to collect general rubbish and flotsam and jetsam washed ashore by the tides and the weather systems that have hit the Queensland Coastline. Volunteers collected plastic such as netting, bottles, fish fluoro tubes and incredibly, thousands of toothbrushes during the three-day-long event.
Resort Shares Environmental Know How
FRASER COAST: Fraser Island and Lady Elliot are normally the star attractions for international visitors vesting the Fraser Coast but, unusually, these pristine island environs took a backseat when a group of Indonesians visited recently.
The delegation - representing Government, Tourism and Community organisations from the Nusa Tenggara Barat (NTB) province, Java and Indonesia - visited the region as part of a University of Sunshine Coast-led fellowship program aimed at marrying Australian expertise with Indonesian tourism leaders and decision makers.
Whilst Lady Elliot and Fraser Island's iconic attractions were a welcome distraction, the group was primarily on island to learn about best practices in integrated coastal and marine management from two of the Fraser Coast's leading tourism operators - Kingfisher Bay Resort and Lady Elliot Island Eco Resort.
Kingfisher Bay Resort Group's General Manager of Touring and Marine, Colin Anderson, said he was chuffed he and other Fraser Coast operators were able to donate their time and showcase best environmental tourism practices in an environment not too dissimilar to the east coast of Lombok - which has small, fragile and pristine offshore islands that have been targeted for development.
"During their visit, the group was taken on a series of back-of-house tours incorporating Kingfisher Bay's worm farm, waste management and recycling station and Lady Elliot's solar diesel hybrid power station," he said. "They also met with Queensland Parks and Wildlife Rangers during their time on Fraser."
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Editor's Notes: Why Fraser Island?
• The Travel Channel named Fraser Island in their top Adventure Destinations for 2014. (April 2014).
• Australian Traveller Magazine named Fraser Island in their 100 Greatest Holidays of Australia (with a mention about Kingfisher Bay Resort and our Junior Eco Ranger program. (April 2014).
• TNT Australia Magazine released their top Aussie islands - including Fraser Island at the top of the list - in the May 6-19 issue of their popular travel magazine. (May 2013).
• Fraser Island, jutting off the east coast of Queensland, has been voted number 1 in UK newspaper The Telegraph's travel section poll on Favourite Australian Island Escapes (April 2013).