Kingfisher Bay Resort (KBR - incorporating the 152-room Mercure Kingfisher Bay Resort hotel), Eurong Beach Resort (EBR), Fraser Explorer Tour (FET) and Cool Dingo Tour (CDT) programs are designed to provide enjoyable nature-based tourism experiences on Queensland's Fraser Island.
KINGFISHER BAY RESORT: Rolling Resort Refurbishment Program
KINGFISHER Bay Resort will roll out a full refit for the 120-seat Maheno Buffet Restaurant and Lounge Bar by the end of July. The resort’s rolling refurbishment program has seen the conference area, Centre Complex and pool areas upgraded recently. In the conference area, high tech AV equipment, lighting, sound-proof walls as well as soft and hard furnishings has brought the resort in line with current industry standards. The resort’s jetty and access roads are currently being upgraded.
KINGFISHER BAY RESORT: Fraser Island Is China Ready
AN INTERNATIONAL Sales team from the world’s largest sand island is targeting the world’s most populous country – China – with an aggressive sales and marketing plan designed to lure Asian tourists to World Heritage-listed Fraser Island.
Kingfisher Bay Resort’s Director of Sales and Marketing, Kerry Brough, said the time was right to debut their suite of Fraser Island products to appreciative Asian audiences. As the fastest developing market, Mrs Brough said China presented a fresh growth opportunity for their Fraser Island products, in both the leisure and group series business.
In the past six 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 a WEIBO social media site and blog; and has distributed Chinese brochures. A Chinese version of the resort’s website is also currently in development.
Mrs Brough said the lynchpin of the resort group’s own strategy for Fraser Island was the appointment of Laurel Zhang into the Asian Sales Manager role last year. Laurel, who is proficient in Cantonese, Mandarin and English, is responsible for developing the FIT and accommodation business in China, Taiwan, Hong Kong and South-East Asia.
KINGFISHER BAY RESORT: New Guest Activities On Fraser Island
WHILE the big boys are roughing it in 4x4s on Fraser Island’s sand tracks; Kingfisher Bay has introduced an all new, eco-friendly adventure for guests in the form of all-wheel-drive Personal Segway transporters.
The Ranger-guided Segway PT adventure sessions use the latest in green technology – the fully electric Segway Personal Transporters – to manoeuvre their way along the intertidal zone and across the beach terrain on the western side of the island with a Resort Ranger. The resort has also introduced thirty-minute ‘Let Loose’ sessions for those who want to explore on their own. Whilst some restrictions apply (like height and weight), the sessions are open to guests over the age of 12.
In addition to the popular Ranger-guided canoe paddles and fishing clinics, the resort has also 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 of gorgeous bush-inspired canapés and platters at sunset.
KINGFISHER BAY RESORT: New Flames Of Fraser Dining Experience
FRASER Island takes centre stage in an all-new, intimate dining experience for guests at Kingfisher Bay Resort. Aptly named ‘Flames of Fraser’, resort guests will be treated to an indulgent five-course, bush tucker-themed menu, Queensland wines and the sounds of Fraser Island by firelight in the heart of the resort’s Wallum heath.
The evening starts with sparkling wines and canapés as Sunset Beach, before guests walk barefoot to their outdoor dining room, where the resort’s Executive Chef has crafted an indulgent five-course, native table d’hote menu.
Moreton Bay Bugs with Lemon Myrtle; Crocodile San Choi Bao with Betel leaves and Bunya Nuts; and Kangaroo with a bush tomato relish feature alongside an Australian favourite – petit pavlova served with wattle seed ice cream – on the bush-inspired menu.
Queensland wine makers, like the Granite Belt’s Robert Channon, also make cameo appearances on the wine list. Fire pits, indigenous music and a local story teller round out the four-hour outdoor dining experience on Fraser Island’s western side, which finishes with a digestif in the resort’s signature restaurant, Seabelle.
Flames of Fraser dinners run on Mondays, Wednesdays and Friday nights and are priced at $149pp and bookings are essential.
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 Rainbow Beach
FRASER Island’s number 1 rated Cool Dingo Tour of Fraser Island now departs 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.”
KINGFISHER BAY RESORT: New Conservation Credit Scheme
IT IS A little bit easier to be greener at Kingfisher Bay Resort with the introduction of a new Conservation Credit Scheme aimed at rewarding customers for helping the resort reduce its carbon footprint.
Under the Conservation Credit program, guests who choose not to have their rooms serviced will be rewarded with a $15 conservation credit (per room) to put towards a treatment at the resort’s in-house Kingfisher Natural Therapy salon OR a full day guided eco tour of Fraser Island.
Guests can opt in by placing a biodegradable card on their door handle each night. Points are then redeemed at checkout off the cost of touring or treatments in the eco-friendly spa.
KINGFISHER BAY RESORT: Hervey Bay Humpback Whale Watching Season Splashes Down 1 August
HERVEY Bay’s 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 Touring 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.
FRASER ISLAND: Makeover For Access Roads
ONE OF Fraser Island’s most notorious unsealed access tracks – affectionately known as ‘The Rollercoaster’ by island locals - is set to get a major makeover under a joint collaboration between the Department of Environment and Resource Management (DERM) and Kingfisher Bay Resort this month.
Kingfisher Hill - a notorious 800 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.
Kingfisher Bay Resort Group General Manager, David Hay, said it was a common misconception that Kingfisher Hill is on resort property. “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,” he said.
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.
KINGFISHER BAY RESORT GROUP: Quick News Snippets
THOMAS Schick will join Kingfisher Bay Resort Group International Sales Manager, Stephanie Siebert, in representing the interests of the Kingfisher Bay Resort Group for Germany, Switzerland, Austria, Belgium, France and Italy. Thomas will represent the group at consumer shows, trade fairs and agent events and will train major wholesale and retail partners.
Thomas founded his business, Pure Travel, back in 2004 to represent Australian tourism companies in the European market. His first client, back in 2004, was Apollo Motorhome Holidays and in 2006 he added Explore Whitsundays. Thomas has also represented Coral Sea Resort, Noosa Blue Resort and O’Reilly’s Rainforest Guesthouse.
THE KINGFISHER Bay Resort Group has appointed Danae Schmid to oversee the group’s education group program for Fraser Island. Group packages and itineraries are tailored to suit all ages from primary school to university and social groups. At resort level, Brett Libbis has been appointed Executive Chef at Kingfisher Bay Resort. Brett joins the Fraser Island team fresh from a two-year stint at Ayres Rock Resort where he oversaw 10 outlets, 100 chefs and stewards and the popular Sounds of Silence experience.
Editor’s Notes: Why Fraser Island?
• FRASER Island was named the No 1‘Favourite Australian Island Escape’ by UK readers of The Telegraph’s travel section (April 2013).
• 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).