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DESTINATIONS FRASER ISLAND AUSTRALASIA


ABOVE: Eli Creek


ABOVE RIGHT: Maheno


Shipwreck BELOW:


Kingfisher Bay Resort


whale-watching hub Hervey Bay


– are within a three-and-a-half-hour drive of Brisbane. This makes Fraser a logical end point for a two-week holiday in southern Queensland, combining Brisbane’s big-city energy, the Gold Coast’s theme parks and the Sunshine Coast’s beaches and markets. The best way to explore the island


is a matter of personal taste, although fortunately, there are plenty of options. At the most basic end of the scale


FIND OUT MORE


l cathedralson fraser.com.au l cooldingo tour.com


l eurong. com.au


l fraserexplorer tours.com.au l fraserisland 4wd.com.au


l kingfisherbay. com


are day tours from Hervey Bay or Rainbow Beach that take the ferry to the island and then take in the highlights in a 4x4 coach. Fraser Explorer Tours, part of the Kingfisher Bay Resort Group, sells commissionable day trips for about £102. If freedom to explore is the priority, then hiring a 4x4 vehicle from the likes of specialist Aussie Trax and camping at one of the island’s campgrounds is the way forward. However, this is recommended only for those with experience of driving a 4x4 – there are some tough stretches that vehicles can get bogged down in, and prices are understandably fairly steep. For younger travellers, multi-day tag-along tours are the most enjoyable way of tackling the island. These allow you to have a go at driving, but ensure an experienced guide is leading the convoy of vehicles, keeping the balance of adventure and safety about right. Some of these involve camping at night, but the popular Cool Dingo three-day, two-night trip offers overnight accommodation in a four-


50 travelweekly.co.uk 4 April 2019


share bunk house. Austravel sells this for £339 per person.


◗ STAY: KEEP IT SIMPLE Other options for exploring Fraser Island involve an overnight stay. At the basic end of the scale, this is where campgrounds such as Cathedrals On Fraser come into play. It’s fenced off – keeping the island’s much-beloved but very definitely wild dingoes out – and options range from unpowered camp sites for £16, via permanently erected tents with beds for £30, to cabins with their own bathrooms and kitchen facilities for £102. The Kingfisher Bay Resort is the plush option, with a mix of hotel rooms – all of which have their own private balconies – and villas. These are spacious, and come with a full kitchen and laundry. The on-site Seabelle restaurant is superb – try the paperbark-wrapped barramundi fish –


with an admirable dedication to using indigenous Australian ingredients such as lemon myrtle, pepperberry and wild lime. There’s also a surprisingly large freeform pool, but the real charm is in how the resort embraces the island. It’s designed to fit in unobtrusively, and offers a series of experiences – from ranger-guided canoe paddles and bush walks to native food tastings – that can seriously enhance the stay. Low season prices can drop to £92. The solid three-star option is the


Eurong Beach Resort on the other side of the island. The rooms are relatively simple – with ceiling fans rather than air conditioning at the cheaper end of the scale – but that’s more than made up for by the convenience of having shops, a beach bar, coffee shop and bakery nearby. The facilities are good for £72 a night, with two pools, a tennis court, fishing-gear hire and a barbecue area as part of the deal.


PICTURES: TOURISM AND EVENTS QUEENSLAND/JESSE SMITH


PICTURES: PETER LIK, EZRA PATCHETT, MADELYN ROSE PHOTOGRAPHY


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