April 27, 2015

Autumn’s Endless Summer In Paradise

It's barely Autumn and Humpback Whales (Megaptera novaeangliae) have already been spotted off the New South Wales coastline as they migrate north to the warmer Whitsunday waters and by our eagle-eyed Air Fraser Island pilots on the eastern side of the island – heralding that winter (and the start of our Humpback Whale Watching season on 1 August) is not far away.

They're big, they're blue and they're on the move... Humpbacks have been spotted by our Air Island Fraser pilots
Climate change debate has the ability to polarise, but according to a recent report in The Courier Mail, Queensland seasons are all out of whack with figures showing summer is starting earlier, lasting longer and stretching into autumn.

By-in-large, our temperatures have been above average in the last month and, according to the paper’s Environment Reporter, Brian Williams, Scientists have reported that the late onset of winter – followed by an early start to spring – is becoming the norm.

DID YOU KNOW: The resort runs a Conservation Credit Scheme to help reduce our carbon emissions? Guests, who choose NOT to have their room linen changed, will earn credits that can reduce the costs of their tours or spa treatments.  Conference, Meetings and Incentive Guests are automatically part of our Carbon Neutral Conference program, which also aims to reduce their footprint on our environment.

Forget being blue, try being green on Fraser Island
Whilst endless summers are the stuff that holiday-makers dream of, have you ever wondered what can you do to help reduce the effects of climate change?  Here on island, we are always looking for ways to reduce impact and, as technology changes, we are looking at cost effective ways we can change.

1. GREEN YOUR DRIVE: On Fraser, we encourage guests to join our eco-accredited group tours, which use fuel efficient vehicles to reduce fuel consumption and emissions – it’s one of the reasons we were awarded ‘Green Leader’ status by EcoTourism Australia. Or, if you’re self-driving, consider 4WD pooling with your mates.

2. BE ENERGY EFFICIENT:
Kingfisher was one of the first resort’s to install energy efficient room card technology, so that non-essential power could be shut off when guests weren’t in room – it’s an easy way you can help. The resort’s architectural design allows for minimal power requirements. In summer, windows and vents are kept open to generate the induction of cool air from the lower level and expel warmer air through loft vents. In winter, windows and vents are closed to create a glasshouse effect, trapping warm air inside the building.

3. BE AWARE OF YOUR IMPACT: When the resort was built, impact on the dunal system was minimised as resort buildings were floated on piles sunk up to 16 metres. You can help reduce impact by throwing your waste in the bin/dumps provided and by walking on paths and driving on existing tracks.

Miles of piles... here's how the architects ensured Kingfisher Bay sits lightly on the land...
4. WASTE NOT, WANT NOT: The resort minimises waste production through reducing resource use, environmentally responsible purchasing, recycling, reusing materials and, for example, placing refillable soap and shampoo dispensers in resort bathrooms thus eliminating packaging. Paper, glass, aluminium, tin and plastics are recycled.

As tree huggers, we’re eternally grateful to the fabulous Four Wheel Drive Clubs of Queensland who come every year to help us clean up the mess that litter bugs leave behind or that gets washed in from the ocean.

5. RECYCLE:
An onsite worm farm turns the resort's sewerage sludge, waste paper and kitchen preparation scraps into compost for a herb garden, which supplies the resort's kitchen. Waste minimisation programs, green purchasing and green product programs round out our environmental program.
Want to know more? Join one of our Ranger-guided eco walks, talks or paddles and learn a bit more about our fragile island backyard. There’s even a Junior Eco Rangers program with some fun educational stuff for the kids.  That’s it from us, tree-huggers.

April 25, 2015

April's Anzac Day Commemorations On Fraser Island

Today marks a special time in Australian history and we're publishing an extra special blog to commemorate our fallen soliders for Anzac Day.
Starry, starry night. The Milky Way above Kingfisher Bay.

April/May is a spectacular time of year on Fraser Island and the clear night skies make for some fantastic star-gazing – which our international visitors and our city dwellers never fail to appreciate.

These days there are plenty of smart phone apps available like Star Map or Star Gaze, which will help you find your way around the night sky, or ask our Rangers to point out the Southern Cross or Milky way as we head out on our guided night walks.

DID YOU KNOW that
Fraser Island was the secret training ground for special commando troops during World War II as they trained for operations behind enemy lines?  It's absolutely true!


On island, these transitional months of March through May sees an influx of bird and marine life and subtle changes in our fauna. It's also fabulous for walkers and hikers who travel from all parts of the globe to try their hand at our Fraser Island Great Walk trails in the national park.

For those that prefer shorter walks, there is plenty of medium/easy level, self-guided walks in and around the resort grounds – including a historical walk to the remains of the old Z-Special Commando School, which is particularly poignant as we head towards the Anzac centenary later this month.

Today, Saturday, 25 April 2015 – ANZAC Day - will mark one hundred years of remembrance for the Australian and New Zealand soldiers that served and died in WW1.  This year, our famous SS Maheno shipwreck will play a pivotal role in the ANZAC Day centenary commemorations on island on Anzac Day.


The SS Maheno will take centre stage on 75-Mile Beach this Anzac Day
Originally built as a luxury cruise liner operating on the trans-Tasman run between Australia and New Zealand. As World War I broke out, the liner was converted to a hospital ship and, some four months after the Gallipoli campaign started, was anchored offshore and served as a floating hospital for thousands of Australian and several hundred New Zealand soldiers.

When ANZACS were transferred to the French western front, the Maheno was there to transport soldiers from particularly bloody battles in Fromelles and Somme. 

With ANZAC centenary celebration planning underway, the folks at Rotary have stepped in to fund the passage of seven school children, their families and teachers, from the tiny New Zealand town of Maheno, who will bring the original ship's bell across the Tasman. A replica will ring during a special ANZAC ceremony on April 25 and another will be given to the Maritime Museum in Brisbane.

Lest we forget.