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Fraser Island is all about adventure. Simply strap into your four-wheel drive, and head down the 75-mile beach highway and you’ll soon pass by glistening lakes, howling dingoes and if you’re lucky, migrating whales.
With so much to excite your senses, when it comes to choosing a place to stay, you might want to consider a more relaxed pace.
That was our thinking when we decided to stay at the Kingfisher Bay Resort on Fraser Island (K’gari).
We were looking forward to experiencing a little slice of luxury amidst one of the most unique and pristine parts of Australia. But we were soon to learn that Kingfisher Bay is not all about luxury…
But what is a stay at Kingfisher Bay Resort like? And what is there to see and do? In this guide, we share our experience staying at the resort.
About Kingfisher Bay Resort on Fraser Island, Australia
When you think of exploring Fraser Island (K’gari), the world’s largest sand island, you’re mostly thinking of adventure off-road 4-wheel driving and a bit of beach camping with wild dingoes – the ultimate adventure.
So when we found out about a world-class eco-resort with luxury amenities on the island, we had to check it out.
Kingfisher Bay Resort is an award-winning resort that has been running for more than 30 years on K’gari (Fraser Island). It was built around the same time that Fraser Island was made a World-Heritage site.
The resort has been designed with environmental efforts in mind. They use the natural landscape as inspiration for the buildings, which mirror the dunes on the island.
The resort is not just a place to stay, they also offer tours, eco ranger talks for kids, guided walks, whale watching excursions, and 4WD hire.
Kingfisher Bay Resort is on the quieter western side of Fraser Island, right where the car ferry from River Head drops you off.
At first, I thought we were missing out by staying on the western side because the action seemed to be on the wild and rugged eastern surf side.
But, I liked the softer experience – the calm waters, the surrounding bush, the hard, flat sand, and the magnificent sunsets.
Things to Do at Kingfisher Bay Resort
Kingfisher Bay Resort is not just about resting your head, but about enjoying the adventures of the island. Here are some of the things you can do at the resort…
1. Catch Incredible Sunsets on the Island of Paradise
People come rushing from all over the island at around 4:30pm to catch the sun going down. The unassuming Jetty Hut beach bar is where they flock to grab their sundowners – bottles of champagne and platters of prawns, cheese, and crackers are on offer.
Yep. So we enjoyed the sunset on western beach with the platters and the drinks as well.
Cheese and prawn platter with ice-cold beer and cider. As you’re right on the beach the girls had fun building sandcastles while the sunset.
2. Experience The Bush Tucker Talk and Taste Experience
We enjoyed experiencing the Bush Tucker Talk and Taste experience the Kingfisher Bay Resort puts on every Tuesday, Thursday, and Sunday for $15 a head.
It was fascinating to hear about indigenous berries, fruit, and leaves readily available to us in the bush to be used in cooking.
We recommend doing this experience just before you eat at Seabelle as many of the dishes prepared will include the foods you hear about in the talk.
The chefs presented a selection of foods in their natural, raw state and explained where you can find these foods, and cooked some dishes with them in front of us, using croc, roo, and emu, which we then sampled. It was delicious. If you’re a foodie, this is definitely the talk for you.
So while we were having our bush cooking experience smelling lemon myrtle and tasting quandongs they were in the garden doing the same.
Kalyra can still recognise some of those plants when were are out in the bush now. I’m so grateful she had that experience.
3. Go Wild on A Segway
You can hire Segways to use on the beach. It was the first time I had been on one, and I was a little shaky at first but soon got the hang of it and LOVED whizzing up and down the wide beach.
We could easily watch the girls as they played on the sand and we got some time to play together on the Segways, and the girls loved chasing after us.
Segways are $30 for 30 minutes, or you can join a one-hour eco-adventure tour with a ranger for $79
4. Enjoy Guided Bushwalks
Resort rangers lead complimentary guided walks to help you get to know a little more about Fraser Island, including talks on the importance of mangroves, Aboriginal culture, bush medicine and food, and the dingoes of Fraser Island.
5. Take A Self-guided walk
There are plenty of walking trails around Kingfisher Bay resort that are less than three hours you can do yourself.
6. Take A Dip in the Outdoor Pools
The swimming pools are pretty awesome. The girls actually convinced me to get into the water for a swim (I hate cold water).
I didn’t last long before escaping to the heated spa which suited me better.
Or better yet, the poolside bar that offers refreshing drinks and light snacks.
It was a beautiful, relaxing outlook and we enjoyed our last twenty minutes there before our ferry came to whisk us to Hervey Bay.
7. Get Active on the Tennis Courts
If you like to get active on your vacation, then head over to the outdoor tennis court for a game or two.
There is only one tennis court at the resort, so you need to be patient.
8. Relax in the Fraser Island Day Spa
Take a break from the adventure and enjoy the resorts spa services. You can indulge in many forms of body treatments, from facials to massages.
If you want to enjoy the spa treatments, you will need to make a reservation beforehand.
9. Hire a Four-Wheel Drive
One of the only ways to get around Fraser Island is by 4×4 vehicle. You can easily rent a 4WD from the resort and explore the island on your own without the need for a tour.
Simply pack up a picnic, your beach towel and plenty of water, and zip down the seventy-five mile beach to explore the sites.
Head over to Lake McKenzie, a glistening turrquoise lake known for its natural beauty. This is one of the few spots on the island you can swim, so take advantage of it.
Stop off to explore the hiking/biking trails, or hunt for the iconic shipwreck.
The resort has parking available, but you need to pay $25 AUD for parking each day.
10. Take A Boat Tour
There are several boat tours you can take at Kingfisher Bay Resort Fraser Island. There are sea explorer cruises, which take you to the northwest side of the island to explore the pristine waters.
You can also take whale watching cruises (seasonal) to see migrating whales playing in the warm waters with their newborn baby calves.
Dining at Kingfisher Beach Resort
There are several choices for restaurants at Kingfisher Bay Resort. There are also several bars at the resort, including the brand-new Rainforest Bar.
Buffet dinner and breakfast at Sand & Wood
The buffet breakfast at Sand & Wood had plenty of options and was of standard buffet breakfast style. The waffle station was a particular favourite spot on the buffet table.
The restaurant of an evening does alternate between buffet and a la carte, depending on season.
I’m not a huge fan of buffets and I was worried about overeating so I went for the buffet only instead of combining it with a full breakfast meal.
I wish I did it with the meal instead.
There weren’t that many options for me being gluten-free, so a meal would have been better and I wouldn’t have overeaten.
The a la carte at the Seabelle Restuarant
We recommend splurging for a bistro meal at the Seabelle Restaurant. The head chef has drawn inspiration from Fraser Island’s indigenous Butchulla tribe – crafting his menus to blend seasonal, local produce, fresh seafood, Australian bush tucker, and island living.
You must stop at the bar before dinner for some bush-inspired cocktails. Some of your favourite cocktails with a twist, including local indigenous ingredients.
And then instead of dessert, go for the affogato. It was the first time Craig had it and we both loved it (yes I snuck a bit of his)
Babysitting at Kingfisher Bay Resort
How did Craig and I get to actually have time alone to enjoy all that beautiful food at Seabelle? A baby sitter of course!
Kingfisher Bay offers a babysitting service for guests. Fiona came to our villa to spend a few hours with the girls, and they totally loved her.
She took them for a walk around the property and through the resort gardens, pointing out the many different indigenous plants.
Accommodation at Kingfisher Bay Resort
Kingfisher Bay resort has different accommodation types ranging from two and three-bedroom self-contained villas, loft villas, multi-share Wilderness Lodges, resort hotel rooms, and Kingfisher Houses.
Since we’re travelling as a family, we opted for a tree-top executive villa, which was like a small three-story split-level house.
We loved it, especially its location set high on the tree-covered sand dunes. I just wish we had more time to relax inside it we were so busy exploring beautiful Fraser Island.
It was spacious and comfortable with three bedrooms, a huge lounge room with a gas fire, a dining room, laundry faciltiies, wifi, and a full kitchen.
Rooms start from $279 AUS and go up from there. Villas and houses are more expensive than resort rooms.
It was really easy to check in and out of the Kingfisher Resort. Since you also receive a ferry terminal shuttle, you don’t need to worry about finding the resort on this gigantic sand bar.
You just need to find your way to the Mainland Reception at River Heads (Shop 7/54 River Heads Shopping Village, River Heads Road, River Heads QLD 4655).
It’s advised to check-in 40 minutes before to the ferry departure time.
If you want to, you can even get an airport shuttle for a small fee, to worry less about trying to get there.
You can also take the vehicle ferry yourself and drive to the resort. Simply head to the check-in reception at River Heads and the reception team will give you further instructions.
Note you have to pay for parking.
We took the ferry transfer and were taken to the property location. The front desk staff were very friendly and helpful and told us about all the facilities at the resort.
Simply show them your booking confirmation, passport and the credit card or debit card you booked with and you’re away!
If you are travelling with small kids, you can reserve extra beds with bed sheets or infant beds/cribs beforehand for an additional charge. Simply contact the reception and make special requests.
Fraser Island Video
Click play to see the fun you can have on Fraser Island…
Kingfisher Bay Resort Fraser Island was a refreshing break from the adventurous side of K’gari, and was a comfortable place to stay.
For families, it’s great, since there are so many things for the kids to do that adults will love too.
When we return to Queensland, I so want to go back to Fraser to spend a much longer amount of time.
My dilemma now is whether to go for the bush-bashing adventure or just hide away with a little more comfort and relaxation at Kingfisher Bay Resort.
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