Fraser Island – Paradise For Nature Lovers

Dr Errol Stock conducted his first talk at Kingfisher in 1998 and returns regularly to enjoy Fraser Island and to share his knowledge with staff and guests alike (April 2012).  Here Dr Errol shares his most recent experience on the world’s largest sand island.

I’ve been coming to Fraser Island for over 30 years and I still look forward to each visit. Over the last few years I’ve enjoy coming back about every six months to give talks to Kingfisher Resort Bay guests and assist in updating geo-science materials for Resort rangers and guides.

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Last month I was with a Japanese film crew filming on the island for a documentary to be shown in Japan in June. We shot footage along the east coast from Indian Head, at sites in the coloured sand cliffs and on to Lake Wabby. I provided some of the geological commentary for those places and other experts at different locations, including Peter Meyer known to all who visit Kingfisher Bay Resort (he is a Ranger Guide and takes the beautiful pictures displayed in and around the hotel). I was also on board the helicopter to provide commentary as the crew collected some special aerial footage at the northern end of Fraser Island. Although constrained a little by showers they got some great shots and I saw locations I’d never seen on previous flights. I look forward to seeing the completed documentary.

In June I’ll be making another visit for talks at the resort. Reflecting on the experience of making the documentary reminded me of what a great range of things guests can see when they holiday on Fraser Island – even if they only make short trips near the resort.

  • A walk to and along Dundonga Creek gives access to one of the water courses developed in the old terrain on the west side of Fraser Island.
  • Mangroves are developed at the mouth of the creek where the dark coloured waters mix with the sea.
  • The beach area north from the jetty has an abundance of beach structures and animals, typical of the low-energy west coast environments.
  • In the cliffs above this beach guests can catch views of a mature profile of one of the siliceous podzol soils that geoscientists use to make estimates of relative ages of the vegetated dunes.
  • South of the jetty, depending on the amount of beach sand at the time, guests can see good outcrops of so-called ‘coffee rock’ or black/brown beachrock. These exposures, on the beach and in the lower parts of the cliffs to McKenzies Jetty, indicate where brown tannin-stained groundwater waters in the past have cemented the loose sands that can be crushed with finger pressure.

Of course, all around the resort guests can explore tracks though the vegetated dune. Those who have the time and want to venture further afield to see what the more active environments of the east coast will have to find some transport, preferably with a guide (and Kingfisher Bay Resort can help with that) to help provide essential background about this fascinating environment.

Until next time.

Errol Stock
Geoscientist Presenter

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One thought on “Fraser Island – Paradise For Nature Lovers

  1. [...] most of the way towards McKenzies Jetty, the lower part of the escarpment is black/brown ‘coffee’ rock several metres thick. Because the coffee rock (also known has humicrete and sandy beachrock) was [...]

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