Fodor's Travel Talk Forums

Fodor's Travel Talk Forums (
-   Australia & the Pacific (
-   -   Frazer Island With 4 Little Children??? (

jullitabuli Aug 26th, 2004 11:40 PM

Frazer Island With 4 Little Children???
We are interested in going to Frazer Island for 3 to 4 days but we have 4 children ages 2,3,6,&8. What are your thoughts and what shall we do there?

Jane_47 Aug 27th, 2004 01:12 AM

I have never been to Fraser Island, shame on me!

The one suggestion I would like to make though is to read the brochure regarding camping with children put out by the Environmental Protection Agency.

Here is the link, you will need adobe acrobat reader to view the document.

Others I am sure can give fun help rather than my sombre note. I will say though I have only ever heard of one problem with dingo and children on Fraser Island so don't read too much into it. Just be informed.

pat_woolford Aug 27th, 2004 03:18 AM

hi jullitabel - I've taken children to Fraser Island both as toddlers and teenagers (the same ones). Quite frankly, I don't think its suitable for either. Its a magnificent place, but -
the eastern side can be dangerous because of surf and sharks, not to mention mad 4WD fishermen who use the extensive beaches as a highway. You don't say what month you are planning on but sometimes summer heat, sand (and there's plenty of it) and the constant worry of keeping an eye on little kids could turn the whole thing into a nightmare. Jane is not kidding when she talks about dingo attack - an 8yo child who was not being properly supervised by his parents was mauled to death there only a few years ago. I'm sure there's lots of precautionary steps in place now to avoid this type of danger, but it did happen. I've witnessed a a new-born brumby foal being torn apart there by dingoes. There are many more kid-safe places, try looking at some of the Whitsunday Islands, further north.

leisa Aug 27th, 2004 03:44 AM

Fraser Island is a wonderful experience for children ... there is plenty for the whole family to do.
There are a number of resorts that cater for families - take a look at for summarised information about each.

Fraser is a World Heritage listed site - it's natural beauty is quite stunning - freshwater lakes, rainforest, amazing sand dunes, cool wildlife ... then there is 75 miles of beach.

I think Kingfisher Bay Resort has 'Eco Activities' for kids - hands on activities focussing on learning about the environment and our unique wildlife.

Just bear in mind that the ocean is treacherous on the Pacific Ocean side and you are in a wilderness area so keep the kids in your sight if you're bushwalking by yourselves ....

i reckon this is a close to perfect place for kids !

pat_woolford Aug 27th, 2004 05:41 AM

I think "eco-activities for Kids" may be somewhat lost on 2-3 yo, just suggesting the jillitabuli may find her holiday a wee bit more relaxing if she finds somewhere that specifically caters for little kids.

RalphR Aug 27th, 2004 06:25 AM

That's pretty alarmist of Pat. I'm sure there are families by the thousands that visit Fraser every year and have a great time without incident. The Kingfisher Bay Resort would be a good place to stay - they have wading pools and activities for kids. We stayed there in 1998 when our boys were 13, 10 and 7. They had a blast. The lakes and freshwater streams are great places to take the kids swimmming, especially Lake Mackenzie - very beautiful. No need to go swimming in the ocean with the sharks. Keep in mind that Fraser is a huge island and it's slow getting around. Either rent your own 4WD or tour around. We did both.

leisa Aug 27th, 2004 07:14 AM

quite right pat, they have a special club for babies to under 5's. but check out their web site and the activities section, the 6 & 8 year would have the time of their life!
i used to be a kids activities coordinator at a beach resort further north - most kids go crazy for this kind of stuff !

My cousins and i holidayed in Hervey Bay and Fraser for island for years at Xmas. We were more likely to suffer from sunburn than a dingo attack or a close encounter with a 4WD. there was more than enough adventuring to keep us happy as larry. happy kids equalled happy parents.

I was going to mention the tendency for kids to be over-protected these days - but that has nothing to do with the original request for information. so i won't.


pat_woolford Aug 27th, 2004 08:24 PM

Absolutely leisa - glad to hear they have activities for kids in place now. Wasn't always the case - over the years I'd have spent a total of about 30 weeks on Fraser Island and if I didn't think it was magnificent (at certain times of year) I wouldn't have kept returning, bringing offspring starting from the age of 2. Lugging a 2yo up a blazing hot steep sand dune in search of older kids who merrily disappeared over the top and out of sight wasn't much fun, so a toddler's club would have been handy. I have seen some stupid and dangerous beach driving, but I believe there is now a police presence. And I've seen parents encourage their kids to throw food scraps at dingos. Very clever. There was often a large carpet snake snoozing on our front doorstep, sharks were visible basking on shoreline - but that's OK, the kids learnt to step over the snake and keep out of the sea, which is, as you say, treacherous anyway. There are some rather lovely little tidal rock pools for kids, around Indian Head, I think. The other side of the island is mozzie and sandfly heaven, but the lakes and rainforest in the middle are glorious. Fishing is fantastic, particularly when tailor are running. I agree that the most dangerous element is the summer sun - as it is here in Far North Qld.

Jane_47 Aug 28th, 2004 03:47 AM

I never even knew there was a resort on Fraser Island, omg is nothing sacred.

Though it is wise to be informed when travelling with children. I think it best that people know it is no Hyde Park with ducks. Then they can make their own decision.

tropo Aug 28th, 2004 01:45 PM

Jullitabuli - I would opt to stay at Kingfisher Bay Resort. The resort caters well for children, and they will have lot of things to amuse them.
Another reason, I mention this Resort, is that if your not used to driving 4WD's in the sand, then let others do it for you, by taking you on various trips from Kingfisher, to places of interest.
As for 4WD & camping, I would leave that until the children are much older, and are at the point of enjoying camping.

suzinkee248 Aug 29th, 2004 12:23 AM

I would try my very very best to keep your kiddies safe and sound - away from dingos, sharks and snakes. Perhaps, you're better off taking them to the movies!!!

tropo Aug 29th, 2004 02:21 PM

jullitabuli, don't unduly worry about snakes, sharks and dingos on Fraser Island, especially if your staying in KIngfisher Bay Resort. The resort is on the sheltered side of the island, with clear water to swim in, or otherwise the kids can swim to the hearts content in the resort swimming pool. They have staff who specialise in looking after & entertaining children.
I don't know of many people who swim on the ocean side. Its not necessarily the sharks you have to worry about on that side, but the undertows or rips. I have swam on that side, when the surf is not that rough, and I didn't see sharks.
Having said that, the best places for children to enjoy the water is swimming in Eli Creek (lovely fresh water), where the children (or kids) lie on air mattresses and float down the creek. The inland fresh water lakes, eg. Lake McKEnzie are also perfect for swimming, but as always when children are swimming, never take your eyes off them.
As for snakes, common sense should prevail, leave them alone, and they should leave you alone, just give them a wife berth should see one.
As for dingoes, I believe the National Park authorities have been either culling or relocating the Fraser Island dingoes, not sure exactly what is happening. The authorities on the island & resorts, will explain fully about not approaching dingoes, nor feeding them (the latter is an offence, and you can be fined. The reason being, is that in the past people would try to feed them, and this encouraged the wild animal to consider humans, as somewhere to get food, and thus would seek out places where humans go, eg. Central Station, near the BBQ's)
Do go to Fraser Island, it is a wonderful experience, which I know you and your children will enjoy, but just like anything else, common sense should prevail, with any dangerous animal.
Regards Leigh.

wlzmatilida Sep 3rd, 2004 06:36 PM

Hello All,

I don't want to be an alarmist - but Pat was right when she recounted the dingo attack on the 8 year old. I was there a few weeks after this happened, and it took place AT Kingfisher (not some remote area as you might think).

A little girl had a sausage roll in her hand, a dingo clamped down on her wrist and dragged her into the bush.

We were told this by the manager who was hosting a BBQ dinner for our group of travel agents. He was explaining various spices, native herbs, etc, that he'd used on the chicken, meat, etc that he was going to BBQ. We had a long rectangular table set up towards the back of the pool where it was quiet and private, and once he put the food on the BBQ it wasn't long before we spotted a dingo trotting by the perimeter. One minute it was there, and the next minute it was gone into the bush, like a mirage.

Later, a few of us were sharing a bottle of wine with our feet hanging in the pool, just chatting when we heard a low growl..the kind that makes the hair on the back of your neck stand up.

Seems the advice of the manager not to go wandering off alone was sensible!


Certified Aussie Specialist

pat_woolford Sep 3rd, 2004 07:12 PM

Thank you Melodie - a wild dingo is an incredibly stealthy and swift animal and because it looks a lot like the family dog people tend to underestimate it. Report re Fraser Island dingoes in Cairns Post - August 31 read "University of Qld researcher, Nick Baker, said the dingoes of Fraser Island appeared to have developed a tolerance for each other which was uncharacteristic of their breed. He said dingoes traditionally lived and hunted in small territorial packs which defend their food and territory against invasion, especially from other packs. "But here the whole island is like one big pack, with the smaller groups working together" Mr Baker said.

So good advice, Melodie, no "wandering off".

fraser01 Sep 4th, 2004 10:43 PM

Regarding the latest posting from Pat quoting researcher Nick Baker please note what the rest of the press release had to say. "But Mr Baker said in contrast to what most people would expect,the dingo superpack was actually less of a threat to the island's human population than dingoes had been 3 years ago." The press release goes on to quote Nick Baker talking about extra rangers dedicated exclusively to dingo management and the ongoing education program warning people not to feed the dingoes.
As a resort operator(not KBRV) for 12 years on Fraser Island and also a visitor for the last 30 years I would wholeheartedly recommend Kingfisher Bay Resort as a great place to base yourself and your children as you have the opportunity to do what you can at any other Whitsunday Resort(swim at the resort pool etc) or you can take in the many natural attractions that the island has to offer.I have heard that the junior eco-ranger program is great for the older 2 whilst there is still a creche for the younger 2 if needed. Must sees are Lake Mckenzie/Central Station/Eli Creek/Maheno/Champagne Pools and Indian Head.I would not recommend camping with 4 young children as a first up visit to the island. I hope this posting helps you.

pat_woolford Sep 4th, 2004 11:45 PM

Well, there you go - only repeated what was printed in the paper here, certainly didn't make my own cuts apart from the rather melodramatic headline "dingo Superpack stalks Island" and a reference to the death of the little boy and the mauling of his younger brother in april, 2001. The article was accredited to AAP Brisbane.

fraser01 Sep 4th, 2004 11:59 PM

No worries Pat. Looks like the Cairns Post only used the bit they wanted. The full press release if interested is on by Alex Murdoch on the 30/8/04. At the end of the day, dingoes can be dangerous and need to be treated with respect like any other wild animal.
After the initial cull and current tagging program I would estimate that 75% of visitors to the island don't even see one let alone interact with them.

jullitabuli Sep 22nd, 2004 10:52 PM

Thanks so much for your input. We are planning the trip - with close supervision - of our little ones.


All times are GMT -8. The time now is 07:31 AM.