Thursday, 25 August 2011

We are back on Fraser Island!

I get to travel a lot, however Fraser still ranks in my top 10 places on Earth to visit. There is just an exceptional ‘thing’ here and to me it is so special to accompany people to the island to discover some of our secret photography haunts.

Fraser Island stretches over 123 along the southern coast of Queensland, and is the largest sand island in the world. The whole island was inscribed on the World Heritage List: “in recognition of its natural values as an outstanding example representing significant ongoing ecological and biological
processes and as an example of superlative natural phenomena”. It is indeed a extraordinary place formed from the shifting of sands over the last 700,000 years.

While on tour we stay at Kingfisher Bay Resort. Why did we pick this resort for our abode? Well as some of you may know we here at Bluedog are trying very hard to be green, clean and eco-friendly. Kingfisher Bay Resort is a leading example of eco-tourism. Their dedication to environmental tourism has been recognised by receiving 32 Australian and international awards for development, architecture, and environmental tourism since opening their doors in 1992.

All the resort buildings are deliberately set below the tree line – you can’t even see them from the jetty when you arrive. They are leaders in energy efficiency: the building’s design, use of low energy bulbs and room key shut-off systems is estimated to save 855,000 kW hours of electricity per year!

Add to that all paper, glass, aluminium, tin and plastics are recycled. There’s an on-site worm farm turning sewage sludge, waste paper and kitchen preparation scraps into compost for the herb garden plus other waste minimisation, green purchasing and green product programs complete their environmental program. Not bad for a resort that welcomes thousands per year.

Anyway back to the tour. After arriving on the ferry we all checked in and headed for lunch at the Sand Bar. Your packs were handed out, the fun daily ‘challenges’ revealed, questions answered and already we are all sharing jokes and laughing a lot. Something tells me this is going to be a great group to tour with.

During lunch we talked about a few of Pete and my tips for their next few days including looking after our gear – sand can be disastrous to our gear, salt water worse but with a little care and attention we can make sure our gear is in top shape when we return . Tomorrow we head in land exploring the forests and lakes with sunset at the old McKenzie jetty.

One of our tips here to the group was to take the time to look for the finer details in the forest, textures and patterns and the way the light is falling through the foliage. This tiny fungi below was smaller than my pinky finger hidden by the base of a tree along Wanggoolba Creek. Many would have missed it.

Taken on Nikon D3 with a 105mm macro lens
Image by Danielle Lancaster

After lunch while the others got to have a little relax time to explore the resort, Pete and I went and completed all our paper work for the vehicles and permits to transport our crew around the island over the next two days.

So it’s almost time for me to head on down and meet them all now to photograph sunset across the Sandy Strait and enjoy our complimentary welcome drinks at the jetty hut before our dinner and presentation by Pete and myself later tonight.

The clouds are looking like it’s going to be a good one. The wind is down and the sand is warm. It’s so good to be back on Fraser!

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