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Fire worries hurt Fraser Island tourism


Accommodation providers are worried a misperception that all of Fraser Island has been gutted by fire is turning tourists away. 

The blaze scorched around 87,000 hectares of World Heritage-listed site after it burned for more than two months at the end of last year.

Fire devastation compounded by interstate travel restrictions meant bookings were down during the Christmas period.

But Kingfisher Bay Resort manager David Hay wants people to know the iconic sites - such as the SS Maheno shipwreck, Lake McKenzie and Eli Creek - are still pristine and haven't been torched by fire as some might think.

"I think certainly the perception of the damage that was done to large parts of the island is a hard thing to counteract ... the main places that people go, you really see absolutely no evidence of the fire at all."

He is thanking the many Queenslanders who still made the trip over Christmas, which has helped island businesses bounce back from what was a difficult year.

"We're all very happy after two closures last year - one for COVID and one for a fire - to be back in business and welcoming guests," Mr Hay says.

The resort is hoping for an influx of bookings over the Easter period, but it not only wants visitors, but also needs new staff.

The loss of vegetation is devastating but the island is rebuilding, he adds.

"The damage to the pristine wilderness, from areas half of Fraser Island, is really hard to measure.

"It is insurmountable, [but] it will certainly recover and fire is a natural part of the Australian bush environment."

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