K'gari (Fraser Island)
An amazing island off the southern coast of Queensland.
Fraser Island is a heritage-listed island located along the Southern Coast of Queensland, Australia, approximately 200 kilometres North of Queensland's capital city, Brisbane. Fraser island is the largest sand island in the world, stretching over 123 kilometres in length and 22 kilometres at its widest point.
Vegetation on Fraser Island.
Imagine towering pines, rainforest trees with three metre growths, rare and ancient giant ferns, eucalyptus forests with their fascinating bright green leaves, lemon-scented swamp vegetation and little heathland shrubs covered in a lot of flowers. Now imagine them all growing on an island of sand. This is what you will see if you go to Fraser Island.
Bush Tucker on Fraser Island.
For thousands of years the Aboriginals that lived on Fraser Island survived by taking fish, turtles, dugongs and crabs from the sea and knowing which of the island's plants were edible and when they were in season.
This bush tucker knowledge has been passed down through each successive generation and we are fortunate today that some of this knowledge still remains. There are HUNDREDS of different species of plants on Fraser Island.
Wildlife on Fraser Island.
The diversity of the island's natural habitat supports a wide range of animals, many of which are at the northern or southern limit of their distribution or are considered to be rare or vulnerable.
Each animal has a place in nature's ecosystem, be it as a predator or pollinator, soil enricher or seed carrier. Even the smallest animal can cause an environmental imbalance if disturbed and it is for this reason that we should do our best to respect and conserve the native fauna of Fraser Island.
There are 47 other species of mammals on Fraser Island including the Swamp Wallaby, Small Eared Mountain Possum and the Sugar Glider.
More than 354 species of birds have been sighted on Fraser Island. Some of these birds include : sea eagles, peregrine flacon, osprey and kites others may include pelicans, terns, honeyeaters, seagulls,kingfishers, doves, hornbills, ducks, broglas, cockatoos etc.
The Butchulla People are the indigenous people of Fraser Island. There were six clans in the Butchulla Nation and the territory extended through Fraser Island, Double Island Point, Tin Can Bay, Bauple Mountain and North to a point at Burrum Heads in Queensland.
The Butchulla people's traditional name for Fraser Island was K'gari which means paradise. Coming from the Butchulla legend, Fraser Island was named K'gari after the amazing spirit who helped Yindingie, the messenger of the great god Beeral, create the land. As a reward to K'gari for her help Beeral changed her into an amazing island with trees, flowers and lakes. He put birds, animals and people on the island to keep her company.
No-one really knows how long Fraser Island had been occupied by the Butchulla people. Evidence suggests that it was more than 5,500 years and maybe 20,000. Population numbers are unknown though it has been said that during times of lots of resources up to 2,000 people lived on the island with the stable number around 300 to 400.
Captain Cook first spotted the Fraser Island Butchulla people during 1770 and named Indian Head on the Eastern Beaches of Queensland after them. Captain Matthew Flinders was one of the first white men to have contact with the islanders and had peaceful meetings with them in 1799 and 1802.
Some interesting facts about Fraser Island.
- Scientists believe Fraser Island has come togetherover a period of approximately 800,000 years. It's sand comes from the tablelands of the top of New South Wales, washed into the sea by the big rivers of that area, and strong sea currents carry it up to Fraser island.
- Fraser Island has over 40 freshwater lakes and is home to half of the known 'perched' lakes in the world.
- There are no domestic dogs and cats allowed onto Fraser Island and there are around 230 species of bird life.
- The Island was named after Eliza Fraser who was shipwrecked on the island in 1836.