There’s a way for families to experience Fraser Island’s spectacular natural attractions without compromising on comfort and style. Forget navigating soft sandy tracks, pitching a tent or cooking the family meal, experience award winning dining, serviced air-conditioned connecting rooms, choice of swimming pools, luxurious spa, tennis courts, kids playground and the most incredible kids club program at family friendly Kingfisher Bay Resort.
With thanks to Kingfisher Bay Resort for hosting our stay, all opinions remain my very own.
PROS of Kingfisher Bay Resort
Load up the family car and drive straight onto the ferry across the Great Sandy Strait, or ditch the car on the mainland (there’s secure parking). Families disembark right on the resorts doorstep. There are sealed roads and free car parking where 2WD vehicles are OK, although a 4WD is best for exploring.
Kingfisher Bay Resort has it’s own village community for all essentials including: general store, 4WD hire, petrol station, gallery and resort restaurants.
The resort features a jetty sun deck overlooking a sheltered beach, perfect for ocean sunsets.
The Junior Eco Rangers kids club program is one of the best where kids can learn about the bush, roast marshmallows under the stars and look out for the marine and wildlife around the resort.
CONS of Kingfisher Bay Resort
Accommodation and facilities are clean, comfortable and perfectly acceptable, but could use a refurbishment to bring it up to date.
The resorts location on the Western Side of the island is within close proximity to iconic Lake McKenzie, however Fraser’s main attractions on the Eastern Side which includes 75 Mile Beach, Eli Creek, the sand dunes, Champagne Pools and Moheno Wreck are a distance away.
The limited selection of shops and restaurants on the island means prices are high for meals and essentials.
Kingfisher Bay Resort BOTTOMLINE
An excellent Fraser Island accommodation option for families who want to explore the wild and rugged Fraser Island yet still enjoy resort living.
Family Friendly Resort Facilities
The kids would have been happy staying put at the resort with loads of things to do. We found it a nice balance between adventuring on Fraser Island and taking some down time using the resort facilities.
A grand entrance – lobby reception
Most guests arriving by ferry are picked up by the courtesy shuttle and dropped off under a lofty steel and aluminium awning. The curved metal entrance houses a grand reception lobby with soaring ceilings and hardwood timbers throughout.
Friendly reception staff assist with checking in and out, day trips and tours, resort activities, restaurant reservations as well as Fraser Island permits if intending to self-explore.
The main reception hub is connected to the resort restaurants and also where groups meet for organised activities.
From the main reception, steps lead to a wall of windows overlooking the main alfresco dining area and resort pool, where most guests spend the day.
Sun lounges under crisp white umbrellas surround the inviting turquoise lagoon pool with a heated raised spa. They call the pools ‘naturally acclimatised’ which was a fancy way of saying they are not heated.
Heated or not, the kids thought the pool was terrific, it had shallow wading areas for toddlers, a deep section in the middle and steps and ledges around that allowed kids to take a break.
There’s also a slightly smaller lagoon pool where the kids alternated between for no other reason than to mix it up, we parents preferred this pool for the tranquil setting.
Tennis courts & kids playground
A sheltered undercover playground over a sandpit offered an area for toddlers to climb, swing and slide whilst parents sipped their morning coffee and rocked babies in pram to sleep.
There is also an opportunity to have a hit of tennis, though the courts were mostly empty when we walked past.
Vue Boards which are paddle boards with a viewing chamber to see below water, stand up paddle boards (SUP), kayaks, fishing rods and boat tours are available to book from the Jetty Hut for an additional fee.
Connecting Rooms for families
We always appreciate family sleeping arrangements where bunking down together is not required. The Kingfisher Bay Resort Hotel Family Room offers two rooms with a connecting door – great for large family groups and can sleep up to 6.
For the grown ups there’s a double bed with spacious private balcony overlooking the wetlands, and room for one more person on a separate single bed or cot upon request. Our kids were spoilt with their own separate sleeping quarter, also with a double bed and one single bed, sleeping up to 3.
There was plenty to be thankful for with two flat screen TVs where football was on one and cartoons on the other, separate air conditioning units and tow bathrooms one with a large corner spa and plenty of storage space.
Eclectically furnished mixing aspects of contemporary Australian with original Japanese design, the rooms look a little weary, our flyscreen door kept coming off it’s rails and falling over and it all could use a ‘zhooshing’ up. Still, rooms are cleverly designed sitting on stilts, disturbing the land as little as possible and connected by raised undercover walkways in serene surroundings.
Rooms feature an iron and board, in-room safe, complimentary toiletries, mini-fridge, tea and instant coffee making facilities, hairdryer, bath over shower handy for infants, phone ,writing desk and chairs. WIFI was available but at an additional charge.
A note on the bathrooms
The bathrooms are perfectly clean and functional albeit with an odd design. The toilet and shower of the main bathroom face a large open window that looks onto an enclosed private garden courtyard with a few native plants. You cannot access the courtyard, it merely provides a view of sorts and it does bring light into the bathroom. Still, it’s rather unusual, facing the main walkway and entrance although strategically covered, so passers by cannot peer in.
I suppose the design was meant to enhance guests bathroom experience back in the day, bringing the element of Frasers open wilderness into the room. However the stark white tiles, pink shower curtain, ceramic turquoise tiles and fluro overheading lighting, kept us firmly in the motel-esque moment. When I climbed over the shower bathtub, drying myself in the wide open bathroom, I couldn’t help to think that maybe someone could see me. Not a deal breaker by any stretch, a little bathroom thrill even.
Fun Family Activities
The Weekly What’s On Guide offered a host of activities available during our stay, most were free and others cost a small fee:
Ranger guided canoe paddle
A highlight of our stay was the guided morning canoe paddle lead by an enthusiastic resort ranger. From the jetty we took a gentle 1.5-hour paddle to Dundonga Creek and back, a tidal stream where the fresh mangrove water meets the sea at high tide. The calm conditions are perfect for newbies or canoe skills of every ability.
The sheltered estuary is a nursery for the spotted whiprays, which we were informed are rare in the world but plentiful in the tranquil waters around Fraser Island.
One canoe held our little family of four easily and whilst we saw plenty of fish, rays and birds the dugong, turtles and dolphins known to traverse the same water, remained elusive.
Ranger guided walks
Throughout the week, a number of ranger guided walks are available, there are a series of night walks focussing on nocturnal animals or stargazing, early morning walks for bird watching, walks around the Wallum (bushland) learning about the native plants and a guided walk along the beach.
Ranger guided walks are mostly free during the day although night walks and morning walks charge a small fee of $10 per adult and $5 per child.
We took a night walk with a passionate guide, keen to show us her favourite mammal the sugar glider, though we missed it this time around we saw plenty of bats, nocturnal bats, an owld and giant rays by the jetty.
Free ranger presentations are also offered through the week and presented by the same rangers who take the guided walks.
Learn about dingo safety, the natural diversity of Fraser Island or the marine and wildlife of Fraser Island. Most presentations are 30 minutes in duration.
Something a bit different for kids is a ranger guided archery session, for those aged 10+ they can try their hand at shooting a target on the archery field set in the Fraser bushland. There is a small fee of $15pp to participate, with all gear provided.
A one-hour ranger guided Segway tour is offered on the beach at low tide. The X2 Segways are geared up for off-roading with sturdy all terrain tyres. Hosted by an expert guide, explore the inter-tidal zones and be introduced to the islands terrain, flora and fauna.
These machines can reach 10Km an hour and suited for kids aged 12+. Tours costs $250 per family (2 adults & 2 kids) or $79 pp.
Laser Skirmish for the big kids
Kids 7+ can have a mock battle near the sand dunes behind Kingfisher Resort. Each session runs for two-hours and its completely no contact and paint free.
Transfers, clothing and equipment supplied for $40 per person.
Junior Eco Rangers Kids Club
We’ve experienced our fair share of Kids Club and the Junior Eco Rangers kids program is exceptional. Already impressed that carers take the kids to experience the outdoors at night, there’s also an educational element to it, whilst keeping it light and fun.
For 2.5 hours, just enough time for parents to enjoy the exquisite degustation at Seabelle, see below. The kids are thoroughly entertained with arts, crafts, an evening walk around the resort, fish feeding and roasting marshmallows and story telling around a campfire.
When it was time for pick up the kids could not wait to tell us everything they did and pleaded to go again.
The only problem is that the kids club does not operate every day outside of school holidays, only on Friday and Saturday evenings.
During school holidays the kids club operates every night with a variety of things to do and alternate daytime sessions from 10am – 12:30pm with lunch included. Day sessions include beach games, scavenger hunts, fishing, crafts and games.
The kids club welcomes children aged 5 years and over. Dinner (or lunch) is included and costs $30 per child. BYO torch for evening sessions though not essential and water bottle.
Kingfisher Bay Resort babysitting services are offered at an extra charge. Staff members hold a current Blue Card and require 24 hours notice.
Kingfisher Bay Resort Babysitting Prices
Babysitting from $30 per hour for 1-2 children, $40 per hour for 3 children, $50 per hour for 4 children. Prices are subject to change.
Jetty Sunsets – Sunset Bar
Whilst the main resort pool is popular during the day, guests flock to the Jetty for the magical sunsets.
Only a few placea along the East Coast of Australia offers sunsets on the ocean, this one on Fraser Island is made all the more spectacular with a secluded beach with a bar on the jetty offering discount sundowners.
Sunset Bar Casual Dinners & Happy Hour
A casual meal of fish and chips or burgers can be enjoyed with a $10 happy hour cocktail (from 4pm – 5pm each day) or icecream treat for the kiddos. Champagne, buckets of beers, prawn or antipasto platters are other accompaniments to be enjoyed at Sunset Bar.
There are picnic tables along the beachfront, or undercover seating on the jetty deck, which is a good option for dinner as it’s lit whilst the tables along the beach become dark after the sun goes down.
Kids can happily play under the jetty, check out the soldier crabs along the beach or dip their toes on the foreshore whilst parents enjoy the good vibes.
Fishing off Kingfisher Bay Resort Jetty
Although Fraser is famous for it’s beach fishing, the 250m length jetty at Kingfisher Bay Resort is a safer fishing alternative for families.
Catch trevally, sea bream, mackerel, flathead, mulloway and tailor fish which are common around the jetty. Dawn and dusk appear to be the best times to catch fish and if you are able to catch big enough fish, the chefs and Sandbar are happy to cook it for you.
BYO fishing gear or hire rods at the jetty hut, where prawn and squid bait can also be purchased. Fish can also be caught with a few soft plastic lures or try a bait hook to catch your own bait, with plentiful yellow tail herring and squid living around the jetty.
Kingfisher Bay Resort Island Day Spa
Fraser Island’s day spa has been a welcomed new addition to the resort, with a number of indulgent treatments available. Ditch the kids by taking it in turns for a spa session of book them into kids club to hit the spa together for some R&R.
Unlike the décor around the resort, the interior of the day spa is contemporary and on-trend with soft grey palette painted from sustainable paints, Tasmanian reclaimed woods, scandi style furnishings, recycled flooring down to the very hip fiddle leaf fig plants.
When ushered into the waiting room, I feel immediately relaxed with gentle background music, herbal tea and fruit infused water available, soft lighting and the scent of a candle diffuser burning in the corner.
Inside the minimalist rooms themed according to the oversize Peter Meyer photography – sunset, ocean, forest and sand is where the magic happens. There are 110 minute spa journeys that combine wraps, facials and massage or choose a-la-carte with massages, body treatments, facials and peels.
I luxuriated with a 50-minute Relaxation Massage, falling a blissful snooze and waking up revitalised and smelling wonderful, lathered with divine Perfect Potion aromatherapy oils.
Check out the Kingfisher Bay Island Day Spa dedicated website for more information on spa packages.
Where to eat Kingfisher Bay Resort
From casual to fine dining, there are several dining options available at Kingfisher Bay Resort.
Kingfisher Bay Resort Coffee
Tea and barista brewed coffee is available from the café by Maheno’s and cost $4.80. Of course there is free instant coffee and tea making supplies in the room and at the breakfast buffet.
Tall glass windows fill the spacious Maheno Restaurant with light, a popular place to eat for families. Choose to dine in air-conditioned comfort with views of the pool, or alfresco on the undercover deck.
Enjoy a buffet meal at breakfast and dinner or dine a-la-carte. We’d recommend looking for an accommodation package that includes breakfast, a more convenient and less stressful option.
Breakfast buffet costs $25 per adult and $15 per child or ($80 for a family of four), there is a great spread with a variety of hot and continental selections, it can quickly add up. We didn’t dine here for that reason and opted for a quick bowl of cereal in the room, be sure to pack some cereals, snacks and few bowls and spoons with you to save a little whilst at the resort.
There is a Kids Menu that serves favourites like sliders and burgers or choose grilled barramundi served with chips or salad at $12.50. I can vouch that lunch is tasty with generous portions.
During the day there’s an option to order poolside snacks with favourites including spring rolls, nachos and fried chicken wings for $15.90 for a standard size serving, one plate can be shared amongst two kids, but not substantial enough to fill their tummies.
Maheno is open 6:30am – 10am daily.
Find top-shelf dining at the sophisticated Seabelle Restaurant. Whilst the kids were in roasting marshmallows at Junior Eco Rangers, we indulged in a rare childfree dinner by candlelight.
The menu is rather special, incorporating elements of bush tucker, crafting menus inspired by Butchulla people, the traditional owners of Fraser Island or K’gari
There is the ‘Ultimate Bushtucker Dining Experience” a five course degustation paired with wines for $139 per person and features a Crocodile entrée and a tea tree smoked Kangaroo.
We opted for a-la-carte with a delicious Sand Crab Linguine with finger lime, perfectly seared tuna and Braised Crab Leg with burnt pickle grapes and quandong.
We washed dinner down with a bottle of ‘Fraser Island Red’, their cheapest ‘multi-vine’ Shiraz at $30, not the best but drinkable nonetheless. Our meal cost around $150 for mains, dessert and a bottle of wine, reasonable and worth it for a conversation that doesn’t involve YouTubers and fidget spinners.
Kingfisher Bay Resort General Store
There’s a shop located in the resort village that sells last minute supplies and essentials as well as a small area for souvenirs and typical resort wear.
You can pick up fresh produce including bread, milk, eggs and a limited selection of fruit and veg. There are also snacks including packets of chips, muesli bars, two-minute noodles and biscuits.
There are fridges of chilled soft drinks, juice, bottles of wine, sparkling and beers, mind the mark up on all goods for the convenience.
Behind the counter there’s a small oven with warm pasties, pies and sausage rolls. We had a quick bite to eat at the shop whilst waiting for the Kingfisher Bay Explorer Beauty Spots Tour, that meets just outside.
There is no coffee sold here, takeaway coffees available at Maheno.
Fraser Island Tours – Beauty Spots Fraser day trip
We’ve always toured the island with our own 4WD and there are some great benefits in self-driving. You get to set your own pace, stay away from the crowds and make Fraser Island your very own. For us city slickers, there’s also a certain thrill in mastering the sandy tracks and driving along 75 Mile Beach. However, it’s not for everyone and it can be stressful.
Worry free sightseeing
There’s the fear of getting bogged, which is time consuming and embarrassing, made more stressful with incoming tides. There’s also the need to calculate the tides to make it to the attractions in time, navigating inland tracks by yourself, other crazy speeding 4WD’s, planes taking off and landing on the beach, deep washouts and salt water.
A big bonus for taking a tour rather than self driving Fraser Island is having a knowledgeable guide on hand to explain the history of the island. We were able to learn a little more about the Butchulla people, the different regions of the island, the wildlife, flora and fauna.
Every now and again our expert driver and guide would point out a landmark, explain the geography of the land, the conditions of the track, offer up some handy tips and a joke or two.
Beauty Spots Tour highlights
This time around we took the Beauty Spots tour that departs from Kingfisher Bay Resort. Everyone got to sit back and relax, admiring the beach views and not having to overthink it. We didn’t have to plan out our day, work out where to go, when to go and even what to eat.
The Beauty Spots tour covers all the must-sees of Fraser Island including a decent amount of time to float down Eli Creek, check out the coloured sands of the Pinnacles, view Maheno Wreck, stroll through Pile Valley and Wangoolba Creek and take a splash at beautiful Lake McKenzie.
The Beauty Spots Tour is a good introduction to Fraser Island, squeezing allot into a long but wonderful day out. It gives families the opportunity to take note of where to possibly spend more time if inspired to venture out on a 4WD self-drive.
Fraser Island 4WD Hire – on island
You can hire a 4WD for a day or two to explore Fraser Island indecently. The Beauty Spots tour unfortunately doesn’t cover Champagne Pools and to check it out for ourselves we hired a car at the resort village from Aussie Trax.
For $584 a day (discounted if more days are required) a family can hire a Land Cruiser to explore Fraser Island by 4WD. Rates are subject to change please see Aussie Trax 4WD prices for more details.
What’s included with a Aussie Trax 4×4 hire on Fraser Island?
Self drive Fraser Island with a 4WD, hire rate includes 24 hour use of a Toyota Land Cruiser, video briefing, Vehicle Access Permit and map of the island. Fuel is not included and the 4WD needs to be refuelled before return.
The standard insurance option is a huge $4000 excess in the event of an accident, either via excessive damage or a multi vehicle accident. High vehicle excess is common in hire car agreements, higher risks are involved in driving on the island.
There is a Waiver option where drivers can reduce the excess to $500 by paying an extra $25 per day. However this only applies to multi-vehicle accidents, either hitting another vehicle or a vehicle hitting you, accidental damage is not included in the waiver.
Our travel insurance policy includes a vehicle hire excess reduction where it covers the standard excess, which in this case is up to $5000 excess with a $0 excess, policies vary, check the fine print in your PDS or read about the best travel insurance policies for families here.
For more information on hiring a 4WD off island see complete our guide to Fabulous Fraser with kids.
Families can refuel their 4WD at the petrol station, required before returning cars hired on the island. Newspaper, ice for the esky and bait can be purchased here.
Family tips for staying at Kingfisher Bay Resort
Bring an esky
Pack an esky with fresh fruit and cold drinks. Ice can be purchased at the petrol station at the resort village for a refereshing drink on the road.
Alcohol is expensive and limited on the island, purchase some booze to enjoy on the deck in your room or for the lucky non-designated drivers, grab a tipple to indulge around the island.
Pack some food & snacks
Save a bit of money by not having to dine out for every meal. Take some food and have a quick bite in the hotel room or pack a lunch and snacks on the go.
Some items to pack include biscuits, crackers, tins of tuna, two-minute noodles, museli bars, nuts, trail mix, chips, spreads and sandwich supplies, fruit like apples, mandarins and bananas, cheese, dips, chocolates and treats.
If intending to do a little hotel room food preparation, take with you some cutlery, bowls and plates or pack some of the disposable kind. A little liquid detergent and sponge or wipe can help to clean up utensils and water bottles.
Bring along water bottles to refill on the Fraser Island Explorer Tours, drink stations at Eurong Beach Resort or straight from the tap at Kingfisher Bay Resort, drinking tap water is safe.
Pack something to float down Eli Creek
Inner tube, blow up Aussie thong or an inflatable swan, take it along with a battery powered pump for a float down Eli Creek in style.
Bring floaties for swimming
Pack goggles and floaties for swimming in the pool, at the Lakes or Champagne Rock pools as water levels vary for little ones.
Pack a torch for night walks
Though it is not necessary to bring your own torch for the guided ranger night walks, it’s handy to help spot the elusive wildlife that hide out in the bush, like sugar gliders and owls.
Light jacket for night time
In the Queensland winters, temperatures can drop at night and a light outer layer is handy when the sun goes down and for the evening walks.
Insect repellent & Sunscreen
Bring some insect repellent as it’s expensive on the island. There are mossies and midges that hang around the resort.
The same road rules apply on Fraser Island as on the main land with police patrolling the tracks and 75 Mile Beach, take an appropriate car seat for infants and children aged 0 – years old. For the young children bus tours also require a car seat ( 5 years and under).
Download the stargazing app on your iPhone
On a clear night, the lights come out to play over Fraser Island, away away from the bright city lights. There are a sea of stars in the sky and it’s a joy to see them through the eyes of your kids.
To make the stargazing a little m
ore wonderful there are free apps available that show the kids what the constellations are instead of trying to explain the saucepan and Southern Cross, it highlights constellations with clever drawings like illustrating a Scorpion at the Scorpios Constellation and pointing out where a satellite might be overhead.
We used the free Sky View App on the iPad to bring the night sky to life, though there are others like NighSky Lite and GoSky Watch, both free.
Getting to Kingfisher Bay Resort
From Brisbane by car
Its approximately 4.5 hour drive north of Brisbane to the River Heads jetty.
From Hervey Bay Airport and car
The nearest airport is Hervey Bay Airport. Both Virgin and Qantas offer direct flights to Hervey Bay. It’s a 1 hour 45 minute flight from Sydney to Hervey Bay.
From Hervey Bay it’s a 20-minute drive to the River Heads jetty.
River Heads – Fraser Island Ferry
The easiest way to get across to Fraser Island is on the Fraser Island Ferry departing from River Heads.
Walk-on Fraser Island Ferry passengers
Walk-on guests can drive to the Kingfisher Bay Resort Reception located on the Mainland at River Heads Shopping village. From here bags can be checked through, arriving at the hotel room, like magic. Guest then take a 10 mintue shuttle bus to the jetty to board the ferry.
There is a secure parking area at rather pricey fee three nights cost $65, working a small sliding scale until the 6th night where each subsequent night is $20. See the latest Kingfisher secure car-parking rates here. There is free off-street parking, however guests park at their own ris.
Walk-on Fraser Island Ferry costs
It cost $60 per adult, $30 per child with children 3 years and under free to take the ferry across to Fraser Island. Prices are subject to change, for the latest Fraser Island ferry prices click here.
Taking a vehicle on the Fraser Island Ferry
If intending to take your own 2WD to use around the resort or 4WD, families can drive the car to the jetty and park at the barge ramp car park. Check in at the ticket office. Note that cars need to reverse onto the barge, a little tricky but there are people to assist.
Taking a vehicle on the Fraser Island Ferry costs
It cost $200 (peak) per vehicle to take are return trip on the River Heads barge with the driver includes and an extra $5 per passenger regardless of age.
Kingfisher Bay Resort Deals & Packages
Prices of a Resort Hotel Family Room from $287 per per night exclusive of breakfasts. See TripAdvisor to compare rates and availability*.
*We earn a small commission on a successful booking if you click on this link, although you will not be out of pocket. Thank you for supporting Together we roam.
Kingfisher Bay Resort Deals Direct
Kingfisher Bay Resort often advertises discount packages valid during school holiday. The ‘Kids Play and Eat Free‘ deal features complimentary kids club where kids enjoy daily buffet breakfasts and kids menu dinner for free. There’s also a Stay 5 Pay 4 deal in the 1 and 2 bed Spa Villas. Terms apply, click on links to compare rates.
Please note the above are not affiliate links.
Other Kingfisher Bay Resort Deals
Check outlets like Luxury Escapes and Scoopon as often package deals comes up from time to time that includes massages, free extra night, breakfasts and transfers.
Fabulous Fraser with Kids Guide
See our comprehensive guide to Fabulous Fraser with Kids for the best things to do on Fraser, best island hot spots, where to eat on Fraser and Fraser Island 4WD tips.
Have you stayed at Kingfisher Bay Resort? What do you think, better than Fraser Island camping right!? Would love to hear your thoughts about visiting Fraser Island with kids.