• Dingo - Fraser Island
  • Whales - Fraser Island
  • Turtle - Fraser Island
  • Bird - Fraser Island
  • Dingo - Fraser Island

Fraser Island - Wildlife

Fraser Island is a nature lovers paradise and the native flora and fauna found on Fraser Island is magnificent in it's variety. Over 300 birds species visit Fraser Island, dingos, turtles, whales (in season) sharks, Satinay forests, Kauri Pines, butterflys, King Ferns and many others can be found gracing Fraser Island. The creation of sand dunes starts and finishes before your eyes on Fraser Island's eastern beaches and the the eventual death of the forests as the island again returns to the sea on it's western shore display the full cycle of life.

Fraser Island - Birds

The are over 350 birds found on Fraser Island which makes them the most abundant form of life on the island. A number of migratory birds use Fraser Island as a rest stop and feeding ground as the continue on their pilgrimage from southern Australia to Siberia. The migratory birds arrive on Fraser Island in the month of August and continue on their way late March. The best time to observe birlife is at sunset and sunrise when they are the most active.

Fraser Island - Common Birds

  • Kookaburra
  • Rainforest Kingfisher
  • Sacred Kingfisher
  • Azure Kingfisher
  • White Breasted Sea Eagle
  • Brahminy Kite

Fraser Island - Land Animals

Fraser Island has many animals, however it's most famous resident would be the Dingo. Other Fraser Island animals include: bats, snakes and spiders.

Fraser Island - Dingos

It is said that Dingos were introduced to Australia some 4500-5000 years ago by South East Asian seafarers. They carried the dingos on their vessels as a source of food and dropped them off in remote areas they beached in. This was done so they had a potential food supply in these areas for the future.

Scientists have carbon-dated bones from dingo remains found around the Great Australian Bite in South Australia- at around 3500 years. Scientists have also theorised that Asian seaman would have transported the dogs in the Northern parts of Australia as this was a route taken to the Spice Islands and an area where it is believed that they traded pearls with local Aboriginals. It has been estimated that it would have taken around a thousand years for the wild dogs to be prominent in South Australia, thus they are believed to have been in Australia for 4500-5000 years.

Fraser Island is said to have the purest bred dingos anywhere on the east coast of Australia. Estimates of dingo numbers on Fraser Island have put the population at around 150. We advise ALL travellers to Fraser Island to stay away from Dingos at all times. These are WILD ANIMALS! DO NOT leave your children playing by themselves on the island. You should always stay in groups and don't leave food unattended in your camping areas. Do not leave rubbish out at night and secure any containers or iceboxes with food in them. The best thing to do is AVOID dingos at all times, remember they are wild and ANY wild animal can be unpredictable and very scared around humans.

We understand that this all sounds like very harsh words for being around a small dingo, however some tragic encounters have occurred when tourists try to get close to these animals. Please avoid any contact with dingos and take the few precautions we have listed above for a safe, fun camping holiday.

Fraser Island - Bats

The most common bat seen on Fraser Island is the Flying Fox or Fruit Bat. The flying fox bat is a large bat about the size of a crow and feeds on native fruit and nectar. The Mastiff Bat is perhaps the most common small bat found on Fraser Island and can be seen flying through the villages and resort of Fraser Island at night time and can travel at speeds up to 60km/hour.

Fraser Island - Snakes

Although Australia is famous for Steve Irwin and Dangerous Snakes, it comes as a surprise to most that the majority of our snakes are inoffensive and very shy. Even the traditional owners of our land hunted mainly slow non-venomous snakes and left the dangerous ones alone. With Fraser Island being made entirely of sand, vibrations pass along the ground relatively easily. Thus snakes tend hear humans coming a lot earlier and tend to be gone by the time people get near their location. The snakes found in Africa, China, Pakistan of the Middle East (to name but a few) have caused a lot more deaths than any of our ‘Deadly Creatures’ that Australia is famous for. Here are a few of the Snakes of Fraser Island.

  • Death Adder
  • Coastal Taipan
  • King Brown / Mulga

Fraser Island - Spiders

Spiders are found all over Fraser Island and include both venomous and non-venomous species. Some examples of spiders on Fraser Island are:

  • Funnel Web
  • Redback
  • Golden Orb

Fraser Island - Aquatic Life

Fraser Island has an abundance of widlife in both the ocean that surrounds it and the freshwater lakes that are found in the interior of Fraser Island. Whale watching around Fraser Island is a big drawcard during their migratory season. Turtles, dolphins and dugong can also be found around Fraser Island.

Fraser Island - Whales

In late June each year South East Queensland sees an influx of 'pods' of migratory Humpback Whales on their way to the warmer waters of North Queensland. Whale watching in the months of June to October has become an icon for South East Queensland, with a fleet of over 35 vessels now departing daily from Hervey Bay, Moreton Island, Fraser Island and the Gold Coast. The waters in this area are known as the Whale Watching Capital of the world. The protection Fraser Island offers from the South Easterly winds makes conditions suitable for whales - the most agile of water travellers. To see one of these 10 metre plus animals up close is an amazing, intimate experience. The majority of the vessels in the area see whales on a daily basis. 'Spotter' planes are utilised to radio through the exact locations of the pods. During these months you can combine your Whale Watching experience with a stay at Kingfisher or a with a full day tour of the island.

The Humpback whales belong the baleen family of whales that feed by filtering food through giant curtain like hairs in their mouths. The hair that lines their mouths is made of similar material as human hair or fingernails and is used like a net for filtration. The whales enjoy the calm waters of Fraser Island to rest and breed on their way to and from the protection provided by the Great Barrier Reef. During this time the calf rarely strays from the protection offered by its mother that is often joined by another guide whale that acts as a chaperone. They generally reach sexual maturity at around 5 years depending on the size of the mammal's body. Whales can live for up to 100 years.

Humpback Whales have been protected by the International Whaling Commission (IWC) since the mid 1960's, with commercial whaling totally banned in the mid eighties. This however has not stopped countries such as Japan and Norway continuing to hunt whales in certain protected areas. Taking whale watching tours is an unobtrusive way to have interactions with these mammals without having a negative affect on their habitat and lifestyle.

Fraser Island - Turtles

There are turtles on Fraser Island in both the fresh water lakes as well as on the beaches and in the sand dunes. The Eastern Long-necked Turtle is found in the freshwater lakes of Fraser Island. These turtles grow to about 25 centimetres in length and have a reddish-brown tinge on the tops of their shells. Underneath their bodies is light cream in colour with distinctive black lines crossing over their under-shell and they have a greyish head and limbs. They also have a very strong jaw that can produce both a nasty bite as well as a being good for tearing apart large pieces of flesh. Strong webbed claws are good on rough surfaces and for swimming. The neck of the Eastern Long-necked turtle can sometimes be as long as the shell itself. It is tucked into the front and side of the shell in times of danger and when the turtle wants to strike at fish or prey, it uses the neck to strike like a snake. The lakes of Fraser Island are an ideal habitat for the Eastern Long-necked turtle as they love having a soft sandy ground to stand on in the water, which is where they spend the majority of their time. Apart from tucking their heads into their shells, the long-necked turtle can produce a pungent stench when startled or nervous.

Fraser Island - Dolphins

Interaction with Dolphins has been going on in South-east Queensland for thousands of years. It is thought that local aborigines fished for mullet at the same time dolphins were hunting the fish themselves. This action led to the mullet heading towards one point near land where they could be trapped and eaten by both man and mammal. Truly a symbiotic relationship between man and animal if there ever was one. All the dolphins found around Fraser Island are listed as endangered, vulnerable or potentially vulnerable.

The BOTTLENOSE DOLPHIN is found in both deep oceanic conditions as well as the shallow waters surrounding Fraser Island. Their inshore habitat ranges from open coasts with strong surf to sheltered bays and waterways, lagoons, large estuaries and the lower reaches of rivers. The name comes from a European who thought that the snout of these dolphins resembled an exaggerated antique bottle with its thick base and thinner neck. They dolphins themselves tend to be seen in groups of up to about 15 when close to land but have been seen off the coasts of Australia in massive pods of up to 100. They are part of the cetacean family with whales and porpoises and grow to around 2-2.5 metres in length. As they mature they start to show a spotted pattern on their underside. These dolphins are normally seen cruising at between 5 and 10 kilometres per hour but it is said that they have been recorded keeping up with a boat travelling at over 30 kilometres per hour. Other remarkable facts about the bottlenose dolphin is that the usually dive for around 3 minutes, but once again if needed can last much longer. They also must be awake at all times to continue to be able to breath. So they rest on the surface with their snouts just poking out and shut down only one side of their brain. This being so that one half can rest whilst the other stays alert to approaching danger. They breed at around 10 years of age and usually live for around 30 years.

The Indopacific Humpback Dolphins are slightly larger than the bottlenose variety, growing up the 2.8 metres in length. They tend to come closer to the shore than the bottlenose preferring a depth of around 20 metres and are more of a pinkish grey than a plain grey. They also don’t seem to be attracted to boats and you won’t see them bow riding like other dolphins. When surfacing the Humpback comes out nose first, followed by the body and tail in an arc-like motion. They seem to love herring and bream for a meal and can be found in pods of around 6, however, similar to the bottlenose dolphin they have been seen in larger groups further out to sea.

Fraser Island - Dugong

Dugong play an interesting role in Australia's history with sailors in the past spending years at sea. It is thought that it was during these times that the idea of 'mermaids' came about. After a long time at sea with no female company the sailors became somewhat 'anxious' at the thought of not seeing a lady for several months. It is said that the female dugong has breasts and sits upright on the ocean floor when feeding her young. Perhaps to the sailors this looked as close to a female as they had seen for quite some time.

The Dugong is also known as the sea cow, for the reason that they feed solely on sea grass. The Great Sandy Straits has 6 types of sea grass growing at depths of up to 20 metres, making it a haven for dugong feeding and breeding. As our population grows along the east coast of Australia the habitat of the Dugong is decreasing, thus making it an endangered species. Another reason the dugong numbers are declining is that they are relatively slow breeders, not reaching sexual maturity until around 9 and waiting between 3 and 6 years between calves.