United Nations and Queensland National Parks
It is common knowledge amongst Australians that Fraser Island is the world’s largest sand island. The fact that it is such an outstanding example representing significant ongoing ecological and biological processes and also that it is an exceptional example of superlative natural phenomena were the two main reasons that in 1992 the island was listed as a World Heritage site. Other reasons for this World Heritage consideration were in recognition of the island's indigenous/traditional ownership, it’s rainforests (being the only place in the world where rainforests thrive in sand), it’s exceptional sand dune systems and its pristine freshwater lakes.
World Heritage areas are outstanding examples of the world’s natural or cultural heritage. The World Heritage Committee oversees world heritage listing on behalf of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO). UNESCO was formed with the idea of protecting these areas on our planet that are exceptional examples of natural or cultural beauty.
Australia has 16 world heritage properties, of which 5 are in Queensland, making it one of the most naturally diverse places on earth. Fraser Island, as mentioned previously, is the largest sand island in the world and until it became a protected area was being overrun by visitors that were unaware the impact they were having on such a fragile environment. The main concern with visitor numbers growing is that people do not realise the impact they are having on such a fragile environment. Be sure to take your time and try to learn as much as you can about Fraser Island’s delicate ecosystems before travelling there. We encourage our guests on the island to leave nothing but footprints and take only photographs and everlasting memories. Please remember at all times you are in fragile and delicate ecosystem and your actions can not only affect others on the island but also your children and children’s children. Over half a million visitors to the island each year mean that during summer months and school holidays the island can be quite heavily populated. If you are camping on the island we strongly recommend that you book in advance. All vehicles travelling on the island require a vehicle access permit.
For more information on World Heritage you can visit http://www.deh.gov.au/index.html or http://www.deh.gov.au/heritage/worldheritage/sites/fraser/values.html