Fraser Island was visited by a cruise ship for the first time on April 3, 2016. This was the vessel was the P&O Australia ship Pacific Aria, followed by the fleetmate Pacific Eden (on December 12). The island is located along Queensland's southern coast - approx 200 km (120 mi) north of Brisbane. This is a World Heritage-listed location and also the largest sand island in the world (length 120 km / 75 mi), width 24 km / 15 mi).
Pacific Aria's scheduled visit to Fraser Island Queensland was part of a 4-day Brisbane roundtrip itinerary. Pacific Eden's cruise in December was a roundtrip from Sydney NSW. In 2016, maiden calls to Queensland ports were also made in Mooloolaba, Hamilton Island and Gladstone.
The Great Sandy Strait is a 70 km (43 mi) sand passage estuary (tidal strait) consisting of bays and sand flats It separates mainland Queensland from Fraser Island. On April 3, at high tide, Pacific Aria entered and navigated through the strait, assisted by an experienced local pilot (a former Captain). At about 7 am, the ship anchored off the Kingfisher Bay Resort (pointed on the digital map).
Among the special P&O Australia cruise excursion deals on Fraser Island is the Kingfisher Bay Resort, offering 4WD tours along the island's beaches and approx 1500 km (930 mi) of tracks.
Among Fraser Island's best-known features are rainforests, mangrove forests, eucalyptus woodland, swamps, sand dunes. The island's wildlife is represented by mammals (25-50 species, including swamp wallabies, echidnas, possums, sugar and squirrel gliders, bandicoots, potoroos, flying foxes, dingo dogs), birds (over 350 species, including sea eagles, peregrine falcons, kites, pelicans, terns, gulls, kingfishers, kookaburra, owls, doves, ducks, cockatoos), also reptiles and amphibians (including saltwater crocodiles, goanna lizards, snakes, geckos, frogs). In the island's western part (in the lakes near the estuaries) there are over 120 freshwater fish species. In the waters surrounding the island can be seen humpback whales, dolphins, sea turtles, sharks.
As part of the Great Sandy National Park, Fraser Island is a protected area and is also an Important Bird Area (as part of Cooloola and Fraser Coast area).