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Rolling out across the country: phenomenal Fraser Island

As we roll out the nbn™ broadband access network, we’re fortunate to explore the many breathtaking locations that grace our wide and sunburnt land. This week we head to Fraser Island, which is now ready for service, to find out what puts it #OnTheMap…

Situated appropriately within the Great Sandy National Park, approximately 300 kilometres north of Brisbane, the world’s largest sand island flanks the east coast of Australia. Welcome to phenomenal Fraser Island.

Known as K’gari by the land’s Traditional Custodians, the Butchulla people, the World Heritage-listed island stretches 123 kilometres lengthwise and is up to 22 kilometres wide. With its pristine landscapes and reputation for ‘eco-adventure’, this popular Australian treasure spans more than 166,000 glorious hectares.

The perks of connectivity

Fraser Island is now ready for service on the nbn™ broadband access network, helping to bring connectivity and access to fast broadband to the local people, business owners and visiting tourists of the region. This is further demonstration of why a recent report, commissioned by NBN Co, found NBN Co to be leading the world in commitment to rural and regional broadband, alongside our commitment to bring the network to homes and businesses across Australia and complete the network rollout by 2020.

Says nbn™ local Manager – Southern Queensland Damon Cavalchini: “Access to fast broadband over the Sky Muster™ satellite service helps business owners, tourism operators and accommodation providers on the island to be efficient and productive, as well as opening up new opportunities for them to connect with Australia and the rest of the world.*

“Our Sky Muster™ satellite allows us to provide access to broadband services to Fraser Island, while helping maintain the pristine beauty of the land. Because there is no need to build significant infrastructure, this is the perfect way to meet the needs of the community with minimal environmental impact.”

Natural wonders

While thousands of visitors will arrive on its shores by barge, plane and boat each year, fewer than 200 people permanently call Fraser Island home: and what a place to live.

Ocean beaches cut a blissful swathe for 250 kilometres, coloured sand cliffs ripple for 40 kilometres, while more than 30 different walks – including the Fraser Island Great Walk (90km) – let residents and visitors take in the awe-inspiring vistas on offer. And despite its very sandy status, an abundance of plant and animal life flourishes on the island including mangrove forests, coastal heath and subtropical rainforest, as well as more than 230 bird and 25 mammal species.

And with natural wonders including 72 coloured sands, clear blue waters and white sandy shores – and the only location in the world where tall rainforests grow on sand dunes – it’s an environment well worth preserving.

Time spent on the island will likely include an encounter with its most famous local – the ‘Wongari’ or dingo. With a ratio of roughly one dingo to every permanent resident, Fraser Island’s 200-odd dingoes are a native species protected by law.

Standing just shy of 60 centimetres tall, 1.2 metres long and weighing in at around 18 kilograms, these dingoes usually sport golden sandy coats to match their island home. And while they may look like our friendly domesticated pals, it’s important to remember the gorgeous creatures are wild animals: so, if you’re visiting Fraser Island, be sure to stay dingo safe.

Dingoes aren’t the only sights to spy while on Fraser.

Even more nature

You’ll also find 40 perched lakes on Fraser Island (that’s half of the world’s perched lakes, which are formed when depressions in dunes fill with rainwater) including the world’s largest, Lake Boomanjin. While its 200-hectare waters are tinted brown from tannins leached from the surrounding vegetation, head to Lake McKenzie (Boorangoora) if white sand and sparkling blue waters are more your scene.

Want more wildlife? Spot eels, frogs and jungle perch in the crystal clear Eli Creek, or venture to Ocean Lake to take in views of waterbirds and the nearby melaleuca woodland. Waddy Point headland boasts beach and ocean outlooks and, if you look carefully, you might just catch a glimpse of sea turtles, sharks and stingrays.

For those times when you’re not exercising your pins on the vast walking track options, you’ll need a 4WD. With the island’s only roads being sand tracks, a high-clearance, low-capacity vehicle is a must. And here’s a fun fact for you: the beaches on Fraser Island aren’t just for sunbaking, strolling or fishing; they’re roads and runways, too!

And that’s just the tip of the sand-berg.

A nature lover’s paradise, Fraser Island has more than earned its mantle as a world-class wilderness that’s perfect to call home for a little while or a lifetime.

Check your address to see when you can switch.

Fraser Island by the numbers

10The speed limit (in kilometres per hour) for shared-use areas.
15 The distance (in kilometres) from Hervey Bay and Maryborough to Fraser Island.
30The number of walks available on Fraser Island.
45The number of camp sites available across the island.
100The number of freshwater lakes on the island.
123The length (in kilometres) of Fraser Island.
160 The average monthly rainfall (in millimetres) during the wettest months (January to March).
240The height (in metres) above sea level of the island’s highest sand dunes.
40,000 The wetlands can be visited by this number of migratory shorebirds.
166,038The size of the island (in hectares).
700,000The number of years of climatic and sea level changes recorded in the coloured-sand cliffs.

*Your experience, including the speeds actually achieved over the nbn™ broadband access network, depends on the technology over which services are delivered to your premises and some factors outside our control (like your equipment quality, software, signal quality, broadband plan and how your service provider designs its network). Satellite end users may experience latency.

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