Jocelyn Magazine is your go-to source for travel, culture, and lifestyle news and information on the Fraser Coast region of Queensland, Australia.

Maryborough swim centre is simply the best!

26/10/22

Have you been to the Maryborough Aquatic Centre?

If not, you’re missing out – it has taken out the AustSwim State and National awards for the best large swim centre in Australia!

That recognition comes on the back of forced closures due to COVID-19 and two floods.

And, in 2010, Maryborough was on the brink of losing its 50-metre pool before the Fraser Coast Chronicle helped the community to save the much-loved facility.

Keep reading to find out more about what makes the Maryborough Aquatic Centre so special.

COVID-19 and two floods – but they bounced back!

These awards are recognition of the hard work and dedication of the staff who have had to contend with COVID-19 shutting the pools and then having to rebuild after the floods this year devasted the facility

Fraser Coast Regional Council CEO Ken Diehm said staff had rebuilt the facility and regained the support of the community.

“There has been a 15 per cent increase in attendance numbers across the swim classes since the pool reopened in June,” Mr Diehm said.

“I think that really shows the community has confidence in the instructors, and the staff at the centre are liked and well respected.”

The program supervisor at the facility, Joel Seeney, was previously the recipient of an Austswim award for Aqua Instructor of the year award.

“The award shows that regional facilities and their staff are just as talented and dedicated as those in the bigger centres.”

The AustSwim award is the premier award presented to facilities and individuals in Australia that achieve the highest standards of aquatic education excellence.

“The awards mean a lot to staff and is fantastic recognition of the hard work that they have put in to pick themselves up and rebuild.”

Flashback: How the community saved the 50-metre pool

Maryborough Aquatic Centre - news report

Maryborough Aquatic Centre - News reportMaryborough Aquatic Centre - News Report

In 2010, the Maryborough Aquatic Centre’s 50-metre pool was sorely in need of a revamp, but the then council’s proposed redevelopment plan didn’t include replacing the 50-metre pool; the plan was to downgrade it to 25 metres!

That was until the Fraser Coast Chronicle helped the community to save the 50-metre pool!

The loss of its Olympic-size pool meant Maryborough would lose the capacity to host school carnivals and competitions.

A good proportion of the public also preferred to swim in a 50-metre pool — Maryborough Masters, triathletes, schools and rugby league players who swam for fitness, as well as people from surrounding towns.

Thankfully, though, the council listened and overturned its initial proposal to downgrade the 50-metre pool as part of a $5.5 million redevelopment.

So, whether you’re a fitness fanatic or just looking for somewhere to cool off in summer, be sure to take a dip!

These AustSwim State and National awards have come after long, hard-fought battles to keep the centre afloat.

Congratulations to the Maryborough Aquatic Centre staff and Fraser Coast Regional Council.

Maryborough Aquatic Centre: A history of excellence

The 50-metre town pool being considered for downsizing in 2010 was the third in Maryborough’s history.

The original floating baths were built on the Mary River but were swept away in a flood in the 1890s.

In 1906, after a local boy drowned swimming in the Mary River, a 33-yard (30m) pool was built on the side of the now Excelsior Band Hall car park with money donated by local widower George Ambrose White.

In the early 1960s, a fundraising campaign was held to build the “new” War Memorial Swimming Pool on former defence force land. The 55-yard pool was 300 millimetres longer than 50 metres and was shortened in the 1970s.

The first pool caretaker was Hayden Kenny, Australia’s first ironman champion.

His son, Grant Kenny, OAM, Australian former Ironman, surf lifesaver and canoeist, went on to compete in two Olympics, winning a bronze medal in the K-2 1000m event with Barry Kelly in Los Angeles in 1984.

During the 1970s, the swimming club committee urged the Maryborough City Council to provide spectator stands, the money for which was donated by then-mayor Charles Adams.

The club raised funds through treble tickets and cent auctions to provide the recording and club rooms, gym, timekeepers’ shelter, store room and waveless ropes. In 1977 it bought one of the first electronic timing systems in Queensland.

In 1995, a 25-metre heated pool was built where the wading pool used to be, after lobbying behind the scenes by president Dr Tom Dunn.

Another prominent name of Maryborough swimming was Larry Sengstock who set many records at regional level and competed at state level in the 1970s.

He later starred with the Brisbane Bullets basketball team and represented Australia at the Moscow, Los Angeles, Seoul and Barcelona Olympics and at four world championships in 1978, 1982, 1986 and 1990.

 

Stefano Guseli chats about his art and exhibitions

Hervey Bay artist Stefano Guseli has a lot to say about art. In this interview, he chats with Jocelyn Magazine about his unique approach to art-making, the role of intuition in his work, and how he strives for creative spontaneity in his pieces. If you’re curious about what drives an experimental artist like Stefano, and where you can see his next exhibitions, be sure to check out this interview!

‘Art is a mirror for the viewer, not a soapbox for the artist’

“Once you have sent a thought, it will not return. Once captured, it will not be let go of. The moment of realisation, the moment of transference, is a shared moment—something to treasure, not to disdain.”

This idea about the transference of thoughts is the basis of Stefano Guseli’s rationale for his art exhibitions in Maryborough, Queensland, later this year and in 2023.

“Perhaps letting go is the most vital part of the puzzle,” the Hervey Bay High School design teacher said.

“Once a ball is thrown, the pitcher has no control over the reaction. It is suspended in mid-air, defying gravity, hurtling, diving, and closing the gap between the two,” he said.

“If it is caught, the moment is not over, but it has just begun.

“Elation or loss may result. Can the pitcher take back the throw? Can the hands of time be wound back? Which is more reasonable? To pitch again or to take back the impossible?”

Stefano uses the metaphor of a ball game to explain how he sees the relationship between his artwork and its viewers.

“I know a lot of artists work to express themselves, but I prefer to make art for the viewer to be immersed in it and to interpret it their way.

“I feel the art I make is more of a mirror for the viewer rather than a mirror for me, so I shy away from interpreting individual artworks for the viewer.

“Basically, I can write anything I want on the plaque next to it in a gallery, but it is the viewer who I want to interpret my work.”

Stefano’s art

While French artists Henri Matisse and Marcel Duchamp, and the Spanish painter Pablo Picasso have influenced Stefano’s method, what he paints comes from 20th-century art history and contemporary movements.

From Bendigo, Victoria, Stefano studied art and design at La Trobe and Griffith universities.

He moved to Queensland about 14 years ago to marry his wife, Kim Guseli; they now live in Hervey Bay with their two loveable Dachshunds Lucia and Dexter.

Stefano has his own backyard “man cave” where his thoughts and ideas come to life as visual art.

“I like to observe the way art has developed over the past 100 years, particularly with the visual experience and installations. They are two very different things.”

“With installations, I’m getting more heavily into the style of the Dadadists, an art group from the First World War. For example, I’ve got a few found objects, such as an old television set, that I’ve incorporated into my artwork.

“But I don’t reconstitute found objects to make them look like something visual for example spoons welded together to look like an animal.

“I class myself as an ‘experimental artist’ because I really don’t know where I’m going with it. All I know is I’m going somewhere with it!”

While most human figures in Stefano’s painting come from his imagination, some are based on real people.

“The ones based on real people are abstracted, so I don’t reveal who they are. It’s more about abstracting the narrative.”

Stefano Guseli - artist and painting

Hervey Bay Artist Stefano Guseli at work in his backyard “man cave”.

Preferred mediums

Stefano’s preferred art medium is acrylic because it dries more quickly and he can work faster, but he also loves oils.

“I love the richer, more vibrant textural qualities of oils, but it has drawbacks.

“One of my oils was so thick it took two months to dry!

“I submitted it to a competition, but the judge disqualified it; not because it was wet, but because it was still too soft in spots.”

Stefano mixes his own colours but sometimes they come straight out of the tubes.

“My artworks are usually pretty bright! I find bright colours, not diluted with black, grey and white, can be very positive.”

Experimental art

As an experimental artist, Stefano looks at the visual aesthetic, the installation, and the conceptual sides of art, pushing those elements together, apart, or moving them around, which is unusual.

“A lot of early experimental artists ended up spearheading methods for future ideas in the arts,” he said.

“If I got onto the bandwagon of a painting to a certain theme, I could see a trajectory in a direction where I could attract a certain type of clientele or a certain type of viewer and I’d keep making that sort of art.

“Some masters did that. They made the artwork that people liked, and that was in demand, so they were cutting edge in the eyes of many collectors.

“Experimental art is not theme-based repetition, at least it should not be in my view.”

Stefano said he also has a passion for book illustrations, which he has done several times in recent years.

“Illustrating is a finished product I can give to the client,” he said.

“It’s a reciprocal arrangement too, making the author happy, the publisher happy, the reader happy, and me happy!”

Competitions

Stefano has only recently begun entering art competitions, so it’s a case of “watch this space”.

“I’m hoping to submit to the Archibald competition,” he said.

“Many of the artists who are successful are known in the painting community, but being an experimental artist it’s not my niche,” he said.

“So, we’ll see how I go over the next few years.

“You do your best work, submit it, see how the judges go with it and then see how the public goes with it.

“Entering competitions is often just an exercise in seeing what reaction you get from viewers and what comments they make.

“That’s really why I’m entering.”

Why create art?

“The choice to create art is about being true to the viewer by making it as an artistic mirror which reflects their interpretation,” Stefano said.

“Why am I making this piece? Am I making it because I do really want to, or am I solely interested in profit?

“Some of the most successful artists, mainly American and British artists, who sell their work for millions of dollars have been accused of being peddlers, but I don’t think they are.

“I think they’re just extremely successful financially.  Money should not be the primary purpose in art making.

“Any artists, even very poor artists, can make art and sell works for money.

“The point is art should be a connection. If money comes in small or large amounts, that is not the primary purpose.”

Where you can see Stefano’s art

If you’re interested in seeing Stefano’s latest work, he has two exhibitions in the pipeline.

The first will be at the Maryborough Art Society Gallery in Kent Street from December 2022 to January 2023, and the second, at the same gallery, in August 2023.

So, mark your calendars if you want to see some amazing pieces by one of Fraser Coast’s most talented artists.

In the meantime, check out some of Stefano’s pieces on his website at https://www.stefanoguseli.net/

Stefano Guseli - artist and painting

Stefano Guseli, Hervey Bay Artist.

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Kim’s botanical skincare: eco-friendly, vegan, sustainable

Looking for something new to treat your skin? Meet Kim Guseli of Hervey Bay, Queensland, who has just released her first range of sustainable, vegan, eco-friendly skincare products under the label Botanical Skincare Lab. Kim talks with JOCELYN MAGAZINE about her new venture and what inspired her to become a professional cosmetic chemist.

Kim’s journey to becoming a cosmetic chemist

Botanical Skincare - Kim Guseli

Kim Guseli and Dexter, one of her two beloved Dachshunds.

One night, Kim Guseli was dabbling with her one of her creative passions—making natural skincare products—when she thought: “How awesome would it be if I could write my own formulas?”

Kim loved mixing the formulas, but following other people’s recipes was limiting her creative streak.

That lightbulb moment soon set the nature-lover on an exciting path of transformation from corporate officer to cosmetic chemist.

“I knew I needed to know the science behind making cosmetics, so I studied to become a qualified cosmetic chemist, and I absolutely loved it,” Kim said.

“I just wanted to keep studying. The more I learned, the more that things came together, and the more I wanted to know even more.”

Now, as a member of the Australian Society of Cosmetic Chemists and the International Federation of Societies of Cosmetic Chemists, she has launched her own business: Botanical Skincare Lab.

“Researching all the different ingredients fascinates me, and working out the most effective combinations is captivating. And getting into the lab and testing out my formulas is exhilarating.”

Her business has become her “job” and she gets to do what she loves while helping people take care of their skin.

“I’ve got all the proper equipment. I even had some equipment sent over from France because I wanted all the correct gear,” Kim said.

“The ethos of Botanical Skincare Lab is to provide clean, nourishing, luxury skincare which is scientifically formulated and powered by nature.

“We support local and Australian businesses when purchasing ingredients and supplies. Even my labels are Australian-made.”

Originally from Perth, Kim runs her business from the Hervey Bay home she shares with husband Stefano Guseli, an artist and teacher, and their two loveable Dachshunds Lucia and Dexter.

“I love being able to work from home where I’m with Lucia (black and tan) and Dexter (chocolate and tan) all day long.”

The beauty of skin chemistry

With the excitement of a pre-schooler opening a tub of play dough, Kim wakes each morning thinking of all the fun she’ll have that day with her ingredients.

“I just can’t wait to play with all my ingredients,” she said.

Kim said she was still settling into her daily routine because she often responded to people’s requests on a need basis.

“I want to find out what things people are looking for and make products they want to use.

“If there are any gaps in the market, I love to hear about them because I can write formulas to suit.

“As it is, I’ve got so many ideas for formulas that I want to write that it’s hard to prioritise them.

“And I’m hoping to get some products into some local shops soon, so it all depends on what shops I can get into and how often I need to deliver.

“I like to make everything fresh, so I do it in small batches of about half a litre at a time.

“If you order something from large manufacturers, you don’t really know how long it’s been sitting on the shelf, but this way, I can assure customers what they’re buying is fresh.

“My products have a good shelf life, so they can sit on shelves for some time, but I don’t want that. You can really notice the difference when they’re fresh.

“Why not give people the opportunity to have fresh skincare?

Botanical skincare - chemistry

PHOTO: Shutterstock

Kim’s top 5 favourite cosmetics

Kim has so many “favourite” products that she loves for different reasons, so picking her Top 5 was difficult, but for Jocelyn Magazine, she relented and named these:

  1. Pink Clay Face Mask: “I’ve formulated this so you only need to put a thin layer on your face and leave it on for just five to 10 minutes. I’ve always found the face masks I’ve bought previously I’ve had to leave them on for at least 20 minutes, but for me, that’s too long because you’re limited what you can do during that time.”
  2. Golden Jojoba Face Cream: “This has Sea Buckthorn that gives it the beautiful golden colour I love.”
  3. Velvet Rose Light Day Cream: “I made this one so it leaves your skin feeling really smooth and light, particularly on humid days as we get in Hervey Bay’s summers. It’s lightweight, fast-absorbing and moisturising for when you don’t want anything thick on your face, but you still need some moisturizing. In humid weather, when you get out of the shower and you start sweating already, this cream feels light and cool on your skin.”
  4. Sunflower Cleansing Face Polish: “This one is a cleanser, but it’s also got some ground walnut grains, so it polishes your skin as well, which is really nice.”
  5. Hyaluronic Glow Intensifying Serum: “I didn’t know this formula would make your skin feel so nice. Sometimes if I run out of it and use other things, I can really notice the difference in my skin. I like it when Stefano puts it on too because it makes his skin feel nice.”

Looking for eco-friendly, sustainable and vegan skincare?

Botanical Skincare Lab’s products are eco-friendly, sustainable, and vegan – that’s official!

“When you make skincare properly, it needs to meet industry standards and qualifies for insurance,” Kim said.

“The ingredients used in my formulas are from Australian suppliers and come with documentation certifying the quality of the ingredients.

One of the reasons my products are classed as sustainable is because I make and distribute them mainly locally, so they’re not being transported all around the country and sitting in warehouses.

“Another benefit from purchasing all of the ingredients in Australia is that they haven’t come on ships from overseas so that helps the environment with decreased pollution from transportation.

“We’ve got solar panels on our roof and I make everything in the daytime so the energy comes from the sun. Even my packaging is recyclable.

“My cosmetics are also vegan because they don’t contain animal products and haven’t been tested on animals in any way.

“And, there are no synthetic fragrances and the natural preservative system is Ecocert certified.

“That means too, there are no strong overpowering smells, but only light aromas like the Velvet Rose Light Day Cream that contains some rose water for its skin benefits.

“I’ve done that for people with sensitive skin who might otherwise have allergic reactions.

“Many people are even allergic to essential oils, so I’ve made my products so that people with sensitive skin don’t have reactions to them.”

Visit the Botanical Skincare Lab website

If you’re looking for a new natural skincare line to source online, or are on holiday in the Fraser Coast region and want to check out some local eco-friendly products, head over to the Botanical Skincare Lab website. You won’t be disappointed!

Botanical skincare - chemistry

PHOTO: Shutterstock.

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A Stitch in Time: Capturing the Colours of Australia

When most people think of Australia, they imagine the bright red outback or the blue water of the Great Barrier Reef. While these holiday hotspots are popular for their vibrant colours, there are so many other hues to see in this great country.

The Colours of Australia exhibition by members of the Hervey Bay Spinners, Weavers and Fibre Artists on the Fraser Coast in Queensland brings together artworks made in response to the inspirational beauty of the Australian landscape.

Hervey Bay Regional Gallery assistant curator Llewellyn Millhouse said the works showcased the deep sense of pride and respect that these artists have for Australia’s natural environment.

“As many members of HBSWFA have experienced living and travelling all around Australia, the land and seascapes depicted in the works are exemplary of the rich diversity of our continent.

“The works feature storm clouds over a desert landscape, mossy logs in a temperate rainforest, wildflowers carpeting open plains and mangrove forests lining a tropical estuary.

“Considered together, these works reveal the natural affinity between textile and landscape, bridging the undulating contours of land and sea with the texture and form of interlocking fibres.

“From the ancient method of drop-spindle to the modern motor-driven spinning wheel, the preparation of raw fibres into workable material is key to the aesthetic process of fibre artists.”

If you’re looking to get a genuine sense of Australian culture, the Colours of Australia exhibition is a must-see.

Colours of Australia Exhibition

Colours of Australia convenor Lidia Godijn shows the major collaborative weaving project of the exhibition. PHOTOS: Jocelyn Watts

 

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Belonging: The backbone of community arts

“The art of spinning and hand-dyeing yarn was often taken for granted,” Mr Millhouse said.

“The derogatory term ‘spinster’ gives us some indications as to how this labour has been valued by the patriarchal cultures of our recent past.

“Along with other skills and productive responsibilities that are deemed ‘women’s work’, both the economic and the artistic value of fibre work has been perpetually under-appreciated.

“This dismissal of women’s labour is exacerbated by the intersection of age discrimination.

“Though the term ‘spinster’ is used less often today, the visibility, value and artistic capacity of older women continue to be undermined by our cultural institutions and in public culture more generally.

“In celebrating the work of spinning and weaving, Colours of Australia is intended as an affirmation of the vibrancy and expertise of the HBSWFA community.

“The beauty of this exhibition lies not just in each of the artworks, but also in the stories, skills and relationships that are fostered by this creative community.

“On visiting the group’s regular meetings, you cannot help but notice the joy and lightness held between its members; a sense of care, humour, connection and solidarity.

“It is these relations of reciprocity and belonging that are the backbone of community arts organisations, and which deserve further artistic recognition by contemporary art institutions.”

The nature of textiles

Textiles are often seen as a gentle art form, but there is great strength in their delicacy.

In order to create such intricate pieces, artists must have a deep understanding of both their craft and their subjects.

The fibres used each have distinct qualities that can be exploited to produce desired results.

Using colour is also integral to the success of these pieces; each hue can evoke a different emotion or feeling in the viewer.

In this Colours of Australia exhibition, the artists have expertly captured both the colours and textures of Australia’s diverse landscapes.

Colours of Australia textile exhibition

Hervey Bay spinner, weaver and fibre artist Jenny White uses a rigid heddle loom.

See Australia through the eyes of local artists

The Colours of Australia exhibition provides visitors with an opportunity to see this country through the eyes of local artists.

These artists have cleverly used textiles and landscapes to create bridges between the contours of land and sea.

As you wander through this exhibition, you’ll be able to appreciate the uniqueness of each piece while also marvelling at the overall cohesion of the show.

In addition to being visually stunning, the Colours of Australia exhibition is also deeply meaningful.

These artworks provide insight into how Australians view their natural environment.

They also reveal the importance that locals place on preserving and protecting our landscape.

This is an exhibition that will leave you feeling proud to be an Australian traveller.

The importance of art

In today’s fast-paced society, it can be easy for people to forget about the importance of slowing down in life and taking momentary pauses to enjoy what surrounds them.

Art has a way of encouraging us to do just that.

It’s a way for people to broaden their horizons and help them to understand they’re not alone in their experiences.

This Colours of Australia exhibition is a beautiful reminder of how connected we are to both our land and one another.

 

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Colours of Australia: A must-see exhibition

This exhibition is a must-see for all people travelling or living in Australia.

The extensive collection of works on display is a testament to the skill and creativity of the local artists and provides a unique insight into the Australian landscape.

If you’re looking to get a genuine sense of Australian culture, this is the perfect place to start.

Whether you’re an art lover or simply appreciate beauty, this stunning display will leave you feeling inspired.

So, make sure you add it to your itinerary when you’re next in Hervey Bay.

Contacting spinning, weaving and fibre artists

Running until 27 November 2022 at the Hervey Bay Regional Gallery, this free exhibition is open Tuesday to Friday 10am to 4pm, at weekends and on most public holidays 10am to 2pm. Check the gallery website for more details.

If you miss this exhibition or are interested in fibre or yarn crafts, you’re invited to contact the Hervey Bay Spinners, Weavers & Fibre Artists on 0457 366 738 or visit them on Facebook.

Australia is a land of many cultures and as such you’re sure to find other spinning, weaving or fibre art groups on your travels through most towns and cities.

You can also learn about spinning, weaving and fibre arts by visiting Shuttles & Needles.

 

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Colours of Australia textile exhibition

Hervey Bay textile artist Gaye Harris on a spinning wheel. Samples of her work are pictured above.

FEATURE PHOTO: Kate Campbell shows her one-of-a-kind, handcrafted scarf.

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Looking for inspiration for your next adventure?

Is the daily rat race leaving you feeling exhausted?

Jocelyn Magazine acts as a source of inspiration to help you indulge your taste buds and curiosity while discovering the history and culture of Australia.

So, if it’s time for a new adventure, check out some of our travel destination posts here today!

Join the fun of whale watching and citizen science

Attention citizen scientists! Now’s your chance to join the fun of collecting data while out whale watching and helping researchers better understand our world.

Don’t know what citizen science is?

Citizen science is the new way for people to get involved in science and make their own contributions through observations with simple tools like cameras, notebooks or smartphones.

Oceania Project founder Dr Wally Franklin, who spoke at the University of Sunshine Coast’s Creating Waves session in Hervey Bay, has put the call out for everyone with a passion for our natural environment and whale watching to get involved.

You don’t need to have a science degree; just a passion for the natural environment and a willingness to help professional scientists with their research.

There’s nothing more satisfying than knowing that your efforts helped reveal some important information about wildlife behaviour.

Creating Waves was hosted by Fraser Coast Tourism & Events, Hervey Bay Whale Heritage Site Steering Committee and USC as part of the 2022 Hervey Bay Whale Festival.

Guests heard from those who were uniquely connected to Australia’s Humpback Whales, including the Butchulla people.

 

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Whale Watching - Humpback with baby

Humpback Whale with its baby. PHOTO: Shutterstock

Whale watching with Happy Whale

“Here in Hervey Bay, there can be up to 80,000 people a year taking digital cameras onboard whale watching tours, putting them in a prime position to help researchers study these amazing creatures,” Dr Wally said.

“There are great opportunities for citizens to become involved in the science of the whales of eastern Australia, in particular the Humpback Whale.

At Creating Waves, Dr Wally spoke about Happy Whale and its collaboration with the South Pacific Whale Research Consortium, which investigates the status of Humpback Whales.

Happy Whale is an algorithm-based photo matching platform that engages citizen scientists to help identify marine mammals by matching their photos with actual animals.

Dr Wally said the country that surrounded Hervey Bay waters where the whales came to visit every year had, for many generations, been cared for by the Butchulla people.

“The whales’ habitat is extremely fragile, so the care of the country surrounding it is critically important,” he said.

When Dr Wally and his wife Dr Trish Franklin first came to Hervey Bay over 30 years ago, research revealed Humpback Whales were using the eastern waters of Hervey Bay against K’gari (Fraser Island).

“Although there was some interesting science being done, there was insufficient data to determine who the whales were that were using Hervey Bay and why they were using the area,” Dr Wally said.

“Trish immediately saw the opportunity to address that fundamental question of who are the ones using Hervey Bay and why are they using Hervey Bay.

“To do that, she put in place a long-term study, between 1992 and 2017, based on a search technique called photo identification.

“We did 10 weeks each year out on the Bay, staying out overnight for five nights, six days every week.

“In that period, Trish observed, photographed, and recorded information on pods and individual Humpback Whales.”

Photographing flukes

“From the outset, Trish systematically photographed the underside of whale tails, the flukes,” Dr Wally said.

Whale watching - fluke

Humpback Whale fluke. PHOTO: Shutterstock

“A good example is the fluke of a whale called Nala (known locally as the pride of Hervey Bay), who we’ve been watching for over 30 years.

“She’s a regular visitor to Hervey Bay and has been bringing her calves back here almost every other year.

“Trish also realised that when you were watching a whale, what you see more often than not was the waffle side of the whale and the tail flip.

“The fluke is a fingerprint that could be used as a means of identification.

“It was possible to identify 100% of the individuals, which makes it a very useful means of studying the whales.

“The analysis of all that photography yielded a Hervey Bay Blue catalogue comprising individual whales.

“From those observations, she extracted the life histories of individual whales. She began naming the whales as an aide to memorizing them.

“How we funded the research was to invite people to pay, come and help us with the research.

“The work she did, produced one of the largest photo ID data sets in the Southern Hemisphere.

“In 2012, when she finished the work, it represented about 10% of the population, which was a very adequate sample to begin the studies.

“That data enabled Trish and me to study pod characteristics, social organisation, biology, social behaviour, abundance, population dynamics, and movements.

“So clinical verification turned out to be quite a powerful means of study.”

Female bias is unique to Hervey Bay

Dr Wally said that from all that data, Dr Trish worked out that in Hervey Bay there were three females for every male that visited the area.

“Hervey Bay is a predominantly female area from mid-July through to early November,” he said.

“The Bay is dominated by mature pregnant and lactating females who are bringing their new calves to the Bay.

“Operators of whale-watching tours say the whales absolutely love hugging the boats, which makes Hervey Bay one of the most fantastic whale-watching locations in the world.

“Overall, only a few mature males use the Bay.

“In the northern hemisphere, nobody has recorded female biases with Humpback Whales, so it’s something unique in the southern hemisphere, and very unique to Hervey Bay.”

 

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Whale Watching - Humpback Whale

Humpback Whale. PHOTO: Shutterstock

Why do Humpback Whales use Hervey Bay?

Hervey Bay is a suitable early stopover located just below the predominant whale breeding grounds of the Whitsundays Islands near Mackay and Rockhampton,” Dr Wally said.

“Humpback Whales are born in Australian waters, so they are Australian.

“They go to Antarctica for food and return every year to their home to carry out their ceremonies and sing their songs.

“Hervey Bay’s shallow protected waters against the shoreline of K’gari (Fraser Island) is one of the key things that provide avoidance for the mature females from some males that cause harassment.

“But (the males) are very organized in their harassment, but that’s another subject!

“Hervey Bay waters also provide an opportunity for physical and social development of young whales. The average stay is two weeks.”

Dorsal fins also provide identification

“Dorsal fins are as individual as flukes, although until now, all the work has been done using flukes,” Dr Wally said.

“However, in recent years, advances in the computer processing of images and the development of AI algorithm-matching techniques made it possible to consider incorporating not only flukes, but dorsal fins and lateral bodies as well.

“Such techniques are now web-based and cloud-based and provide means for scientists to match extremely large data sets.

“As Trish explored this system, she came across groups in North America that she started working with, including Happy Whale, which provides long-term secure storage of data.

“These algorithm platforms, which are open-access platforms, mean citizen science is possible on all the whale watch vessels, not only in Hervey Bay, but along the whole east coast of Australia.”

Photo ID extends Bluebell’s records by 11 years

Dr Trish developed an 11-year history between 2003 and 2011 of a whale called Bluebell that showed Bluebell’s dorsal shape and blue patterns hadn’t changed in that time.

“On 7 August 2022, Bluebell was again captured on camera,” Dr Wally said.

“The photo was loaded into Happy Whale that night and almost immediately an email came back matching Dr Trish’s pictures of Bluebell.

“So, one photograph being loaded onto Happy Whale extended the life history of that whale a further 11 years. That’s an amazing step in knowledge and understanding.

“If we have people on the whole of the east coast of Australia, including Hervey Bay, taking pictures of these whales and getting them onto that platform, we can end up with an absolutely incredible data set to work with.

“It’s a tremendous opportunity for citizen scientists.”

Baby Humpback Whale. PHOTO: Shutterstock

Be a whale-watching citizen scientist

So, if you’re looking for a fun way to help researchers learn more about whales and their habitats, while also getting some amazing whale watching in, Happy Whale is the perfect citizen science project for you.

Visit their website today to sign up and start collecting data while out whale watching!

 

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TOP 9 Hervey Bay Whale Watching Tours

  1. Whalesong Cruises
  2. Tasman Venture Whale Watching Cruise
  3. Tasman Venture – Remote Fraser Island and Whale Experience
  4. Hervey Bay Ultimate Whale Watching Cruise
  5. Freedom Whale Watch
  6. Spirit of Hervey Bay
  7. Hervey Bay Dive Centre
  8. Boat Club Adventure Cruises
  9. Blue Dolphin Marine Tours

*Source: Tripadvisor

Whale Watching - Humpback whales

Whale watching at Hervey Bay, Queensland. PHOTOS: Jocelyn Watts

 

***

Looking for inspiration for your next adventure?

Is the daily rat race leaving you feeling exhausted?

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So, if it’s time for a new adventure, check out some of our travel destination posts here today!

Sneak peek at Maryborough Open Gardens

If you love gardens, then you won’t want to miss the annual Maryborough Open Gardens event, held each year in late August.

From traditional gardens to those with a more modern twist, the event is a rare opportunity for visitors to see some of the best private gardens in the city.

Hosted by the Maryborough Horticultural Society, the private gardens are open to the public for just two days every year, but there’s more to it than just seeing beautiful gardens.

Maryborough Open Gardens also raises funds through plant sales that go to local charities and encourages people of all ages (even children) to take up gardening as a hobby.

With 14 beautiful private gardens opening on 27 and 28 August 2022, it was no wonder that many visitors had trouble deciding which they liked best.

Wendy Ford from Stirling House in North Street said the fantastic response from hundreds of garden enthusiasts was wonderful to see.

“We moved into Stirling just 10 months ago and this is our first year opening to the public as part of Maryborough Open House,” she said. “It was fantastic.”

So without further ado, let’s take a look at two of the 14 gardens on show in 2022.

Whether you are a seasoned gardener or just starting out, these gardens are sure to inspire you.

 

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1. Stirling House

As I walked up the driveway toward Stirling House, Suzanne McLean’s painting at the entrance first drew my attention.

Wendy Ford’s exquisite artwork closer to the stately manor also showed Stirling House was not just a place of beauty and tranquillity, but also of storytelling.

“The painting was a gift from my neighbour, Suzanne McLean, who is a beautiful artist,” Wendy said.

“She has lived over the road for decades, raised her family there and her grandchildren, and yet had never been inside Stirling.

“We formed a lovely friendship because we both enjoy our art.

“So, I invited Suzanne over, and then when her children visited, I invited them over; and when her grandchildren visited, I invited them over.”

Wendy said the children dubbed the house ‘Rapunzel House’ because it looked like the balconies in the Rapunzel story.

“Suzanne gave me this painting as a gift, which I just still can’t believe. It’s so beautiful. She called it Wendy’s Garden. I said, ‘Let’s call it Wendy’s Garden Rapunzel House’ because that’s their history and the gift to us.”

Suzanne’s gift to her new neighbour was a wonderful way to greet the newcomers from the Brisbane suburb of Wynnum.

Just over 10 months ago, when Wendy’s husband, Bruce Ford, noticed a real estate advertisement for the sale of Stirling online, he said to her, “We should buy this place.”

“Let’s!” Wendy replied.

Five days later, they purchased it.

Previously owned by romance novelist Anne de Lisle, and before her Rod Grieves, the house dates back over 140 years.

The stunning home features some American Gothic styling combined with the look of a Queenslander.

“Anne had the house set up beautifully, but since then we’ve made a lot of changes to the gardens. Wendy is the gardener. I’m the labourer,” Bruce laughed.

History and nature thrive in revamped gardens.

Goldfish love to swim around in the large 3-tiered fountain, where they can explore all their favourite nooks and crannies. The original smaller fountain is also home to many of them as well.

Restored garden seats provide a place for peaceful resting.

The hedges have been replanted, and arbours remain with two Petrea Volubilis and other plants like Yellow Bells, Jasmine and Climbing Roses.

The garden is a colourful oasis with new plantings including Summer Sense, Murraya, Gardenias, Rhoeo, Bromeliads, Magnolias, Rosemary, Lavender, Grevilleas, Lilies, Blue Eyes, and annuals.

“A mango tree was dying, so it’s now with the local wood turners’ group where members are turning it into bowls and other beautifully turned pieces,” Bruce said.

Maryborough Open Gardens - Stirling House

Maryborough Open Gardens - Stirling House

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2. 296 Lennox Street

It was easy to see why the garden at 296 Lennox Street is one of Maryborough’s finest. The lush greenery and beautiful flowers were what first caught my eye.

A leisurely walk through the beautiful and diverse gardens took me on a journey of discovery, with intriguing plants like azaleas, citrus trees, and potted flowers.

At each turn, there was another world full of fauna and flora that offered their own gifts for visitors keen to explore the natural space.

As well as the mature trees, palms and explosion of colour one might expect to see in a traditional garden, there were also rarer plants such as Phoenix palms surrounded by agapanthus, hoya plants, and Indian rope plants growing under the shade of the historic Queenslander home.

The southwest side of the house was home to a giant mango tree that was originally planted to shade the house from the western sun. The tree also provided ample shade and shelter for a rock garden and shade-loving plants beneath.

Beside the mango tree was a large deciduous Persimmon Tree, and a Coral Tree coming from India and Western China that was just getting its little flowers on the top.

Along the side fence, a stunning Fraser Island Creeper (Tecomanthe hillii), was just coming into bloom, a rare thing at this time of year.

The house itself is relatively unique because it straddles two blocks of land. Built in the middle of the double block, it dates back to about 1905.

There aren’t many houses built on two blocks of land in Maryborough.

Maryborough Open Gardens - 296 Lennox Street

Maryborough Open Gardens - 296 Lennox Street

PHOTOS: Jocelyn Watts

So, if you’re a fan of gardens, or just want to see some beautiful ones, mark your calendars for next year and head over to the Maryborough Open Gardens website to find out which gardens will be opening.

 

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***

Looking for inspiration for your next adventure?

Is the daily rat race leaving you feeling exhausted?

Jocelyn Magazine acts as a source of inspiration to help you indulge your taste buds and curiosity while discovering the history and culture of Australia.

So, if it’s time for a new adventure, check out some of our travel destination posts here today!

The story behind Maryborough’s coat of arms

Did you know that Maryborough, Queensland, has its own coat of arms? If you’re visiting the Heritage City, you can see its coat of arms on a wall facing the Town Hall Green. Titled ‘The Crest’, it is one of 40+ murals that make up the Maryborough Mural Trail. To learn more about this piece of local history, read on! Our contributor, Peter Woodland, shares some insights into the fascinating world of heraldry.

The surprising number of Australian cities with coats of arms

According to the Heraldry of the World wiki 108 Australian cities have coats of arms.

There are, in fact, at least 394 Australian cities with a population of more than 10,000 people and there are another 88 towns with a population of more than 5000.

Perhaps, in your travels, keep your eye out for municipal coats of arms. It could be just one more enjoyable pastime, as you while away the kilometres.

 

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Who can have a coat of arms?

In Australia, anyone can adopt a coat of arms of their own design. However, there are some limitations to that process.

The said coat of arms is not theirs exclusively. It can be used and copied by anyone unless some copyright applies.

If the coat of arms they adopt is the same as one borne by an armiger whose coat of arms was granted by the College of Arms in London or by some other official body in other parts of the world, then its use is illegal.

It may come as a surprise to many that family coats of arms are very rare in the British domain.

Just because your name is Fortesque-Smythe, for example, it does not follow that you can use the coat of arms of someone else called Fortesque-Smythe.

You have to be able to trace a direct line through the eldest child, usually male, in each generation, back to the original “owner” of the arms.

In the British world, arms are granted to an individual, an enterprise or an institution, not to families.

That is just one of many “rules’ one has to get used to in the world of heraldry.

What is heraldry?

Heraldry began as the use of a distinctive shield or, perhaps, coat to identify a combatant on a battlefield.

They were simple and brightly or unusually coloured so that your side knew who you were.

The best coats of arms to this day follow that custom of simplicity.

Perhaps the aspect of heraldry most difficult to understand is the blazon.

This is words written in a particular style to describe the coat of arms.

It includes old and foreign words and follows an order of precedent.

This is one such blazon:

Quarterly, 1 and 4 Gules three Pallets Argent and 2 and 3 Azure, three Bars wavy Argent a Cross embattled counter embattled throughout Or and overall a Maltese Cross Azure

That is the blazon for the shield from the coat of arms of the City of Maryborough, in Queensland, Australia. It means:

A shield divided into quarters. The first and fourth quarters are red and silver (white) alternating vertical stripes. The second and third quarters are blue and silver (white) alternating horizontal wavy stripes. The quarters are divided by a gold cross that is embattled. That is, its edges are “jagged” as in the top of a traditional castle wall. Over the top of all this is a blue Maltese cross.

This is Maryborough’s coat of arms:

Coat of Arms - Maryborough, Qld

 

As you can see there are several other elements to Maryborough’s coat of arms. These elements are part of the original grant.

Some of them such as the two supporters on either side and the “ground” or compartment, they are standing on are rare in an individual’s coats of arms. They have to be granted by the sovereign.

Another element is a helmet and there are rules about what sort of helmet individuals can use. On the other hand, it does not have to be a medieval “knights” helmet. It could be a miner’s hard-hat, for instance, if appropriate.

Above the helmet is a torse or twisted piece of cloth or some other cloth buffer. On the torse sits the crest.

I bet you wondered when I was going to use that word because many of us talk about the crest as being the whole thing.

The crest can be almost anything, if appropriate and is often used as a badge by the armiger (owner of the arms).

It might serve as a monogram on clothing, a signet ring, a logo on personal stationery, or anything you desire.

In the case of Maryborough, it is the schooner “Blue Jacket”, at sea, on a circle of spiky (embattled) gold circles, with two sticks of sugar cane.

Lastly, there is the motto, beneath the shield. The motto can say almost anything and can be in any language, Klingon, if you wish.

Mottos can be tricky though because it is supposedly a statement of deeply held views and character.

Don’t give yourself a motto about bravery, if, in reality, you ascribe to the view that “He who runs away lives to fight another day.”

Maryborough’s motto is Latin and it means: Faith, Strength and Courage

 

 

Maryborough received a badge when these arms were granted and this is it:

coat of arms - maryborough badge

The badge repeats the colours and symbols of the arms.

Granted?

Granted, I hear you ask. Yes, granted!

In Australia “official” coats of arms are granted by a British College of Arms.

The gentlemen responsible for the design and grant of the arms to Maryborough were:

Sir Alexander Colin Cole, Knight Commander of the Royal Victorian Order, upon whom has been conferred the Territorial Decoration, Garter Principal King of Arms, Sir Anthony Richard Wagner, Knight Commander of the Most Honourable Order of the Bath, Knight Commander of the Royal Victorian Order, Clarenceux King of Arms and John Philip Brooke Brooke-Little, Esquire, Commander of the Royal Victorian Order, Norroy and Ulster, King of Arms.

Make your own coat of arms

Municipal coats of arms can be fun to look for, and they can also be a great way to learn more about the places you visit.

If you’re feeling creative, there’s no reason why you can’t come up with your own arms for yourself or your town or city.

Just make sure you follow all the “rules”. After all, you wouldn’t want to get in trouble with the arms authorities!

 

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***

Looking for inspiration for your next adventure?

Is the daily rat race leaving you feeling exhausted?

Jocelyn Magazine acts as a source of inspiration to help you tantalise your taste buds and indulge your curiosity while also discovering history and culture—all that Australia offers.

So, if it’s time for a new adventure, check out some of our travel destination posts here today!

Darran takes photographers for a walk on the wild side

Darran Leal has locked eyes with lions in Africa and anacondas in the Amazon but facing his wife’s stare as he returned from a K’gari (Fraser Island) expedition with a salt-ridden car was more daunting.

“Don’t tell Julia,” Darran Leal called out as the tyres of their 4WD sink lower into the sand.

Ruing his decision to stop five seconds too long on the island’s boggy beach, for the sake of a better photo, Darran asked his passengers to honour the old adage “What happens on tour, stays on tour.”

Too late – this photojournalist was already onboard.

Darran had Buckley’s chance of escaping Julia’s salt patrol anyway. The self-confessed clean fanatic was wise to her husband’s ways and waited with fresh water and towels in hand for his return.

She was well rewarded for her efforts with early morning cups of tea before he headed off on more photographic adventures.

Darran and Julia own and run Safari Wise Australia, a licensed travel agency specialising in photography tours and workshops in areas as far away as USA, Africa, South America and beyond.

Since February alone Darran has been to Norfolk Island, Tasmania, Kimberley and Fraser Island. Cape Town (South Africa) and Namibia (South-west Africa), Bhutan (Mountain Kingdom), Wild West (USA) and Yellowstone National Park (USA) will fill the remainder of the year.

 

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Walking on the Wild Side - bird with oyster

Pied Oyster Catcher on K’gari (Fraser Island).

BBC Wildlife Photographer of the Year

Catching up with Darren on K’gari (Fraser Island) during the 9th annual Bird Week in May 2010, the BBC Wildlife Photographer of the Year said his work had been published around the world and used in books, magazines and commercial products.

He has appeared on television several times and has been commissioned by Qantas, Warner Brothers, the Qld Government, Australia Post, Steve Parish Publishing and many other companies, and published six of his own books.

“My life has never been one of sitting around and waiting for things to happen,” the former Qld National Parks and Wildlife Service photographer said.

“Rather, I get out and explore, touch, catch, view, experience and savour every unique moment. I don’t specialise in one area but shoot everything from the smallest insect to the grandest landscape or unique culture.”

Walking on the Wild Side - man with camera on beach

Photographer Darran Leal on K’gari (Fraser Island)

 

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Keep it simple, says Darran

Darran’s widespread success suggests complex techniques are at work but they are surprisingly simple.

“I take the KISS (Keep It Simple Shooter) principle seriously,” he told shutterbugs attending his week-long workshop on Fraser Island.

“We have the technology now – just understand light and metering and let the camera do work.”

Darran said most of his stunning images had been taken with hand-held cameras, using the same techniques he learned 30 years ago.

The limited use of tripods frees him to capture fleeting moments at the blink of an eye.

Getting the images from idea to print or canvas doesn’t happen overnight, however.

He and Julia, a travel consultant of 28 years, spend months or sometimes years researching remote regions for possible images before Darran takes to the field and returns to process, catalogue and print the results.

“The most gratifying aspect of my work – after all of the expense of equipment and travel and the many hours in the field – is to hear someone else enjoying that same split second with me.”

Darran’s passion for photography is infectious.

(The former) group general manager at the island’s Kingfisher Bay and Eurong resorts, Ivor Davies, is one of his converts.

Ivor said he had little photography experience until Darran started running workshops during the annual island Bird Week, attended by bird watchers from throughout Australia.

The artist and former military chef bought some of Darran’s “hand-me-down” camera gear and has become an expert in the field.

He now presents photography sessions for birdwatchers and joins Darran’s excursions, driving a 4WD and helping students with their work … and serving up tea, coffee, biscuits and muffins during the breaks.

Every year Darran and Ivor devote their time throughout the week to presenting theory sessions, helping camera buffs spot birds and wildlife at the Kingfisher Resort and leading tours through the island’s rainforests and along beaches where opportunities to capture unique and creative images abound.

Travelling in teams was certainly handy at this year’s event – particularly when one driver, despite his vast experience trekking through the world’s most remote wilderness areas, stopped five seconds too long on wet beach sand.

Watching the towing was all part of the island’s 4WD experience and offered Darran’s students yet another great photo opportunity – not to be used as evidence, of course.

For more information on Darran Leal’s World Photo Adventures and workshops visit https://worldphotoadventures.com.au/

First published Fraser Coast Chronicle, May 29, 2010.
The name Fraser Island has been updated to K’gari (Fraser Island) to reflect the island’s renaming to its original name in September 2021. 

 

Walking on the Wild Side - bird on a branch

Red-browed Finch.

Where is K’gari (Fraser Island)?

You will find K’gari (Fraser Island) off the southeast coast of the Wide Bay-Burnett region, about 300 kilometres north of Queensland’s capital city, Brisbane.

The best way to get there is to take a barge from Rainbow Beach or River Heads at Hervey Bay.

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Looking for inspiration?

If you are looking for your next K’gari (Fraser Island) adventure, check out my blog on discovering the island’s beauty here.

Discover The Beauty of K’gari (Fraser Island)

In the hustle and bustle of modern life, it’s tough to find a place that lets you truly switch off and unwind.

Thankfully, the tranquil beauty of the World Heritage-listed K’gari (Fraser Island) offers the perfect place to recharge and relax.

As the world’s largest sand island, K’gari (Fraser Island) is undoubtedly a genuine paradise.

In fact, ‘Paradise’ is the literal translation of the island’s name, K’gari!

Alongside the breathtaking beauty, the island also offers a wonderful array of attractions for visitors, making it popular with tourists from throughout the world.

K'gari (Fraser Island - Forest

 

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A brief history of K’gari

The Traditional Owners of K’gari are the Butchulla people, with historians estimating that they have lived amongst the stunning landscape for upwards of 50,000 years.

Having always focused on care and respect for nature, the Butchulla people continue to live in harmony amongst the seasons, land, and sea today.

The 166,000-hectare island is a place of natural beauty, with the stunning coastline, rainforests, sand dunes, and perched lakes slowly forming over thousands of years.

For visitors today, the region is a space to escape the busy world, switch off their phones, and connect to the world.

K'gari (Fraser Island) - Nautalis Shell

The best things to do on K’gari

As one of the best tourist spots in Australia, K’gari (Fraser Island) is packed with a vast array of cultural activities suitable for all the family.

Some of the most popular include:

1. Take a trip to Lake McKenzie

While the island is surrounded by incredible beaches, a trip to Lake McKenzie should be on everyone’s list. Formed thousands of years ago, this unique lake features sand that is 98% silica, which means it is not only the whitest sand you will ever see, but it also reflects the sunlight, ensuring it remains cool to touch.

This unique sand also offers increased filtration of rainwater, helping to give the water the iconic azure colour recognised across the globe.

2. Check out the eastern sand dunes

Taking a trip to Eli Creek on the Eastern side of the island is the perfect opportunity to see the stunning sand dunes, and the incredible coloured sand the region offers.

Thanks to the leaching of oxides, each grain of sand on K’gari comes in an array of different colours with 72 shades found across the island.

3. Absorb the views from Indian Head

For thousands of years, the Traditional Owners of K’gari have climbed the island’s most northerly point, Indian Head, to take in the gorgeous viewpoints.

Arguably one of the best views on the entire island, Indian Head offers stunning sights across not only the land but across the sea, too, where it is not uncommon to see humpback whales.

4. Visit the rainforests

Driving from Eurong Beach along to Kingfisher Bay will reveal the stunning rainforest, the only place in the world where tall forests grow on sand dunes!

Growing to great heights, these trees have been growing for thousands of years and walking through them is an experience you’ll remember for a lifetime.

5. Take a trip through history at the Cultural Centre

Fun for the whole family, the Fraser Coast Cultural Centre gives takes visitors through the incredible history of the island, educating them on everything from the UNESCO-listed beaches to the countless wildlife that calls K’gari home.

Where is K’gari?

You’ll find K’gari (Fraser Island) off the southeast coast of the Wide Bay-Burnett region.

The best way to get there is to take a barge from Rainbow Beach or River Heads at Hervey Bay, about 300 kilometres north of Queensland’s capital city, Brisbane.

 

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FEATURE PHOTO: The famous Maheno shipwreck located just north of Happy Valley on K’gari (Fraser Island) was driven ashore during a cyclone in 1935. Shutterstock

***

Looking for inspiration for your next adventure?

Is the daily rat race leaving you feeling exhausted?

Jocelyn Magazine acts as a source of inspiration to help you tantalize your taste buds and indulge your curiosity while also discovering history and culture—all that Australia offers.

So, if it’s time for a new adventure, check out some of our travel destination posts here today!

Attention travellers: Are you looking for a Fraser Island adventure?

IT’S NO secret that Fraser Island is one of Australia’s top tourist destinations, and as such the world’s largest sand island is well-advertised across the world for adventure.

But when 9-year-old Hayden gasped in awe of his Fraser Island adventure, you could be sure it came with a child-like honesty and conviction.

Fraser Island adventure is simply the best, says Hayden

“This is the best trip ever!” Hayden exclaimed after just one night at Eurolie on Fraser Island, a place also known as K’gari by the traditional owners.

Now, you might think Hayden’s experience with holidays might be limited since he’s nine years of age, but my second grandson has been around a ridge or three.

He’s slept under the stars at Charleville, Goondiwindi, Gympie, Noosa, Airlie Beach, plus a few other places, courtesy of his mum and dad’s “Taj Mahal” of camper trailers.

But sleeping in the games room of a two-story house next to his big brother and with a pool table, a stack of games and bathroom, all within easy reach, was simply the best.

After walking up the internal stairs that lead to a spacious lounge room with another television and more games, plus three bedrooms and another two bathrooms, we had one excited lad.

Then there was the breakfast table, dining table, huge open-plan kitchen with a walk-in pantry and fridge that we’d stocked with goodies, and a large island bench with four bar stools.

Looking through the wall-to-wall windows, we could see across a timber deck to a forest with trees that teased us with branches gently swaying enough to reveal glimpses of the ocean beyond.

 

Fraser Island Kookaburra

A kookaburra visits Eurolie on High a Fraser Island, Queensland, Australia.

 

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Discovering wildlife so close

Kookaburras sat in the deck’s timber railings, so close we could almost pat them if we dared. Not us, though – we valued our fingers!

From the deck, we also spotted the occasional goanna foraging for food in the forest’s undergrowth and heard possums in the treetops at night.

Eurolie on High is nestled amongst tall red gum and paperbark trees, towards the top of Kingfisher Heights, just a few kilometres behind Kingfisher Bay Resort.

The home has an air-conditioner but with cool sea breezes and living areas that are cool in summer and warm in winter, there’s little need for its use.

Our accommodation, the holiday home of Kevin and Sandra Alexander, was our base for a week of adventure on Fraser Island.

Hayden travelled there with his dad, mum and three siblings, who were just as excited as he but not as vocal.

Adventure to remember

A barge carried their Toyota Prado from Inskip Point to the eastern side of the island where they drove along 75 Mile Beach to Eurong Beach Resort, and then across the island to Kingfisher Bay Resort.

A friend and I also came by a barge that took us from Riverheads to the jetty near Kingfisher Bay Resort.

Over the next few days, we visited iconic places including Lake McKenzie, which is famous pure white silica sand and crystal clear waters.

We also went to Eli Creek, where about four million litres of clear freshwater are pumped into the ocean every hour, and the famous Maheno Shipwreck just north of Happy Valley on 75 Mile Beach.

The kids were even lucky enough to spot some wild dingoes, from the safety of the Prado, wandering along 75 Mile Beach.

Our week was short but wonderfully eventful and one to be remembered for a long time to come.

Fraser Island - Eurolie on High

Eurolie on High, Kingfisher Bay Resort, K’Gari (Fraser Island), Queensland

***

Looking for inspiration for your next adventure?

Is the daily rat race leaving you feeling exhausted?

Jocelyn Magazine acts as a source of inspiration to help you tantalize your taste buds and indulge your curiosity while also discovering history and culture—all that Australia offers.

So, if it’s time for a new adventure, check out some of our travel destination posts here today!