The western beach of Fraser Island is a beautiful place. Stretching up from Moon Point, its crescent cradles Platypus Bay, crossing creeks such as Coongul, Bowarrady, Awinya and the greatest of them, Wathumba, before it reaches across to Rooney’s Point. Then it treks northeast, past the majesty of the Sandy Cape Lighthouse, to the cape itself and the angry waves of Breaksea Spit.
These wonderful places are already a recreational magnet for boaties and to a lesser extent four wheel drives. However, with a bit of tweaking, some minimal infrastructure, and some collaboration with local tourist vessels, we can add to the picture by encouraging hikers and kayakers to enjoy this area too.
In the Abel Tasman National Park, New Zealand, there is a thriving little industry doing just that. The park has developed walks along its coast, running for some 90 kilometres, with campsites and some huts along the way. Tour vessels drop people off (and their kayaks if that is what they are doing) at various places along the beaches. You can decide what section and how far you want to hike or paddle, and the boat will collect you at the pre-determined spot later that day, or whenever if you are overnighting. The campsites have water supply and toilets, and some have kitchen shelters.
Something similar could be done along the western beach. For the most part, the beach will serve as the walking track so establishment cost can be minimised. It may be desirable to develop a track upstream at Wathumba, as otherwise that can only be crossed at low tide, but this would add to the interest. Eco-friendly facilities could be established every 10 or 15 kilometres.
The Abel Tasman operation runs in conjunction with tourists simply going for a day trip, and our boats could do the same. It would add to the options, especially out of whale season.
Of course this area is covered by National Parks and any development would have to be done in partnership with the state government, but isn’t that what it’s all about?
Check out what they are doing in New Zealand: https://www.abeltasman.co.nz/