K’Gari beach clean efforts top over 13K tonnes

Combined with the Queensland floods earlier this year, the debris that has washed up on the shores of K’gari (Fraser Island) has caused a severe environmental impact. Through Where Wild Things Roam support with Wild Things Roam Org, a small team headed to the island in April to assist with the beach clean-up efforts, collecting a total of 46.5kg of rubbish over a weekend period.

Fraser Island – Photo Credit – Kate Webster

Hana from K’gari Fraser Island Adventures has been heading up clean-up efforts on K’gari, where 178 volunteers attend beach clean missions over 14 days, collecting a total of 13,822.5 tonnes of rubbish.

“The response from the community and from Queensland Parks was incredible. It was a true demonstration of kindness and generosity. It was officially the largest clean up ever on the world heritage listed K’gari Fraser Island and we feel absolutely honoured to have been the organisers.”

ana from K’gari Fraser Island Adventures
Debris collected totalled over 13.8K tonnes. Photo Credit – K’gari Fraser Island Adventures

K’gari (Fraser Island) is a World-Heritage-listed island along the south-eastern coast in the Wide Bay–Burnett region, Queensland, Australia. The name K’gari is the Indigenous name in the Butchulla language, while the name Gari is the Indigenous name in the Badtjala language.

The island is approximately 250 kilometres (160 mi) north of the state capital, Brisbane, and is within the Fraser Coast Region local government area. The world heritage listing includes the island, its surrounding waters and parts of the nearby mainland.

Fraser Island – Photo Credit – Kate Webster

The island is about 123 kilometres (76 mi) long and 22 kilometres (14 mi) wide. It was inscribed as a World Heritage Site in 1992. The island is considered to be the largest sand island in the world at 1,840 square kilometres (710 sq mi). It is also Queensland’s largest island, Australia’s sixth-largest island and the largest island on the east coast of Australia.

Fraser Island – Photo Credit – Kate Webster

Fraser Island has rainforests, eucalyptus woodland, mangrove forests, wallum and peat swamps, sand dunes and coastal heaths. It is made up of sand that has been accumulating for approximately 750,000 years on volcanic bedrock that provides a natural catchment for the sediment carried on a strong offshore current northwards along the coast. Unlike on many sand dunes, plant life is abundant due to the naturally occurring mycorrhizal fungi present in the sand, which release nutrients in a form that can be absorbed by the plants. The island is home to a small number of mammal species, as well as a diverse range of birds, reptiles and amphibians, including the occasional saltwater crocodile. The island is protected as part of the Great Sandy National Park, and is a popular tourism destination.

The efforts to clean the beaches on K’gari are ongoing, and assistance is always appreciated. If you wanted to get involved, visit the beach clean up events page for more information.