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About The Great Sandy Biosphere

Disconnect from the hustle and bustle and find an easier way of life and a slower pace in the Great Sandy Strait. Its calm, clear turquoise waters and varied countryside lay the foundation for a laid-back getaway.

The strait is part of the Great Sandy Biosphere which covers 874,000 hectares of land between Gympie and Bundaberg and 540,000 hectares of marine park, incorporating K’gari-Fraser Island and Ramsar-listed wetlands. It was designated by UNESCO in 2009 as a reserve of cultural and ecological significance and is in the same class as the Galapagos Islands, the Central Amazon and Uluru. The waters of the biosphere, sheltered by K’gari-Fraser Island and Hervey Bay, rival the Whitsundays, providing unique sailing conditions and stunning scenery. They are home to dugongs, turtles and rare Indo-Pacific humpback dolphins.

Sail away

You can sail this marine sanctuary and explore the remote western side of K’gari-Fraser Island, fish and dive to your heart’s content or stop off at the small islands and sand banks that dot the strait – a favourite is the quaint heritage-listed lighthouses on Woody Island.

The Roy Rufus, Simpson and Hardie artificial reefs at the northern point of the strait, sustaining a wide variety of marine life, are sheltered from ocean currents and offer exciting fishing and diving opportunities.

Two people on a boat in shallow water

Quick fact

The Great Sandy Biosphere contains almost half of all Australia’s bird species and is a critical habitat for more than 7000 species of flora and fauna, some of which are rare or endangered.

Put your feet up

The coastal villages of Maaroom, Boonooroo, Poona, Tuan and Tinnanbar are at the heart of the southern section of the biosphere and can be accessed via the Maryborough-Cooloola Road. They offer caravan and villa accommodation and are made for relaxing and fishing – from the shore or from mangrove-lined creeks and sheltered waterways. Yachts, catamarans (pre-bookings required) or even the humble tinny can be hired in Hervey Bay.

Picture of K'gari Salty safaris


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