Tourism pressure on Fraser Island (K'gari)
Increased tourism in the Fraser Island (K’gari) World Heritage Area is acting as a driver for a number of threats.
Increasing tourist numbers and associated vehicles and infrastructure impacts, while localised, can be intensive around iconic sites, specifically causing:
- some deterioration of aesthetics (criterion vii)
- localised geological impacts (criterion viii)
- localised ecological and evolutionary impacts (criterion xi).
While concentrated around visitor sites and travel routes, they are unlikely to alter on-going geomorphological or ecological processes at the landscape level.
National Park management plans address visitor issues through infrastructure design and management, to minimise impact to sensitive areas and World Heritage values. Accurate monitoring of visitor numbers is integral to managing visitor impacts.
Pollution and siltation to aquatic areas, particularly the perched lakes and streams, has been raised as impacting on World Heritage values (partially those associated with criterion ix and the evolution of vertebrates and invertebrates).
- Such impacts are typically limited to the high use visitor sites.
Regular and more frequent monitoring and research on water quality in the lakes would be beneficial. In November 2019, the Butchulla Land and Sea Rangers commenced a water quality monitoring program.
This threat is considered ‘moderate’.