19 September 2018
The University of the Sunshine Coast has officially launched a free app for K’gari-Fraser Island ahead of the royal visit by Prince Harry and his wife Meghan and in time for an influx of school holiday visitors.
Available from the App Store and Google Play, the comprehensive online and offline guide is designed for students, researchers and visitors to the UNESCO designated World Heritage site.
USC Vice-Chancellor Professor Greg Hill said a range of self-guided walk and drive itineraries would help users explore the Island.
“At the same time they can learn how wind, sand, water and plants work together in an endless cycle to create this unique place,” Professor Hill said.
“K’gari is recognised as one of the world’s most outstanding natural wonders and this app is part of USC’s commitment to growing knowledge and understanding of its complex systems of lakes, forests and dunes and its exceptional vegetation, wildlife and culture,” he said.
“Users can gain a greater appreciation of the Island’s global importance and find out how they can play a part in helping to protect and conserve it.”
Professor Hill said the app would assist students and academics who used USC’s Research and Learning Centre at Dilli Village on the eastern side of the Island as a base for field studies.
Dingo safety and sand driving advice are features of the app which includes off-line maps, essential travel and packing advice, tide times and track conditions.
Users can identify and find out more about the Island’s plants, birds and other wildlife, including rare and significant species that have adapted to its unique ecosystems such as the dingo and acid frogs.
The ‘Learn’ section of the app draws on decades of research, historical documents, reports and photographs held in USC’s K’gari-Fraser Island Research Archive and provides links to key research publications.
There are links to the Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service and the Bureau of Meteorology websites and information on how to connect with organisations dedicated to helping conserve and protect the Island’s environment and heritage.
USC recommends users download the app before travelling to help plan their visit and for offline access while on the Island where connectivity is sometimes poor.
More information on the K-gari-Fraser Island app can be found here.
— Clare McKay