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K'gari (Fraser Island) Rainforest

Updated Thu 11 May 2023

K'gari (Fraser Island) is over 1800 kilometres squared and is mostly covered in dense trees, bushes, ferns, and other native plants that make up its rainforest. It’s home to a vast variety of flora and fauna, much of which visitors can enjoy while visiting the island. The spectacular K'gari rainforests are one of the many reasons why travelers are lured to this stunning island!

Rainforest on Fraser Island

K'gari Rainforest 

One of the many reasons why K'gari is unique is that it's the world’s largest sand island. But what makes it even more special is its abundance of rainforests, despite the island being made out of sand!

It is incredibly rare and fascinating to see giant trees growing out of the sand, which is notoriously lacking in nutrients. K'gari's rainforest is the largest of its kind in the world. Huge ancient trees have taken root in the sand base of the island, forming the basis of a thriving and vibrant rainforest.

rainforest in sand

How Do K'gari's Trees Grow So Tall?

Fungi around the forest floor help decompose dead trees and other plant matter, so they deliver more nutrients to the trees and allow them to grow tall! K'gari's trees can reach elevations of up to 200 metres, which is impressive for a sand island! Trees are also found in the low, moist gullies where you will see trees reaching tall and straight into the sun as the forest floor remains dark and damp.

The huge roots of the native trees reach far into the dunes to absorb nutrients deposited by the fungi and decomposed plants. The good stuff is buried deep in the sand, but K'gari's trees are experts at finding it! The massive trees on K'gari then provide shelter for smaller plants to grow near the forest floor, therefore creating a diverse and lush rainforest. 

massive tree

Flora and Fauna in The K'gari Rainforest

K'gari's rainforest is home to an abundance of plant and animal species. Tree species that you may see include eucalypt trees, red gums, scribbly gums, bloodwoods, string-barked satinays, kuari, hoop pine, strangler figs, and blackbutts.

These beautiful trees support a huge array of animals including dingoes, frogs, king parrots, yellow-tailed black cockatoos, sulphur-crested cockatoos, brushtail possums, sugar gliders, and flying foxes.

K'gari's rainforests are one of the many special parts of the island, and they hold a special significance to the traditional owners of the island and its first inhabitants, the Butchulla People. If you are visiting K'gari for yourself, you will get to enjoy the dense rainforest from the sandy inland tracks or from the various sites around the island, such as Central Station, the island’s former logging camp. 


Other Natural Sites On K'gari

Despite the vast size of the rainforest on K'gari, you will also find sand blows, lakes, swamps, woodlands, mangroves, and of course, beaches. Every part of the island is special and unique and should be treated with care. Be careful where you walk when in the forest (or anywhere) making sure to stick to set paths and avoid walking on any plants, animals, or insects that may cross your path! The delicate ecosystem is part of the Great Sandy National Park and is protected as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

aerial view of lake

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