The world's largest sand island, Fraser Island will make an exciting stop for P&O's passengers. It is located off the coast of Queensland not far north of Brisbane, stretching 123 kilometres in length and is 22 kilometres wide at its broadest point. White beaches, rainforests, amazing wildlife, more than 100 freshwater lakes and spectacular dunes make it an incredible and unforgettable place to visit. A very popular activity on the island is 4WD tours - and these will be offered to cruise visitors via a partnership with P&O and Kingfisher Bay Resort.
The Pacific Aria will make the pioneering call to Fraser Island on a round trip from Brisbane in April 2016, and the Pacific Eden will visit during a round trip cruise from Sydney in December 2016, with more itineraries to be announced in the new program.
The addition of Fraser Island comes after a host of new Queensland destinations for P&O - Mooloolaba, Hamilton and Gladstone chief amongst these. Kate Jones, the Queensland Minister for Tourism, welcomed the announcement: "we'll now see more visitors enjoying Fraser Island's natural beauty, which is great news for local tourism operators. We hope that the incredible experiences visitors will have on Fraser Island make them want to return to Queensland again."
Ann Sherry, CEO of Carnival Cruises, also hopes that passengers will be impressed by the destination. "Fraser Island's Indigenous inhabitants gave their island home a name that means paradise and our cruisers will have the opportunity to discover this for themselves"she said.
Fraser Island is just the most recent in a string of destinations which have opened up in the sunny state of Queensland - beyond the big cities like Brisbane and Cairns. Here are a few on the P&O roster which can offer something a little different for a domestic cruise adventure:
The Whitsundays are a region of stunning beaches and islands with a tropical climate, the perfect beach resort. Visiting ships dock at Airlie Beach, the hub of the region from where visitors can go out and explore a slice of paradise.
Just off the coast of Brisbane, this is a smaller sand island with many of the same beautiful features you'll find on Fraser Island: lakes, dunes, beaches and more. Hand feeding wild dolphins is a favourite thing to do here.
This island is one of those which make up the Whitsundays - but if it is listed in your P&O itinerary, it means the ship will dock near the island itself rather than Airlie Beach. This beautiful isle is a great place to head out on a trip to the Great Barrier Reef.
Just above Cairns is the gorgeous beachside suburb of Yorkeys Knob, where ships dock offshore and send passengers ashore in tenders. If you can tear yourself away from the fabulous beach, the Kuranda Scenic Railway is a fun experience.
Coastal township, beach resort, tropical destination: Port Douglas is many things to many people. It is a gorgeous part of the Northern Queensland coast, and a gem on any P&O itinerary. Crocodile Cruises are a popular shore tour.
This is a scenic cruising port, which means you won't actually stop here but can get a close look at the scenery when the ship anchors offshore. Keep a lookout for the abundant birdlife, and also the green turtles which live and breed on the island and in the surrounding waters.
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