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Kingfisher Bay Resort
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Reviewed October 14, 2009

I am attaching the contents of a letter which I sent to Kingfisher Bay Resort management after our stay. Judge for yourself whether this resort will enhance your trip to fraser island:

Dear Sir / Madam
I stayed at the Kingfisher Bay Resort for two nights with my partner and his parents from the UK in villa S136 on the nights of Friday 9th and Saturday 10th October 2009. The location of the resort, of course, is stunning and the villa was comfortable, well equipped and had magnificent views. Unfortunately the positive experiences of Kingfisher Bay Resort stop there. The remainder of the experiences were disappointing to say the least and relate to:
1. Failure to pass-on 4WD vehicle reservations;
2. Untrained and overwhelmed staff;
3. Unacceptable noise nuisance;
4. Mediocre value for money.
In specific detail:
1 Failure to pass-on 4WD vehicle reservations
I made a booking for Kingfisher Bay Resort together with a full-day hire of a 4WD Toyota Landcruiser (supplied through Aussie Trax) on Saturday 10th October 2009 through the Kingfisher Bay reservations centre on September 8th 2009.
On arrival at the resort on Friday 9th October I decided to pop into the Aussie Trax on-site office, just to confirm details for pick-up of the vehicle the next day. Dave from Aussie Trax informed me that they had no record of the reservation and no free vehicles the next day.
He phoned reception and talked to Raymond who said that the booking was in the Kingfisher Bay Resort systems and that we should phone reservations. It took 40 minutes to get through to reservations who admitted that they had forgotten to make the reservation and simply faxed it through five minutes later – hardly a helpful action given the lack of vehicles the next day.
The main reason for coming to Fraser Island was to enjoy a day in a 4WD touring the island. To be told that this was no longer possible was devastating.
All credit to Dave and the staff at Aussie Trax. Dave said he would try to get a vehicle over from the mainland, but was told that the Kingfisher Bay barge was fully booked.
When I went to reception to talk to Raymond, Deon and Colin, I was asked to return to my villa and they would see what they could arrange with the barge. When I received a phone call from Deon I was told that it was unlikely the barge would have any space, but he could reserve us 4 places on a 40 seater bus for the same cost as the 4WD vehicle. When I suggested that this would be hardly an equivalent experience, the places were offered free of charge. I had no choice but to accept this offer, otherwise we would not see Fraser Island at all. Nevertheless, there was always the faint hope that a vehicle could be brought over from the mainland the next day. Reception said they would phone if this was the case – they didn’t. I went down to Aussie Trax the next morning and Dave and his team had managed to arrange for the vehicle to be available.
We had a great day – no thanks to the reservations fiasco.
I understand that Aussie Trax management has spoken to resort management about an ‘increasing number’ of reservations which fail to be passed on. I also understand that Kingfisher Bay Resort receives a commission from Aussie Trax for all 4WD reservations made through its reservations centre. I would like to suggest that it would only be fair that this commission be refunded to Aussie Trax in this instance.
2 Untrained and overwhelmed staff
We encountered and reported to reception several occasions where staff appeared to be untrained for the tasks assigned to them and overwhelmed due to understaffing. The first of these was in the coffee shop which was manned by one member of staff with at least eight customers and several members of staff waiting to be served. The staff member was clearly not adequately trained to use the coffee machine and in the absence of other serving staff we had to wait about 15 minutes to be served. Under normal circumstances the response would be to leave and go somewhere else; but there was no where else to go.
Another example of this occurred at the bar. We had a reservation for dinner at 8.00pm and went to the bar for pre-dinner cocktails at about 7.30pm. We ordered 4 cocktails. Scott behind the bar had no idea how to make the cocktails or where the ingredients were. He had to refer to the cocktail recipe cards and took ages to make them. He was half way through the final cocktail when the bar manager told him that the ingredients for that particular cocktail were unavailable. There were only two people behind the bar, Scott and his manager, with at least five people waiting to be served. The manager took no interest in Scott’s obvious plight. We received our 3 cocktails and a hybrid of the 4th at 7.55pm. I went to reception to report our experience and concern that staff clearly do not appear to be sufficiently trained. I would like to suggest that staff are not left to be overwhelmed to provide inadequate service and that training and supervision be given to allow staff to do their jobs.
3 Unacceptable noise nuisance
Our unfortunate experience at the bar was exacerbated by the fact that communications with staff and with each other was rendered all but impossible by the sheer volume of the ‘entertainment’ playing in the bar area and lobby. The singing duo was OK but simply unacceptably loud – disco volume in fact. On both Friday and Saturday night we could clearly hear the singing from our Villa (S136) which must be at least ½ a kilometre away up a hill. When we went into the restaurant we asked if it was possible for the volume to be turned down. We were told by staff that many guests complain but nothing ever happens. Apparently the staff in the Seabelle fine dining restaurant regularly have complaints from guests who want to enjoy their (not inexpensive) meals in peace. Our thanks go to our waitress Emma who disabled the sliding doors near our table, providing at least some noise dampening during our meal. I would like to suggest that management acts upon the complaints of guests and staff and restricts entertainment to a reasonable volume.
3 Mediocre value for money
Kingfisher Bay Resort benefits from its stunning location. Take that away (imagine this place in the Gold Coast or the Sunshine Coast, for example) and it is doubtful that clients would tolerate the service and prices set by the resort. It would struggle to stay afloat and keep its 4-star rating in any other location. Examples of this: $60.00 per person for an ‘average’ buffet meal; $1.80 per litre for petrol (does bringing it across the bay really justify almost double the mainland price?); $5.60 for a small can of spam? Most organisations value repeat business. Given that Tourism Leisure Corporation appears to monopolise services on Fraser Island, there appears to be little incentive to maintain high standards of service or value for money. We would probably not stay there again.
All-in-all, nearly $2,000 for a terribly disappointing ‘luxury’ experience in paradise. My advice to other travellers would be to stay on the mainland and hire a 4WD from there. There are a small number of alternative accommodation choices on the island and camping may be more fun than Kingfisher Bay Resort.
I am sending a copy of this letter to Aussie Trax in recognition of their sterling efforts and will post its contents on Tripadvisor.com so that potential guests can make their accommodation and tour choices based on this and other travellers’ experiences.
It would be interesting to hear your views on our experience.

  • Stayed: October 2009, traveled with family
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2  Thank Pazzee
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 14, 2009

My partner & I stayed here for 2 nights as part of the adventure package offered by the resort, which included accommodation, breakfast, transfers and a Full Day 4WD Beauty Spots tour. We thoroughly enjoyed our stay here. The rooms were basic but clean and spacious, and the servce was excellent in the majority of areas in the resort. Rooms and resort was a little outdated in terms of decor and appearance, but I think that this fits in with the style of the island/ resort.

The 4WD Tour was the highlight. Our guide was excellent and very knowledgable. This is a MUST if you do not have a car on the island as otherwise the resort is extremely isolated. Lake mckenzie was wonderful and really worth the visit.

Fraser Island is a beautiful island, and this is the only real resort on the island which is why it is priced fairly steeply to stay there. Prices once on the island were comparitive to Australia in general to be honest.

If visiting Fraser Island I would recommend this resort to others. Not sure if we would return though as once you have seen it all there is not a huge amount to return for a second time, but if you are visiting the island and plan to stay overnight then this will be your first choice.

  • Stayed: October 2009, traveled as a couple
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Thank sazkebab
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 11, 2009

With not much choice on the island for accommodation you really can't do better that King Fisher, it's a shame they haven't done a revamp of this resort as it is desperate for one. With resort prices, you don't get what you pay for!

The staff were very friendly, but the rooms are mediocre and the buffet breakfast is very overpriced. We stayed here on a special Entertainment Card booking of 50% off and I can't imagine how I would feel if we had payed full price for the rooms!

The pools are nice but the jacuzzi is cold which is a bit of a shame and when we were there the pool was over-populated by kids so definitely not a romance spot.

On a side note if you are heading to Fraser Island beware of the 4x4 driving, really pretty dangerous on the inside roads to do on your own. I would recommend booking a private guide tour if you want something more personal than the big tours as driving the roads on your own is very stressful!

Another suggestion is to bypass staying on Fraser Island and take a morning barge across to the southern beach drop off and just drive on the beach to the main hot spots and staying at a Hervery Bay hotel/resort.

  • Stayed: September 2009, traveled as a couple
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Thank World_Explorer10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 22, 2009

We stayed for 2 nights on local advice. To have the real Fraser Island experience staying here is essential. As an 'eco resort ' it does not have cutting edge glamour and the rooms have a slightly dated feel, but they are clean and very comfortable. Our room had a lovely deck and a fantastic view out to the ocean. The top restaurant is good, but the buffet is not. The pools are lovely and the tours fabulous. The organisation was really impressive and transport to the island extremely efficient.

  • Stayed: September 2009, traveled as a couple
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Thank levast
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 20, 2009

I stayed here with my husband for our anniversary for three nights.

The resort was great, perfect location with plenty to get involved in and a nice room with a jacuzzi.

The resort had at least 4 swimming pools and we liked the fact that you could get cheese and wine out on the beach and watch the sunset.

however I dont know whether it was the time of year we went but it was overrun with children which was not ideal for a romantic getaway as well as the acoustics in the rooms was really not good. Everytime someone shut a door or walked by we heard it and I really didn't appreciate our neighbours at 4am waking us up and then at 5am.

The food was average and overpriced to be honest! $6 for a can of soup in the supermarket - not that we were eating soup but it gives an idea of prices. $17 for a sandwich!!

We did the fine dining thing but also found a few more reasonable places within the resort to eat.

The day tour we went on were great especially our Tour guide - Dave who kept us well amused! The whale watching was great too.

If price and noise is not an option I would recommend this place. If you want peace and privacy - i wouldn't.

  • Stayed: September 2009, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Londongirl0_2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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