K’Gari, formally Fraser Island, officially renamed by Australian Government.

K'Gari formally known as Fraser Island for travel blog Brads Backpack

K’Gari is the original placename for the largest sand island in the world. After Captain James Fraser and his wife Eliza were shipwrecked on the island in the 1830s, it was renamed Fraser Island. Historians suggest that following Ms. Fraser’s rescue, she shared false accounts and stories about the Butchulla people. This resulted in the subsequent genocide of the First Nations people.

To the Butchulla people, the island holds incredible history. Every lake, waterway, rainforest and coastline has a story or holds significance. The UNESCO World Heritage Committee recognized the island as a World Heritage area in 1992. Its estimated that the island formed over the course of the last 750,000 years through the accumulation of sand. The Butchulla people have recognized the significance of the island for the past 20,000 years, based on estimations.

The state government ran a public survey in the lead-up to the decision. Over 6000 submitted their opinion with around 70% voting to show their support and change the name back to K’Gari. The Butchulla people, the traditional owners of K’Gari, have been campaigning to officially change names for nearly a decade. Plans are already underway to ensure that road signs and maps are updated. K’Gari means paradise to the Butchulla people, and the name couldn’t be more suited to the beautiful island. The name comes from the White Spirit, who created Butchulla country.

K'Gari formally known as Fraser Island for travel blog Brads Backpack

In addition, The Butchulla people received four title deeds for more than 19 hectares of land as part of the name change. Returning the name to K’gari is a significant step in history and people have likened it to Uluru reclaiming its name in 1993.

In 2022 alone, K’Gari welcomed over 800,000 tourists from across the world, and will continue to be a popular tourist destination. It is home to some of the most beautiful swimming spots in Australia. I visited the island in 2019 and woke up one morning to one of the most beautiful sunsets I have ever seen. To visit K’Gari the only access is by ferry from the Fraser Coast, a 186-mile drive from the city of Brisbane on the east coast. Clearly, if your plans for Australia include a road trip, then this is the perfect destination to go.

I was lucky enough to have a tour guide who was incredibly passionate. He would often share the stories of the island, as well as teaching us about the wildlife of the Butchulla people. Visting K’Gari is the trip of a lifetime, with so much beauty and history to offer. Thousnads of tourists visit each year, it’s only right for it to be famous under its original name. Allowing every visitor the chance to engage and learn all about this paradise.

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