Finding Paradise: It’s a shore thing with P&O Cruises

We recently became tourists in our own town when we hopped onboard P&O Cruises Pacific Aria.  The Caribbean, Fiji, New Caledonia, as some examples, all have special memories for us, but when it comes to exploring must-see tropical destinations – you really can’t beat Queensland.

Our family is from Brisbane, so we may be a little biased, BUT truly the places that you can now discover by ship right here in Australia, have completely blown our mind.

One of these destinations is world heritage listed Fraser Island.  Official Name: K’gari. Translation: Paradise.

We have always wanted to visit Fraser Island, but it just seemed so far even when driving from Brisbane. I’ve heard that the road trip is very pretty, especially as you travel along the Fraser Coast, but when your annual leave days are limited and you’ve got kids in tow, cruising seems like the smart option.

If you’re from another State and wanting to see Fraser Island and other beautiful destinations like the Whitsundays and Tangalooma by any method other than ship, then the travel days and your level of effort really start to add up.

The ability to get that holiday feeling the minute you board, is one of the main reasons why we love cruising and would recommend it to anyone. And because cruising is so relaxing, by the time you arrive at your destination, you’re raring to go!

About Fraser Island

Fraser Island is famously known for its 123-kilometres of pristine sand, magical freshwater Lake McKenzie and breathtaking rainforest with crystal creeks and ancient trees. Kingfisher Bay Resort can also be found on the Island and passengers of P&O Cruises are welcome to use the resort’s facilities.

Tips For Cruising to Paradise

On day three of our five-day cruise, Pacific Aria ‘tenderly’ dropped us at the doorstep of magical Fraser Island.  NB. Other ships within the fleet, like Pacific Eden (check out our review here), also visit this destination.

  • To ensure you get to experience the shore tour that best suits your family, book early.  Popular tours like the ‘Fraser Island Explorer’ (this is the one that we did), can book-out early.
  • Like all shore excursions, there is a range of tours to suit all interests, ages and capabilities.  If water sports, cooking demonstrations, helicopter flights or bushwalking are your thing, you can do that.
  • You are also welcome to visit the Island and not book any tour. For us though, we’ve always found that pre-organised excursions just make life easier with kids and we are never disappointed.When you visit somewhere just for the day, you want to make sure that you experience all the best bits and nothing beats getting the insider scoop from a tour operator who lives and breathes the location.


Getting to shore from the ship is a short 15-minute tender ride away.  When you arrive at Fraser Island, P&O crew will guide you to the meeting place for your tour.

Our ride around Fraser was this air-conditioned 4WD coach.  Be warned though, this is not your average coach… it goes off-road and offers quite the experience! #holdontoyourhats

Our first stop was the exquisite Lake McKenzie – it has to be seen to be believed.  This crystal clear, freshwater lake is magical and is said to have healing properties for your skin and body because it is so pure.  Made from spring water, there is very little sea-life to be found here making it the perfect spot for swimming safely with kids.

Not too far from the water is the stunning rainforest canopy. You’ll feel young again when you’re surrounded by ancient tall trees, ferns and freshwater springs.

Don’t miss the kid’s playground at Kingfisher Bay Resort before you get back on to the ship.

At the end of the tour, a 3-minute walk will take you back to the jetty and ready to meet the ships tenders. #tooeasy


For information on P&O Cruises’ fleet of ships and sensational range of itineraries, please visit or speak with your travel agent.

A four-night P&O cruise to Fraser Island onboard Pacific Aria starts from $400 per person for an inside quad cabin. Prices correct at the time of writing.


We were media guests onboard P&O Cruises’ Pacific Aria. All opinions are our own and correct at the time of publication. If you have any questions about cruising, feel free to drop me a line on email, in comments below or on instagram.