Tourists visiting a popular Australian destination are being slammed for their ‘ignorant’ behaviour around one of the island’s Instagram-famous attractions.
K’gari, formerly known as Fraser Island, is a World Heritage-listed site along Queensland’s south-eastern coast and is part of the Great Sandy National Park – famous for its long beaches, forests and pristine freshwater lakes.
The island is also home to a top tourist attraction, the metal shell of SS Maheno which shipwrecked on the island during a cyclone in 1935.
Travellers flock to the rusty remains to snap evocative, moody pictures inside the shipwreck, despite a ‘large’ danger sign warning tourists to remain at least three metres away from the ‘deteriorating’ vessel.
A man who regularly takes visitors to the island labelled tourists who flout the rules as ‘ignorant’ and ‘entitled’.
Many tourists climb onto the rusty remains of the SS Maheno on K’gari (pictured) to have their photo taken, despite the large ‘danger’ signs warning people to remain three metres way from the wreckage
A large ‘danger’ sign warns visitors that ‘unauthorised access’ to the shipwreck is ‘prohibited’, with fines of up to $7,740 applying to those caught violating the rules
‘I regularly witness tourists touching and climbing on the wreck, even after reading the sign or being informed,’ the man told Yahoo News.
‘It seems to be a common problem on the island with visitors feeling entitled to do as they please because they paid for a permit to come visit so they can do whatever they like.
The same applies to the rules about the dingoes, and most if not all of the latest attacks stem back to ignorant tourists.’
A large sign placed near the shipwreck warns visitors ‘unauthorised access prohibited’ to those wanting to enter the boat’s hull.
‘The shipwreck remains are collapsing,’ the sign reads.
‘Sharp, rusty metal is hidden in the surrounding sand. Surging waves and metal fragments pose a serious health risk to visitors.
‘Serious injury or death could result from attempting to get close to the shipwreck ruins. For your safety, stay back. Take your photos and move away carefully.’
The man, who wished to remain anonymous, shared a reminder of the rules to Facebook, alongside a photo of the ‘danger’ sign.
‘Just putting this here because of the amount of people that I see in and on the Maheno shipwreck,’ he wrote.
‘Indian Head used to have a similar sign for the face of the headland which carried an 80 penalty unit fine. Tourists ignored the rules and now complain that the headland is now closed.
‘If you want to blame someone, it’s not QPWS (Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service), the Butchulla or the name change to K’gari, it’s the tourists that don’t give a rats a*** and do as they please. What is happening to our country?’
Tourists have been accused of ignoring the rules to get a photo with the wreckage (pictured)
Rangers on the island employ an ‘educational approach by issuing verbal warnings’ to those breaching the three metre rule
However, the man’s post angered tourists, labelling him a ‘Karen’ and claiming they will do as they please.
‘Just sick of the nanny state,’ one person wrote.
‘I’ll go inside and on the wreck as I please, it’s on a public beach.’ another person commented.
A third chimed: ‘I am a little over being told I can’t do something by some person sitting in an office that has no life experience and is wrapped up in bubble wrap.
‘I’m not saying I want to see people getting hurt, but shouldn’t it be our choice what we consider dangerous based on our life experiences.’
Others argued ‘people are responsible for their own actions’ and that the government is ‘just trying to profit from citizens’.
Many defended the rules around the heritage-listed site, claiming the sign served as a reminder for people to enjoy the attraction safely.
‘Sadly if they didn’t warn you, some goose will get injured and an ambulance chasing-lawyer will get the goose a payout because they weren’t warned,’ one person commented.
‘I mean, if you want a 100-year-old rusted piece of steel through your foot that you couldn’t see due to soft sand, by all means, enjoy the public beach.’ another wrote.
The Department of Environment and Science told Daily Mail Australia visitors who ignore the sign risk a maximum penalty of 50 units which equates to a $7,740 fine.
K’gari, formerly known as Fraser Island, is a World Heritage-listed site along Queensland ‘s south eastern coast and is part of the Great Sandy National Park which is famous for its long beaches, forests and pristine freshwater lakes (pictured)
The department explained the three metre rule was put in place to preserve Maheno’s historical value and protect the safety of visitors.
‘Due to the Maheno’s historical value and the deteriorating condition of the shipwreck, access onto the wreck or within 3 metres of any part of the wreck is prohibited,’ the Department of Environment and Science said.
‘This is to protect the wreck and visitors. Serious injury or death could result from walking on or around the wreck.
‘The wreck above the sand is crumbling, rusty steel and people could fall through the structure. Much of the wreck is buried under the sand – and people have been known to cut their feet and legs on sharp, rusty steel.’
The department added visitors to the island place personal safety above their ‘desire to take selfies’ despite signs warning them not to climb, touch or go near the wreck.
While rangers ‘generally take an educational approach by issuing verbal warnings’, they can also hand out a penalty infringement notice of $464.40 to anyone ignoring the three-metre rule.