Can you spot the drone? An aerial virtual tour of the Champage Pools on Fraser Island.
Can you spot the drone? An aerial virtual tour of the Champage Pools on Fraser Island. Contributed Early Warning Network

Sharing the Fraser Coast with the world drone style

VISITORS to Fraser Island can holiday before leaving home thanks to a set of virtual tours created by one innovative man.

Former private pilot and Army veteran Kerry Plowright has mapped 140 kilometres of the sandy escape using drones, cameras and other state-of-the art technology.

Mr Plowright, based in Chinderah in New South Wales, created a virtual tour of the island to demonstrate the capabilities of the technology used by his company Early Warning Network.

"In any sort of major catastrophic event we get in there to map the area for insurance purposes, the council and government," he said.

"The reason I selected Fraser Island was to demonstrate just what we can do."

A hiker with cameras attached to a backpack mast captured the walking tracks of the island's southern end in about two and a half days in May.

"More than 100,000 shots were taken and then compiled quickly by software," Mr Plowright said.

"The cameras can take shots every 10 metres as the system is calibrated to global positioning which knows how fast you go."

To capture the shoreline, a drone was operated out of a four-wheel drive moving along the beach.

Mr Plowright said the virtual tour technology used by his company was similar to that of Google Maps.

"Because we already know how to map areas out, this is something we were easily able to do," he said.

Both Hamilton Island and a railway voyage have also been transformed into virtual tours thanks to Mr Plowright's initiative.

"One of the first jobs we did was a seven-day rail trip from Darwin to South Australia," he said.

"We took two and a half million images to prove the logistics were practical."

Mr Plowright is now keen to map elsewhere.

"I think we'll map Moreton and Stradbroke islands and the Murray River soon," he said.