(2 customer reviews)




Retails: $34.99 + P/H

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According to Marge Candy in the “Foreword”,Fred Williams in this book brings the traditional  owners, residents, foresters and horses back long enough to tell their story. Regrettably they have been replaced with out of control tourism and four wheel drive vehicles that are doing massive damage far more than a few hundred horses ever could.

The fragile ecology and landscape have irrefutably been damaged by these excessive numbers of tourists – just so the QPWS can balance the books between revenue collected and expenditure. HOWEVER WITH 6 MILLION DOLLARS PAID OUT FOR NEGLIGENCE as awarded by the courts, its going to take some time. MEANWHILE THE ISLAND IS UNDERGOING vast STERILISATION. The loss of ground dwelling animals and birds are the first to go.

This book gives the reader an enjoyable factual understanding of what an important role Fraser Island played not only in the in the past but also the present and for its inhabitants, particularly the loss of rare critically endangered Suffolk Punch and (Arab horses that came to Australia with the first fleet.) This book is number five in Williams’s stable of titles it makes a highly valuable contribution to our understanding of K’Gari. It is extensively illustrated.



  1. vicfred

    Review by Sonia Hutchinson 23/03/18

    Fred Williams latest book ‘Equine Epitaph – Under the Rainbow Fraser Island’s Last Brumby’, contains anecdotes from Vi and Fred Epps a cadet Forester, descendants of the early settlers, an experienced Forestry ranger and horse breaker ‘Billy the Bushman’ as well as other pioneers. It is meticulously researched from many interviews, after the earlier horse breeding industry had wound down. The horses that were left now and were running wild, were called brumbies. They were Australian horses bred from Australian stock (not feral animals). They had fully adapted to the island. Their progeny was regularly harvested especially during the great depression by various folks including Forestry.
    As time fell down the hour glass the QPWS held hands with sister departments showing their gross incomplete horse-sense. What they relied on was it seems more like ‘non-sense’. None of these Departmental managers employed an experienced horse whisper like ‘Billy the Bushman’. QPWS demonstrated their willingness to interfere with the dingoes’ main food resource by removing and killing the horses. In the face of a huge outcry from the community, that fell on deaf ears as they shot the critically endangered horses, cattle, dingoes and even extended it to Australian kookaburras. Then soon death from dingoes’ crossed over to humans.
    Slowly but surely like quick- sand the ‘ulterior motive’ surfaced from the Queensland Government it was soon unpacked by the Minister of Tourism and National Parks Peter McKechnie as he legislated in the early hours of one August morning. “… It was invoked upon an unknowing public and ratified while the population slept…” (Overlander 1985). It allowed tourists to overrun Fraser Island with 500,000+ tourists and 4wd vehicles each year laden with food to attract starving emaciated carnivores – dingoes (without any cap on numbers). By 2001 it all turned sour with the death of Clinton Gage at Waddy point and a massive secret compensation payout.
    It is a story that follows the tragic trail over and over in pursuit of the almighty tourist dollar. All at the expense of the island’s wildlife and its traditional owners unable to preserve their cultural heritage on what was once called K’Gari (Paradise). It is now a fool’s paradise. Never before has a book been penned on the history of the brumbies. Read this magnificent book with an expose’ of historic never published before photographs.

    Sonia Hutchinson

  2. Gai Lewis

    Fred Williams, the author of ‘Equine Epitaph – Under The Rainbow’, Fraser Island’s Last Brumby, has revealed through his writings, how K’Gari ( Fraser Island ) and her inhabitants, flora and fauna, have been changed forever.
    I was one of those inhabitants, as a child many years ago. I remember being part of a unique paradise at that time, but since the QPWS and Government mismanagement and the visible catastrophic results of that mismanagement, I have made the decision to stay on the mainland and remember the “Island” in my child’s eye. I weep for the loss of the “Brumby” and I still weep for the ongoing cruelty bestowed on the dingo.
    Thank you, Fred Williams, for a very informative, factual, visual and candid representation of a place, that I still love to remember as it was.

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