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Fraser Island Trip Report

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  • Fraser Island Trip Report

    I have just got back from my first Fraser Island trip and was sorry to leave, definitely a spot worth going back to. I will try and put it into words.

    My vehicle is a 99 NL Exceed, standard 3.5 V6 auto with 265/70/16 BFG AT's.

    My mate?s vehicle is a standard 2000 Prado.

    Arrived at Rainbow beach/Inskip point car park mid morning. Stopped prior to entering beach and lowered tyre pressure to 25psi all round. The vehicle was loaded to buggery + four passengers. Drove out to barge no worries, just slipped into 4WD HR when going into the sand. Very deep sand out to the barge.

    Used the Manta Ray, great guys, very friendly and helpful, got an $80.00 return trip pass on the barge. The trip over to Fraser was very windy, but otherwise uneventful.

    Arrived at Fraser, as the tide was up we had to take the inland road as hook point would be impassable. This would have to be the worst road I have ever driven on, the corrugations had the whole dashboard shaking and the fillings in my mouth rattling as well! Thankfully it was only a 17km trip until we went back out on the beach.

    My first observation was the large group of back packers camped for a photo right at the edge of the beach entry where vehicles were turning a sharp left in deep sand. They obviously were unaware of the danger should a vehicle slip sideway and run the idiots over!

    First on the beach with a convoy of about 15 vehicles behind me? Magic!!! The hard sand is like driving on a paved surface, very easy. We drove the rest of the way up to Eurong on the beach and stopped at the Eurong Beach Houses, our accommodation for the week.

    The accommodation was great, a massive house right on the beach, big enough for the two families. Has a pool and BBQ facilities, the only downfall was the manager who was a bit of a wan%er?..

    Arrived just in time to crack a few bundies and get ready for the NRL GF.

    Next day went and explored Lake McKenzie. Inland tracks and deeper softer sand but the Pajero handled it with ease. In the softer stuff I locked the centre diff as well but kept it in high range, using the auto locked in 2nd, and sometimes 1st, but still easy stuff.

    Lake McKenzie is magnificent, crystal clear and blue water on white sand, kids loved it. Left there after lunch to do a northerly loop around to Lake Wobby. Some of the tracks are quite hilly and rutted out but still very easy in a standard height vehicle. Lake Wobby is smaller but no the less still impressive. Left Lake Wobby continued the loop north eventually coming out onto the beach for a spot of fishing. Caught a couple of flatties for tea.

    Got up next day to see whales from our veranda and dingo on the beach, does it get any better?? Decided to go for a drive up to Orchid Beach. We wanted to time the tide coming in so we could hit Indian Head on high tide for fishing. Once again all the way up to Indian head on the beach was easy, as the tide came up we had to move into the softer sand high on the beach, still easy but a bit slower. The bypass up Indian head is soft sand but keep up your momentum; I used 4 high with the centre diff locked in 2nd or 1st and did it easy.

    Kept going past the champagne pools where the sand gets deeper, but again keep going steady and it was no worries to Orchid Beach. Had to refuel there, only $1.80 litre!! Actually cheaper than at Eurong at $1.81 litre. Had a look at Orchid Beach and went down to the champagne pools. Very nice rock pools there, very crowed with people, kept going to Indian Head.

    Reached Indian head on high tide and fished for Tailor off the rocks. The young fella landed two tailor in his first two casts and was very pleased with himself, all in all we took seven tailor and one trevally for tea that night. Of note, you are not allowed to clean/gut fish at Indian head, you have to drive down the beach at least 500m and gut them on the high tide mark on the beach.

    As it was after 12 o?clock it was beer o?clock and the girls drove back to Eurong in 2wd on the beach, stopping on the way at the Maheno shipwreck, Cathedral beach and Happy Valley. Another great day.

    Next day went up to Eli creek, and went for a paddle down the creek with the eels. Saw two, one of them was about four foot long. Crossed Eli on high tide no worries.

    Went over to kingfisher the next day to have a look. Crap Crap Crap?..yuppie central, Porsche Cayenne?s, BMW whatever?s and range rovers?. Not my cup of tea. (BTW I encountered a bloke in a rangy on the eastern side of the island who had no idea how to drive in sand or get out of the way on oncoming vehicles)

    On the way back from kingfisher we were going down a steepish sand track and encountered one of the many kingfisher 4wd buses coming up the hill. ( Road rules are that vehicles going down hill have right of way ), anyway my mate was in front and moved off to the RHS to let the bus pass and got bogged in deep sand. With a bit of shovelling and two snatches he was out.

    Rest of the trip was pretty much similar stuff, day trips and the like. There?s a lot to see, and a week wasn?t enough time.

    By weeks end we timed the tide so we could go down the beach all the way to hook point, that?s a lot easier. The barge was just leaving, but turned around and came back for us, there great guys who operate the manta Ray.

    On and off the barge no worries went to Rainbow beach and there?s a car wash there, like car lover but with under body cleaning jets as well. Helped heaps in getting the sand off from underneath.

    My thoughts for anyone going there;

    BFG?s were great in the sand.
    25psi was a good compromise between hard and soft sand, did not need to adjust the pressures at all. Any lower and the tyres heat up to much driving on the hard sand.
    Carry a compressor just in case. I had a bushranger unit that didn?t get used but is worth it for the ?just in cases?
    I filled up at Gympie and took a 20L jerry as well. Used both and another ? tank in the week.
    Take recovery gear: shovel, shackles, snatch strap, just the basics but that?s all you need.
    Look out for backpackers on the beach on foot, and in troop carriers, they have no idea.
    Watch out for buses on the inland road, they don?t slow down.
    Eurong to Indian head on high tide is no worries, just be prepared to drive slowly in the soft sand at the top of the beach.

    Magic place anyone thinking of going there, just bite the bullet and go, there?s all manner of accommodation for all budgets.

    Cheers

    snarley

  • #2
    Another great trip report. Might have to hit that joint one day (fishing). Seems everyone has been their bar me!
    Dave
    NX Pampas Cat GLS MY16
    Member 1228 Pajero Club

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    • #3
      Probably passed you somewhere up there. Was at Orchid Beach for the Grand Final :-)
      Came home on the following Friday.
      Cheers, John.
      LC200 V8 goodness

      MY12 LC200 GXL 4.5Lt V8 twin turbo, GVM upgrade, ARB bar, Warn winch, Outback Acc rear bar and dual carrier, TJM sidesteps, Bushskinz, Long Ranger 180Lt tank, Black Widow drawers, cargo barrier, Polaris Awning, +++
      Ex - NM auto, 2"Kings, Bilsteins, Buckshots, Wildcat headers, 2.75" Mandrel bent exhaust, Injected LPG, Smartbar, Scraper bar, Bushskinz, Custom steps, Dual Batteries, Breathers, Black Widow drawers, Polaris Awning.

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      • #4
        Yeah probobly. Did you go up any further North from Orchid beach ?

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        • #5
          Right to the top... ;-))
          Cheers, John.
          LC200 V8 goodness

          MY12 LC200 GXL 4.5Lt V8 twin turbo, GVM upgrade, ARB bar, Warn winch, Outback Acc rear bar and dual carrier, TJM sidesteps, Bushskinz, Long Ranger 180Lt tank, Black Widow drawers, cargo barrier, Polaris Awning, +++
          Ex - NM auto, 2"Kings, Bilsteins, Buckshots, Wildcat headers, 2.75" Mandrel bent exhaust, Injected LPG, Smartbar, Scraper bar, Bushskinz, Custom steps, Dual Batteries, Breathers, Black Widow drawers, Polaris Awning.

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          • #6
            So what was the track like up to the top ?

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