Fraser Island

Submitted: Wednesday, Feb 07, 2001 at 01:00
ThreadID: 102 Views:2627 Replies:8 FollowUps:5
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Were planning a trip to Fraser Island in July. Has anyone been there recently and can you give us any tips or advice on camping, driving etc. Like Peter (see Yardies Creek question) we also have a GXL Prado and have never driven much on sand. Will we need to take a compressor? We also need to know about secure parking before we go (for our cvan) and if there is any garages etc. that can wash your vehicle properly after or do anything to prepare it before we go (were a bit paranoid about sand/saltwater staying under the car). Thanks everyone for any help or suggestions.
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Reply By: John - Wednesday, Feb 07, 2001 at 01:00

Wednesday, Feb 07, 2001 at 01:00
Spent 11 days on Fraser early April last year. Great place and well worth the visit. Suggest you visit web site
You will find good info and can download visitor info. Also just do search under Fraser Island and youll find heaps of info - some good some no good. Youll need to book your vehicle on the vehicular ferry. We went over on the Fraser Venture to Wanggoolba creek. Cost was then $70.00 for vehicle and driver plus $5.00/addition person in vehicle. All costs were return. In addition you need a Fraser Island Permit for your vehicle and to Camp, both obtainable from Naturally Queensland Information Centre, Queensland Parks & Wildlife Service, Environmental Protection Agency, PO Box 155 Brisbane, Albert Street, 4002. Cost for Vehicle permit fee $30.00 plus $3.50/person/night camping fee. If July is school holidays you will have to book for Dundubara and probably Central Station. We stayed 5 nights at Central Station, lovely grassed open area with good facilities. can do all southern and central lakes tours from here. Then we went to Dundubara about 52 kms mostly on the beach. Choose tides carefully but a good safe drive using common sense. We did all the sand driving on 23psi, as recommended by the Ranger, and, yes, we had a compressor. All roads on the island are sand and some rough but all OK with care. Ferry is about 17 kms from Hervey Bay, roughly a 20 min drive. Yes there is a special coin operated wash facility in Hervey Bay which has a poerful underbody wash as well as car wash. We were given a tip for the salt water jeebies. When home place lawn sprinkler under vehicle and use very low spray on underbody for a good half hour. Seems to have worked - not a sign of rust over 12 months. Lastly re secure parking. There a a few van parks and Im sure theyd store your van. Here are a few names. Happy Wanderer, Australiana Village, Pier C,van Park. Theyd be the most central. Can look them up in one of the Caravan Park directories. Have a good trip.
AnswerID: 186

Follow Up By: Narelle - Saturday, Feb 17, 2001 at 01:00

Saturday, Feb 17, 2001 at 01:00
Thanks heaps for your info. It was really helpful and very much appreciated. Thanks again for taking the time to respond.
FollowupID: 27

Reply By: Graham - Monday, Feb 12, 2001 at 01:00

Monday, Feb 12, 2001 at 01:00
Your GXL Prado will have no difficulty negotiating Fraser if you show commonsense. We towed a 1000 kg trailer with our Prado (auto V6) without worrying about tyre pressures. H4 lock and L4 lock made it unstoppable. The lakes drive should not be missed and Lake Boomanjin campsite is nice , peaceful and quiet. Lake McKenzie is a must see for its spectacularly blue water. Woongoolba Creek adjacent Central Station, a clearer creek you will never see. A handy map to take, is the Fraser Island Sunmap Tourist Map, it is by no means a topographic map but it shows all the tracks etc. to get you from A to B. I hope this info helps, and remember PLEASE DO NOT FEED THE WILDLIFE especially the dingoes and goannas, Besides the $1500 fine, peaple feeding the dingoes is the sole reason they are getting so aggressive
AnswerID: 192

Follow Up By: Narelle - Saturday, Feb 17, 2001 at 01:00

Saturday, Feb 17, 2001 at 01:00
Thanks heaps for your helpful info. Have ordered the Sunmap Tourist Map and am looking forward to receiving it. Thanks again for helping us out.
FollowupID: 28

Reply By: Craig - Monday, Feb 12, 2001 at 01:00

Monday, Feb 12, 2001 at 01:00
Gday Narelle, Weve camped on Fraser Is. on 4 occasions now and love it. Dont be too worried about the sand driving, as the beaches are wide and flat, rarely requiring 4wd. Camping areas are common on the southern half of the island, most with showers and toilets, however these areas can be crowded during school holidays. Lake McKenzie is a must, as is Wanggoolba Creek near Central Station, and also Eli Creek. We always camp at Waddy Pt. near the northern end of the island. If you get this far north, take the time to drive to Sandy Cape, the scenery is beautiful. The further north you go the less crowded it is. There is fuel available at Eurong, Happy Valley, Cathedral Beach & Orchid Beach. You shouldnt need to fill up more than once somewhere on the island. You will not need a compressor as you can drop your tyre pressure to around 20psi before landing on the island, and re inflate them when you get off. We drive back to Rainbow Beach with tyres down (just dont speed and take corners easily). There is facilities at the servos to wash car etc there. I have a couple of pics on my site ......Enjoy!!!
AnswerID: 193

Reply By: George - Wednesday, Feb 28, 2001 at 01:00

Wednesday, Feb 28, 2001 at 01:00
Hi Narelle,

I was at Fraser Island last week doing a show for T.V. I travel Fraser very regularily as a part of my work and last time used a Prado Diesel Turbo. You shouldnt need to reduce your tyre pressures on the Prado unless the going gets real tough. I suggest using the Rainbow beach barge as they travel frequently, every 30 minutes or so (No bookings required. Permits can be purchased at Rainbow beach for $30 or on the Island for $40.

If you dont want to camp there is a swag of excellent accomodation available to set up a base, with either King Fisher Bay or Eurong offering 4 star accomodation. Camping spots wont really present a problem, nor will re stocking suppplies on the Island. My website will have info on Fraser Isl. in the next few weeks. Also will have photos.

Dont stress to much over rust as you shouldnt be driving in Salt water. Check tide times to avoid this, and best travel is at low tide.

Fresh clean water is the best thing to clean the car out.

Also take a base plate for your jack in case you get a puncture.

Best Wishes and Happy Travels
AnswerID: 229

Follow Up By: Narelle - Saturday, Mar 03, 2001 at 01:00

Saturday, Mar 03, 2001 at 01:00
Hi George - thanks for the great info on your recent trip - hadnt thought of a base plate but have now added it to the list. I am looking forward to visiting your web site and checking out the pics - I have been lucky enough to get some good info but havent been able to source many photos of Fraser on the net - mostly sunsets, beach pics etc. Thanks again - I really do appreciate your reply. Cheers, Narelle
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Reply By: Joe McDermott - Wednesday, Mar 07, 2001 at 01:00

Wednesday, Mar 07, 2001 at 01:00

The other responses have covered almost everything that occurred to me except for stressing that you should only travel at low tide on the hard packed sand. I have been caught needing to travel close to high tide (my stupid schedules) and I ended up finding one of those lovely comfy patches of sand that just billow around you like bulldust.
Only more so.
Still, ten minutes spade work digging the diffs out and building wheel ramps had me out quickly. So other than gross stupidity like that I exhibited you should have no problems.
I always take the Rainbow Beach barges (no booking required and very regular runs all day) and the hardest 4WDing of the trip will be on that beach.
On the island all the usual provisos apply, especially keeping the speed down as the million and one creeks that flow across the beach can cut some deep washaways that you might just hit too hard if you are going too fast.
I much prefer finding a beach camp behind the dunes to the populous inland camp sites, but you had better be comfortable with wildlife ! We were there last November for a long weekend and we were visited by sea eagles in the trees above, at least two large pythons and the ubiquitous and far too tame dingoes. We also saw dolphins alongside the barge and two whales tail slapping and breaching about 100 metres off the beach.
If you are there in July you will probably catch the tail end of the tailor frenzy. Something that attracts the crowds Im afraid, but if you are into fishing it is great. Keep an eye out for the tiger sharks cruising in the waves just off the beach as they hunt the tailor too.
A brilliant place, but getting too popular for my tastes now. Go before it gets totally spoiled !

AnswerID: 252

Follow Up By: Narelle - Thursday, Mar 08, 2001 at 01:00

Thursday, Mar 08, 2001 at 01:00
Thanks heaps Joe for your reply. I dont think you can ever have enough info on a place - the best info I have received is from this site from other travellers. I dont have a problem with any of the wildlife you mentioned except for the dingos - I have two young kids and am worried that they could be hassled unless I guard them 24 hrs a day. Thanks again for your reply - it is very much appreciated.
FollowupID: 41

Reply By: Joe McDermott - Wednesday, Mar 07, 2001 at 01:00

Wednesday, Mar 07, 2001 at 01:00
Nearly forgot !

rust protection - there are a couple of places in and around Rainbow Beach that will spray the underside of your 4WD with old engine oil before you get onto the island and then blast it off when you return. A good way of keeping the salt (and rust) at bay.

I dont bother with the oil (I hate the smell of it baking on the exhaust and the drips when you stop) but I do take advantage of the clean off, repeating the exercise (with the garden sprinkler) when I get home. The resorts all have high pressure hoses (try Happy Valley - they seem the most accommodating) which they are happy to let you use free of charge for a daily blast off of sand and salt.


AnswerID: 253

Reply By: David Harper - Tuesday, Apr 03, 2001 at 00:00

Tuesday, Apr 03, 2001 at 00:00
Hi Narelle, Fraser Island is a great place to visit, ive been there heaps of times & heading off there again next week, youll have no problems in your prado, you only really need to lower your tyre pressures if you hit any real soft sand.
We usually get the barge from inskip point to hook point, a new barge has started opperating here & there is a price war at the moment, $30.00 return (or $35.00 with trailer)on Rainbow venture or Elmers barge, they also give you 10 cents per litre of your fuel at Eurong (currently $1.20 per litre for diesel or unleaded.
Be sure to check your tide times as Hook point is impasable at high tide, you can however take the inland track but its slow & rough, Fraser island beach is a gazetted road & an 80 km speed limit applies, police usually have radars opperating on school hollidays so be carefull, barge times usually run from 7.30am to 5.30pm 7 days & usually 24 hours on the first day of school only,taking a compressor is a good idea, the servos at Rainbow Beach close at 5.00pm (no air after this time).
Permits required are: vehicle beach permit-$30.00,
valid for 1 month, camping permit - $3.85 per person per night for persons aged over 5 years & over or $15.40 per family per night,these are available at the ranger station at Rainbow Beach, also just remember to pack a snatch strap & long handled shovel just in case you get stuck, if you require any other info you can contact me through my web site at have a great holiday, remember, dont feed the animals, cheers, David, A-TREK CAMPER & CAMPING HIRE, Brisbane.
AnswerID: 333

Follow Up By: Narelle - Wednesday, Apr 04, 2001 at 00:00

Wednesday, Apr 04, 2001 at 00:00
Thanks David for your great info. Hopefully, with the two fuel tanks in the Prado Ill fill up before I depart and wont need to refill until I get back - I havent paid $1.20 per litre anywhere yet! If you get a chance to reply to me ( - is Qld school hols busier or quieter on FI than NSW school hols?
FollowupID: 56

Reply By: Joe - Wednesday, May 02, 2001 at 00:00

Wednesday, May 02, 2001 at 00:00

It seems that all my confidence in dingo behaviour has been misplaced given the events of the weekend and those dingoes attacking and killing the 9 year old boy.

Very sad :+(

I know that they are off shooting all the dingoes that hang around camp sites now, but I would now be very wary of them. Hopefully people will stop feeding them and they will stay wild and away from people.

Are you still going this July ? If you do you will no doubt be keeping a very close eye on the kids.

What a shame this had to happen.

Take care.

AnswerID: 406

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