Camping on Fraser Island

Submitted: Wednesday, Aug 17, 2016 at 22:33
ThreadID: 133237 Views:3589 Replies:6 FollowUps:1
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Hi All, we are heading to Fraser Island in a few weeks and would like some info on best campsites. We are driving a 100 series landcruiser and towing an Aussie Swag Off Road camper.
Thanks Judy and Laurie.
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Reply By: Member Kerry W (WA) - Thursday, Aug 18, 2016 at 01:25

Thursday, Aug 18, 2016 at 01:25
Haven't been up there for a few years so not sure what new limitations and laws exist now. Personally we keep away from the enclosed campgrounds and beach camp.
Travel on the island takes time and patience especially on some inland tracks allow plenty of time. Tracks improve vastly after rain if some runoff smooths out the lumps.
For exploring Lake McKenzie Pile Valley and Basin Lake - Central Station is invaluable and often underestimated. Even though they say to book we have mostly found it easy to pick a comfy site. There is lots to see and experience in this area. If you have a full moon, a walk down to Wanggoolba creek - at certain times (when moon is directly overhead ...yes midnight) you may be rewarded by the spectacle of the clear white sandy bottom of the creek glowing like a neon light in among the darker rainforest.
Timing your visits to the lakes to avoid the busy times is essential. Walking to Basin lake is worth the effort but avoid the rush hours.
Spend much time at Lake McKenzie take bottle of wine/beer snacks or a meal and walk right around the lake have lunch/breakfast/dinner on the far side away from the bus parking areas - get wet feet and pants. The edges are shallow except for one area where you may need to wade deeper on the far side. Come back later on or the next day for a sunset swim on the eastern banks.
Depending on the weather and the moon, hanging around till after dark or arriving at Dawn lets you experience the place as it was 30 years ago.
Don't be scared of the dark - you can't get lost at McKenzie - you can get cool though - out of summer..
Not sure how the March flies are on the eastern beach side at the moment but they can get annoying in the more southern beach sections.
If you go to Wathumba Creek you will encounter Sandflies in biblical proportions but with the right deterrents and good flyscreens you will only have 20 or so bites by morning.
So much to see - a visit to Lake Ellom without the trailer is worthwhile but takes time.
Personally we camp up north of Orchid beach near Ocean lake (fresh tannin coloured water) - less March flies and tourists and a few dingos and more fish. A lengthy visit to the dunes at Sandy Cape (No camping) for morning tea (lunch and dinner) at certain times will reward you with a great view of Breaksea Spit and the odd Whale or Dolphin sighting. After Dark - Nesting Turtles, Ghost Crabs so thick you'll think you are watching a sci fi movie.

Not sure how tricky Ngala Rocks bypass is at the moment but drop your tyres right down if the sand is dry and you will have no problems. Once you get past you have to take your time and enjoy this area - Sitting on the top of the dunes at Sandy Cape for a few hours in the sun with Dr Malt is about as therapeutic as it gets.
We drive a fair bit after dark up there and see some great things at times but you must know the tides and your limitations. Basically fished up there lots in the 80s and the beach was crowded with vehicles at night during the Taylor season - This is not the case now as too many inexperienced people have led to warnings (I believe) about venturing out after dark. Most times we are up there we basically have the nice places to ourselves between 4 PM and 9 AM
You'll work the dingos out...
Hope this helps...
Kerry W (Qld)
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AnswerID: 603479

Reply By: Member - Judy and Laurie - Thursday, Aug 18, 2016 at 07:01

Thursday, Aug 18, 2016 at 07:01
Hi Kerry, thank you so much for your reply, it is very helpful, we have been to Fraser about 20 years ago. So thought it was time to go back, haven't been with a trailer . Should be a good break , we have plenty of time. Thanks again Judy and Laurie
AnswerID: 603482

Reply By: Athol W1 - Thursday, Aug 18, 2016 at 08:31

Thursday, Aug 18, 2016 at 08:31
Judy & Laurie
Whilst I agree with everything that Kerry has mentioned we normally camp on the beach between Eurong and Happy Valley, as this is fairly central to most of the islands attractions.

One thing that Kerry did not mention is tyre pressures, it is necessary to lower pressures to about half of your normal highway pressure or about 20 PSI, and may be even lower than that for soft sand, and DO NOT forget that also applies to the trailer . We have taken both an Aussie Swag and a 19ft tandem semi off road caravan over the years.

Have fun, and enjoy your holiday.
AnswerID: 603484

Reply By: Member - Judy and Laurie - Thursday, Aug 18, 2016 at 08:54

Thursday, Aug 18, 2016 at 08:54
Hi Athol, thanks for that advice it is extremely critical that tyre pressures are not forgotten. Even on dirt as we travelled the Gunbarrel highway last year and tyre pressures were important on that trip also.
Cheers Judy and Laurie
AnswerID: 603486

Follow Up By: vk1dx - Thursday, Aug 18, 2016 at 22:01

Thursday, Aug 18, 2016 at 22:01
We just came back from an interesting few days on the island. No camping this time and to tell you the truth we didn't take much notice.

We travelled extensively all over the bottom half and found all tracks easy to drive apart from the track out of Kingfisher Bay which was was badly marked with quite deep wheel tracks. From what we saw you wouldn't have any trouble with the swagman except for the sections of the beach where there are rocks. The tides was full around mid day so the bypass tracks were well utilised.


FollowupID: 873130

Reply By: spanner1969 - Thursday, Aug 18, 2016 at 11:23

Thursday, Aug 18, 2016 at 11:23
Hi Judy and Laurie,

My wife and I are headed up to Fraser for two weeks, leaving ACT on 31/8, we hope to see you up that way. With patrol and challenge off road camper.

Camping spots we are headed include, Waddy Point, Sandy cape, depends on the weather of course, will be on Fraser for 5/6 days so hope to see you there.

Paul & Lisa
AnswerID: 603491

Reply By: Tim F3 - Thursday, Aug 18, 2016 at 17:00

Thursday, Aug 18, 2016 at 17:00
We leave for fraser tomorrow arrive sunday , suggest you check tides as well as i am advised by barge operator of trees partially obstructing traffic at the south end of the beach meaning that depending on the tide you may have to take the inland road ( rough and very slow going ).

National parks in their wisdom have now classified the eastern beach into 8 zones .
So you are required to decide which zone you wish to camp at and you have to book a specific zone...
If you want to camp say at eli creek zone for a few days and then later camp at waddy point as an example you are now required to make seperate bookings BEFORE you camp at either zone..

I booked my spot around waddy point several days ago , i asked how many were booked in the zone north of waddy point and the reply was 2 only.....

Possibly people are not aware of the requirements or not many are going
.will be interesting to see..
AnswerID: 603503

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