Fraser Island Re-opens

Submitted: Tuesday, Dec 15, 2020 at 20:06
ThreadID: 140869 Views:1674 Replies:6 FollowUps:19
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The good news is Fraser Island has re-opened after the fires. (ABC News link here)

The bad news is that every man and his dog will be there. Well perhaps not the dog.
Crowding is bad enough at Christmas time in any year but I expect it to be even worse this year.
My son will be over there next week so may have some wisdom on his return. I'll report then.

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Allan

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Reply By: Stephen L (Clare) SA - Tuesday, Dec 15, 2020 at 20:10

Tuesday, Dec 15, 2020 at 20:10
That’s great new, but would hate to think of the destruction caused by the fires.

I would presume that many tracks would be closed due to unstable trees, or are those inland tracks fire free.

Seasons Greeting to you and Roz
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Follow Up By: Allan B (Sunshine Coast) - Tuesday, Dec 15, 2020 at 20:13

Tuesday, Dec 15, 2020 at 20:13
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You are right about the tracks Stephen but I don't have details. Maybe next week.
However, most visitors do not leave the Eastern beach anyway.
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Allan

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Follow Up By: Allan B (Sunshine Coast) - Tuesday, Dec 15, 2020 at 21:00

Tuesday, Dec 15, 2020 at 21:00
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Thanks Stephen. And Seasons Greetings to you and Fiona also.
In fact, Seasons Greeting to all EO Forumites too.

I am not one to push my luck so we are not congregating with wider family this year so it will be a bit strange.
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Allan

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Reply By: Gbc.. - Tuesday, Dec 15, 2020 at 22:31

Tuesday, Dec 15, 2020 at 22:31
Numbers have been capped for a few years now. Getting a booking would be the hard part, it is booked out well in advance these days now that the whole country are suddenly campers.
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Reply By: dad1340 - Tuesday, Dec 15, 2020 at 22:33

Tuesday, Dec 15, 2020 at 22:33
The bad news is how the fires started in the first place, well publicised, but the good news is the island will regenerate.
The first trip to Fraser was in 1978 as we watched from across the channel the line of vehicles waiting for the barge as mostly Queenslanders heading home after the Easter school holiday.
Xmas was as bad then but nothing like now. The days of driving up the beach without seeing a soul is but a faint memory.
Such is life.

Cheers to all for Xmas
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Follow Up By: Allan B (Sunshine Coast) - Tuesday, Dec 15, 2020 at 22:54

Tuesday, Dec 15, 2020 at 22:54
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When Roz first went to Fraser with a bushwalking group in the mid 60's there was no barge. The barge began in 1968.
They were taken across by a boat and did not see another soul for the two weeks stay.
Can you imagine how pristine it was then?
We have chosen our visit times carefully in recent years.
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Allan

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Follow Up By: Member - rocco2010 - Tuesday, Dec 15, 2020 at 23:45

Tuesday, Dec 15, 2020 at 23:45
Allan,

So many stories like that from the people who were lucky enough to visit the special places years ago.

I think I was born a couple of decades too late.

Read a story the other day about one of the pioneer conservationists who led the fight against the sand mining and then logging on Fraser.

His son said the old man had warned that saving the island from the tourists might be as big a problem.

Cheers.
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Follow Up By: Gbc.. - Wednesday, Dec 16, 2020 at 07:34

Wednesday, Dec 16, 2020 at 07:34
FIDO (Fraser island Defenders Organisation) was started by John Sinclair and others in the 60’s because of the rampant sand mining and logging. It was far from pristine back than.
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Follow Up By: Member - Vince M (NSW) - Wednesday, Dec 16, 2020 at 08:26

Wednesday, Dec 16, 2020 at 08:26
Dad 1340
I first drove there myself in 1976/77 & hardly saw a soul the whole time. I think back then it was Happy Valleys resort's concrete pool was broken in half some on the beach (beach erosion ) was the only bit of garbage we saw (a bit big to pick up) & guy in an old 4x4 truck drove along the beach & sold ice to the campers it’s a lot easier to get north of Indian head now, a friend of mine was the light house keeper there once, some travellers here may also know him from Portland Roads Cape York he retired there until he passed (Ross Pope). On the drive up from Noosa/Tewantin on the beach there use to be the bubbling springs (fresh water) & at the end was the cherry venture, I stayed on board several times with the couple who were living on it. Now there’s nothing left of it & that sand dune to go over to get to rainbow beach (on bar treads) was all preparation for getting on & of Gordon Elmer’s barge
I have not been to Frazer for several years & yes it has changed but all in all I think it has changed the least of all the popular 4wd destinations
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Follow Up By: Gbc.. - Wednesday, Dec 16, 2020 at 08:53

Wednesday, Dec 16, 2020 at 08:53
That was Orchid beach resort that lost their pool and stairs during the cyclone in 77. You and I have chatted about Ross on the lighthouse page - Gday!
I have a pic of myself in the 70's half submerged in the bubbling springs at Teewah - thanks for reminding me. Great times.
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Follow Up By: Member - Vince M (NSW) - Wednesday, Dec 16, 2020 at 14:23

Wednesday, Dec 16, 2020 at 14:23
Gbc
I have the same photo in the bubbling springs & you could not sink, some where I have a photo of a land rover nose into those bubbling springs. Could you imagen getting loaded on Elmer's barge like he use to where you use to drive on & he would put a tire between your vehicle & the wall if you were 1st on & then next tire between your tow bar/chassis & the next 4wd would drive into it & so on, not many could handle that these days. Your wright they were great times no need to book, hardly any fees just turn up & mainly only the keen & prepared
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Follow Up By: George_M - Wednesday, Dec 16, 2020 at 17:39

Wednesday, Dec 16, 2020 at 17:39
Ah yes: the Orchid Beach resort.

Many are the times we would rise up from beach camping and seek a beer at the resort. We'd listen to the clinking of glasses and catch occasional glimpses of well dressed people inside.

Our beer was dispensed by a disembodied hand appearing through a small hole in an outside wall. To add insult to injury it was usually Southwark!

I wasn't at all unhappy when the place was bought out and abandoned.

George_M
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Reply By: dad1340 - Wednesday, Dec 16, 2020 at 16:38

Wednesday, Dec 16, 2020 at 16:38
All these stories tend to trigger my mind, a drive from Awinya to Wathumba, Orchid Beach, Light House then around Platypus Bay back to Awinya Creek where we were camped. Just made it through the Inlet and had to pulled the mate through on a number of occasions as we went around the Bay. We were progressively sinking even running around 8 PSI. Luckily we has a trailer with extra Fuel that got us back to Matheson's Barge at Moon Point. a day or two later.
Telling Mr Matheson in the Wheelhouse about this trip he said the immortal words. "You both mad" - we agreed.
Once was definitely enough for that one.

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Follow Up By: dad1340 - Wednesday, Dec 16, 2020 at 16:42

Wednesday, Dec 16, 2020 at 16:42
Oop's, we were driving FJ40's, 350 short block Chevs with Holley Carbs and a ground down cam profile to bring the torque in earlier. The swap was done in Brisbane on the way through. The biggest custom radiator I've seen in a 4WD. Ahh youthful days ....

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Follow Up By: Gbc.. - Wednesday, Dec 16, 2020 at 18:00

Wednesday, Dec 16, 2020 at 18:00
You drove through Wathumba creek? Or back on the fire track to the south side? Mum and Dad were friend’s of the Mathiesens. On school holidays were were allowed to camp at moon point on our own as long as we showed up and proved we were alive to Noel on the barge each day and he’d relay the good news to the old man haha. I would love to afford my boys the same leniency, some of the best times of our lives. I also had a a v8 shorty - BJ 40 with a 302. Fuel range was always an issue. As was the Holley flooding or starving on hills!
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Follow Up By: dad1340 - Wednesday, Dec 16, 2020 at 18:20

Wednesday, Dec 16, 2020 at 18:20
No; across the inlet which could be done at the time and also there wasn't any southern fire trail in those times. The last I can recall of the inlet the crossing dried on DEAD low and the route was close to the salt. Secondly, I feel pretty sure the barge owners name was spelt 'Matheson' Scotts derivative not Scandinavian. Maybe others may remembers, we are only going back 100 years or so ;)

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Reply By: rumpig - Friday, Dec 18, 2020 at 06:34

Friday, Dec 18, 2020 at 06:34
Won’t be anymore busier then usual, in fact it’ll probably be quieter if anything due to numerous camp zones being closed. The days of free for all pick where ever you want to camp are long gone there, there’s a limited number of bookings for each zone you can camp at, and with many zones being closed it equals less visitors camping there.
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Follow Up By: Allan B (Sunshine Coast) - Friday, Dec 18, 2020 at 09:11

Friday, Dec 18, 2020 at 09:11
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Only two camp zones are closed due to "increased dingo activity" but are scheduled to reopen on 2nd of January. Despite at least one report that they have already reopened, the official National Park booking site still has them closed. All other sites are heavily booked. No eastern beach camping zones have been affected by the fires.
Certainly this makes a small reduction in people able to camp on the island but there is no quota on day trippers. It is still likely to be busier than usual in the coming weeks.
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Allan

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Follow Up By: Allan B (Sunshine Coast) - Saturday, Dec 19, 2020 at 13:17

Saturday, Dec 19, 2020 at 13:17
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You may well be right Rumpig.
Just got an early report from my son......... "Only 4 people at Lake McKenzie when we visited yesterday".
Maybe no-one wants to go inland?
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Allan

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Follow Up By: rumpig - Sunday, Dec 20, 2020 at 00:40

Sunday, Dec 20, 2020 at 00:40
I’ve seen Facebook posts from Kingfisher and Cathedrals etc saying they have vacancies due to cancellations, and we were there in September with the reduced camper numbers due to COVID....I expect overall numbers to be down, but surprised to hear it’s that quiet though.
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Follow Up By: Allan B (Sunshine Coast) - Sunday, Dec 20, 2020 at 07:45

Sunday, Dec 20, 2020 at 07:45
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I don't know what time of day that visit was though.
Could well be busier at other times.
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Allan

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Reply By: Allan B (Sunshine Coast) - Sunday, Dec 20, 2020 at 10:52

Sunday, Dec 20, 2020 at 10:52
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Latest message from Fraser (Sunday 8am)......... "Fraser not very busy. Campsite (Cathedrals) 1/4 full".

Looks like you were right Rumpig.
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Allan

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Follow Up By: rumpig - Sunday, Dec 20, 2020 at 18:42

Sunday, Dec 20, 2020 at 18:42
It will get much much busier on Boxing Day you’d have to think, but does make me wonder how busy it normally is there a week or 2 before Xmas....might be a good time to go there
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Follow Up By: Allan B (Sunshine Coast) - Sunday, Dec 20, 2020 at 19:43

Sunday, Dec 20, 2020 at 19:43
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Yes, I think many prefer to have Christmas day at home, then leave for hols.
Won't be able to report on that as Son will leave the island on the 24th.
It is sobering to realise you have raised a child smarter than yourself! lol
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Allan

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Follow Up By: Frank P (NSW) - Sunday, Dec 20, 2020 at 19:52

Sunday, Dec 20, 2020 at 19:52
"It is sobering to realise you have raised children smarter than yourself! "

Don't I know it!!!

Both my kids are whips. That girl who fell for the embroidered seats in the HK Holden Brougham in the early 70's can take the credit. Lol
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