Forester on Fraser

Submitted: Thursday, Jul 01, 2004 at 17:37
ThreadID: 14287 Views:8772 Replies:14 FollowUps:11
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Hi Guys,
My wife and I are planning a 2-3 day trip to Fraser Island early September 2004. We own a 2004 Subaru Forester XS Auto and are wandering if this vehicle can handle the driving conditions on the Island, or should we hire a more capable vehicle? We just plan to drive around to the main places of interest and have no desire to tackle the heavy stuff. Has anyone out there taken their Subaru to Fraser? Any comments will be appreciated.
GeorgeQLD
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Reply By: Bonz (Vic) - Thursday, Jul 01, 2004 at 17:40

Thursday, Jul 01, 2004 at 17:40
Saw plenty of them there George, it will be fine. Some of the inland tracks may be interesting but just take your time and look out for the turnouts etc for the times that you have to get off the track to let someone else go past.

Have a great time, its a great place.
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AnswerID: 65983

Follow Up By: GeorgeQLD - Thursday, Jul 01, 2004 at 19:20

Thursday, Jul 01, 2004 at 19:20
Thanks guys, we will give it a go anyway and report back.
Happy Motoring
GeorgeQLD
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Reply By: Swerv - Thursday, Jul 01, 2004 at 17:59

Thursday, Jul 01, 2004 at 17:59
Gidday George

You have any problem getting your subi onto Frazer. Just take all the normal precautions and just be wary of all the people that do not observe the old fashion beach ettiquete. By that I mean people who don't indicate their intentions when travelling towards you and the people who park in the middle of the beach and cause others to deviate around them instead of pulling off as far to the left as practical.

Otherwise you should have a good time.

Merv.....
AnswerID: 65989

Follow Up By: GeorgeQLD - Thursday, Jul 01, 2004 at 19:51

Thursday, Jul 01, 2004 at 19:51
Thanks Merv, it sounds that there are a few idiots driving around there. We will keep our eyes open.

George QLD
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Reply By: Dave from Fraser Coast 4WD Club - Thursday, Jul 01, 2004 at 19:20

Thursday, Jul 01, 2004 at 19:20
I'm not going to be as positive I'm afraid...

Most of the time, you'll be fine, but if the centre hump is prominent you may have trouble on the inland tracks.

Approach angle may catch you out in a few places too, so be careful.

Ensure that you have recovery points front and rear.

On the beach, you'll have no trouble, at some of the cuttings you may have to make your own tracks (not a bad thing anyway), but around the island itself, you may find the centre hump, collecting your spoiler (and other things)

I've seen plenty of 'soft' 4bys getting around on the island, and the owners obviously having a ball, be aware of your limitations.

In case your wondering, in the last 18 months I have been to Fraser 22 times (not that I'm counting)
AnswerID: 66009

Follow Up By: GeorgeQLD - Thursday, Jul 01, 2004 at 19:27

Thursday, Jul 01, 2004 at 19:27
Thank you Dave,
by the sound of it, the trip will be worthwhile given the number of times you have visited the island. I will take your advice and if things look a bit dificult, I can always hire another vehicle there (small Suzuki?)
Regards,
GeorgeQLD
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FollowupID: 326847

Follow Up By: Dave from Fraser Coast 4WD Club - Thursday, Jul 01, 2004 at 19:32

Thursday, Jul 01, 2004 at 19:32
Talk to "Air Fraser" about suzuki Hire on the island, or Kingfisher but you gotta get across the island to get it!

Air Fraser can meet you at Eurong!
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FollowupID: 326848

Reply By: Sparkie - Thursday, Jul 01, 2004 at 19:22

Thursday, Jul 01, 2004 at 19:22
Maaaaaate, Youll be fine. Fraser Island is not so bad you have to have a top of the food chain 4wd to go there. There are some soft sections but mostly the biggest problem is those damn 4WD tour buses running around. You will probably be better of in your Forester than a big 4wd you are not familiar with.

Sparkie(IE not Y) ;-)
AnswerID: 66010

Reply By: Utemad - Thursday, Jul 01, 2004 at 19:39

Thursday, Jul 01, 2004 at 19:39
I have seen the Suburu 4WD club at Double Island Point with caravans!!!

I think you will be fine so long as you drive within your and your vehicles limits. No different to any 4WD.

Last time I went to Fraser though it rained all week and on the inland tracks with the humps there where big water holes. Some where over the front tyres of the Rodeo. That was an awful lot of rain though. I remember one track that got washed out badly and going down a hill I came across a tree root across a track that had all the sand washed away after it. Had the Rodeo teetering on 2 diagonal wheels but that's not hard :-)

The only vehicle I saw stuck that trip was a rented Troopy full of backpackers. Inexperience I'd say.

You'll have a ball.

Utemad
AnswerID: 66015

Follow Up By: GeorgeQLD - Thursday, Jul 01, 2004 at 19:47

Thursday, Jul 01, 2004 at 19:47
Good advice, I will give it a go and take all precautions. As it will be our first time on the island, we cannot wait.

Thanks
GeorgeQLD
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FollowupID: 326849

Reply By: time waster - Thursday, Jul 01, 2004 at 19:44

Thursday, Jul 01, 2004 at 19:44
Fraser is a great place, you will have little trouble just lower tyres,watch tide times and soft sand on western beaches plus all the troopies full of crazy backpackers.

Have a good trip
AnswerID: 66018

Reply By: GeorgeQLD - Thursday, Jul 01, 2004 at 19:49

Thursday, Jul 01, 2004 at 19:49
Thanks Mate, all advice is appreciated. Look out for my report after the trip.

GeorgeQLD
AnswerID: 66019

Reply By: Muddy 'doe (SA) - Thursday, Jul 01, 2004 at 20:09

Thursday, Jul 01, 2004 at 20:09
George,

A top piece of advice I saw on here concerned recovery gear. Make sure that you have your recovery points set up correctly and also the correct strap/shackles. If/when you get stuck, get the strap connected and set up.

The point of the tip was that there are plenty of vehicles buzzing around on the island but you have a much better chance of scoring a quick and cheerful recovery if you are standing there with the strap in hand and ready to go than if you are standing there scratching your noggin and depending on a passerby to "rescue" you with their equipment.

Probably good etiquette at all times but is especially relevent in such a place as Fraser.

Have a great trip.

Steven
AnswerID: 66025

Follow Up By: GeorgeQLD - Thursday, Jul 01, 2004 at 20:49

Thursday, Jul 01, 2004 at 20:49
Hi Steven,
Great advice and I assure you it is appreciated. I have previously driven in sand with my old Plado here and a Land Cruiser in the Saudi Arabian desert where I worked for many years building pipelines. I have now retired and the Subaru is a great car for what we have in mind. However, as we have never been to Fraser Island before, nor do we know anyone that has, your good advice and that of the other contributors to this forum is greatly appreciated. My oppinion is to drive the Subaru there and take all precautions. However, my good wife thinks that we should hire a Suzuki or similar for the first time and perhaps take the Sub in a later trip. We live on the Sunshine Coast so it is not very far.
Again, thanks for your good advice,
George QLD
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FollowupID: 326876

Reply By: Member - Brian B (QLD) - Thursday, Jul 01, 2004 at 20:14

Thursday, Jul 01, 2004 at 20:14
Hey George,

It's a great spot and you will have a blast. We go there regularly so here goes for me.

If you are going accross from Inskip Point make sure you pick your run to the barge as there is an expanse of sand to cross which at times is a bit soft and can be chewed up. We have snatched a lot of people here over the years. Once you get on the island you won't have any dramas with the beach and it is a great drive. Check the tides and you will be OK.

The inland tracks vary and can be chewed up a bit by large tour buses etc. Just keep a watchful eye on the height of the ridge in the centre of the road as you could risk a bit of damage if it got too extreme. The National Parks rangers can give you some good info on the state of the tracks when you are there as well.

I think your Forester does not have low range but you will be surprised where you can get to if you keep your engine revs up and lower your tyre pressures a bit.

When you are on the beach you will notice a couple of spots where light aircraft land so just be mindful of that. It isn't a drama but just something to be aware of.

We often cut in off the beach at Eurong and then drive through to Central Station and camp. This gives us easy access to the beautiful lakes suck as McKenzie and Birabeen. The new Central Station campground is excellent.

There are a number of Troopies moving around the island and these are commonly hired out to groups of backpackers.

All in all I am sure you will have a great time and there never seems to be a shortage of people on the island who will help out if required.

I don't know if you have one but a UHF radio is a great thing to have and is well monitored in the local area.

Have a good trip.

Cheers
AnswerID: 66028

Follow Up By: Sparkie - Thursday, Jul 01, 2004 at 20:34

Thursday, Jul 01, 2004 at 20:34
Hello Brian B, I live in Bundy and was wondering as a Newbie to 4wd, is the Rainbow Beach area a good 4wd spot to gnash my teeth on. I have driven between Bundy to Woodgate through Burrum Coast National park( did it today)and found that the Jackaroo doesn't mind sand one bit.

So would it be a worthwile one day trip

Regards
Sparkie(IE not Y) ;-)
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FollowupID: 326868

Follow Up By: GeorgeQLD - Thursday, Jul 01, 2004 at 21:00

Thursday, Jul 01, 2004 at 21:00
Thank you Brian,
Great piece of advice about the UHF. No, I do not have one yet but I can ansure that one will be in the car by the time we take off. (as well as all the necessary recovery gear). You are correct also in the fact that the automatic Forester does not have low range (only the manual does). I have taken note of all your great info about the island and both my wife and I would like to thank you for taking the time to write so much info.
Safe travelling,
George QLD
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FollowupID: 326885

Reply By: Member - Brian B (QLD) - Thursday, Jul 01, 2004 at 22:42

Thursday, Jul 01, 2004 at 22:42
Sparkie and George,

Sorry for the one reply guys but I made a boo boo while using my computer.

Sparkie, Rainbow Beach and Double Island Point are great areas and you would get around on the good variety of tracks and the beach in the area with no problems in your Jack.

As far as tracks go, some of the better ones are the Freshwater track which links from the beach through to the Rainbow Beach road and it is about 14klm in length. Another good drive is the Kings Bore track which also joins the Rainbow Beach road to the beach however the last section is one way only from the track to the beach.

If you were on Teewah Beach and you wanted to go to Rainbow Beach you can cross at the Leisha Track and head on to rainbow beach. You will pass a section of rock called Mudlo Rocks on this trip and you need to have a good look at these before attemting to cross. Sometimes after rough weather they can be exposed. Standard rules apply and always drive at the right stage of the tide. Last time we wre there the rocks were easy to get around.

That's a very brief account but you would find the area most enjoyable.

George you guys enjoy your trip.

Cheers
AnswerID: 66078

Reply By: Member Colin - NSW Bungendore - Friday, Jul 02, 2004 at 13:54

Friday, Jul 02, 2004 at 13:54
As has been said - Fraser Is is a Subaru 'Haven' ! The NSW Club have regular trips there. Subarus love sand - let the tyres down to low 20's PSI or lower.

My little bit of advise would be to remove the plastic trim from under the sump - if you encounter any 'high centres' this will get damaged or ripped off. Replace it with a 'modified' steel sump guard from an older Liberty or 'L' series etc.

We have just returned from a 2 week trip to the Calvert Ra (off the Canning Stock Route) in 4 Foresters- an XT auto, XS auto, X manual, 2000 and a '82 MY. Had no major problems - needed to take care on some sections that had high centres, but the sand dunes were no trouble at all.

Also if you intend doing any long trips with a heavy load (ie we carried 60L of fuel and 40 L of water up the CSR to Calvert Ra) you need to fit HD rear springs the XS relies on the self level to carry the weight and this system WILL fail if 'stressed'.

May I suggest you contact the Subaru Club in either NSW or Qld. They both run great trips.
QLD SUBARU
NSW SUBARU

Enjoy your trip
AnswerID: 66141

Follow Up By: GeorgeQLD - Friday, Jul 02, 2004 at 15:43

Friday, Jul 02, 2004 at 15:43
Thanks Colin, I will try and become a member of the QLD Subaru Club. Your advice is greatly appreciated.
GeorgeQLD
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FollowupID: 326992

Reply By: Andrew - Friday, Jul 02, 2004 at 15:17

Friday, Jul 02, 2004 at 15:17
Hi George

Took our 98 forester around Fraser a couple of years back.
The local hire people said it would struggle however we declined the offer to hire a toyota and spent 5 enjoyable days on the east coast and up through the center.
We found that we didn't even need to lower the tyres much below 25psi. This seemed to be because the subie is so much lighter than "proper" 4x4's that we just didn't sink in to the sand as far as the bigger vehicles.

We also found that if cruisers or patrols had been through they graded the centre ridge with their axle housing so that we hardly ever touched down.

Where you weren't confined to the wheel ruts we seemed to float over the top fairly easily.

On the beach access points we drove around the bogged hire vehicles.

Keep your weight down seems to be important.

The self leveling suspension previously mentioned is worth a comment. For our heavily loaded trips we run heavy duty rear springs to keep the bum off the ground. However you must not use them with the self leveling suspension because the spring seats are not strong enough and they will fail.
I run a spare set of pedders rear struts with the heavy springs and save the self levelers for light duty and highway work.

regards

A
AnswerID: 66148

Follow Up By: GeorgeQLD - Friday, Jul 02, 2004 at 15:41

Friday, Jul 02, 2004 at 15:41
Hi Andrew,
Thanks for the good advice. As this is my first Subaru it all helps. I am looking at the subaXtreme web site and considering some options to make the car more suitable for off road travel. I have only 1200km on the speedo so far (500km on gravel/dirt roads) and the car sure feels very safe and comfortable off the bitumen. Having read all the comments from all the guys out there, I feel very confident that we will not have major problems if we take it easy. I will drop a quick line after the trip and let everyone know how it all went.
Thanks,
GeorgeQLD
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FollowupID: 326990

Reply By: Jimbo - Sunday, Jul 04, 2004 at 19:08

Sunday, Jul 04, 2004 at 19:08
George,

You're making a big mistake.

2-3 days is not long enough. Do whatever you can to make it longer. My only trip there was for 6 days and I left wanting more, much more. Not long after that trip I had to get rid of the GQ, and now some eight years later and I've got a 4by again, I can't wait to get back to the place.

Good luck with your projects,

Jim.
AnswerID: 66422

Follow Up By: GeorgeQLD - Sunday, Jul 04, 2004 at 22:19

Sunday, Jul 04, 2004 at 22:19
Jim,

As I am retired, I have all the time in the world right now and should it all work out well, I can extend our stay on the island. Other than that, as I live on the Sunshine Coast, we can go there as often as we like. My only problem was, having never gone there before, I was not sure if my present vehicle could handle the conditions. As it turns out, and after the many replies to my question on this forum, it looks that we should be ok if we take proper care. We are very excited about this trip and after your note, we are even more excited. I hope you get there soon also.

Best regards,
GeorgeQLD
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FollowupID: 327257

Reply By: MrMagoo - Saturday, Jul 17, 2004 at 00:18

Saturday, Jul 17, 2004 at 00:18
George,

Just go.

Magoo
AnswerID: 68114

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