Backpackers & Fraser

Submitted: Monday, Apr 11, 2005 at 22:12
ThreadID: 21978 Views:2435 Replies:7 FollowUps:2
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Heard on the radio this PM ... 9 Euros injured in Troopy rollover on Fraser.

Fairly typical ... just surprised it doesn't happen more often.
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Reply By: Wazza - (Vic) - Monday, Apr 11, 2005 at 22:24

Monday, Apr 11, 2005 at 22:24
Yeah, just read that:,10117,12824707-29277,00.html

NINE tourists have been injured when the four-wheel-drive vehicle in which they were travelling rolled on Fraser Island off the South-East Queensland coast.
The backpackers were in a Landcruiser when it failed to take a bend on a road beside the airstrip near Central Station around 1.30pm (AEST).

The nine backpackers, from the UK, the Netherlands and Canada, were airlifted to Hervey Bay Hospital in three helicopters.

Their ages ranged from 19 to 24.

"The corner came up slightly too quickly and it was steeper than I thought but I kept on going straight over the edge," driver James Baker, 24, told Channel 9 News.

A police spokesman said tonight the driver, from the UK, had been charged with driving without due care.

He was expected to appear in Hervey Bay Magistrates Court in the coming weeks.

A spokesman for Hervey Bay Hospital said one person with head injuries would be admitted overnight for observation.

The other eight were treated for injuries including broken collar bones and minor head injuries and were expected to be discharged tonight.

Last month, three backpackers were injured when another 4WD rolled on a beach on Fraser Island.
AnswerID: 106248

Reply By: Truckster (Vic) - Monday, Apr 11, 2005 at 22:26

Monday, Apr 11, 2005 at 22:26
"The corner came up slightly too quickly and it was steeper than I thought but I kept on going straight over the edge," driver James Baker, 24, told Channel 9 News.

Someone translate that for me..

Something like
" I was going way too fast, had no idea what i was doing, where the road went, wht the terrain was like, and Ibleeped up"...
AnswerID: 106249

Reply By: Member - Steve (ACT) - Tuesday, Apr 12, 2005 at 06:30

Tuesday, Apr 12, 2005 at 06:30
Although the driver may be directly responsible for this accident I think it's about time the tourist industry and 4wd hire shops took a little responsibility as well.

The backpacker industry is huge, and companies are only worried about the dollars they can make not whether they've received any 4wd training. These people come from overseas and see "Hire a 4wd, see Fraser island" looks like fun so they do!! I can't blame them!

When we were on Fraser, we found the backpackers friendly, a couple even provided entertainment with their guitar one night. Sure their 4wd driving skills weren't that great, but hey like anyone else in trouble, we just stop and help.


AnswerID: 106291

Follow Up By: Rob! - Tuesday, Apr 12, 2005 at 11:17

Tuesday, Apr 12, 2005 at 11:17
I agree with you steve.

The backpacker industry is huge, but must be provided at minimal costs so many companies cut corners. Not just the troopy hire industry but also things like hostels and withsunday yacht cruises with overflowing toilets and the like.

Unless driver training for hire vehicles which are to be used on sand becomes law, no operator will spend an hour or so teaching them the basics.

There are heaps of backpacker troopies on fraser, so if you add in driver inexperience, holiday mentalilty, and a few young people in the back egging you on. It's all a recipie for disaster.

Whenever I'm at fraser I actually find the backpackers very friendly and generally much more courteous then the locals, and often they drive frustratingly carefully.

Remeber that there are plenty of aussies who roll their cars on fraser, and plenty of aussies who get into strife overseas because of inexperince. How often do we hear about our guys being lost in the european snowfields.


FollowupID: 363338

Follow Up By: Member - Matt Mu (Perth-WA) - Tuesday, Apr 12, 2005 at 16:07

Tuesday, Apr 12, 2005 at 16:07
Hey even add to the dilema of the language barrier!!

Imagine a tour operator trying to teach a troopy load of swedish backpackers with only broken english, how to drive a 4WD in a few minutes!! Hmmmm actually.....sounds like a blast, where do I
apply for that job!
FollowupID: 363391

Reply By: Peter 2 - Tuesday, Apr 12, 2005 at 08:08

Tuesday, Apr 12, 2005 at 08:08
Totally agree that hire companies should take more responsibility, we've helped few over the years and also seen quite a few that have come to grief.
Many have paid with their lives or lifetime disability as a result of the sudden stop at the end.
One that sticks in my memory was the couple in a brits troopy that turned up at our campfire 100 yards off the plenty hwy at 8.30 pm. They were Germans on their honeymoon, hired the troopy in Darwin and were headed to Townsville then Cairns in 10 days.
Troopy was high roof camper with no spares, recovery gear etc. They had one map/brochure about the size of a a4 page.
They asked if they could camp near us and could we fix a tyre for them. Around the fire we chatted about there trip and possible problems, the troopy had a couple of suss tyres and we repaired the flat, gave them a few tips and away they went the next morning. As we had come from QLD we could tell them where to turn etc as there were no signposts and back then the road was a series of deep bulldust holes for about 100k.
AnswerID: 106301

Reply By: Sand Man (SA) - Tuesday, Apr 12, 2005 at 09:17

Tuesday, Apr 12, 2005 at 09:17
Don't agree that any responsibility should be placed on the hire companies, other than the vehicle is roadworthy.

There is no requirement for "special" licences (and neither should there be) so the onus is on the driver to have the necessary nouse and driving ability to suit the conditions.

Most of the time in places like Fraser, it is mainly commonsense and that is something lacking in far too many people, wherever they come from.

Just like barreling along the beach at 120k's per hour......because you can?

I'm diagonally parked in a parallel Universe!

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AnswerID: 106315

Reply By: Nick R - Tuesday, Apr 12, 2005 at 10:58

Tuesday, Apr 12, 2005 at 10:58
When I was up there there was a big photo in a shop and a big blurb about how a couple of people were killed a few years back rolling a troopie on the beach.
The little experience I have on sand is that it can be a brilliant road surface in patches but also unpredictable, soft, rutted, etc, etc. I'm not telling you anything you don't know.
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AnswerID: 106327

Reply By: Steerpike - Tuesday, Apr 19, 2005 at 00:35

Tuesday, Apr 19, 2005 at 00:35
I agree that we should help them where possible. Mostly they are decent kids seeing a wonderful part of the world. I was there the week after Easter and got stuck trying to get my '98 Prado/Windsor Rapid up the soft sand track to the Cathedral Beach camping ground. My Hayman Reese load levelling kit was dragging about 6" deep in the sand in the centre of the track, hence the "no further progress". I dug it out and removed the chains and bars, but was unable to start. Luckily a troopy full of backpackers was stuck behind me. When asked, about 10 of them got out and pushed me, and away I went. Thanked them profusely, and they were very cheery and upbeat, even though I had held them up.
The lady at Cathedral Beach said "we've never had anyone tow a van up here before". Was very comfortable.
AnswerID: 107325

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