Land Rover Discovery and Fraser Island

Submitted: Sunday, Aug 10, 2003 at 10:26
ThreadID: 6472 Views:2599 Replies:15 FollowUps:8
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I am planning a trip to Fraser Island next February (2004) from Sydney.

I currently own a Nissan Patrol (1988 model). Im not in a position to buy a newish 4wd and I am looking at a 1993 model Land Rover Discovery.(V8 Petrol, Automatic).

Can anyone offfer me any advise on wether this vehicle is capable of acheiving this type of trip and what modifications to the standard Discovery should I make before embarking on this lifetime dream.

Also is February a good time of year to plan this trip.

I would consider myself with average 4wd experience (lot of offroad work in trucks and twelve months leisure 4wding)
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Reply By: Phil P - Sunday, Aug 10, 2003 at 11:03

Sunday, Aug 10, 2003 at 11:03
Hi,

I went to Fraser Island 3 weeks after purchasing my first 4wd (Nissan Patrol). It was easy, just follow common sense. I lowered my tyres down to 22 PSI, followed the tide times.

I carried an exhuast jack, snatch strap, compressor & shovel. I didn't use any of it except for the compressor to pump up my tyres at the end of the trip. This was my first experience with a 4wd.

Regards
Phil P

AnswerID: 27331

Follow Up By: volvofh12 - Sunday, Aug 10, 2003 at 11:13

Sunday, Aug 10, 2003 at 11:13
Thanks for that Phil.
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Reply By: bigboy - Sunday, Aug 10, 2003 at 13:14

Sunday, Aug 10, 2003 at 13:14
first off use the green barge at inskip point .
the green barge is farly new and made the price drop from $120-00 to $50-00
and on some days even as low as $25-00 .
so surport the barge that made the prices drop .
if the green barge goes and other barge will put his price back up ..

lower your tyre presher 10psi - 23 psi.

if you get stuck the local boys usally tow you out for a beer or 2..( xxxx )
have a good one ....
AnswerID: 27340

Follow Up By: Member - Oskar(Bris) - Sunday, Aug 10, 2003 at 22:44

Sunday, Aug 10, 2003 at 22:44
I heard recently that both barges now charge the same amount (about $70) They went to some prices commision or something like that and sorted out their differences with the commission setting the fee for them. I don't Know if this is true or not though.
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Reply By: Member - Geoff - Sunday, Aug 10, 2003 at 16:58

Sunday, Aug 10, 2003 at 16:58
To volvo in disguise,
Just remember that these petrol models are gas guzzlers.
Hope you have a good trip.
Cheers Geoff.
AnswerID: 27348

Follow Up By: charlie - Monday, Aug 11, 2003 at 22:37

Monday, Aug 11, 2003 at 22:37
Gas guzzlers and the price of fuel on the Island is at least 20 30 cents per litre more expensive.
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Reply By: Member - Rohan K - Sunday, Aug 10, 2003 at 16:58

Sunday, Aug 10, 2003 at 16:58
Volvo, a Discovery will do Fraser easily with no mods necessary.

If you haven't done any sand work, read up on it. Fraser has very few difficult spots, but the few that are can be really tricky. There's lots (and I mean LOTS) of stuff on Fraser on the web.

My wife did at least half the driving on Fraser during our recent trip and, with no prior experience and just a liitle instruction, she had no problems at all.

Have fun planning.Smile, you're on ExplorOz
Rohan (Sydney - on the QLD side of the Harbour Bridge)
AnswerID: 27349

Reply By: Member - Rohan K - Sunday, Aug 10, 2003 at 16:58

Sunday, Aug 10, 2003 at 16:58
Volvo, a Discovery will do Fraser easily with no mods necessary.

If you haven't done any sand work, read up on it. Fraser has very few difficult spots, but the few that are can be really tricky. There's lots (and I mean LOTS) of stuff on Fraser on the web.

My wife did at least half the driving on Fraser during our recent trip and, with no prior experience and just a liitle instruction, she had no problems at all.

Have fun planning.Smile, you're on ExplorOz
Rohan (Sydney - on the QLD side of the Harbour Bridge)
AnswerID: 27350

Reply By: marcus - Sunday, Aug 10, 2003 at 18:45

Sunday, Aug 10, 2003 at 18:45
Volvo,A few tips to advise you in advance.High pressure car washes at rainbow beach have sprays over and under the car which rid it of supposed salt build up on the island .As the wash sprays an oily solution they advise a treatment before and after coming off the island worth it at about $10 a go.When you buy your permit for the island get a tides chart and give yourself time to get up the beach.Speed limits do apply on the beach.Watch for scenic flights landing as the beach is their airstrip in sections.Many inland tracks are one car width and can take a lot of traffic at times so don't travel too fsat as you may have to reverse into a clearing to allow another car or bus to pass.Take as many supplies as possible with you and a full tank as supplies and fuel are at least 40% dearer than the mainland.The disco will have no problems just drop the pressures a bit to around 20psi and take it easy.In some sections the tracks have deep fluffy sand so keep in the ruts and power through with a bit of momentum.You will love Fraseras there are so many great places to see as are well documented on hema's fraser map. Mark
AnswerID: 27361

Follow Up By: volvofh12 - Sunday, Aug 10, 2003 at 23:29

Sunday, Aug 10, 2003 at 23:29
thanks for that. Where would i get the hema map from.
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Follow Up By: marcus - Monday, Aug 11, 2003 at 09:36

Monday, Aug 11, 2003 at 09:36
Hema maps are very popular i got mine at a rays outdoors store but most good outdoors, camping stores should carry them or get you one in .There is starting to be a lot of map shops around as well.
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Follow Up By: volvofh12 - Monday, Aug 11, 2003 at 10:23

Monday, Aug 11, 2003 at 10:23
Thank you for your help
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Reply By: Member - Jack - Sunday, Aug 10, 2003 at 19:17

Sunday, Aug 10, 2003 at 19:17
Hi Volvo:

You will love Fraser. It is not a difficult trip, and all the advice you have been given here is sound. Remember that the beach run is a highway, police DO have radar on the island and like to use it.
Th eonly other tip missing is to keep an eye out where you see the water runing across the beach (washouts) .. these can be quite deep at times, and many have come to grief hitting them at speed.
A Hema map will be a great investment. Tyre pressures around 20 .. usually the guys on the barge will let you know if they need to be any lower or higher.
There are a few other good guides to Fraser. I used one last trip by "Dirty Weekends" which I found useful, even as a fairly regular visitor to the place.
If you decide not to bush camp on the beach, Dundubera is nice, has Ranger patrols, hot and cold running water, and is well located for the many trips I hope you manage to do.
Just thining about it makes me want to throw my stuff into the truck and head off again. Enjoy it !!!!!
JackAustralia - If you don't love it, leave!!!
AnswerID: 27364

Follow Up By: Dan (Brizvegas) - Monday, Aug 11, 2003 at 15:43

Monday, Aug 11, 2003 at 15:43
I agree with Jack...Dundubera is a great spot to set up camp. We usually set up on the beach around 5 km south of the camp site...away from tent city but able to access hot showers and a loo for number 2. Not far from some of the inland routes and Indian Head and Eli Creek. Fraser is a great spot and always worth the effort.

When you head up, check the tide charts and go via Noosa/Tewantin and drive up the beach from there. Double Island is worth the trip (we often camp here for a weekend gettaway) and swimming in the water is OK - no sharks that I have seen - whereas Fraser...hhmm. It's truly a magic spot! If you don't mind a surf, there is a great mal wave Rainbow beach side of the headland - when the swell's on and the wind is right!Do check with Rainbow Beach with the crossing the rocks at Mudlow...have seen many 4WD's come to grief...common sense prevails, but. It is a much shorter route than the boring drive through Gympie.
Enjoy!
Dan
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Reply By: Old Jack - Sunday, Aug 10, 2003 at 21:30

Sunday, Aug 10, 2003 at 21:30
If you havn't had much sand driving expereance, in the disco take a trip to stockton beach (just North of Newcastle) with a 4WD club or tag along tour(or better still find a few local to go fishing with) for the day, you will have great fun & discover a lot about the Disco in the sand dunes, makes for a nice weekend break!
AnswerID: 27388

Reply By: Member - Oskar(Bris) - Sunday, Aug 10, 2003 at 23:08

Sunday, Aug 10, 2003 at 23:08
Don't worry, everybody is a bit nervous the first time.
I've been doing Fraser regularly for over 20 years in both 2 & 4WD vehicles and there is no secret to successful driving on soft sand.
Tyre pressure - 18-25psi (I've gone down to under 10psi in exceptional conditions.) There are some very steep hills on the western side of the island that will require less than 20psi
Momentum - When you hit the cuttings or sand hills be in the right gear and don't stop.
Weight distribution - If all else fails put as much weight as you can towards the rear.
You learn a lot about sand driving when using 2WD vehicles. We used to put a sandbag or two in the back of the vehicle to change the weight distribution if the sand was really soft and fluffy or if the hill was steep. This still works well with 4WD when there is no base under the sand.
(But don't worry about that. I just put that in because not many people know about that technique for climbing really soft sand-hills.)
Generally use high range 4WD and only use low range if you get bogged.You don't want to burn the clutch or cook the torque converter.
Just about any vehicle will do Fraser nowadays, except Ngkala (sic) rocks bypass that is.
The march-flies/horse-flies will be bad in Feb. and the sand is terribly hot.
We just keep going back it's so beautiful.
Have a great trip. You'll love it.
Oskar
AnswerID: 27400

Reply By: BoneMan - Monday, Aug 11, 2003 at 10:48

Monday, Aug 11, 2003 at 10:48
As Oskar said - watch out for march filies - we've been to Fraser 2 times, both times arround February and the flies are pretty bad at that time, especially if you camp near the beach.

Have fun.
AnswerID: 27423

Reply By: Mick - Monday, Aug 11, 2003 at 22:06

Monday, Aug 11, 2003 at 22:06
Just remember that the V8 disco has a small tank and uses lots of fuel - they're made for English conditions and not the vastness of Australia. A TD is a far better option as they are renowned for their good fuel economy .... and breaking down ...
AnswerID: 27521

Follow Up By: greydemon - Wednesday, Aug 13, 2003 at 18:17

Wednesday, Aug 13, 2003 at 18:17
I agree with Mick - sort of. I have just returned from 8500kms through Newman and around the Kimberley and Bungle Bungles. My recently acquired 1996 Discovery TDI didn't miss a beat, pulled an Off-Road trailer all the way no bother even over the roughest tracks into Mitchell Falls and the Bungles. For most of the trip there were 5 of us and with the Engel in the back and the roof rack we were pretty well full but the trip was a joy.

Unless you are stinking rich - buy a TDI !
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Reply By: charlie - Monday, Aug 11, 2003 at 22:52

Monday, Aug 11, 2003 at 22:52
When the sand is fluffy and it hasn't rained for a while it can be really very soft comming of the the barge from inskip point. Don't wory though almost everybody will lend a hand to those in trouble at this point. Also when getting onto the beach there make sure of the tides as the beach is cut off there at high tide and can be dangerous around high tide as there can be no way off around the bottom a few km's from the barge. It is also definately not advisable to use the inland track from the barge to bypass the beach at high tide if you can avoid it as it was once bitumen back in the mining days and it is now reaaly filled with some deep pot holes up to half a metre deep. The disco however should make fairly short work of the rest of the island just air down as siad above and you'll be right.

The bloke on the barge has a large pole that he helps landcruiser owners with their spare tyres under the back and full loads off the barge at low tide when the sand is soft as they get stuck on the back. Thats why I moved my spare tyre and raised it 3". Hope I get over next time I go.
AnswerID: 27526

Reply By: charlie - Monday, Aug 11, 2003 at 22:52

Monday, Aug 11, 2003 at 22:52
When the sand is fluffy and it hasn't rained for a while it can be really very soft comming of the the barge from inskip point. Don't wory though almost everybody will lend a hand to those in trouble at this point. Also when getting onto the beach there make sure of the tides as the beach is cut off there at high tide and can be dangerous around high tide as there can be no way off around the bottom a few km's from the barge. It is also definately not advisable to use the inland track from the barge to bypass the beach at high tide if you can avoid it as it was once bitumen back in the mining days and it is now reaaly filled with some deep pot holes up to half a metre deep. The disco however should make fairly short work of the rest of the island just air down as siad above and you'll be right.

The bloke on the barge has a large pole that he helps landcruiser owners with their spare tyres under the back and full loads off the barge at low tide when the sand is soft as they get stuck on the back. Thats why I moved my spare tyre and raised it 3". Hope I get over next time I go.
AnswerID: 27527

Reply By: charlie - Monday, Aug 11, 2003 at 22:52

Monday, Aug 11, 2003 at 22:52
When the sand is fluffy and it hasn't rained for a while it can be really very soft comming of the the barge from inskip point. Don't wory though almost everybody will lend a hand to those in trouble at this point. Also when getting onto the beach there make sure of the tides as the beach is cut off there at high tide and can be dangerous around high tide as there can be no way off around the bottom a few km's from the barge. It is also definately not advisable to use the inland track from the barge to bypass the beach at high tide if you can avoid it as it was once bitumen back in the mining days and it is now reaaly filled with some deep pot holes up to half a metre deep. The disco however should make fairly short work of the rest of the island just air down as siad above and you'll be right.

The bloke on the barge has a large pole that he helps landcruiser owners with their spare tyres under the back and full loads off the barge at low tide when the sand is soft as they get stuck on the back. Thats why I moved my spare tyre and raised it 3". Hope I get over next time I go.
AnswerID: 27528

Reply By: charlie - Monday, Aug 11, 2003 at 22:52

Monday, Aug 11, 2003 at 22:52
When the sand is fluffy and it hasn't rained for a while it can be really very soft comming of the the barge from inskip point. Don't wory though almost everybody will lend a hand to those in trouble at this point. Also when getting onto the beach there make sure of the tides as the beach is cut off there at high tide and can be dangerous around high tide as there can be no way off around the bottom a few km's from the barge. It is also definately not advisable to use the inland track from the barge to bypass the beach at high tide if you can avoid it as it was once bitumen back in the mining days and it is now reaaly filled with some deep pot holes up to half a metre deep. The disco however should make fairly short work of the rest of the island just air down as siad above and you'll be right.

The bloke on the barge has a large pole that he helps landcruiser owners with their spare tyres under the back and full loads off the barge at low tide when the sand is soft as they get stuck on the back. Thats why I moved my spare tyre and raised it 3". Hope I get over next time I go.
AnswerID: 27529

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