Fraser - central station - best way to get there w. trailer?

Submitted: Saturday, Feb 28, 2009 at 12:42
ThreadID: 66368 Views:2996 Replies:7 FollowUps:5
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Booked into central station for a week from Easter Sunday and will have 4 adults and 2 kids (7 year olds) in my Pajero ('96 NJ Manual petrol 3500cc) and am pulling a road trailer. In addition I have a large roof rack where I will putting things.

Std. tyres (A/T's). I was wondering what the best route in for me is. Inskip ferry or Riverheads ferry?. I am leaning towards the Riverhead ferry but my Dilemma is that it only runs at 10:30 and 3:15 that day. Getting there by I presume latest 9:45am will be stressful and too tight from here. The idea of inskip whenever we get there is appealing, but high tide that day is about 10am so would have to wait until about noon before going over anyway I presume?. The 45km's up the beach to Dilli village and then inland to central is proving a bit worrying as well, as I:- haven't driven on sand before, haven't tried the truck with a trailer on sand before, not sure how bogged I am likely to get with stuff for 6 of us for a week? I am worried about the soft stuff getting on and off beach and inland tracks however 14km of track vs the inskip route sounds better.
My only worry with the riverheads route is if we only get off the ferry at 15:45 and then have problems it could make for a very late (and stressfull) day.

Will have recovery gear and am thinking of investing in some maxtrax as well. (Opinions on those welcome as well).

Will hopefully get some beach practice in before then (with and w/out trailer), but am not too worried about me learning quickly.

Would love all opinions.

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Reply By: troopyman - Saturday, Feb 28, 2009 at 13:01

Saturday, Feb 28, 2009 at 13:01
Ok , get the barge at inskip . Let all tyres down including trailers to 18psi . You will not be able to go around inskip unless 2 hours either side of low (1 hr recommended)and there are sink holes . Take the inland road but it is very corrugated . Thats ok as you take it nice and easy . Drive to eurong and go inland there as the road is mostly one way , ie there are 2 tracks for either direction . Unless you are good at backing trailers because buses wont back up go another way . Stick to a slow speed on the inland tracks as dikcheads are everywhere . Its not that hard driving on sand as long as you remember to let the tyres down , dont drive to fast with them down and the maxtrax are a good piece of mind . enjoy your adventure . I am off to fraser again tomorrow . cheers .
AnswerID: 351492

Follow Up By: troopyman - Saturday, Feb 28, 2009 at 13:28

Saturday, Feb 28, 2009 at 13:28
I forgot to add , take 20 x 1 dollaqr coins and give your car a good wash at the rainbow beach 4x4 wash ( ). Shops at eurong to buy stuff (Site Link )
FollowupID: 619755

Follow Up By: Member - John F (NSW) - Saturday, Feb 28, 2009 at 15:43

Saturday, Feb 28, 2009 at 15:43

Agree with Troopy, took the brand new Hilux up there 2 yr ago, with no experience except a two day 4wd course(highly recommended).

Had a great time, also camped at Central Station.

From memory the scary bits were just after getting on the Island via the Inskip Manta Ray ferry - rocks and trees meant not much beach above the water.

The blokes on the ferry were very helpful advising about this.

We did not tow a trailer, but even soft sand gave no problem, and your Paj more capable than our Hilux I would think.

Just keep the engine spinning freely ie don't lug it along - they get pretty hot working hard in the sand.

Beware of temptation to go too fast when further up the beach with tyres at 18psi - they come off the rims easily if cornered hard. The creeks on the beach can be hard to spot - look harmless but will have a one to three foot drop into them.

Have a great time.

FollowupID: 619766

Follow Up By: troopyman - Saturday, Feb 28, 2009 at 17:18

Saturday, Feb 28, 2009 at 17:18
I forgot to add that 18psi is just after bitumen speeds so the next morning check it and it should be around 15 or 16 cold . Just be aware of this .
FollowupID: 619774

Reply By: Member - William H (WA) - Saturday, Feb 28, 2009 at 13:03

Saturday, Feb 28, 2009 at 13:03
Good morning.
First of do you have an air pump, to pump up your tyres, if you let them down to go on the sand/beach, you dont want to get stuck in the sand with 6 people, and the high tide might get you????????, and you have a trailer with you, I would leave a little bit earler, and get one of the Ferry's, and after you get their ,then try the Pajero out on the sand, and beach,You can then have a good week's holliday,and all will be safe. When im down at the local beach with the tojo, im always asked if i can give a hand, to pull out someone who is stuck on the beach, as they havent any saftey gear, or air pump,

Cheers for now....William H....Bunbury...WA
AnswerID: 351494

Reply By: Louie the fly (SA) - Saturday, Feb 28, 2009 at 13:15

Saturday, Feb 28, 2009 at 13:15
The guy that runs the green ferry at Inskip Point is a top bloke. When we went there the other year I accidentally booked on the white ferry while my mate waited and paid on board the green one. The guy let me on his for no charge on the proviso that I went back with him as well. Either way I paid for a barge trip. In future I would pay extra to use his service.

Stay above the high tide mark at first if you have any concerns. After being on the island for a couple of days and getting to know the beach we were often driving almost at the water line. It's very firm but watch out for the always changing creek outlets. I got my 4Runner airborne once because I wasn't concentrating.

AnswerID: 351498

Reply By: age - Saturday, Feb 28, 2009 at 15:59

Saturday, Feb 28, 2009 at 15:59

This is how I would approach your day given the parameters you state. Go via Inskip at the time you are planning (2 hours after the high). Let tyres down as stated above and get all passengers except self out of the vehicle at the top of the barge access track (ie get some weight out of the truck as you sound like you will be packed). Pick a run down to the barge where no-one is going to stop your momentum, pick a gear and stay in it (I would use high 1st in your truck) and get a good solid run across the soft sand - don't stop or change gears until you get to the hardish sand at the foot of the barge landing - the barge operators will guide you up. Short walk for your passengers to the barge - do same on exit up to the track for the Inland road - (Hook Point will not be passable 2 hours after the high). You will need some good momentum from the barge exit up across the softish approach for the inland road - reload your passengers about 50 m up the track where it packs down a bit more - You may need to be a bit ruthless with you truck and trailer here (ie don't baby it) or you will get stuck on the up ramp of the inland road as there will be little run up room at the tide you are travelling and probably other vehicles parked waiting for the barge to negotiate. Then as others state above re the rest of the journey to Central. If you can do this trip on a better tide you will have so much more of a pleasant initial trip - the hard sand of the low tide beach is very easily driven with a trailer. I do this trip quite regularly with a boat but would not consider it for the tide you are travelling as it just opens up too many facets to get stuck, hurt vehicles etc when it can all be done so much less stressfully at low tide - my thoughts from my experience. A couple of days on the island and you will become a master at it


AnswerID: 351513

Follow Up By: troopyman - Saturday, Feb 28, 2009 at 16:23

Saturday, Feb 28, 2009 at 16:23
It all depends on conditions . I have driven to the barge at inskip after rain and the sand is like a highway . I have also driven it without rain for weeks and bogged 4bys everywhere . Stop at the end of the road and look where other 4bys are going and pick a track with shallow ruts and i would use low 2nd but thats for the troopy . As age says you will know after a while what gear to be in .
FollowupID: 619768

Reply By: Lotzi - Saturday, Feb 28, 2009 at 16:42

Saturday, Feb 28, 2009 at 16:42
Hi New4by

Yep it's going to be busy there, you have got some good advice re compressor, maxtrax and tyre pressures, etc., just like to add the following.
1. Where are you travelling from, can you leave earlier?
2. For me, Riverheads, shorter run to Central.
3. Usually the day tour buses are already at the creek in the afternoon so that their day tour passengers can return on the barge.
4. Tubes in the tyres are good idea.
5. Check the draw bar on the 'road' trailer before you go, the tracks can be punishing and I have seen a few fail/bend.
6. Practice your reversing with the trailer as you may have to reverse on or off the barge.
7. Make sure free wheeling hubs (if fitted) are engaged, seen many an expert get bogged.
8. Make sure you disengage 4wd when on sealed sections. (barge & ramp)
9. When on sand, keep your momentum up.
10. You lose momentum when your tyre sidewall rub on the side of the track.
11. Is the track of the trailer the same as the Paj, otherwise you will be moving sand with the trailer, slows you down and works harder.
12. If you get stuck, don't sit there spinning the wheels, you may wind up the drive train and break something.
13. If you get stuck, let a couple of psi out of the tyres and clear sand build up from around the tyres, if still stuck unhook the trailer, get out of the bog and then strap snig your trailer out.
14. Take a piece of hardwood for your jack to sit on.
15. In heavy going, keep an eye on your temp gauge.

All in all, go out and have some before you go over, you soon get the hang of it and enjoy Fraser, it's a great place.

All the best, that's my two bob's worth.
AnswerID: 351516

Follow Up By: kev.h - Saturday, Feb 28, 2009 at 21:05

Saturday, Feb 28, 2009 at 21:05
Agree with above if you have not done much sand driving i'd look at river heads the track accross the island is quite good
Cheers Kev
FollowupID: 619808

Reply By: Member - Kiwi Kia - Saturday, Feb 28, 2009 at 23:02

Saturday, Feb 28, 2009 at 23:02
If you are worried about the trip up the beach see if you can follow (not to close) some one else off the barge. If the person you are following suddenly hits the brakes as they approach a stream you will get an early warning :-))

AnswerID: 351571

Reply By: zha zha cruiser - Sunday, Mar 01, 2009 at 17:54

Sunday, Mar 01, 2009 at 17:54
I have taken the riverheads ferry..and they made me back off. The inland tracks were shocking (sept last year) not just from Riverheads but everywhere. Much worse than normal. The Riverheads ferry wasnt too bad. I would get the 10 am barge.

I was pulling a campertrailer...but it was an offroad one. might need to o'night at hHervey Bay before you leave...

AnswerID: 351713

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