Small kids and camping on Fraser Island

Submitted: Saturday, Aug 23, 2003 at 10:27
ThreadID: 6768 Views:2583 Replies:14 FollowUps:2
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We're planning our first camping trip since having children to Fraser Is for early September for 2 weeks. Our kids are 3 and 1 and we're starting to get lots of comments from friends about us being crazy taking our young kids there with dingo dangers, four wheel drive traffic zooming up the beach etc etc.
What do you all think? Would you take your babies camping on the beach (we were thinking around the Dundubara area)? Have you been there with young children? Where did you camp?

Thanks so much
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Reply By: Member - Bonz (Vic) - Saturday, Aug 23, 2003 at 10:39

Saturday, Aug 23, 2003 at 10:39
We were on Fraser for 8 days earlier this year and saw the grand total of 4 dingoes and we went almost everywhere. With 3 and 1 yearolds its unlikely they will stray far from parents caring eyes and Fraser is such a great place to visit.

The cars zoom up and down the beach, yes, its a road don't forget, but Champagne Pools, Inland lakes and many and varied playgrounds are safe as Churches

Go for itSo many places to go!
So much work to do :0(
AnswerID: 28815

Reply By: Bob Y. - Qld - Saturday, Aug 23, 2003 at 12:05

Saturday, Aug 23, 2003 at 12:05
Take the kids to Fraser, I'm sure you're both better parents than your friends think you are, though they would be concerned about the littlies welfare. Start them young, and they always love the outdoors, with some exceptions...
AnswerID: 28820

Reply By: Member - Oskar(Bris) - Saturday, Aug 23, 2003 at 17:18

Saturday, Aug 23, 2003 at 17:18
Without a doubt - Go for it!
We have camped in the Dundaburra NP grounds and on the beach near Dundaburra and you cannot get away from dingoes at either place. If you don't see them during daylight hours you can be assured that they "patrol" their section of the beach during the night.
Having said that, we have also taken babies in nappies (we have 3 sons) camping on Fraser and have never felt, or been threatened by dingoes.
I think the greater danger, as someone has said is the traffic, and that is something that you need to be constantly aware of as parents of toddlers and young children.
You will have a ball and don't let either of those issues stop enjoying the place. They will grow up appreciating you as parents,the outdoors and the more simple things of life.
Have fun
Oskar
AnswerID: 28835

Reply By: Steve - Saturday, Aug 23, 2003 at 20:11

Saturday, Aug 23, 2003 at 20:11
Just spent a week out there !! Yep Dingoes have their territories and will be around to check you out....we spent most time on the top end of the island , out of the way .. (sharks were more of a problem! ) . .... dont encourage them, and keep food and garbage well covered and inaccessable (lock it up at night) ....You won't have a problem it you aren't stupid !!
AnswerID: 28846

Reply By: Quigley - Saturday, Aug 23, 2003 at 20:31

Saturday, Aug 23, 2003 at 20:31
Thanks folks, looks like you are all backing up what we thought.
Does anyone have any suggestions for a magic camp spot? We were thinking of staying back in off the east beach somewhere near Dundaburra or other amenities where we can pick up a bit of firewood etc occasionally. We would consider elswhere but are limited on ground clearance (driving a Forester) which would limit where we can get to unless it rains. Also the concept of catching the odd fish for the pan appeals as well.
Any recent info on track conditions as they would apply to a Forester would also come in handy.

Cheers
AnswerID: 28849

Follow Up By: Member - Rohan K - Tuesday, Aug 26, 2003 at 15:21

Tuesday, Aug 26, 2003 at 15:21
Q, we were the for 10 days in July. We camped just behind the low dunes along the eastern beach about 200 metre south of Rainbow Gorge. It was a fabulous spot and central to everything, except the top end. It was also reasonably close to Dundaburra so you could access hot showers fairly easily. If you want a "commercial" site, with amenities, then Dundaburra is the pick. You can get firewood at D and most other "commercial" grounds.

You would have no problem getting anywhere on the Island in a Forester that any other 4x4 could go. I just wouldn't drive the western beach. Some inland tracks had deep ruts but the centre mound was soft sand and our diff (Pathfinder) simple graded it. We saw many small 4x4s like X-Trails, Hondas, Suzukis, and none of them seemed to have any difficulty going anywhere. I bottomed out on my side-steps once on steep drop but that was my fault - I took the wrong line too casually. You can see some pics of the campsite at

www.thrsolutions.com.au/fraserislandphotosJuly03.html

In the 10 days we saw about 9 dingos, 6 of those around camp - one running along the beach, another just passing by, 2 that jumped out from a bush behind the tent and took off like startled rabbits when the kids (9 and 10 yr olds) suddenly started laughing at something, one that pleaded with the wife and kids to be invited into camp but left when the invitation was not forthcoming and one that came into the annex during the night to investigate and steal food. Since we had followed all the guidelines it found nothing and just left quietly.

Whilst we never felt directly threatened by any of the dingos we saw, and we kept the kids in sight and close at all times, it was a bit painful having to get up in the middle of the night to accompany children to the toilet. I would not let two yougsters like yours out of my sight, not for a second, nor would allow them to stray far from me (dingos can move quickly). But you probaly don't do either of those in "civilisation, do you?

I would not let the fear of dingos stop me from going. If you take the cautions seriously and follow the guidelines to the letter, you may not even encounter one.Smile, you're on ExplorOz
Rohan (Sydney - on the QLD side of the Harbour Bridge)
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FollowupID: 20331

Follow Up By: Member - Rohan K - Tuesday, Aug 26, 2003 at 15:28

Tuesday, Aug 26, 2003 at 15:28
Oh, and as Peter says below, the tricky bits are actually getting on and off the barge. Drop tyre pressures to 20 psi, time it so you catch the barge at bottom-low tide, read up about sand driving, and you'll be fine.

Have you done much sand driving before? Do you have the basic gear - compressor, shovel, snatch strap and shackles?Smile, you're on ExplorOz
Rohan (Sydney - on the QLD side of the Harbour Bridge)
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FollowupID: 20333

Reply By: rob - Sunday, Aug 24, 2003 at 09:14

Sunday, Aug 24, 2003 at 09:14
I have just returned from Fraser Is. 20/8/2003 with my two children 3yrs & 11 yrs old.
Definately go!!!. Yes the dingo's are there but they are not a threat if you do the right thing and dont feed them,and put your food away, they will not come around. We mainly found them around the resorts and not on the beach campsites, because there is more food available for them there.
Yes, always keep a close eye on them but also let them have fun playing in the sand. Dundubara is a long way up the beach and well protected from the wind. They have toilets and shower fac. but if you have this luxury to your
vehicle camp behind the dune. Its quite safe (we did)there is creek water available for the kids playing and for your washing. And Yes unfortunately its not really safe for the kids to play on the beach, it is more of a road not a play area.
yet I went down everyday and played with them you just have to keep an eye out for the speeding cars, because they do about 80klm per hour.
The weather was pretty crapy for us but we did inland day tours, and we still had a fanastic time. People told us the same thing. I don't know what all the hoo haar was about. Go and have a great time with your kids we did, and our kids absolutely loved it.
Beth & Rob.Luke , Georgia
AnswerID: 28876

Reply By: Member - Russell - Sunday, Aug 24, 2003 at 09:56

Sunday, Aug 24, 2003 at 09:56
We took our kids several times from very young age, and would recommend it. You have to keep your eye on them all the time, and dingoes are a potential hazard - don't think they aren't, that'll be the time something happens. We had a friend's four year old chased down the beach, and we were only 50m away - take your eyes off for a second..... But really, there are a lot more things (like march and horse flies!!) that you need to manage. Just be sensible and you'll have a great time. We have camped in several places, always on the beach, below Indian Head and up above Orchid Beach. Somewhere with fresh water is good, but those campsites are very popular. Have a good trip. Last time we just went to the Cooloola coast and found it just as good as on the island, but without the barge fees!Russell S
Prado RV6
AnswerID: 28883

Reply By: petprass - Sunday, Aug 24, 2003 at 13:40

Sunday, Aug 24, 2003 at 13:40
Dundabara is a very good spot - fairly central so you are not too far from any of the attractions. Nothing is better than camping on the beach though, but with little ones it would be very difficult for you with washing etc and keeping an eye on them constantly.

People who tell you that you are crazy because of the dingoes may not have actually experienced the conditions there. As a general rule, don't annoy them and they will not annoy you. Just take it sensibly. Its not as though as soon as you hit the island there are thousands of dingo eyes sizing the family up for dinner!!

Regarding the clearance on the Forrester, I would be a bit carefull in some spots. Getting off the barge at Hook Point and going around to the right to the eastern beach is quite soft - especially at high tide. As a coincidence we have seen mainly Subaru's stuck in that area. Also from memory it is quite steep going up the ramp to the Dundabara camping area.

Peter
AnswerID: 28900

Reply By: Murfa - Sunday, Aug 24, 2003 at 17:31

Sunday, Aug 24, 2003 at 17:31
My mates and I usually go toi Frazer 2 -3 times a year. I own a 2002 Mitsub Challenger, One mate owns a 1990 Patrol and the other a 1996 Sierra. In all the time we are there, we camp in some of the remotest parts of the Island, and Dingo's have never seemed to be a problem. They usually walk round, and you see them rarely, but won't come any closer then about 50 -100 mtrs. And they have Also culled the numbers remarkably. If you do see any problem ones around, quiet often the rangers keep a close eye on them and remove them anyway. as for two young kids, i believe the dingo's are probably more scared of us then we are of them, so go to Frazer, enjoy the out doors, and keep an eye on your kids. Also just do the sensible things like, put your fires out at night, don't leave food scraps around, and lock your rubbish in the boot at night. Follow these simple rules, and the dingo's won't be a problem.
AnswerID: 28922

Reply By: Dave - Monday, Aug 25, 2003 at 01:42

Monday, Aug 25, 2003 at 01:42
We did a trip to Fraser in April this year with our 6 & 4 yr old boys and our 18mth old daughter. My wife suffered greatly from Dingo paranoia. As such we camped up north at Waddy Point. The camping ground is enclosed by a fence and there are gates to the entrance that must be closed upon leaving/entering. The rangers are quite strict regarding your storage of food but having said that they were more than helpful with their information. We saw 3 dingoes in 8 days and all were on the beach not too far from Cathedral Beach resort. We enjoyed our time immensely and the boys loved the fishing with me on the beach. The inland areas are quite special in their own right. Something to keep in mind - some information one of the rangers gave us was that there were only a maximum of 200 dingoes on the island at any one time due to their breeding patterns and the way the packs interact with each other. Have fun but keep an eye on the kids.

Dave
AnswerID: 28991

Reply By: Barney - Monday, Aug 25, 2003 at 09:56

Monday, Aug 25, 2003 at 09:56
Quigley,

My 2c? - you'll have more strife getting into 'camping mode' (either on Fraser or anywhere else) as I'm guessing this is yout first time with the little folks. So don't let the destination or the Dingo thing put you off. Yes they hang around the main camp sites but we saw few and far between outside the main camps, we stopped at Lake McKenzie which was full of em!!!

The inland camps also have blacker and more soily-type sand, so you do get lots(!) more dirty little footprints in the tents, whereas the coasal ones the sand is quite clean.

I'd tend toward camping somewhere that has plenty of running freshwater available as you'll use lots. Also not too far away from the shops, for when you need those 'emergency baby purchases'. Keeps the missus happy.

Enjoy.

Barney
AnswerID: 29006

Reply By: Sapper - Tuesday, Aug 26, 2003 at 13:36

Tuesday, Aug 26, 2003 at 13:36
Take them by all means but do not let them stray. Dingoes are territorial and I was there last at Waddy Point, when the young boy was killed. They had strayed up the back in the large open grassed area, to play football and were accosted. Other than that it is a kids playground to be dreamed about. So much to see and do.

Have a Good trip
AnswerID: 29183

Reply By: the real mccoy - Tuesday, Aug 26, 2003 at 20:15

Tuesday, Aug 26, 2003 at 20:15
Returned from a week long trip a few days ago. Great place to go but traffic would be main hassle with little kids.
Saw dingos almost daily but usually early morning and evening. First night a pair of them came within 8 metres of me, watching me bait up. Unsure how long they were there until my 6th sense kicked in. Just be careful, moreso at those times.
AnswerID: 29252

Reply By: duncs - Saturday, Sep 06, 2003 at 09:59

Saturday, Sep 06, 2003 at 09:59
Hey Quigley,

My mates thought we were mad when we went to Fraser with a 4yr old and one 6mths.

Saw lots of dingoes and a bit of traffic.

We all had a great time and the oldest girl still talks about it (she was 4) 10 yrs later.

Just keep your eyes open as you would do even at home. I'm sure there are more dangers in any of the major cities and your mates wouldn't comment about taking thi kids there.

Duncs
AnswerID: 30250

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