Fraser Island Phone coverage - update and Trip report

Submitted: Thursday, Sep 18, 2003 at 09:07
ThreadID: 7289 Views:4227 Replies:4 FollowUps:5
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Just before I left for Fraser someone posted wanting to know what the mobile phone coverage was like. Well after being there for a week with several different phones in the group, here are my thought:

1. Southern part of the island (below Eurong): GSM and CDMA reasonable. Large dead spots though.
2. Middle Part (Eurong to Indian Head): Really strange here. CDMA generally outperformed GSM (especially if you we lucky enough to have an in car kit and high gain aerial). At our camp (~4km south of Happy Valley) it seemed to depend on how you stood, the weather, the proximity of the closest dingo and numerous other indeterminate factors. Sometimes a GSM phone with no in car kit or anything had a signal, where CDMA did not (even with a car kit). Very strange!
3. Upper part (Indian Head to Sandy Cape). Generally forget it. Once rounded the cape one of the CDMA phones had a weak signal.
4. Inland: Very patchy, better closer to the western side.

In general you could get a signal if you drove around a bit on the eastern beach, provided you were not too far north. Would recommend taking a CDMA phone as the coverage is much more reliable and if you MUST keep in touch with the mainland, an in car kit is a good idea. But there is always the old fashioned public phones at the townships.

More important stuff - the FISHING!!

Was generally good - a lot of weed though which was brought in on the NW winds. Does anyone know where this comes from and if so can you ask them to keep it as it is a pain in the backside. Whiting were fairly plentiful (caught enough for 3 feeds for 6 people by fishing 1-2h/day). Tailor were on the chew in a deep gutter just north of Cathedral Beach. At one stage I reckon they would have taken a ham sandwich if you could have cast it out there! Sharks also feeding on baitfish in a shallow gutter in front of Happy Valley and one nutter wading waist deep casting tailor skeletons with a big overhead reel and game rod. Lets just say one hook up, 5 minutes of fun, shark wins.

The island was not too busy, the prerequisite backpackers jammed into troopies. These people never learn. Saw one troopy with backpackers sitting on top of the luggage that was piled on the top of the truck driving down the beach at about 60k's - bloody stupid. Where are the police when you need them!

All and all a good week away - but remember that you cannot camp between Dilli Village to Poyungan Rocks. Asked the Ranger and he said it was temporary because of some dingo problems, but I get the feeling it will be permanently, temporarily closed. Shame because there are some great campsites just north of Eurong.

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Reply By: Member - Oskar(Bris) - Thursday, Sep 18, 2003 at 15:20

Thursday, Sep 18, 2003 at 15:20
That is a long stretch of beach to close!
And then when all the droves of campers are pushed to the more northern areas the beach and dunes will suffer serious damage and prove beyond reasonable doubt ..... TA DA ...that camping anywhere on the beach should be banned totally and permanently.
What ???... conspiracy theory???? .... nah ????.
Mind you, I have personally had to take some guys to task (in a friendly way) over driving on the dunes and chewing up the grass.
I hope the weed is gone by next week for my turn at the tailor.
The weed is fairly normal for this time of year. Some years it is so thick and it sits and rots and stinks so bad that you can't breathe.

Glad you had a good time
OskarMrs Oskar on Big Red
AnswerID: 31423

Follow Up By: tim_s - Thursday, Sep 18, 2003 at 15:47

Thursday, Sep 18, 2003 at 15:47

I agree with your theory. My suspicion is that they will gradually herd everyone into the camping grounds that are one the island and ban camping of the beach. That will signal the end of Fraser for me – I will stick to Moreton. There is very little decent camping left, especially if you are in a groups and need room for 2 or 3 tents/campers. Once you get north of Eli, it is mostly camping on the dunes with no protection from the SE. It is amazing where people camp, right out on the edge of the dune – great view, absolutely no protection. Even saw someone camped within spitting distance of one of the rubbish bins (I think they were backpackers, so maybe the smell of the bins was better than the smell inside the Troopie?!?

The weed seemed to be better the further south you went (below Eurong) but since you could not camp there, it made it a fair hike.

Forgot to add a bit about fuel (ULP) prices. Eurong $1.20, Happy Valley $1.36, Cathederal $1.56 (by reports I did not see this so can not confirm) and Orchard Beach $1.27. Go figure why Orchard was cheaper than most of the others! Diesel was within 5c/l or so.

FollowupID: 22342

Follow Up By: Rosco - Thursday, Sep 25, 2003 at 21:56

Thursday, Sep 25, 2003 at 21:56
Further on the fuel price line. We were up there last week and surprise, surprise.....cheapest fuel was across the island at Kingfisher Bay Resort.
Certainly amazed me.

FollowupID: 22856

Reply By: Steve L - Friday, Sep 19, 2003 at 08:09

Friday, Sep 19, 2003 at 08:09
On the phone coverage.

It depends significantly which carrier you are with.

NOTE: we were up there a couple of weeks ago, and a mate on Vodaphone didn't even have coverage at Rainbow Beach (situation obviously didn't improve on the island).

On Optus GSM, we had patchy reception up to Happy Valley and very patchy inland. Can't speak for Telstra.
AnswerID: 31491

Follow Up By: tim_s - Friday, Sep 19, 2003 at 09:11

Friday, Sep 19, 2003 at 09:11
Oops, yeah I guess the carrier is important (although Optus and Telstra use the same CDMA network I think). All phones were Telstra
FollowupID: 22426

Follow Up By: Steve L - Friday, Sep 19, 2003 at 13:28

Friday, Sep 19, 2003 at 13:28
Yes, Optus and Telstra CDMA both use the Telstra network.
FollowupID: 22444

Follow Up By: Bonz (Vic) - Saturday, Sep 20, 2003 at 12:08

Saturday, Sep 20, 2003 at 12:08
Telstra GSM works fine at Happy valley and for about 10km noth up the beach in a car kit, further than that forget it!Laterally Literal
Seriously Serial
FollowupID: 22491

Reply By: Sam - Friday, Sep 19, 2003 at 15:57

Friday, Sep 19, 2003 at 15:57
For what it's worth I got good coverage in 1999on Telstra. Received and mad several calls.
AnswerID: 31521

Reply By: chopper - Saturday, Sep 20, 2003 at 08:34

Saturday, Sep 20, 2003 at 08:34
I'd concur with your observations.

CDMA in car with aerial is the only real way to get a reliable signal, even on the beach.

but ten i've been in camp, behind dunes, just south of Happy valley and had exceleent reception on a handheld GSM in the car, go figure.

with all of the changes in camping areas (including more in the next month) it is great to see the new Central Station camping area, I was allowed a sneak peek a month or so ago, this really is a first class area, huge amentiy block, nearly 60, level, private camoing areas, plenty of taps and sinks, seperate areas for groups and hikers.

If this is the way of the future of camping on Fraser, then maybe it ain't a bad thing.

'though, my favourite beach camp is still around, top spot.
AnswerID: 31554

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