Off Road Caravan on Fraser Island

Hi all,

Has anyone recently taken an off road van over to Fraser Island. We have a van called a Spinifex, built for off road use but is heavy. I am towing it with a highly modified 200 series cruiser, I know it will be fine once on the beach at low tide but was wondering if anyone who goes there regularly can tell me if there are many off road vans over there and how they go getting on and off the beach. Also, just in case one of you out there is an expert on this, are the tracks good enough to tow it across the island or would I just be taking it on at Inskip Point and then back the same way? By the way the van is 21 ft so its not small. Thanks in advance for any advice.

Hado
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Reply By: Gronk - Friday, Jun 01, 2012 at 20:05

Friday, Jun 01, 2012 at 20:05
I wouldn't tow it inland....but as long as you stick to low tides...you will have no worries going up the beach......the most worry will be the the 300M to the barge from inskip...after that its a breeze..
AnswerID: 487400

Follow Up By: Member - peter & dawn m (QLD) - Friday, Jun 01, 2012 at 20:28

Friday, Jun 01, 2012 at 20:28
seen some awful big boats towed all the way to waddy beach for the fishing comp tyres at the right pressure should have no problems swampy
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FollowupID: 762639

Reply By: Member - Kevin S (QLD) - Friday, Jun 01, 2012 at 21:04

Friday, Jun 01, 2012 at 21:04
Hado,as of 2 weeks ago the sand at Inskip Point was quite firm and the wheel tracks to the barge are so well compressed that you would have no problems. Heavy tandem trailers with building materials were having no problem and all vehicles and were disappearing from view quickly when they came off the barge on the island. The biggest problem in trying to cross the island would probably be narrow tracks and the likely need to back up.
Cheers,
Kevin
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AnswerID: 487405

Reply By: gbc - Friday, Jun 01, 2012 at 21:23

Friday, Jun 01, 2012 at 21:23
Its a big place and a general question. The vast majority of tourists get off a barge at the south end, drive 2/3 up the beach and assume the rest of the place is just the same.
Which inland track were you thinking of taking? Where to?
Does your van match your wheel track?

AnswerID: 487408

Reply By: Scolers - Saturday, Jun 02, 2012 at 06:21

Saturday, Jun 02, 2012 at 06:21
We live in Hervey Bay and have an offroad van which we would NEVER take there due to the soft sand. Our TARE is 2300kg's and the sand would not support it.

Also, what size is your van? Those spinafex's are 20ft plus aren't they? In other words I doubt you would be allowed to take it across.

The only vans we see when we go are single axle vans no longer than 16ft. Also, they tend to not be a dedicated offraod van which makes them lighter.

We just take the camper trailer ... soooooo much easier and you can get over Indian Head with it too.

HTH

scol.
AnswerID: 487419

Reply By: spak - Saturday, Jun 02, 2012 at 09:04

Saturday, Jun 02, 2012 at 09:04
makintraks, Personally I would probably leave the van on the mainland and either hire a camper trailer, rent a house or stay at either Eurong or Kingfisher Bay. There are a couple of places to hire a camper from in Hervey Bay if needed, and there is an assortment of houses to rent over there.

But if insistant on taking the van I would talk to the barge operators first to see whether they will take a van of that size over there and how much it would cost if they would. The barge at Inskip point would be your best bet as it is a drive on drive off setup whereas the one at River heads is a reverse on and drive off when you get to the island but if you come back from Fraser Is that way you will drive it on over there but you will have to reverse it off when you get to the mianland which would not be a pleasant thing if the tide was low as the ramp angle is pretty wicked.

If you do get to the island I would park up south of Indian Head and would then explore the northern section with your vehicle only. The tracks from Indian Head are not what you would call tight but with the setup you have it will require some very careful driving. We have been up to Orchid Beach a number of times with a hard floor camper trailer in tow and never had an issue but then again it is a lot lower (about 1.4m high as to around 3m) than your van, not as wide (1.85m as to 2.4) and certainly not as long (4.75m as to around 9+m) and weight (1.6T fully loaded, as to your van I would hazard a guess and say around the 3.5T)
So if these figures are roughly correct then it will be a very hairy trip through some of the tracks and might even have the missus jumping out and making sure you don't take out anything mounted on the roof of the van. Plus the "swing around" on the back of the van when going around corners will have to be watched as well.

On another note if you do get bogged in the sand there are not very many vehicles out there that will be able to pull your 200 series and van out. So make sure you get rated recovery hooks put on the front of the cruiser (do not use the tie down points most vehicles come with) and take a full recovery kit including an 11T snatch strap as well as a long handled shovel and a minimum of 4 maxtrax (2 sets) (I would take 3 sets of maxtrax but that is me as I like to be fully self reliable and carry all the gear I feel I need to self recover).

I would also check the tides when you want to go over as this will be probably your biggest concern as you don't want to hit the beach at high tide, 2 hours either side of low is a good start, but if there is a storm about this can change very quickly.

Not trying to scare you but just some things to have a good think about.

If you do go over to the "Island" have yourself a good trip, there is plenty to see and do.

Cheers

crd
AnswerID: 487432

Reply By: Member -Hilton Hillbillies - Saturday, Jun 02, 2012 at 09:11

Saturday, Jun 02, 2012 at 09:11
Hi Hado

We have been over a number of times.
Plenty of people take vans of all shapes and sizes.
You would have to cross from Inskip Point and use the old East West road to cross the island. It is plenty wide enough and was sealed at one stage, but it is very rough as it has never been maintained. If you take it slow you may only lose the fillings out of your teeth. Once on the East side of the island you should have no problem if your plan you trip for low tide. Once you find the spot you would like to stay you can leave the van there and tour as much of the island as you like with your vehicle.
I would give the barge operator a call re any size limmit they may also be able to offer advise. I have included the link to their web site. http://m.mantarayfraserislandbarge.com.au/
They will be able to help you with your permit as well.
I hope you have a great trip as it is a beautiful place.

Steve
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AnswerID: 487434

Follow Up By: toffytrailertrash - Saturday, Jun 02, 2012 at 09:19

Saturday, Jun 02, 2012 at 09:19
I have read all of the above advice and to take a 3500kg fully loaded van onto the Island I think would be very foolish and to cross the Island and still have the air conditioner and the solar panels still attached to the roof would be amazing. Leave it on the mainland and stay at the resorts for a few days or take your lightweight camping gear. If you sit back and weigh your van and tug you are looking at close to or over 7 tonnes in total weight to play with on sand. To me a bit risky, but if you do I will enjoy reading about your stay.

Good luck with your decision

Merv/Di
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FollowupID: 762670

Follow Up By: Gronk - Saturday, Jun 02, 2012 at 17:31

Saturday, Jun 02, 2012 at 17:31
They take fuel tankers up the beach every 2 nd day...........you will have no trouble if you stick to low tides....camp somewhere on the east coast before Indian head ......and don,t venture into soft sand.....
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FollowupID: 762699

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