Fraser Island trip - after tips & travel times?

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Fraser Island trip - after tips & travel times?

Unread post by navara99 » September 29th, 2015, 7:58 pm

Hey guys,

I'm planning a trip to Fraser in November for 14 days, I'm just wondering if I get on at Inskip, how long roughly would it take to drive to the Sandy Cape? Obviously it will be tide dependent. I've been to Fraser once before but never gone north of the shipwreck, any tips or things to see and do? What are Indian Head and Ngkala Rocks tracks like? Are the inland tracks still super soft? How are all the campgrounds now they brought the "zone" camping in? Sorry to pepper u with a heaps of questions but I'm really excited to head up there again.
Any comments or tips would be greatly appreciated


Les - PK Ranger
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Re: Fraser Island trip - after tips & travel times?

Unread post by Les - PK Ranger » September 30th, 2015, 6:50 am

Inskip access - yes, just be careful if going for a look on the beach beforehand :D

I've only gone just past Maheno wreck myself, but imagine the beaches north will be similar to south of there, pretty quick in general, and go on an outgoing tide for safety.

Inland tracks vary, just run the same pressures on the whole island, drive appropriately, keep speed right down where needed but stay under 60 (it might even be posted less ?) . . . the inland tracks can have blind crests etc, and depending on trip timing it can get busy.

Don't know of the new camping regs.

Have a great trip.

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Re: Fraser Island trip - after tips & travel times?

Unread post by hoyks » September 30th, 2015, 10:26 am

I just got back from Fraser as it happens. I timed everything wrong and hit the beach with an incoming tide nearing its peak. It was good in that I didn't see any other vehicles on the beach, not so much if I got stuck. We got off the beach and headed inland to our camp site as soon as we could.

If you don't stop for anything and the tide is right, it should only take a 2-3 hours to drive from the ferry to Sandy Cape, but you would want to leave an hour after high tide to be sure. I motored along at 60km/h and watched where the blokes doing 80 were panic braking and adjusted my route accordingly. I wasn't far behind them at the end of the beach.
Skip Hook Point and take the inland track and it will give you a head start.

I was there when it rained, so the inland tracks weren't that bad. There were soft spots and I did see some vehicles struggling, but no one bogged. Air down to 20psi (I went with what was recommended by the barge company) and had no issues at all. A lot of the tracks have boards, rubber matting or plastic soil stabilisation plates embedded in them, so some of the more troublesome areas aren't as difficult as they once were.

Indian Head was a bit soft and by all accounts there were vehicles stuck there earlier in the day, but again, if you have aired down and can get a clear shot it should be OK. There were also lumps in the sand that would have you airborne if going too fast too, so keep an eye out for them.
Ngkala Rocks, again, quite soft, but if you can get a clear run you should be fine.

At Sandy Cape, 2 hrs either side of high tide you will struggle to get around the point without giving your vehicle a salt water bath. I left my run a bit late and had to run Orchid Beach on the soft sand, which saw my fuel take an absolute flogging and as I rounded the cape my tyre tracks were washed away. I was the last to get around the point for the night. The people we were camped with had to walk back from the light house as they were mucking around and ran out of beach. After dinner they walked the 5km back to collect the vehicles.

You tenting or towing a trailer?

My favorite camp was at Sandy Cape, it was right on the beach and with the howling we had that week, was nicely protected.
I have a roof top tent, so that can be a bit of a pain when booking in with the NPWS ParkQ system. Most tent sites are away from the car park and I'm not towing a trailer, so they don't want me in the van/camper areas.... so I park there anyway.
I'm torn on the ParksQ system; It is a pain to have to book into a camp that is sight unseen, but on the other hand, you can reasonably expect to find that there is a site awaiting you.

As for campsites;
No.1 in my book would be Sandy Cape Carree Camping area, there is nothing there, but it was right on the beach and protected from the wind and not a koppers log in sight. The fishing was good, until the dolphins turned up and started eating the bait fish in front of us. You could watch the whales breaching too.

One that is also worth a look but appears to be ignored is Coolooloi Creek, right down the bottom end. It is really close to where you come off the ferry, so if getting to the island late and not wanting to run the beach in the dark, it is ideal. We had the place to ourselves.

Rust proof the vehicle too, I got a cheap parts washer spray gun, filled it with Inox liquid and sprayed the underside of the vehicle and in the chassis rails doors etc.

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Re: Fraser Island trip - after tips & travel times?

Unread post by GBC » October 2nd, 2015, 8:23 am

We camped at Sandy Cape last Thursday and Friday away from our base camp further down the Island. We were in the two white Rangers. Small world.
We had 'issues' coming both ways through Ngkala with the traditional holiday gumbies who have no idea. Waiting for clowns with tyre pressures way too high getting towed out only to see the morons drive straight back in and get stuck in the same places. I say morons because they were informed of why they were getting bogged but chose to ignore advice and blocked the cutting for another half hour. Then they get upset when you drive straight round them and don't help a second time - sometimes tough love is the best. If you need to stop behind a bogged car in the cutting and start again, quite often 20 lb isn't low enough to get going again - depends on the day and the situation, but we go straight to about 16 and save the stress.
I hear you about Rtt's. We toured QLD NT SA with one ten years ago when they weren't so common and had hell's own trouble even describing them to some people to make bookings. Yulara made us unbolt it and carry it 2 metres past the koppers logs - not impressed.

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