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What to do in 7-days between Fraser Island and CG?

Ljubljana, Slovenia
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What to do in 7-days between Fraser Island and CG?

Dear all,

With my boyfriend we'll be flying into/out of Gold Coast airport August 15-22 and plan to get the most out of the region while we're there.

I'd appreciate some advice as I've been raking my head for a while now on how to do this, taking into account that we want to cover quite a big space (geographically and thematically) in way too little time. Fyi, we're not into theme parks but rather nature (both sea and mountain) and culture, and used to cover big distances when travelling.

I've put together the following planning:

Day one, Wed – fly into OOL in the evening, direct bus to Brisbane CBD (Air Asia), night in Brisbane

Day two, Thu – pick up our campervan (Jucy) first thing, drive straight out of town towards the North, Sunshine Coast, night around Noosa

Day three, Fri – Fraser Island day trip, night on Fraser Coast

Day four, Sat – hitting the road early for Australia Zoo, then straight to Gold Coast

Day five, Sun – GC Hinterland or Byron Bay

Day six, Mon – Whalewatching tour + Sea world, Surfer's Paradise

Day seven, Tue – mornign drive up the coast back to Brisbane to return our campervan at 1pm, visit Brisbane

Day eight, Wed – visit Brisbane, 5pm direct bus to OOL (Air Asia), flight out late in the evening

I'd appreciate any comment on the plan + suggestions on how to improve it.

I'd also appreciate specific suggestions on what to visit in SC, and GC hinterland, both a little less obvious. Is Byron Bay worth the day or should we rather spend time doing a trek inland (I hear it's nice around Mt Tambourine, Springbrook or Lamington NP)?

Also, the reason why we're taking the campervan from Brisbane is that I couldn't find a comparable alternative in the Gold Coast area. Jucy has family cars remodelled into campervans which are a lot more agile than the regular campervans. Being able to move around quickly takes priority over space. If anyone knows a Jucy-type of a rent-a-camper in Gold Coast, I'm all ears.

I've just noticed that our schedule would bring us to Fraser Island and Australia Zoo on Fri/Sat. Does it make a big difference, would it be worth it switching the days around so that those visits do not fall on weekend?

Any help is much appreciated!

Nina

Melbourne, Australia
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1. Re: What to do in 7-days between Fraser Island and CG?

Have a look at the link below - may have campervan to suit you and they are based on the Gold Coast near Coolangatta airport (Gold Coast airport).

www.aacampervanhire.com.au

Melbourne, Australia
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2. Re: What to do in 7-days between Fraser Island and CG?

These also have Gold Coast depots:

www.barefootcamperhire.com.au

www.gocheapmotorhomes.com.au

Brisbane, Australia
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for Brisbane, Noosa
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3. Re: What to do in 7-days between Fraser Island and CG?

Nina its all a bit rushed but for Day 2, consider a walk around Noosa National Park... allow 2-3 hrs.

Day 5- GC hinterland... get up to O'Reilly's for some great walks

or Byron Bay - the lighhouse walk.

happy planning, thats all assuming you like walking... cheers

Edited: 30 July 2012, 02:35
Melbourne, Australia
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4. Re: What to do in 7-days between Fraser Island and CG?

Weekends are always busier but at that time of year it shouldn't matter too much.

Re: itinerary - I'd keep an open mind - there will be so much to see and do along the way - you may find you don't have time to go down to Byron Bay. The drive down to Byron is lovely, as is Byron Bay itself, but you will see similar scenery and beaches on your travels north and around the Gold Coast. Note: The coastal strip of the Gold Coast (Coolangatta airport to Surfers Paradise) is very busy with lots of buildings (mostly accommodation), traffic and people. There are some lovely beaches though.

www.visitgoldcoast.com

Cradle...
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5. Re: What to do in 7-days between Fraser Island and CG?

Hi Ninocka11,

Day 2, IMO you should head straight from Brisbane to Rainbow Beach, see Aus Zoo on the way, after morning at zoo, then head to Rainbow Beach- stay here. From Rainbow Beach you can explore on the afternoon of arrival, maybe checkout Carlo Sand Blow -

www.rainbowbeachqld.com/carlo_sand_blow.html

Can't vouch for any caravan parks but here's one -

www.rainbowbeachholidayvillage.com/rooms.html

Day 3, Catch Fraser Island tour from Rainbow Beach, saves you approx 3+ hours of driving from Noosa Heads/Tewantin to Fraser Island ferry at Rainbow Beach. OK drive if they take you bey the beach, but better spent on Fraser Island.

Again can't vouch for tour companies as I drive myself, there's a few can checkout, here's one below -

…au.com/tours-guided/…rainbow-beach.php

Day 4, Depart early drive towards Brisbane leave highway at Nambour head to Mapleton drive SC Hinterland drive. Since you are having a beach experience at Fraser Is and GC have a look at the SC Hinterland and miss SC beaches (I say this sadly, SC is my favourite beach place) -

http://www.hinterlandtourism.com.au/

After SC Hinterland drive, head to GC.

The rest of your trip as planned, just some other ideas.

Safe travels - Robert

Edited: 30 July 2012, 04:27
Ljubljana, Slovenia
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6. Re: What to do in 7-days between Fraser Island and CG?

Appreciate the comments and suggestions. I know it's a bit rushed but we will not be returning to this part of the world anytime soon, unfortunately.

Thanks Morticia, actually AA campervan hire do have a campervan that we're looking for. They seem a bit on the pricey side but I'm still waiting for reply from them.

Sorfoz, we do like walking. :-) Thanks for the tips. Any other hiking tips much appreciated.

Rob, thanks for the suggestions, they complete the planning very well. Just one question about Day 2. We will be leaving Brisbane by about 11am (time to pick up the car and arrange the administrative stuff), plus the drive up, so we won't be left with much of the day to visit the Zoo. They close at 5pm.

I'd have three follow up questions:

- In terms of hinterland, Gold Coast vs Sunshine coast? I saw a lot about the two national parks in GC hinterland but less on SC. If you were to choose one, which one would it be?

- Do I understand correctly that one cannot access Fraser Island as a day trip without an organised tour? True that the 4WD is apparently the norm and we won't have one but I thought we could rent one on the spot (we lived in Dubai and are used to driving on the dunes).

- Also, what time does it get dark at this time of the year?

Thanks!

Nina

Melbourne, Australia
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7. Re: What to do in 7-days between Fraser Island and CG?

Have a look at this website

www.fraserisland4wd.com.au/SlfDrive-4WD

Sunset - around 6.15 pm

Melbourne, Australia
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8. Re: What to do in 7-days between Fraser Island and CG?

AA campervans might be dearer than Jucy but you should factor in the convenience and time savings of Gold Coast pick up/drop off, and the cost savings of bus fares to and from Brisbane.

Cradle...
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9. Re: What to do in 7-days between Fraser Island and CG?

Hi,

Firstly the sun will set around 5.30pm.

I based my previous recommendation on trying to get the most out of Fraser Island for you. There are great tours that leave from Noosa, but by the time you get to the ferry that takes you to Fraser Island you have lost a very good part of your day. One tour that leaves Noosa at 9am and arrives back at 5pm, taking into account that you have a 3 hour return trip just from Noosa to Fraser Island ferry and back this will leave you with only 5 hours on Fraser Island. There are tours that leave straight from Rainbow Beach at 8.30am and return 5.30pm, which gives you nearly 9 hours on Fraser Island; you will see a lot more.

Sorry when you said "first thing" I assumed you meant a lot earlier. If you’re not leaving Brisbane until 11am it will be difficult to go anywhere but the Sunshine Coast after visiting Aus Zoo. Australia Zoo is just under an hour drive from Brisbane, you'll want to spend 4 to 5 hours there, so you won't have time to get to Rainbow Beach.

Therefore I still recommend you go straight from Brisbane to Rainbow Beach, and the next day leave from there for a tour to Fraser Island. I would not recommend you hire a 4 x 4, by the time you pick it up, get your permits, and the troubles some renters have with getting their deposits back, and some rental companies will not return deposits if they believe you have driven in salt water, and some areas on Fraser Island this is nearly impossible to avoid. In the end it’s up to you, if you want to drive or tour. Below is some information if you do decide to self-drive.

www.derm.qld.gov.au/parks/fraser/about.html

issuu.com/fraserisland/docs/fraserallover…

www.fraserislandferry.com.au/…

http://www.rainbowbeach.info/barge.html

http://www.adventurecentre.com.au/

I cannot recommend any tours or rental car companies, as I always drive myself.

My advice is the following:

Day 2 Leave Brisbane and go straight to Rainbow Beach

Day 3 Go on tour of Fraser Island

Day 4 Drive and leave EARLY from Rainbow Beach to Gold Coast via Australia Zoo.

Also IMO the Gold Coast Hinterland is bigger and probably more to do than the Sunshine Coast Hinterland. But the Sunshine Coast Hinterland is just as beautiful. Below are some shortcuts to photos of both.

http://tinyurl.com/Sun-Coast-Hinterland

http://tinyurl.com/Gld-Coast-Hinterland

Sorry I have waffled on, but I hope it helps

Safe travels - Robert

Ljubljana, Slovenia
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10. Re: What to do in 7-days between Fraser Island and CG?

Thanks a lot Mortitia and Robert!

Robert, "waffling on" is relative, to me it's all very useful. Rainbow Beach looks like the most practical starting point for Fraser Island indeed. Not like we have time to spare but if we drive to Fraser Island, is there something to visit on the way on Fraser Coast or would we not miss much?

Many thanks!

Nina

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