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Frazer Island self-drive

Beijing, China
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Frazer Island self-drive

Dear all,

Our family will visit Frazer Island in July early, there are several problems need your help.

1, If we rent a 4Wd car from Europcar company in Gold Coast airport,can we self-drive on the island? Do I need some special permit to self drive on Frazer island? Can ferry take our car to island?

2, Does the temperature allow if we want to camp there in July?

We also will stay in Gold Coast for 5-6 days, if we self drive to Springbrooks NP to see glowworm, any NP fee do we need to pay? Seems the NP forbid see glowworm personally, need to follow the staff.

Any help is much appreciate!

Selena

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Gold Coast
Gold Coast
Queensland, Australia
Cradle...
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for Cradle Mountain-Lake St. Clair National Park
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11. Re: Frazer Island self-drive

I agree, driving and touring on Fraser Island is a magical thing, and I have driven on the island more times than I can remember for the last 40 years, and enjoyed every minute of it. Yes some days were relatively easy for driving on sand, some days were absolutely horrendous even for experienced drivers, and in all the years we visited Fraser Island we spent many hours of our time pulling people out from being bogged, because they were unprepared, and or had no experience driving on Fraser Island sand.

OP, if it has rained before going, the inland, rocky and headland bypass tracks will be better, if it hasn't, plan on getting bogged, and trying to get out.

I have no intentions of turning those off who wish to drive on Fraser Island, as previously said, it's fantastic, but you must be prepared, because the tracks can get extremely deep, and if your vehicle takes one of those the wrong way, any part of the wheel well/steering components could get damaged, then see how much it will cost to get your vehicle back to the rental company. I remember an old sign hanging in the mechanical workshop at Orchid Beach, it said "if you don't like my prices, get it fixed on somewhere else"

Owain S, I'm not questioning your comments, I'm questioning their comment >> The company is ok but they are VERY VERY fussy that you don't get sand in the car. If you are careful you will be ok. << seriously, you can go to Fraser Island for a few days and not get sand in your vehicle?

templc74 has pointed you in the right direction, before you decide, check the National Parks web site to see if there are any alerts, especially on tracks and erosion.

If you do go, I'm pleased to see you're looking at one of the local rental companies, I have no idea on the quality of their vehicles, or their principles in business and customer management, as we've said in the past many times, ask them a lot of questions, see if they supply snatch straps (helps getting you out of being bogged), normally they will organise a parks pass, and will give you in-depth instructions on how to drive on Fraser Island, and how to handle their vehicle. And if you do hire, the main beach is a gazetted highway, which has all the normal driving rules a land highway has, no speeding, drinking etc etc etc

As MacKnee said, of course they're going to encourage you, and they could be as good as what they say, but this statement doesn't say they all experienced a safe and inexpensive holiday >> A: 85% of our customers have never driven a 4wd before. We will show you everything you need to know to help you have a safe and enjoyable experience self-driving Fraser Island. <<

What I'm trying to say is, If you do drive, research, listen, ask, be prepared, drive sensibly, and don't be afraid to ask for help, if you need it.

Again, if you drive, have safe and great holiday, Fraser Island is magical.

Safe travels - Robert

Darwin, Australia
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12. Re: Frazer Island self-drive

Can I say one more thing about drivers never having used a 4WD before...On many trips to Fraser over the years we have been stuck behind people on tracks for many cumulative hours as they have no idea of how to un bog themselves, then expect everyone around to assist them each time they break down and hold up traffic on single width tracks for AGES. Pulling people out of bogged situations with winches and otherwise can also damage the other persons car- something many people who get into trouble dont think about.

Its not that we would never assist anyone in trouble, but when people are out of their depth it can be a frustrating time.

There are some fantastic tours which take the stress out of everything for you - have you checked these out :}

Edited: 30 May 2014, 00:13
Sydney, Australia
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13. Re: Frazer Island self-drive

I went to Fraser Island a few years ago and had originally intended on hiring a 4wd, but when I saw guidance like the above and also the cost of the specialized 4wd's, our group opted for a day bus tour instead. It was a really good experience to see what the conditions were like - driving along the beach at low tide seemed to be fine, but the tracks across the centre of the island were something else! (Also, despite the beach driving being the "easy" part - keep in mind that getting salt water on the car is also a huge no-no, but you have to drive near the surf... so you must be constantly vigilant.)

Fraser Island (note spelling with 's' not 'z') is a beautiful place and I would certainly encourage everyone to visit it - and while I don't typically go on bus tours, this was one case where I'm really glad I chose that option. The tour company I went with took us tubing/swimming in Eli Creek which was the absolute highlight for me, but the whole place was special.

Brisbane, Australia
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14. Re: Frazer Island self-drive

Hamiriver, we've had similar experiences on Fraser. We are always happy to help, of course, but some people just do silly things that impact on everyone else, i.e. have no idea how to help themselves, don't have the right gear, or even the wrong kind of vehicle. The number of times we've had to pull out low-clearance all-wheel-drives...not to mention the guy trying to tow a massive boat over the very-dry-at-the-time Indian Head track. We (and about 30 other vehicles) wasted half a day waiting for that nightmare to be cleared.

OP, what we're trying to say is that you have to be prepared for the unexpected; you have to be prepared to get yourself out if you get bogged as, depending on where you're driving (particularly inland tracks), you could be waiting for a while for someone else to come along - have your own retrieval gear and know how to use it. Mobile signal on the island is patchy at best so you can't rely on being able to phone for assistance either.

15. Re: Frazer Island self-drive

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Edited: 01 June 2017, 00:00
Bribie Island...
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16. Re: Frazer Island self-drive

Hello Selena

Fraser Island is indeed a beautiful place to visit - our first visit there was our honeymoon.

I am extremely impressed with the advice given by all posters; basically Fraser is not a good place to learn how to drive on sand when you have such a short time to enjoy it.

I live on Bribie Island, another sand island, the next one south from Fraser, so I am well aware of the risks of driving on sand.

You are only going to be in the area for a couple of days so I suggest taking a package tour from Hervey Bay (or any of the Island resorts); let a competent driver handle the tracks and the beach while you enjoy the experience.

Drop Bear Adventures - I have no experience of this company but they rank #1 attraction on Fraser Island here on Trip Advisor and one of the reviewers mentions that "everyone gets the opportunity to drive & coached on the best way to drive on sand" - sounds like something that might suit you. Check them out here if you have not already seen it: tripadvisor.com.au/ShowUserReviews-g255078-d…

Remember too that the Hervey Bay humpback whale watching season officially begins in July and that will take at least half a day. They have already appeared off the Gold Coast on their northern migration and Hervey Bay is a mecca for them. More information at this site: http://www.whalewatching.com.au/

Enjoy your trip.

Bruce B

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Beijing, China
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17. Re: Frazer Island self-drive

Thank all of you so much!! Really appreciated your each advise, we give up self drive on Frazer Island, now I can hear most of you breathed a sigh of relief :)

We'll join tour company for one or two days tour, http://fraserfree.com.au/

They can departure from Hervey Bay,Rainbow beach, or Sunshine coast, Could you please give me some advise on how to choose one of them? We'll set off from Gold Coast airport on 10:00 am, is it too far to drive to Hervey bay? I feel the Rainbow beach is the appropriate place.

Again, I am very grateful for all of your suggestions and concerns!

Selena

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Gold Coast
Gold Coast
Queensland, Australia
Brisbane, Australia
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18. Re: Frazer Island self-drive

Hi Selena

Good choice in taking a tour! Even if you felt experienced enough to drive on the island, this is your first time and given the large size of the island & all sights being quite spread out from each other, in one day you may only get to see a couple of those sites versus being on a tour that has an experienced local driver that knows exactly how to get to each site and as quick as possible.

With your tour, would you prefer to be in a small group size or do you not mind being in a larger size (up to 50 people)? Hervey Bay is the closest mainland to Fraser Island so if you depart from there you will get to see most if not all of the sights on the island in one day. The further south you are from the island the less you will be able to see. Rainbow Beach is close to inskip point so there are tours that cover a decent amount of the sites so again it depends whether you want to see as much as you can or whether you want a small tour group?

Seeing as you were originally thinking of hiring a 4WD, I'm guessing you would prefer a smaller group size and I would recommend the 1 Day Nature Tour from Rainbow Beach. This tour holds a maximum of 16 people in one vehicle and sees the major sites like Lake McKenzie, Eli Creek, Maheno Shipwreck, Central Station etc.

Hope this helps!

Laura

Edited: 03 June 2014, 07:00
19. Re: Frazer Island self-drive

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20. Re: Frazer Island self-drive

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