We left our resort in Sunshine Coast in a rush. J needed another stop before Fraser Trip. His tyres has been through quite a test from the roasting red centre and muddy Queensland outback.
We stopped by Bob’s Jane Nambour for a bead clean and puncture repair. Turns out the puncture plug J did was quite successful – no need for another for now. Don’t overlook the importance of keeping a Tyre Repair Kit in the vehicle!
About Fraser Island
Fraser Island is world’s largest sand island, with its coast stretching ove 120km. The island is 4WD only and all road regulations apply. 75 Mile Beach Road – that’s a beach, a road, and a plane landing track – has a motorvehicle speed limit of 80km/h while inland tracks are 30km/h.
The best time to visit is, well, anytime, except school holidays. I heard from locals that there can be over 2-hour traffic jam on the island during those peak seasons. Think about it, the last thing you want to spend your prescious vacation time is sittng in the car not going anywhere.
There are many attractions Fraser’s many attractions, such as Eli Creek, Lake McKenzie, Champagne Pools, Indian Head and the Maheno Shipwreck. You can choose to camp or stay at a hotel in one of their “cities” on the island: Eurong, Kingfisher Bay, Happy Valley, and Cathedrals. There are 4G reception in these places, while the majority of the island remain in serenity (no signal).
If you don’t drive and don’t have a 4WD vehicle, there are many tours that take you to most of the attractions. However I will point out, during our time on the island, we saw countless 4WD tour vehicles (usually Landcruier 80 series) stacking people into third-row seats – the row that we took out first thing after we got our cars. It’s simply too narrow and tight to be anywhere comfortable for normal driving, let alone bumpy beach ride. But hey, if you don’t mind, that’s fine.
If you can drive but don’t have a 4WD, or don’t want to rust your own (seasalt is inevitable), there are many 4WD car hire at Rainbow Beach.
4WD with low-range capability is highly recommended, especially if you plan to visit anywhere North of Indian Head or Ngkala Rocks. Sand gets really soft and boggy – ask me how I know…. The key to beach driving is tyre pressure. Keep it below 20psi. On especially soft sections, we went down to as low as 13psi and keep momentum.
How to get to Fraser Island – 4WD
There are two ways to bring your vehicle onto the island:
Between River Heads (20 minutes south of Hervey Bay) to Wanggoolba Creek (West side of Fraser Island).
Between Inskip Point (Rainbow Beach) to Hook Point (Fraser Island Southern tip). This is the option we chose. Air down before you get on Inskip Point beach. Although I was quite hard packed when we were there, it can get extremely soft at times. There is a Faceboook Group dedicated for people who got stuck at Inskip… Don’t be one of them unless you mean to.
How much does it cost to go to Fraser Island?
Before getting on the island, you need to buy vehicle and camping permits.
K’gari (Fraser Island) Recreation Area requires a vehicle access permit of:
- 1 month or less = $52.75, or
- More than 1 month (up to 1 year) = $265.30
We plan to stay on the island for a week. So that comes down to $105.5 for both of our vehicles.
Camping on Fraser Island requires booking with Queensland National Parks. The fee is $6.65 per person per night. This comes down to $66.5 for 2 people staying 5 nights.
The barge at Inskip Point has a fee of $130 per vehicle round trip. It is paid on the barge. No booking required. Keep your recipt/ticket. That’s your return pass.
The total out-of-pocket expense before we land our wheels on the sand island is $432.
This exclude food, water, and fuel.
How many days do I need to spend on Fraser Island?
Generally speaking, anything between 3 days – 1 week would be sufficient.
We started at the Southern tip of the island (Coolooloi Camping Area), traveled to the center and Northern tip (Sandy Cpe) within 5 days – didn’t have enough time to cover the West side. It comes down to how thoroughly you wish to explore the island.
We had a loose schedule that allowed us to sleep in and relax in the pools, as long as we arrive at our booked campsite for the night.
What should I bring?
- Recovery straps
Vehicle emergency repair kits.
There is no exhaustive list for this one because you never know what could go wrong. Better be over prepare than sorry. J’s fuel tank was punctured and we had to do a trail repair under the roasting sun that burnt us both. But he probably wouldn’t had made it back had he not choose to bring it.
Food and water supplies
We brought enough food for 5 days. A combination of fresh food in the ARB Fridge, canned food, and dry goods. There were plenty water left after the trip since we brought three 20L water jerrys and a slab of bottle water.
There’s a restaurant and bakery at Eurong to satisfy our pie craving. You can purchase food and drinks at their “cities” but don’t be surprised if the price is shockingly high – it’s not esay to obtain supply on the island.
There are gas stations on the island with Petrol and Diesel price at around $2.1/L. If you can, get fuel at Rainbow Beach or even closer to big cities where fuel price is much lower. I brought two 20L jerry cans and didn’t need to refill on the island.