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Fraser Island Great Sandy National Park

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Fraser Island & Great Sandy Desert National Park

Review By Chris  sp1086


Harvey Bay Queensland

Map: [url=,153.156281&spn=0.741425,1.448822&sll=-25.335448,135.745076&sspn=46.404475,92.724609&vpsrc ="6&z=10"]Google Map Harvey Bay[/url]


Vehicle Access Permit
$40.75 for a 30 Day permit. Per vehicle


Rainbow Brach / Inskip Point

$90 return per 4WD vehicle & driver + 3 passengers

The Rainbow Venture and Fraser Explorer Barges provide access via Rainbow Beach and operates continuously between Inskip Point and Hook Point between 6.00am and 5.00pm daily. (no booking needed) Departs approx every 15mins. You can pre purchase your ticket at the Shell Servo at Rainbow beach while you fill up.

River Heads

$155 return 4WD vehicle & driver + 3 passengers

Depart River Heads            Depart Wanggoolba Creek
   8:30am                                 9:00am
   10:15am                              3:00pm
   4:00pm                                5:00pm


Per Adult (18+): $5.30 pn
Children (5-17) : $5.30 pn
Infant (<5) : FREE

Family Rate ( 2 Adults & 2 - 6 Children ) :$21.30 pn

All camping must be booked on the above website.


Fuel is expensive on the island so if your planning a long stay be prepared to pay in excess of $2L  You can get fuel at many places on the island. Eurong, Frasers at Cathedral Beach, Orchard Beach & Happy Valley but at present the Happy Valley cafe & servo is closed due to new ownership.


Typical beach driving with the added thrill of crossing eli creek & running the gauntlet around the rocky out crops. Fraser island has the longest beach of any island which is a thrill to drive & will give you a humbling feeling when you see it. Driving on Fraser has to be one thing all 4WDers need to experience.
If you are a experienced beach driver I highly recommended that you take the time & plan a trip to up to Sandy Cape & the Lighthouse. This trip is not to be taken alone or by the inexperienced. There are several dangerous sand dune crossings & if you get the tides wrong you could be spending a night away from base camp as the beach north of Orchard Beach & Indian Head is impassable anywhere from 2 either side of low tide. This gives a 4 hour window of passage which if your going from say Dundabara it means 1.5hr up 1.5hr back if you don't stop for a look at the odd Turtle. If you plan on going to the Lighthouse there is a 2km walk up a steep track, about 1hr round trip which will test your level of fitness. This does not leave much time to get back so timing is paramount.
Inland tracks on Fraser are in general 2WD if you have your tyre pressures down with some exceptions of the Indian Head track. Big thing to watch out for is the Tour Busses who seem to think they own the track & come bellowing up behind you in your little zook.

There are too many to list but Ill give a brief on some of the best.

Lake McKenzie: A must see for its crystal clear blue water & white as white sand. Go in the warmer months & cool off swimming in the pure fresh water.  

Central Station: Take a walk around & make sure you have your camera as this place is picturesque to say the least. See the old logging machinery & marvel at the Huge trees & beautiful creek. If your feeling fit go on one of the many bush walks or just sit & have lunch on one of the picnic tables.

Eli Creek: Another must see with a big lagoon at the mouth & amazing clear fresh water. It can be quite cold but its worth the pain. Walk up Eli on the timber walkways & float back down on your lyelow or boogy board. A very refreshing place to visit.

Northern Forest Drive: A great inland drive with the widest variety of scenery on the island. Stop off at the Knifeblade Sandblow, see the little turtles of Lake Allom & enjoy the tall trees & rain forest of the Yidney Scrub. This drive is around 2.5 hrs of great scenery & I highly recommend it.

Champaign Pools & Indian Head: These two places are a must see & to go for a swim in the Champaign Pools with little fish joining in & waves crashing over the rocks is a great experence. Indian Head is a awesome sight & worth a walk to the top if your up to it.  

Dingo Safety
You can download a copy of the Dingo safety panflet from the above website & you should read it & make sure you & your family understand how serious this is. Parents should keep children within arms reach at all times if not in hand.

               It is imperative that you are alert to the Dingos on the island. They are not to be taken for just nice friendly dogs. They are wild animals & will seize any chance they get for a meal. On my last trip earlier this year my  we were camping at Dundabara which is a fully fenced campsite & Dingo Safe. One morning  my Father & I went for a down to the beach to watch the sunrise. But to get to the beach there is a walking track of about 500m which is separate from the vehicle track & is enclosed by vegetation & trees. Well now Dad & I are both weighing over 100kg & don't scare easily,  we were walking down to the beach with a headlight torch on our heads & we got followed & surrounded by no less than five Dingos. This was a little unnerving & a serious situation if we did the wrong thing. So we just kept our ground & shined a torch forward & behind us keeping watch on all the Dingos as we made our way down to the beach. Once on the beach there were two more but after we teamed up with another early riser camper the Dingos dispersed & headed up the beach to our relief.

Summing up.
To see the whole island in a relaxed way you really need to spend at least a full week there. You'll more than likely need to buy fuel at some point unless you have a very large fuel tank or cart jerry cans. All in all its a great place for the family & if your shy to full on beach camping there are toilet & shower facilities at Dundabara, Waddy Point & Central Station Campsites. Frasers at Cathedral Beach also facilities for powered caravans plus coin operated washing machines. If you wish to camp there you have to book the campsites which are private & separate to the derm website. So get over there with a group you wont forget this wondrous place & I'm sure you'll be back there again as soon as you can.

Posted : 11/08/2011 11:14 pm
Posts: 216

Using the Manta Ray Barge at Inskip Point if you have 5 cars or more its usually 10% off the Barge price.

we went up with friends coupla months ago & only had 4 cars n only had to hang round for 15mins before another car pulled up to get barge pass n got them to be our 5th & these days 10% is 10%.

Awsome island & you nearly always see vehicles being towed back on tilt trays so if you keep a little comon sense you will have a totaly enjoyable time.

Watch out for dingo's of a night with little kids as these animals wall straight through your camp late afternoon & night but most of them take off if you yell at them.

We go up every year & camp in different places each time GREAT FUN PLACE

Posted : 25/11/2011 6:31 am
Posts: 1616

I love Fraser!  Went there 4 times this year!
I particularly like camping at Dundaburra.
When I was up there in Easter after the floods the waters at Inskip and the southern lakes/streams were all black. When I went back in June the Island had recovered and the watr was pristine again.

Posted : 25/11/2011 7:18 pm
Posts: 3

Fraser Island is a glorous fresh water lake, the crystal clear water having various shades of blue, complimented by the beautiful white sandy beach. It is the best spot for sunbathing as well as for swimming. We enjoyed a lot and also enjoys BBQ and wine at the picnic in the rainforest adjacent to the beach.

Posted : 09/07/2014 2:33 am
Posts: 47

What mods/ recovery gear would you recommend for a stock 2015 Jimny that has a boof head (me) at the wheel? have 4 tracks, shovel, airbag jack, snatch strap and a 5w uhf.

Posted : 24/12/2015 6:52 am
Posts: 1367

What mods/ recovery gear would you recommend for a stock 2015 Jimny that has a boof head (me) at the wheel? have 4 tracks, shovel, airbag jack, snatch strap and a 5w uhf.

Mods - Suspension lift and slightly larger tyres beneficial but not necessary.
Gear - less than 6000kg snatch strap & 3.5T+ bow shackles, tyre gauge, compressor, basic tools.

I personally wouldn't consider recovery tracks, shovel and airbag jack necessary for a Jimny driving in typical Fraser Island conditions, although a shovel is very handy for camping.

You have a very capable vehicle for sandy beach driving already. Tyre pressure set in the range 12-16PSI and low range 4x4 will ensure your Jimny will be very difficult to bog even if being done intentionally.

Posted : 24/12/2015 7:17 am
Posts: 890

Talking to the rangers at this years cleanup said they had a Jimny to try out.
Great 4wd however it fell short with "ESC" traction control.  Said it just kept bogging down. >:(

From my first Fraser trip. Its 95% 2wd. Only need 4wd going on and off the beach.
Just ad a compressor to your list and you are more than coved.  <ii>

Posted : 24/12/2015 8:03 am
Posts: 47

yep have a compressor and tyre gauge with a deflate bit 🙂

surprised that the esc has a bad effect but can turn it of (I never turned it off in my saab due to 250 hp being let loose would be cop bait) but in the Jimny won't worry me at speeds under 100 kmph.

so doable without lift and just some better tyres! nice but still might wait till my beach driving has some more expertise (none at the moment) before I go 🙂

certainly happy to tag along if anyone is doing some driving anywhere to learn and shout lunch for there troubles (me and the wife are mean cooks if that is preferred!)

ps: have jumper pack as well just in case, might look at duel battery soon!

Cheers guys for advice!

Posted : 24/12/2015 8:43 am
Posts: 145

Hey mate. Jimny owner here. I have a '99 model. Don't have any of that fancy ESC stuff haha. Your car will be fine if it is completely stock (tyres and all). As for sand driving experience, I went there in my sierra 2 months after getting my drivers licence. Didn't have any issues. Maybe go to bribie and see how you like the sand. I'm heading to fraser in mid Jan. Would be awesome to have another jimmer along for the ride.

Posted : 24/12/2015 10:46 am
Posts: 1057

We had our first trip to Fraser (third time on the sand) this year and our GV didn't struggle at all - well except mechanical fails. As the guys have said, most of it is manageable with the exit/entry points to the beach the only really soft sand. My daughter was on her L plates and managed to do quite well, absolutely loved it and wants to go back again with her own little Zook.

Having said that, we did see some vehicles struggle due to inexperienced/poor driving. So as Vinny said, maybe try some local beaches with some experienced beach drivers to get your head around it.

Posted : 24/12/2015 6:40 pm
Posts: 4373
Famed Member Administrator
Topic starter

Hey Q,

In general all Suzuki's are at home on a beach. They are capable 4WDs anywhere but on a beach they are better than any of the Big rigs..

Sand driving is 80% common sense and 20% experience. Just deflate your tires to the appropriate pressure and never make any sudden turns especially in soft sand. 

The main danger when driving on the beach is washouts and cuttings from the high tide. Be very weary of humps in the sand as they can hide drop offs on the other side or other unseen debris.


  • Watch your speed and dont make sudden turns. ( Your tires are at low pressure )
  • Approach washouts with caution. ( They can be deeper than they appear & hide drop offs )
  • Sand Bars.. DOT Drive out onto sandbars. ( They can hide very soft sand and even swallow your vehicle like quicksand.)
  • Signal other vehicles with your indicator of which side you are passing. Overtaking or oncoming
  • Watch for people on the beach. ( They cannot hear you coming and are often in their own world and forget they are standing on a highway )
  • Soft Sand.. Momentum and Gear selection. ( You dont need to be doing warp speed but momentum is key. Try to be in the gear you need before hitting the soft sand. Changing down gears will cause a loss of momentum and bog you down. If you loose traction stop and reverse slowly and straight. Dont side there digging holes if you can move thats it. Get out and start removing the sand from under you vehicle or get another vehicle to recover you.
  • Night Driving. Avoid it if possible if your on your own or not sure. (Sand bars, washouts & debris can be very hard to see at night.)

Its always best to no go it alone but dont be afraid if you've got common sense you'll be fine. Make sure you have a good recovery strap and rated D shakles. A long shovel can be handy too. 

Posted : 26/12/2015 8:25 pm