Author Topic: My Fraser Island Trip Report  (Read 995 times)

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Offline Hangman

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My Fraser Island Trip Report
« on: March 18, 2020, 03:39:11 PM »
My Fraser Island Trip Report

Trip Leader: Hangman(Ian)

Attendees: Goanna, Darryl & Robyn, Eastie, Troy & Ben, Q & Sam, Brad & Jess, Kent & Kirstee, Stronach & Tara, Keith & Keryl

I left Redcliffe at 7 pm and headed north. It was a good run through to Gympie where I fuelled up ( $1.38) and headed to Rainbow Beach. I arrived by 9.45pm. The other Motleys had camped at SS Dorrigo but were in bed by the time I arrived .  I camped at SS Sarawak with Kent & Kirstee, Stronach & Tara .  After setting up the swag and having a beer it was time for bed. It was a hot sultry night, there was no breeze, heaps for mossies and sand flies; it was a very uncomfortable night sleep, we all agreed. 

Saturday 7/03/20

The meet up was at the end of the bitumen. Troy & Ben arrived just driving from Gympie. We aired down and showed off mossie bites, Jess was winning. Every one had had a very uncomfortable night sleep but was ready to go, Fraser was just there. Unfortunately while leaving the camp ground Quinton heard a loud bang as he drove through a pot hole and had done some damage to the driver's side front suspension of the Navara and it was resting on the lower bump stop. His decision was to return to Rainbow Beach to get it fixed before going onto Fraser. Brad & Jess decided to stay with them as they were sharing food. They found a B&B in town and started organising parts from Brisbane and Gympie. Dan drove up new torsion bars and Quinton sourced a second hand adjuster from Gympie. So the rest of us headed to the barge. We were the only ones on the barge. It was high tide at 6am and by now 7am before we left Inskip Point.

There was very little beach with such a high tide and thankfully the barge captain took us to the Inland track entrance. Once on the beach we headed onto the Inland track, Stronach having trouble getting 4wd in his Suzuki so Kent pulled him through the soft sand onto the track and so could head north. The track finishes just before Dilli Village, so we had to travel up the beach for a short way. It was a slow trip with the soft sand on the beach but once at Dilli Village we headed to Lake Boomanjin for breakfast. There is a enclosure here with toilets and water. Great stop for breakfast.

After breakfast we headed to Buff Creek . The road south from here is now closed. We stopped in at Deep Creek to explore the old logging loading ramps and the rusting barges in the mangroves. It was a very hot sultry day and the mossies were thick. We then headed to Ungowa to explore the old Forestry Station. The old buildings silently rotting away. Lunch was here at the Ungowa Jetty. From here we headed to Lake Mackenzie for a swim which was very refreshing. After an hour soaking in the warm clear water we headed to Central Station and set up camp for the night. There were plenty of mossies here. The showers are now $2. Thankfully it was a cooler night tonight with a light drizzle.

Sunday 8/03/20 

Overnight we had a good amount of rain. Several of us had some wet bedding with slow leaks or drips. Every one had had a good night sleep with the cooler temperature. Gradually we all surfaced and had breakfast. By now the rain had eased with periods of sun breaks. By 9am we were ready to head out to Mackenzie's Jetty and Kingfisher Bay Resort. The tracks were firm with the rain so it was an easy drive. From the NPWS website I knew the Mackenzie's Jetty track was closed but was unsure from where. The track was closed from Bennett Road and there was no where to park 6 vehicles so we headed to Kingfisher Bay Resort.

We parked up at the Sand Bar. Robyn headed to the bar while the rest of us started to walk up the beach to Mackenzie's Jetty. It was about 2 km to the Jetty.

 The sand was very soft even walking was slow going. After looking at the jetty we had a look at the Z Force Training camp which is slowly been swallowed by the bush. We walked back to the resort along the cliffs and joined the others for a beer and burger. By now it had started to rain again and would do for the rest of the afternoon. After lunch we headed to Basin Lake for a swim. While on the tracks we came across Keith & Keryl who had gone back to Brisbane and replaced their alternator which gave trouble at Gympie Friday night. They were waiting at Lake Mackenzie for Daryl & Robyn. After a quick catch up on the track they headed to Central Station while we went for a swim at Basin Lake.

After a short walk over a sand dune we were swimming in the warm waters of Basin Lake. The lake is similar  to Lake Mackenzie but much smaller and not well known. The rain had started to get heavy as we left so we just headed back to camp and settled in for the night. It rained continuously all night.

Monday 9/03/20

The morning started where the evening ended, raining with several puddles now in the camp ground. After breakfast we packed up in the rain and left Central Station by 9.30am. A couple of girls travelling in a Suzuki joined us for the trip to Eurong unsure if they would make it. Luckily they did, because the track was very sloppy and the low clearance of the Suzuki had them hung up twice. The Wrangler winched them once and the Jackaroo snatched them once, we had them safely to Eurong Bakery for a coffee and breakfast. So far they had only had TimTams for breakfast. Once at Eurong, every one had a coffee or pie from the bakery and we decided we wanted to continue on from here as planned. I fuelled up at $2.30 and grabbed a cottage pie for dinner and some sausage rolls for lunch. The rain was relentless but we pushed on.

By 11am we headed onto the beach. The tide was running out and the rain had made the beach very firm so it was an easy drive. It was only a short run up to Cornwells Break Rd and we headed inland to The Valley of the Giants. There were several puddles on the track which where bonnet deep as we drove into the giants. We were able to do circuit of the giants with only one obstacle needing to be cut and removed from the track although Keith had to trim a low branch to get his Patrol 6 wheeler through. It is a very special place not being logged with some old trees still standing. Stronach had some distributor troubles from the puddles but nothing some WD40 could not fix and he had no further trouble. From the Valley we headed to Postan's Logging camp but the gates were locked and the track under camera surveillance so we continued onto the air strip hangar for tonight's set up.

It is such a shame about Postan's Logging Camp, I love seeing the old machinery slowly rotting away. It was still raining anyway so getting out of the vehicles would have been unpleasant. Once at the hangar we arranged the vehicle to block the breeze and allow every one a chance to dry out. It looked like a Chinese laundry with pieces of camping gear and various clothing items hanging up. It was great to be dry and out of the rain. There were much less mossies thanks to Robyn's mossie coils. We all had dinner, thanks to Keryl for warming my pie in the microwave. After a chat we were ready for bed. The rain had eased by now but it was so good to hear the sound of rain on the old iron roof rather than canvas. The rain was easing and there was patches of moon light through the clouds. Woo Hoo.

Tuesday 10/03/20 

The day started with sun. There were patches of cloud but we were all happy to be dry. After breakfast and pack up I headed out but noticed my passenger side was dropped. Bugger, I had damaged the Torsion Bar adjuster and my passenger side suspension was resting on the lower bump stop. So with every body's help I removed the torsion bar and blocked the bump stop with some wood. The Jackaroo was level again. Darryl and Co were going to the eastern side to find Q & Co. So they took the torsion bar to get it fixed either they would weld it themselves or try and borrow a welder at Happy Valley.

We all drove to the unused Telecom Tower for a look out which never disappoints. Several of us climbing the tower. From here we travelled down to Northern Road where Darryl & Co left us to travel east. Andrew, Eastie, Troy & Ben and I travelled to Bellert Hut for a look. It was very wet here and as usual heaps of mossies. We quickly headed north to Woralie Creek Road. The track is very over grown but we made Moon Point Rd at lunch time. The road was open out to Moon Point so we headed for lunch on the beach and a look. I had never been here and wanted to see it for myself. It was a western beach but not as exciting as others.

Once on the beach we had a quick lunch. I noticed the wood I had used on the bump stop had split and the suspension was resting on the bump stops again. So I reshaped the block and replaced it on the bump stops again. Once again the Jackaroo was sitting level. We headed back off the beach to Northern Rd and continued north to Woralie Creek Rd. We reached the beach at 2pm, it was an easy run up the beach to Awinya Creek. There were 2 other groups here but we were able to find a great spot to camp. The beach was quite eroded from previous times I have been here and there were patches of coffee rock exposed.

During the day there were rain scuds and the sky was dark with cloud but by the afternoon the sky was clear. We did not get the perfect sunset but it was close. Andrew and I floated down the creek and had a dip in the ocean. With all the rain fall there was quite a bit of run off in the creek and it was very dark with tannin. There were numerous flies, a few mossies and the occasional sand fly. It was very peaceful here with the shore breaks rolling in, we put our heads down. So ended the day in paradise.

Wednesday 11/03/20

Overnight I found my rubbish bag had been raided by dingoes. I had zipped it tight (wheel bag) and they were able to get it open and carry off the rubbish bag. I had thrown out 3 stale moulded bread rolls last night. The wheel bag was undamaged. High tide this morning was at 9am so we had a slow easy morning waiting for the lower tide to leave. There is a lot of water in the creek at present with the previous weekend rainfall.

After breakfast, a slow pack up, a swim and lunch, the tide was low enough for us to cross the creek. It was 1.45pm by the time we left. The track into Awinya Creek is great with only a few rough patches. Once on Woralie Creek Rd we headed east, stopping at Lake Allom to see the turtles. The lake is well down with only a few turtles braving the shallow water for a photo. From here we stopped at Knife blade Wind Blow. Having mobile reception I called Kent who had messaged saying he was on his way home with front diff problems. Bummer.

Once back on the beach we headed north to Cathedral Beach for refuelling ($2.30 here) and supplies. The beach was very blown up with froth. The sand was still very firm. We made good time to Dundubara Camp grounds arriving at 4.30pm. The others were all here and the girls in the Suzuki from Central Station. Unfortunately they had done some radiator damage and Darryl & Keith were trying to fix it. They had welded up my torsion bar apparently on the beach at Happy Valley.

It was a great repair thanks to Keith's welding skills and Darryl's help. I soon had the torsion bar re fitted. Thankfully the block of wood from Moon Point was still in place and had done its job.

After a catch up over beers and exchange of stories, we had dinner, Andrew lit us a beaut fire and we sat around until late telling more big stories of our adventures so far. It was great to have a fire. At this stage it would seem the weather is against us with big SE winds, surf and big tides. There was also a rumour that Ngkala Rock was impassable. So only time will tell as we were headed there tomorrow.

Thursday 12/03/20

The tide was very high this morning with waves breaking onto the dunes. High tide was at 10am and it was impossible to move any where 2 hours either side of the high tide. I had some silicone gasket which Darryl & Keith used to patch the Suzuki's radiator but they wanted to leave it until tomorrow before testing it. We made some calls home having Telstra reception at the Ranger station. Happy Birthday Michelle.

We were able to get onto the beach at 12.30pm and headed north. Indian Head was easy with the wet sand. Champagne Pools were a mess with a lot of sand in the pools and the brown water swirling in, did not make it very inviting although Andrew braved the elements and had a swim. Amy & Rebecca (girls with the Suzuki) had hitched a ride with Keith & Keryl to the pools and were hoping to hitch back to Dundubara later (they did with a tag a long group) while we continued north. We stopped at Orchid Beach for an ice cream and some information about Ngkala Rocks. No one seemed to know much so we went to have a look for ourselves.

The Ocean Lake wash out was only small at present but you could see where it had recently broken through. Arriving at Ngkala Rocks we could see they were blown and washed out. There was pumice stone every where. The coffee rock entrance was full of water with pumice stone giving the appearance of a solid surface. The wash out after the coffee rock entrance had been growing for years was now all through the track and virtually impassable although some one had had a go, having trouble getting back. The rocks where still very submerged even at low tide. The decision was made to turn around here and camp back at Waddy Point Camp ground. The cape would allude me again this year.

We drove into Ocean Lake for a look and swim before heading along Waddy Point beach front and then into camp for the night at the camp ground. I was still carrying some wood so we had a fire again tonight and I drank some expensive Northerns purchased from Orchid Beach ($26 / 6 pack). Fuel here was $2.50. Our plans now where to leave in the morning and start heading south. We would be dropping back into Lake Mackenzie for a swim at some stage.

Friday 13/03/20
Hoping to get away at 8am this morning to catch some beach before high tide we were rolling at 8.30am. The rangers are currently doing a lot of track repairs to the Waddy Point tracks, replacing the board tracks. The drive through to Champagne Pools was easy but the beach between Middle Rock and Indian Heads was already very narrow, I needed to wait for 1 set of waves to get through. Once over Indian Head we headed south on the beach which looked much cleaner today than yesterday.

Some had a quick stop at Cathedral Beach for supplies. Quinton having heard a strange noise from the Navara was soon to find his wheel nuts had loosened, easy fix. We continued to Dundubara, the beach still blown with foam in places but much better than yesterday. After getting back to Dundubara we found the girls with the Suzuki. They had filled the repaired radiator with water by this time and there was still a slow leak in the bottom corner of the tank. I had some stop leak in my car which did the trick and the leak was fixed. OK, Suzuki fixed now all we needed was to wait out the tide.

After lunch we headed down to the beach. It was now 1pm and the beach was drivable again so we headed down to the Maheno for a photo stop.

Photos done we headed to Eli Creek. There was plenty of pumice stone in the creek up to the bridge but this is Eli Creek, nothing stops me or Andrew from having a swim here except my favourite floatie ring split a seam and I was sunk. After a refreshing dip, we headed down to Cornwells Break Road to camp here overnight.

We were able to find an easy flat spot to pull the Suzuki off the beach and camp but there was not enough room for every one so the decision was to split the group. Keith & Keryl had decided to head for home from here tomorrow so the girls would also leave with them. They needed to get over to Tin Can Bay by Tuesday to get a new radiator fitted. Andrew & I stayed with them so we could look at Lake Wabby tomorrow. The others just wanted to have swim at Lake Mackenzie so they headed to Central Station.

There was enough room for our vehicles. With the Patrol 6 wheeler parked as a wind break we sheltered behind it, cooked dinner behind it and Andrew & I slept in our swags behind it. It was a very windy night surprising the tarp held up and but we were dry with several rain scuds blowing through. It was also good to have good Telstra reception here thanks to the backpacker camps.

Saturday 14/03/20

Keith & Keryl and the girls rolled out at 7.30am leaving for the barge. There was still good beach, high tide not until 11.30am today so they headed south. Andrew & I enjoyed breakfast on the beach with much less wind. We were soon packed and moving by 8am along Cornwells Break Road. We headed to Lake Wabby. Once at the car park we headed to the lookout and then walked out to the lake. We did the photos and Andrew had a swim, braving the cool morning water. The meet up with the rest of the group today was Lake Mackenzie at 12 noon so we continued on the inland tracks to Lake Mackenzie. We stopped in at Pile Valley for a look at the Satinay trees remaining here.

On to Lake Mackenzie the rest of the group arrived just after 12. Swim done, photos done Sam did you get your hair wet?

Quinton & Sam, Brad & Jess, Darryl & Robyn and Andrew had decided to run home from here catching the afternoon barge. With the Corona Virus Pandemic things were starting to panic people and with what was going to happen as they returned to work Monday. Saying good bye from the car park, Alex & I waited here as Troy & Ben arrived from Eurong and they had a swim. From here we left for Central Station to set up camp and settle for our last night on Fraser Island. Thanks to Quinton & Brad I had a few beers raided from their fridges to fortify me for the mainland and the Corona Virus Pandemic.

Sunday 15/03/20 

There were some light showers overnight so last day pack up was damp. We were ready to go at 7am and headed to Eurong to the bakery for lunch. It was a fine day so far but there was a strong south easterly still blowing. Apparently more bad weather was headed this way after the ex cyclone moved down the coast. It was an easy run down the beach to the barge. The beach is quite narrow in places and would be hard to travel at least 2 hours before or after high tide. We were on the barge at 9.30am and headed back to Inskip. The sand was very firm here from the rain overnight.

The council had begun work on the wash out beside the dirt road on Inskip Point. Back on the bitumen we aired up and said our goodbyes. Troy & Ben headed home to Gympie while Alex & I headed to the under car wash. It was only $15 with extra $5 to use the pressure cleaner which I did. The Jackaroo needed a good wash. I said goodbye to Alex and headed home. Alex needed fuel so headed back into Rainbow Beach. By the time I was at Gympie, Alex called and said the Jeep was overheating, he was waiting for the RACQ. He later texted me,” he was home safe with auto transmission problems”.

Well, now that the sand & salt have been cleaned from the Jackaroo. Here is My Fraser in review. In spite of the weather and the unfortunate mechanic problems I had a great trip with a great group of people. It is disappointing we could not get to see the logging camp or get to Sandy Cape. I'm so grateful to have camped under the old hangar and spent another night at Awinya Creek. Fraser Island never disappoints with adventures. A big thanks to all who attended and to Keith & Darryl for fixing my torsion bar.

Fraser Island

4WD Beach Permit  $ 53
Barge Cost                $130
Camping Fees           $ 47
Total Distance Travelled 663km
Total Fuel Used 120 L 

Ian Lynch
« Last Edit: May 14, 2020, 07:29:12 PM by Hangman »
"Say 'hello' to my little friend!" Scarface  1983

Offline Pig dog

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Re: My Fraser Island Trip Report
« Reply #1 on: March 21, 2020, 09:53:17 AM »

Great report Ian hope Andrew gets some photos up.

Offline Goanna

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Re: My Fraser Island Trip Report
« Reply #2 on: March 23, 2020, 07:46:34 AM »
Another (mostly) truthful trip-report from Ian.  Thanks, and well done mate.
Scotty's kindly posted my DSLR pics here
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