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LED ZEPPELIN
1995 GQ TD42 NA
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
We headed off on Monday morning for Fraser - our GU, a V6 Mazda Tribute, and a 100 Series. Due to the usual delays encountered when you have three kids under 7, we missed the tide and had to take the inland track from Hook Pt... a tip, don't miss the tide, the inland track is a mongrel. Corrugations for 45 minutes... we detoured to Lake Boomanjin where the kids enjoyed a paddle then got back onto the beach as the tide receded, arriving at Dundubara at 4:45pm.

The Tribute on the beach. It has larger tyres than stock and a lusty V6 - nothing stopped it, although we'd taken the precaution of fitting dual rated recovery points at the front (it had a 50x50 tow hitch at the back so we could use the pin there if required).




Our campsite, in Dundubara Campground 2 not far from the top amenities block. Can totally recommend this for families, it's great. Taking the gazebo was an inspired decision by our friends Kent and Brooke - kids danced in it when it was raining, adults got smashed in it when the kids were in bed, and we even turned it into the media room to watch DVDs on the laptop late at night (had separate speakers to plug in).




6m x 6m tarp, don't leave home without it. Thanks Leeroy#1 for the loan of the tent!




Tuesday we headed south 10-15 mins to the Maheno. You've all seen the pics, suffice to say it is still an impressive sight - she was a big ship!

My son was fascinated by it. That's the stern right out in the waves.




The 100 and the GU. I used to flat with the 100's owner Mick years ago, he and his partner Carina are getting towards the end of their 6 month trip from Perth to Sydney via the top end and centre.




Grey and bleak, but not cold and still very beautiful.




This bloke turned up out of the blue while we were at the ship; we didn't even hear him coming over the roar of the surf. He'd landed a few km up the beach and taxied down to pick up some customers who hopped off a bus at the Maheno.




My 4yo son found a coconut, Kent cut it open later but the little guy wasn't real taken by the taste...

 

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LED ZEPPELIN
1995 GQ TD42 NA
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12,022 Posts
Discussion Starter · #2 · (Edited)
Wednesday we headed for Champagne Pools but the weather closed in. So we toured through Waddy Pt and then had lunch at Orchid Beach where we topped up the tanks at $1.87 a litre for diesel... Cathedral also has fuel but it's even dearer.

The one-way track heading south from Orchid Beach. Beautiful forests, you wonder how the big hardwood trees can grow here (and the trees in the centre of the island are even bigger). BTW those are Tridon 'blade' wipers, they're very good.




We got dumped on by the heavens when we returned to camp, and were thankful that we had the big tarp. At this point we were starting to wonder about whether we should stick around as the weather was getting worse, not better. Also my 3yo daughter was starting to show asthma symptoms which had us concerned as she was hospitalised overnight for her asthma just three weeks ago. We asked the ranger what the forecast was and he said "I don't know"... I had already started to get the impression that the rangers weren't all that enamoured of their visitors and really I'd expect a ranger to at least know what the weather was going to do?

Thursday... Soleil was worse and the weather was better, but we'd managed to establish that the weather was going to turn again. So we pulled the pin... at least this time we'd have a nice sunny drive and be able to stay on the beach right to Hook Pt. Kent and Brooke and their 6yo daughter Jasmine headed to Eurong in the Tribute to get a room and Mick and Carina elected to camp another night and head off the island via Kingfisher Bay on the Friday.

All loaded up and ready to depart, after dumping our rubbish at one of the transfer stations. The 2.1 x 1.2m Southern Cross canvas roof bag was perfect and took all our lighter gear, heavy stuff stowed in the back of the car. Bushranger Wheelie Bin on the spare to carry other lightweight odds and ends.




Heading south past Eurong. Tide was already inbound at this time.




A dingo bitch - she was running and definitely on a mission, she completely ignored us.




Just as we approached Hook Point we spotted a camper up ahead which was stationary... my immediate thought was that they were stuck becaused Hook Point is not a place to be stationary on a rising tide, and probably doomed as the tide really was rising fast at this point.

Sure enough...




The two German blokes in it were trying to use their airjack to get them out but it was never going to work so I said put it away and get your valuables out... it was a TD3.0 Hilux but they had 45psi in the tyres (although they had had no probs all week driving it all over the island). The track here had narrowed to one car width wide and they'd strayed to the ocean side a bit far to avoid a big fallen tree, and then driven right into a deep hole.

Most people seem to think "Just a hire car, bugger it" but I thought we might have a chance to get them out. First problem - I had my snatch strap ready to rock but no shackle for their car, my recovery kit was buried at the bottom of the gear in the back of the car (yep I need drawers). OK, I'll pull my towbar recovery hitch, use that shackle on theirs, and the pin on mine. Next problem - the lock on the pin was full of sand... luckily I had a plastic waterbottle that I could squeeze to jet water into the lock and after 30 seconds I had the pin out and my snatch strap hooked up.

I then put the shackle onto the front right tie-down point on the Hilux (no rated recovery points at either end!!! and my equalizer strap was buried under our camping gear too), and by this stage I was actually being pushed around by the waves coming in and doing the shackle up by feel as the water was surging up to their number plate.

Hooked up, and wondering whether I was about to rip the tie-down point out of the Hilux.




The Patrol was at 2 o'clock to the Hilux as that's where the only firm sand was. The Hilux driver was in low range so I said give it everything the moment the Patrol began to move... my wife and the other bloke stood well clear and we hit it. Due to the angle, the whole back of the Patrol was instantly yanked a good metre to the left when the snatch went tight... look at the tracks from the rear wheels.




But the Hilux jumped out! Wooo hooo... oops he's gone straight into the next hole and my wife is yelling "GO GO GO", so I gassed it again and dragged the Hilix out and around the fallen tree.

He ran over the snatch and we had to reef it out from around the steering gear, it's slightly frayed but I'm not worried about that. I was just happy to help out and prevent their holiday from ending in disaster.

The Hilux lives to fight another day.




And so ended the trip - we were at the Manta Ray a minute after we'd left the site of the recovery (they were so close to making it!) and stopped in Rainbow Beach for a bite to eat before the 2 hour drive home.

Can't wait to go back!
 

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nissan patrol
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334 Posts
fraser island still a great place to go. Cant wait for a sunny weekend to head up there again, im getting anxious just looking at the photos. is lake mackensie still blocked of to the public
 

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nissan patrol
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Lake McKenzie is now open to the public again. When the there, check out the new sign and the rugged lookin fella holdin the rubbish bag for the kids!!

What a good lookin fulla!

I'm quite amazed that hire 4by's don't have recovery points????
 

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Photo's look great. We are driving up after christmas from victoria for a week on fraser. How did you find driving on the sand?? what pressures were you using?? At the moment we will be heading over on our own, friends arent sure of they can get the time off. Did you find yourselves in any sticky situations where recovery was needed?? (besides the tourists). was thinking of investing in some maxtrax seeing as we will be travelling on our own. sorry for all the questions but always good to pick the brain of someone who has just done a trip, thanks. Shane
 

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nissan
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ah yes, you haven't experienced fraser until you have recovered a tourist, easiest $20 I have ever made ;)
 

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Green Machine
nissan
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I was actually just over there last week also. Weather was nice for us and only rained a bit at night. Was very nice as usual
 

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LED ZEPPELIN
1995 GQ TD42 NA
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12,022 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 · (Edited)
Frosty, I was dumbfounded when I realised there was nothing safe to hook up to... I walked around it twice before I believed it. The tie-down point held up ok, luckily the sand wasn't too 'sucky'.

Matt, yes we are quite happy with your dash pod thanks mate :) It really looks right, I get in a stock GU IV now and something seems to be missing.

Shane - believe it or not the sand is so good that one tour operator I spoke to leaves his Hummer H3 tyres at 30psi... he said the sand has been great since January, apparently last year it was pretty bad though. With all the recent rain it is fairly firm in most places.

I ran 22 psi all round due to the weight of the laden Patrol, the Tribute was on 18. The only places where the sand was an issue were at Inskip Pt (normal situation there, you just have to stay on the power) and heading south from Indian Head after a massive downpour that must have soaked in a bit. The 3.0 was working hard there for a couple of km, revving hard and kicking back to 3rd and sometimes 2nd, and the whole car was weaving around in the ruts.

But overall, pretty uneventful driving and I don't think you need to be concerned about going solo. Getting off the beach into tracks and resorts was easy enough. Mick in the 100 drove a lot of the inland tracks and had no problems despite being somewhere between 3.5 and 4 tonnes gross (he is on Cooper STs). I didn't go to low range at all apart from during the recovery

Maybe ask the rangers what UHF channel they sit on (I wondered whether there was a specific island channel to use but have seen nothing in any of the online or printed literature) just in case you need to call for help. But there will usually be someone along if you run into trouble, just ensure you have all your recovery gear ready to go.

When we first arrived at Inskip, Mick and Carina took the other barge over as they were departing via Kingfisher to Hervey (same operator) and the loadmaster asked if the Tribute that boarded the Manta Ray was travelling with him - yep - "Tell him to drive it like he stole it!" :)

Here's the biggest lesson (of many) for me - the rule is to drive in the window 2 hours either side of low tide, but I made the mistake of thinking that we were ok until 2 hours before high tide... that's why we cut it fine at Hook Pt (where the rule well and truly applies), but at least we were able to help the stranded dudes.
 

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LED ZEPPELIN
1995 GQ TD42 NA
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12,022 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
A few more pics.

3yo daughter and 4yo son with Fraser Air plane (8 seater).




Looking for pirates.




Quite a nice little rig but please Apollo, put some decent hooks on your vehicles!




The little guy and dad. Worlds most independent 3yo girl off to the toilet in the background.

Edit: this little guy is 4 (and 3 months), and I'm an even 6 feet tall... should I start shopping him around basketball teams now?




6yo and 3yo daughters usually travel well (bodes well for next years Cape York trip but I'm putting in a DVD system anyway).




Nothing like a dance party to brighten up a rainy day in camp.

 

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nissan
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Thanks for posting about your trip, lots of photos made it quite enjoyable :)

We are off to Fraser for a week early 2011, its good to know Lake McKenzie is now open as it was closed on our last visit.
 

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Thanks for the info mate, has certainly put my wife at ease about going on our own. Do you know much about the campsites along the main beach. were thinkning of camping there as we dont need any facilities. looking forward to lake mackenzie as well going by the pictures you see.
 

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LED ZEPPELIN
1995 GQ TD42 NA
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12,022 Posts
Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Shane, we drove into a few of the beach sites (behind dunes) and they look ok, but we've never free-camped on the beach (will do so when the weather improves, on Teewah Beach which is a lot closer to home).

If you have young kids then a fenced site like Dundubara is the go, due to the dingos. It has great facilities and hardwood table/bench sets, and a few communal firepits.

You can take a hose to rinse the vehicle, Dundubara has lots of taps, but I didn't bother till we got home (and will use WD40 and Salt Assault prior to all future trips). You can also park in Dundubara to use the facilities if you do free-camp, $1 coin for 3 mins of hot water.

Lake Birrabeen is as pretty as Lake McKenzie, but without the crowds. If you do go to Lake McKenzie plan to avoid 11am-2pm if you like some quiet time.

And if you have approximate or set dates for your trip, look the tides up now as you need to plan carefully around them.
 

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Nissan
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Thanks for pics. It's getting me a little toey as i have booked a week up there for Easter. But Ive taken the posh way out and rented a house. I normally camp but there's a fair few of us, so it worked out cheaper to rent. Keen to get up there and crack out the surf rod.
Thanks again
Cheers
Troy
 

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nissan gu
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:bigthumb::victory:
Well done with the recovery Squalo.
Good to see people helping others on a steep learning curve.
Another 10 to 15 minutes and that Hilux was history.
Hook Point is so unpredictable as it changes so quickly, sometimes it is closed to traffic, and you have to go the inland route whether you like it or not.
Cheers
Pic,s were great also!!
 

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nissan st 08
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Hey Muz, Sorry to hear your trip got cut short. I know you were looking forward to it. Me and jo and kids are looking at heading there after new years. Hopefully the crowds might of dropped off a bit. Wannna spend a week there weather dependent. You and the family are more than welcome to join us if your keen.

Will be home on the 15th anyway so will be getting in touch soon for a day cruise. Will talk to you about it then.

Got some nice piks too mate.
 

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It's all good
nissan patrol
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Great pics Squalo , good job on the recovery , what's it cost on the barge these days ? I think a trip to fraser may be on the cards for me next year
 

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LED ZEPPELIN
1995 GQ TD42 NA
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12,022 Posts
Discussion Starter · #19 · (Edited)
Thanks for the thanks guys, I'd like to think that anyone who could help, will help - it's one of the things that make 4WDing such a pleasure. The first car to the Hilux was actually a Grand Vitara with no way of recovering or being recovered, which made me wonder, but then I talked to the 60-something owner on the barge and realised he'd forgotten more about sand driving than I'll ever know... I reckon he's probably recovered enough cars over the years to be entitled to be completely retired from any further recoveries.

Waz, it was $90 return on the Manta Ray. I'd rather not use the other barges, the Manta Ray is locally owned. Don't forget to stow the receipt safely, as it is your return ticket too...

Rick, mate we'd love to get back over there so yep we'll talk. I plan to get down to Lee's sometime after the 15th to help him replace a hub seal and fit UHF and spotties, so we'll see about getting that out of the way early and going for a wheel in his backyard.

Troy, I'm sure we'll do the house thing at some point too but for now we're just getting the kids into camping (it's not hard! they love it). Heads up on the tides - on Friday 22nd April 2011, low tide is 5:30am and high tide 11am, so you'll want to be on the barge early if you want to drive up the beach! Especially if you're heading over on the Thursday... high tide is one hour later each day.
 
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