Fraser Island

  

Fraser Island driving

Australia offers a number of fantastic 4x4 driving experiences in the Outback and in the Northern Territories that are likely to test any driving enthusiast, but for the ultimate 4x4 driving experience, look no further than Queensland's Fraser Island.

Just north of Noosa and the Sunshine Coast, this natural spectacle and world heritage sight stretches for over 120 km and is the largest sand island in the world. For keen drivers, it offers a multitude of different experiences, from driving on beaches to tough, technical inland roads snaking over tree roots and through large ditches.
The roads were originally built by logging companies who were farming the trees for wood on the island, and when you manoeuvre your 4x4 vehicle over them you will struggle to understand how it is possible to drive a long and heavy truck bearing such a large weight over such difficult terrain. The sand is trapped by the tree roots meaning a very bumpy ride, and there are many tight corners weaving amongst the native vegetation on very small roads. After heavy storms, which are fairly common due to the island exposure to the Pacific Ocean, there are often large potholes and puddles which provide a challenge. In drier weather, the main risk is getting stuck in large piles of soft sand.
On the East of the island is 75 mile beach, which is effectively the main highway and drives North to South allowing access to multiple inland tracks up and down the island. When the tide is low, this becomes a very large and wide beach which is very driver friendly, but beware of hazards such as large waves, washouts and dunes. The road effectively changes every single day, so every time you drive on the beach it is a new experience. Along the main beach are multiple stops for fuel and supplies, as well as accomodation for those wishing to stay the night.
With the combination of the wide open beach and the tight technical inland roads, Fraser Island really offers a plethora of different sand roads to tackle that will stretch and improve your offload skills. If that is not enough reason to visit, the nature is truly stunning, offering surreal landscapes of pristinely clear water, aboriginal culture and some rather fascinating animals including snakes, whales and the Fraser Island Dingo; one of the most purebred in Australia.
There are multiple packages which offer beginner drivers the ability to drive the roads and to discover the natural beauty of Fraser Island with a group of others led by an experienced driver. It is also possible to take your private vehicle onto the island via the ferry ports in Rainbow Beach and in Hervey Bay. There are multiple campsites and places to stay, and a good infrastructure for drivers that, with a bit of common sense, will ensure that you don't run out of fuel and have sufficient support in the unlikely event of an emergency.
While there is good infrastructure, that have been several fatal accidents on the island due to reckless driving. Ensure you are familiar with the rules and regulations before you start your trip and always be alert for dangers.

 

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