4WD Hints and Tips
A Fraser Island 4WD experience is not to be missed! To get the most out of your 4WD Fraser Island experience, preparation is important. As all Fraser Island tracks are sandtracks, they are suitable for Four Wheel Drive vehicles only. You will not get very far in a conventional 2WD vehicle and will most likely run into troubles with an AWD vehicle.
Four Wheel Drive (4WD) versus All Wheel Drive (AWD):
Some people may consider taking their all wheel drive, which is possible but not advisable.
All wheel drive is a system that powers all four wheels of a vehicle at all times, just like a 4WD. However due to the lack of "low range", which helps vehicles safely cross loose terrain, AWD vehicles are much less capable in off-road settings than 4WD vehicles. Also most All Wheel Drive vehicles are not designed for harsh off-road conditions like that found on Fraser Island.
Knowing this, do you want to experience an unforgettable Fraser Island 4WD experience?
There are three options...
Take your own 4WD vehicle to Fraser Island
Advantage: You can go anywhere you like except for the few areas that are closed to public 4WD access.
Disadvantage: In the case of a breakdown or other problem with your vehicle, assistance is either non existent, far away and/or very expensive. This can be negated by bringing another 4WD group with you, and making sure you have towing equipment.
Before you take off on your Fraser Island 4WD adventure, beware that a couple of issues should be considered. Small 4WDs with poor ground clearance may encounter difficulties as some track on the Island have deep potholes, high bumps and sometimes such soft sand that the vehicle “sinks” a bit and with low clearance, starts acting like a bulldozer!
Also make sure your vehicle is in excellent condition as there is no garage or maintenance available on the Island and towing is very expensive and may be a lengthy wait.
Rent a Four Wheel Drive
Rent a Four Wheel Drive vehicle from one of the operators who are specialised in Fraser Island 4WD rental.
Advantage: You always have an experienced operator behind you as back up in case of a problem. The operator also takes all the worries out of preparing the vehicle, cleaning afterwards, and arranging the ferries. Some operators have packages available including everything from 4WD rental, accommodation, and/or camping equipment etc, to really take all the hassle out of your Fraser Island 4WD experience.
Disadvantage: You are restricted to certain areas of Fraser Island - however the best parts are fair game.
Operators such as Aussie Trax not only have their mainland office, but also maintain an office on the Island and have rental vehicles available there. This vastly reduces precious time taken off your 4WD Fraser Island adventure in case of a problem. Fraser Island 4WD rental companies maintain their vehicles to the highest standards to ensure the 4WD vehicle can cope with the demanding conditions on Fraser Island.
Go on a self-driven 4WD tour
Advantage: Relatively low cost, the operator takes care of preparing the vehicle, ferries and maintenance and provides assistance in case of a problem. You can meet some great people and possibly develop lifetime friendships.
Disadvantage: You don't have the safety net of someone else being in control - though this can be an advantage for some people! You are restricted to certain sections of the Island. With up to 8 people in one vehicle, your share of driving can be fairly limited, and you may need to compromise places you would like to see as you have to go where the group wants to go.
This option caters mainly for backpackers and means that you will be joined with a number of other people so the group will usually be between 8 and 11 people. Included will be a 4WD plus all camping gear.