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Fraser Island 4WD trip overcomes challenges

Waddy Point
Bundaberg 4WD Club members enjoyed festivities at Waddy Point on Fraser Island.

Bundaberg 4WD Club members enjoyed Christmas festivities during their annual Fraser Island December trip despite various challenges.

This year’s trip fell well and truly into the spirit of what 2020 was like.

Just before we were due to head over the Island was closed to travellers due to the ongoing fires that had been burning for months.

Our plans changed and we decided to sit out our time until access was granted by camping at Inskip Point, near Rainbow Beach.

Another curve ball was thrown into the plan by National Parks closing a couple of the camping areas due to a gastro breakout.

Our campsite was not one of them, but it was close enough to ask, what will we be in for?

As it turned out we endured the cyclonic winds and rain that were forecast and , even with our best efforts to carry out strict hand washing and cleaning protocols, still managed to have all but one of our 10 vehicles in our group succumb to the 24 hour bug. Camping is fun.

Making the best of the situation time was spent checking out the sights at Rainbow Beach, Double Island Point and even a day trip down Teewah Beach to the Noosa River Ferry where we headed over to check out the Eumundi Markets and Noosa.

The Kings Bore track near Rainbow Beach proved interesting with many trees needing to be cleared due to the wind.

King tides and big seas saw parts of the area inundated with water. Our trip to Tin Can Bay had our members volunteer to help sandbag the Barnacles Dolphin Centre as water had broken the banks on the high tide and flooded the centre.

Once the word was out that Fraser Island was open our group packed up camp and headed over to the largest sand island in the world.

Travel up to the Waddy Point campground proved no issues with the big tides flattening out the beach. The inland tracks had had some rain so they were easier as well.

Many of the areas we travelled through had been impacted by the recent fires, but new growth was evident and appearing to bounce back from the devastation.

Our shortened time on the island was spent checking out the tourist sights at the top end of the island, with Wathumba Creek, Ocean Lake, Champaign Pools and Indian Head being the standouts. The obligatory stop at the Maheno shipwreck for a group shot and Eli Creek for a swim and float down the crystal-clear waters topped off a trip that will be talked about for years to come.

People ask why we keep going back to the same place each year? It is because every visit has a new crowd to show what the island has to offer, the changes from year to year show how nature bounces back from wild weather and fires, and catching beach worms seems to the most frustrating pastime of all, as they are right in front of you but so hard to grab.

Bring on 2021 where we will once again have a Fraser Island 4WD trip and make new memories.

To find out more on the Bundaberg Four Wheel Drive Club and activities we have on, contact us via email to info@bundaberg4wdclub.com, on the net at www.bundaberg4wdclub.com or catch us on Facebook or Instagram.

— Brad Praed

Fraser Island 4WD trip, SS Maheno
Bundaberg 4WD Club members at the wreck of the SS Maheno during their visit to Fraser Island.

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