Traveling on Seventy-five Mile Beach is dependent on tides and weather conditions. K’gari is constantly changing as new sand banks and sand dunes are formed. This, along with the wind strength and size of the swell, affects the beach conditions. As a rule, travel is not recommended two hours either side of high tide. If K’gari is experiencing large swells and/or king tides, the water level on the beach can be higher than expected. Always check tide timetables before traveling on Seventy-Five Mile Beach. We recommend using the Willy Weather app or website. Make sure to select Eurong as your location.
When traveling from the barge drop-off point to K’gari Beach Houses, it is recommended to travel as close to low tide as possible. Hook Point, located close to the bottom of the island, is typically the narrowest stretch of beach you need to traverse on K’gari (Fraser Island). We recommend traveling around Hook Point two hours either side of low tide. In ideal weather conditions, we suggest driving when the tide is below 1.1 metres. You can check Willy Weather’s app for tide heights at specific times of day and plan your trip with these times in mind.
When driving on the sand, your vehicle will move under you. It is important not to oversteer or hold the wheel too tightly. We recommend finding the wheel ruts of a previous vehicle, where possible, and allowing your car to follow their tracks.
In soft sand, make sure you maintain your momentum until you reach harder ground. The idea is to float along the sand and not get bogged down. For those familiar with boats, it’s like reaching that speed where the boat begins to plane along the top of the water. For a great explanation of this, please visit The Ultimate Guide To Sand Driving.
You can identify very soft sand by the absence of wheel ruts on well-traveled tracks. These sections are often found close to the dunes when entering or exiting the beach and in unshaded places along the inland tracks, where the sand dries out quickly. It’s best to stop prior to a very soft section when you are uncertain, engage a lower gear and then power through. The whole idea is to keep your engine revs up and keep power to your wheels.
If you feel your car is slowing or becoming bogged down, select a lower gear. For automatics, change to D2 and, if still struggling, drop down to D1. Once you reach hard sand change back to a higher gear.
Look for washouts (where the freshwater creeks drain across the beach and into the sea). The action of the fresh water crossing the sand can gouge deep furrows in the beach which may be difficult to see in time. Driving over these at high speed can do serious damage to your car.
We keep an eye out for the cuttings made by these creeks higher up toward the dunes, where you can pick them out more easily. However, we still drive further down toward the ocean where the sand is harder, and the washouts are shallower.
Eli Creek and Coongul Creek can only be crossed at low tide. This is dependent on beach and weather conditions. King tides can result in a higher low tide than normal, as can storm surges. Typically, when the tide is below 1.2 metres, Eli Creek is safe to cross. While you might be tempted to stop while crossing these freshwater creeks to wash some salt off your car, PLEASE DON’T. When wet, the sand is fluid, and the water can erode it from under your tyres causing your car to sink. We have come across cars buried up to their floor pans.
Drive with caution. The inland track speed is 30km/h, but some sections require you to drive much slower.
Roads can be very rough. Adjust your speed to the conditions.
Look out for large holes and sharp roots. These can cause tyre damage.
Your tyre pressure should be around 20 PSI. If your tyre pressure is too low, you could pinch your tyre causing a blowout.
When the tracks are dry, they can be very soft (see above). Don’t hesitate to go down a gear and make sure to keep your momentum.
Always drive with your lights on so people can see you.
Most of the tracks (single lane) are two-way and, if there is a passing bay beside you or near you, it is common courtesy to pull off the track to allow oncoming vehicles to pass. Make sure to always pull off for buses and trucks. While passing bays are unsigned, they occur regularly, and you will notice them as cleared vehicle-sized spaces on the sides of the track.
Be careful if your car has ABS brakes. On soft sand, your tyres won’t lock up when you try to stop quickly. This means your vehicle will keep going for approximately 20 metres, depending on your speed. Make sure to be extra cautious of oncoming traffic, particularly on corners, and follow the speed limits.
Try to drive around large puddles where you can. If unsure, always walk through the water to determine depth and the presence of any unseen obstacles. When driving through water and soft sand, once again, momentum is your friend.
We recommend lowering your vehicle’s tyres to 20 PSI for beach and inland track driving (link). If your tyre pressures are too low, you could pinch your tyre causing a blowout.
If you have a lot of weight in the back of your vehicle, only lower your pressure to 25 PSI.
If you plan to travel to Sandy Cape, you will need to lower your tyre pressure to 15-18 PSI to get through the soft sand north of Ngala Rocks.
If you are using a tyre deflator which completely opens your tyres’ valves, be very cautious as the air can escape very quickly causing over-deflation.
Our go-to for tyre deflators are made by Staun. Once pre-set to your desired pressure, it only takes 5-10 minutes to reduce the tyre pressures of all 4 tyres at once. These deflators automatically stop when it reaches your desired PSI. They also don’t require you to crouch or bend over for a long period of time. Once the 4th tyre deflator is secured, you can stand back and wait for them to finish.
TIP: Make sure you hold the base when screwing them on. If you accidentally twist the top sections, you will change your pre-set PSI level.