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Old 04-20-2012, 04:21 PM   #1
Joe Watson OP
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Location: Sunshine Coast, Qld, Aus.
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Four days of beaches and sand. SEQ Australia.

So my mate Michael (BBRadar on here) and I are going to be doing Cape York in September. We know there will be a bit of sand up that way, so we wanted to get ourselves a little more sand familiar. With my very little knowledge of basic outback sand and Michaels zero sand experience, we thought it best to plan a sand riding weekend. We ended up choosing Fraser Island which is just off the coast of Queensland Australia. It is where the big star is on this map (you can also see Cape York too up the tip of Queensland).

EDIT: Did a quick edit of the footage from Michael's Go Pro, check it out here:

Talk about being thrown in the deep end. We knew it was going to be a bit tough, but wow, the inland tracks were intense, more on those later. So with me doing planning for the few rides we have done so far, Michael took the reigns on this one and I let him go for it. I am a bit of a control freak, so constant checking in to see what tracks etc was the norm. He laid down a basic plan of my house, up Cooloola Way to Rainbow Beach. Rainbow to Inskip, over the barge to Fraser and up the beach to find a camp spot, then a little exploring on the first afternoon. Fraser Island inland tracks on the second day, leaving our camp set up to come back to on the second night. Break camp on day three and back down Fraser to the barge, over to Rainbow Beach again and onto Freshwater camp spot on the third night then back down Teewah beach to home.

So with all that set, we went about packing and setting up the bikes. We both sprayed the crap out of the bikes with WD40, INOX and anything else we could get our hands on due to the fact that they would be pounded with salt water and salty sand for four days!

Michael left his place in Brisbane on the Thursday afternoon to stay at my place so we could leave early the next morning.

That night we set about last minute bike prep, some taking it further than others!! Notice no front wheel on Michaels bike!

All was well and we got underway early on Friday morning. Hitting the dirt just before the start of the Cooloola Way.


Quick break here. A 4WD pulled up and asked us if this was the way through to Rainbow, well it is, but it is bloody tough going, especially in a 4WD, he was just a tourist and his GPS told him to go that way. We ended up meeting another soft-road 4WD later totally bogged because his GPS told him to go that way too!

This is a picture from a ride a week or so before, but it is where the 4WD was totally bogged, they call this "The Lakes"


Some big wash outs!

And through and out the other side, ROAD CLOSED?? Well, we must have missed the, the signs at the end we came from......if there was any that is......

Ready to slab it for a couple of Ks into Rainbow:

Through rainbow and onto Inskip Point, ready for some soft sand over to the barge.

OH NO!!! Our precious wine box!! Some roadside repairs saw it get through the ride to camp though.

The sand was rather hard packed with the amount of traffic, so it was all good getting into the line up for the barge. Me waiting.

The view while we waited:

Michael waiting:

On the barge! WOOHOO!! It was a very interesting sensation with the "ground" rocking underneath you while you try to keep your bike upright!

And away we were, onto the beach, the tide was reasonably low, so it was pretty hard sand which was good to get us into the rhythm. An interesting little wreck we found along the way.

Some rocks to get around:

Lucky there is a bypass road, I do not want to be riding my bike through the salt water! Also, forgot to mention, this was all done over the Easter long weekend. We thought it would be just totally packed, with 4WD trying to run us down everywhere and nowhere to camp, it was infact quite the opposite! Easy to find somewhere to camp and really, not that much traffic at all!

Michael brought along these little bits of thin breadboard, they were a saviour for keeping the bike upright! They also fit neatly into the little pocket on the front of the tank bag.

We spent a bit of time searching for a good camp site, which made us do some soft sand riding up in the "dunes" area, Michael got his first taste of it and......didn't like it so much!! He was buggered after 50 meters or so.

Coming out of one of the "dunes" looking for a camp site:

Easy tiger!!!!

Heading along the beach back to a better camp area.

Yep, planes actually take off and land on the beach here!

We found our camp site for the night and set ourselves up:

With that done, it was time to head off for a quick little explore. The wreck of the Mahino first. Information here:

The steeds:

So with the sight seeing done, we thought we would check out an inland track. Well, we found one, rather unused by the looks of it and it was SOFT SOFT deep sand!! I was finding the going ok, standing up on the pegs, weight transferring all around the place and steering dampener turned right up. Here comes Mick on a little rise, not so sandy......

Easy there mate:


I think someone is a little tired!!

We had only done a few Ks of the track and Michael was totally buggered, so we turned back and headed for the beach.

Ok, not trying to take away from Michael or anything, but just some food for thought. I am pretty overweight and carry a lot of extra fat on me....a fair bit actually and am totally unfit. Michael on the other hand is rather muscular, toned and fit. I think the main difference is I am BIKE fit, I ride a lot, I have a track on my farm and ride it all the time whereas Michael doesn't do this sort of hard offroad riding often. Just food for thought.

Back through the soft stuff:

A bit nice, harder packed section:

This is Eli Creek, a major freshwater creek that runs down from the island and into the ocean:

Great place for washing bikes!!

Many times did we ride through this creek, getting totally soaked in the process too!

So back to camp to tuck into our box of wine and chill out, plan tomorrows ride.

What a brilliant idea!! I now have a hammock coming for me too! It was awesome just relaxing in this.

The full moon starts to rise:

A nice night of drinking, meeting neighbours and seeing some dingos was had. It was funny, Michael and I were sitting in our area and were actually talking about Dingos and one just appeared about 3 meters behind Michael. (Dingos are native Australian dogs:

Joe Watson screwed with this post 05-07-2012 at 02:11 AM
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Old 04-20-2012, 04:22 PM   #2
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Day 2 - Started with a beautiful sunrise and awesome weather. Gearing up and trying to keep the sand out of everything.

We ducked into Happy Valley area to have a little bow peep. Well stocked shop and fuel as well. Being so remote, they don't miss you on price, but it is what you expect though.

Down to Eurong Villiage and then inland to Central Station. The tracks were a little soft, but the further inland you went, the harder packed they were. The biggest thing I was having trouble with was Michael's tracks that he was leaving. Most of these were two way tracks and so we had to stick to the left hand wheel rut. Michael leaves the most knarly tracks, side to side, crazy stuff! And each time I would be behind him, I would end up getting stuck in his mini rut within the big 4WD wheel rut and wobbling around like jelly in an earthquake! So whenever I could, I would sneak over to the right hand wheel rut and just hope that there was no oncoming 4WDs.

Big Trees!!!

Nice hard packed inland track:

In to central station where it has all the relics of the logging days etc.

Down to the pristine creek and boardwalk.



Michael slipping and almost falling in.....damn, I should have rocked the log harder!!

Info about a small school they set up.

It was then off to Lake McKenzie, a very popular spot on the island. The tracks were a little softer, but still pretty good.

There was literally bus loads of tourists there and there had been a lot of rain, so the lake level was right up leaving not a lot of beach, so real estate was at a premium:

We then headed out around some inland tracks to do a bit of a loop before going back to the beach. This section was really tough and took it out of us both. It was a lot of fun though. Mick came off a couple of times here again, once the bike actually pinned him down and we had to lift it off him.

Rest time around central station area:

Jacket unzipped as it was bloody hot heavy work!

Back to Eurong Village for a nice cold drink after all the hard work. We were pretty spent.

Stopped in to get some water for our camel backs, who needs stands anyway!

The beautiful beach on an awesome afternoon!

One of the planes taking off:

We stopped here to check out something on Michael's bike. I said jokingly as I walked away to hang a leak in the dunes "Hey, let me know if my bike falls over hey". As I am off in the dunes I hear "Hey Joe, your bike has fallen over" "hahah nice one" I think to myself. Ooops! Forgot to put my green stand jigger under the stand!! Bummer! Ended up snapping off my GPS, no other damage though.

Heading up toward the top section of the island now, up to Indian heads:

Bit of a map here for you to see where we were, up the top right hand side of the island:

Me at Indian Head:

The "cutting" for the bypass headland track, it was pretty soft stuff, but wasnt too long so was pretty easy:

Over onto the other side and into the awesome bay:

Up to Waddy Point:

We then went to the bypass track around here to head up to some dunes you were apparently allowed to ride in, a guy from the night before had told us all about it and how to get there. This bypass track was tough, definitely the hardest riding of the whole trip. We got caught up in some "traffic" because a 4WD had burnt out his clutch in it, it was that soft. I got in front of a few cars and Michael got stuck behind them.

I powered on to the end of the track. I ended up doing a fair speed too, a 4WD let me pass and I said "I am just going to hold you up" In only like 4km or so of the track, I left him for dead, that surprised me. Standing up on the pegs and giving it a fair bit made it a lot easier.

So I then waited at the end of the track for Michael.....for a fair while. Few 4WD passed, no sign. Kept trying to radio, nope, nothing. Then one 4WD pulled up "Hey, you with the other guy on the bike? He is waiting back about half way at one of the turnaround points, he has come of a few times and is struggling." So I turned around and went down the other side of the one way track and was hammering. I was having SUCH a blast. Dont get me wrong it was TOUGH, like really really hard work, but I loved the fact that I dug deep and pushed through and was having an EPIC time!

Found Michael and hit it back to down to the beach. I hardly stopped to talk because I was having such a blast!! The tide was getting high and the sun low, so we got back onto the beach as quick as we could.

Mick coming back down onto the beach:

Back over Indian Heads as well and down the main beach. Destination, Eli Creek, to fill up water supplies and also give the bikes a "Wash"

We were having a blast jumping off the drop off into the water, getting totally soaked in the process:

Back to camp for the night, we were pretty stuffed. We attempted to make a decent dent in the wine box, we did OK, but went to bed pretty early.

Joe Watson screwed with this post 04-20-2012 at 06:38 PM
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Old 04-20-2012, 04:23 PM   #3
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Day 3 - We had had brilliant weather so far for the trip, so it wasn't a major let down to wake up to some rain. We just chilled out at our camp site while it got worse and died down a number of times. We had to wait for low tide anyway, so it wasn't a major problem.

My tent was in a rather wet patch!! It was sitting up on top of the water though, held up by the plant life.

With patches of sunlight, it was time to break camp:

Heading down the beach, we saw a dingo just sitting, watching the 4WDs and us go by:

Along the beach heading toward the southern end of the island to get back on the barge:

Last bit of beach riding on Fraser, around some dead trees, I do not want to ride the bike in salt water!

Back on the barge, heading over to inskip point:

We then decided we would keep with the beach riding theme and head along the Inskip Point beach to Rainbow Beach.

As we got into Rainbow, we fueled up and made a decision on lunch.....

The old wine box came in handy as our rubbish bin. The prawns were super cheap at $15 a kilo and rightly so, there were a lot of rubbish prawns in there, but still worth the money at half the price they normally are.

So over lunch, we made plans of how we would be making it to our next camp spot for the night, again, keeping with the theme, we hit the beach at Rainbow and went over to Teewah that way. Before we left Rainbow, we got a couple of nice steaks from the butcher and and a couple of tins of beer from the bottle shop to keep them cool! It was going to be a nice dinner coming up!

Just at this time, my parents were out on their yacht sailing past. They live on their yacht and sail up and down the east coast of Australia, it was pretty cool "meeting up" with them along theirs and my travels.

They are out there somewhere.....

Looking up the beach:

Looking back:

Over the bypass road for Double Island Point and onto Freshwater campground:

Hey, get out of their road, they were reading that!

When we got into the camp ground, a nice bloke came and told us a good spot to set up camp, he seemed so nice that we asked him if we could stash our stake and beer in his esky while we set up, what a legend. Camp set up for the night.

We got our steaks and beers out of our new mates esky and headed for the day use area where there were free BBQs.

Setting up:

The steaks!!

Waiting for the Barbie to heat up:

Our limited eating utensils!


Beautifully cooked:

Doesn't get much easier or better than this!

I think Michael was enjoying his too!

So it was then back to camp to polish off the remainder of our wine and hit the hey pretty early.

Joe Watson screwed with this post 04-23-2012 at 04:24 AM
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Old 04-20-2012, 04:23 PM   #4
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Day 4 - The next morning, we broke camp and had a chat to the ranger who came around to check all our camping and riding permits. She warned that the tracks we were to do today were going to be DEEP SOFT sand, like really really bad...... Anyway, with that, we set off on Freshwater Track heading back out onto rainbow beach road, this was beautiful and really easy going too.

Out the other side:

We then stopped off for a minute to have a quick break:

Michael decided to look over his bike for some reason and found this:

One of the bolts for his kick stand missing!! So I decided to check over my bike and found this:

Exact same bloody bolt missing!!! So it was out with the tool kits to try to find a replacement bolt.

We couldn't find one, so we just tightened up the top bolt as much as possible and checked it every now and again.

It was now off to Poverty Point to check that out. A 6KM track on the western side of the road.

This had some soft sections, but nothing like what we had already encountered on Fraser, so it was easy sailing all the way to the water:

We got instantly eaten by mozzies and sand flies, so decided to hightail it out of there pretty quick.

We then back tracked the bitumen a few Ks to get onto the Firebreak/Pettegrews/Kings Bore track:

The longer section we wanted to do was closed, so we settled with the Western Firebreak to Kings Bore.

This track was a bit more difficult with a bit softer sand and some hilly bits, but again, nothing like Fraser, so we were fine with it, we were having such fun riding it!!

It was then onto the Kings bore section, this bit of track was the most fun!! We really had a ball along here.

We then dropped down and back onto the beach:

We then hit the beach to find somewhere to stop for lunch on our way south. Little look at the "Red Canyon"

A quick set up of the hammock proved a good thing!

Watching over us while we eat:

Nice view:

Back on the "road" heading down toward Noosa:

Waiting in line for the barge across the Noosa River:

A stop off for a celebratory "We did it" icecream:

A quick little treat, we did the railway line road just near my house. We got back to mine and set about showering the bikes in litres and litres of water to get any possible salt water off then doused them in WD40 again. I stripped off all the plastics on mine and gave it a really good go over. What a brilliant time we had, I would do it again in a heartbeat!! We may just have to make it an Easter tradition!!

I hope you all enjoyed. There will be a little video clip to come after some editing from Michael's Go Pro camera.

Joe Watson screwed with this post 04-23-2012 at 03:22 AM
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Old 04-20-2012, 06:49 PM   #5
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You sure get the most out of those little bikes!
"Motorcyclist are always going to be frowned a pond..." an inmate in the AUS group

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Old 04-23-2012, 04:15 AM   #6
hunting and riding!!
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Nice RR

how do you like the note and sound level of the FMF after the stainy?
Happiness is a warm barrel....i don't care if its the bikes barrel or the rifles barrel!

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Old 04-23-2012, 04:58 AM   #7
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Talking Nice one young fellas...

Well done guys, good job with the minimalist camping too.

Hope you loctited those stand bolts in when you got home!

Did you by any chance have a GPX of your awesome adventure?

Cheers, Boneman
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Old 04-23-2012, 05:19 AM   #8
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You blokes havin too much fun there......just a little tip for yas...put a baked bean tin on your sidestand foot and bash it over'll last a coupla weeks before it falls off..

.. I fixt way....gjr

Done good...Played strong... J.G.
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Old 04-23-2012, 06:39 AM   #9
Jax Off again.
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Excellent!!! thanks for letting me come along!
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Old 04-24-2012, 01:42 AM   #10
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Nice one
being wrecked by bored and stroked posties....braaaaaaaaaap
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Old 04-25-2012, 03:25 AM   #11
Joe Watson OP
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Thanks everyone.

JTB: We love our WRRs!!

Missionary: I am running the stock pipe back on my bike now, I really miss the Stainy!!

Boneman: Yeah mate, new bolts are loctited good!! I don't have a GPX sorry! Let me know if you want some decent directions though, I can PM you.

UncleGra: Love the tin idea!!
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Old 04-25-2012, 05:36 AM   #12
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Great report, thanks for sharing.
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Old 04-25-2012, 07:02 AM   #13
I ain't no DingWeed
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Thanks for telling your story... and I know.. if I were stuck on an island I'd want my good buddy and my WR with me.. perfect!

Enjoyed your photos of the SS Maheno wreck too.. great RR.. mate!
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Old 04-25-2012, 09:41 AM   #14
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Nice report Joe. Looks beautiful there. Nice that you can ride on the beach.
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Old 05-07-2012, 02:12 AM   #15
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Did a quick edit of the footage from Michael's Go Pro, check it out here:
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