Fraser Island – it’s a fishing and boating paradise and, to me, it is simply one of the greatest places on earth. For all its beauty though, Fraser can be a brutal place at times, with many boats and four-wheel-drives coming undone on its soft white sands. Trailer boat trips to Fraser Island can be very rewarding but it’s important to do your homework before you make the journey. Trailer boat Fraser
There are a few different options if you’re looking to fish the offshore waters of Fraser. A popular option is to take on the Wide Bay Bar at the southern end of the island, departing from Rainbow Beach or Tin Can Bay. The bar itself can be dangerous in rough conditions, so typically larger vessels built for purpose can take on this option.
Another avenue is to leave from Urangan and cross Hervey Bay, rounding the northern tip of Fraser, in the vicinity of Breaksea Spit. The sheer distance you need to cover with this option means that at a minimum, an overnight trip is required to maximise fishing time. Trailer boat Fraser
The third option, and the one I take regularly, is towing the boat up the eastern beach and launching on the inside of Waddy Point. It’s the perfect scenario for boats in the 5.5-7.5m range that are relatively easy to tow. My 5.5m Galeforce centre console fits the profile perfectly for these trips and as part of the build, I ensured I went for a beefed-up dual axle Mackay C Channel trailer with an extended drawbar – totally suited for beach launch and retrieval. Trailer boat Fraser
The trip itself requires patience and preparation, with a low tide run up the beach a must. Let the air out of both your car and trailer tyres – to around 18-20psi – to allow for the best possible run at the soft areas. Specific areas where you’re most likely to get stuck are at Inskip Point while boarding and exiting the Manta Ray barge, the track that cuts across from Indian Head to Middle Beach and the inland track that takes you from Champagne Pools to the Orchid Beach township.
If possible, make the trip with at least one other vehicle and carry the standard beach recovery gear such as Maxtrax recovery tracks, a recovery strap and D-shackles. Once you reach Orchid Beach, you’ll need to launch your boat in the gutter inside Waddy Point. This stretch of beach changes regularly, so it’s important to carefully survey the conditions each and every trip.
If the weather is good on the day you arrive, it pays to head down the beach and mark where the tractors and boat trailers are parked, or better still watch a few boats head in and out so you can gauge the safest passage. Tidal conditions are super important, so pay careful attention to the stage of the tide when you leave compared to when you plan to come home.
On our most recent trip – in June before closures – there was very little water in the gutter at low tide, which made it very difficult to get back in without risking being turned side on to the waves on the sand bank. If you’re new to beach launching, it’s important to watch others, take your time, know your boat and have confidence in what you’re doing.