Poyugan Creek River Crossing: Northern Road: Fraser Island
We hired a vehicle to a client from Sunshine Coast Airport for end of March 2022. I delivered the vehicle to the client in person. They were x 2 people on their way to Fraser Island. I went through the whole briefing and safety information. They were informed to work through our tips on safety page on our website as well.
I had restrictions on driving above Champagne pools which they wanted to waiver. Luckily I did not allow this.
Long story short the male driver drove the vehicle across Poyangan Creek river on the Western Side of the Island on Northern Road.
It’s basically a 7 meter wide waist deep, mud pool which should never have been attempted in the first place.
Vehicle nearly made it through. They got stuck on the opposite bank of the river.
This is where it gets a little bit weird. They tried phoning me and were not able to get hold of me at the time. They then decided to wait inside the car. For 4 hours they sat inside the vehicle while the river were steadily rising because the tide were coming in. No effort were made to use the supplied max tracks and shovel to free the vehicle. I illustrated to them how to use the max tracks in person.
Muddy water filled the vehicle on the driver and left back side and eventually filled the whole inside of the vehicle. The whole vehicle were flooded with black bad smelling, muddy water.
They managed to contact a tow truck which eventually freed them from the muddy bank. By this time the back side of the vehicle was submerged in water up to the brake light level.
They then drove at speeds exceeding 50Kmh on the inland track back to Eurong. When I confronted them about the dangerous driving they said that they tried to keep up with the tow truck because they were scared and did not have phone reception etc.
I looked at trips they did on the Island a few days later and found them driving on inland tracks at speeds up to 65Kmh and on beaches over 95Kmh. This just indicates that they were reckless and did not bother to obey the rules stipulated in the contract.
The whole incident were caused by negligence and blatant stupidity. To blame it all on not having experience is not an excuse.
Speeding on Beach and Inland track
We don’t allow traveling on Northern Road Fraser Island. This road is notoriously bad littered with muddy water crossings and river crossings.
Please do not use this road if you are hiring a vehicle from us.
This restriction is also stipulated out in the policy documentation you will sign.
A week after above incident took place another client of ours ignored the rules as well, and drove in the same vicinity and also managed to get stuck in a mud pool.
They managed to free themselves with help from another vehicle though.
Fines were issued and hopefully lessons learned.
Please stay away from Northern Road unless you want to submerge your 4×4 in mud or water. We have had x 2 encounters in two weeks with client(s) not sticking to the rules and getting stuck in the mud pools.
Definitely not one of my recommended spots to visit on the Fraser Island.