Shearwater is situated at the back of the Happy Valley township, about 300 meters from the beach. It is in a quiet location, backing on to scrub land within the dingo fence.
Shearwater is adjacent to the Fraser Island Retreat, about a 1 minute walk away. From the Retreat, you can hire linen, purchase from their range of food and alcohol, petrol, gas and diesel. There is also a bar and cafe/bistro selling coffee and meals.
Yes you do. The beach is the main road on the island, and all the inlnd tracks are on sand (which can get very loose when it is dry). It is very important to be aware of the tide times, with low tide being the best time to travel on the beach. Generally, it is safe, though not as easy, to drive on the beach 3 hours either side of low tide.
The shortest and most cost-effective transfer to the Island if you are coming up from the South, is from the bottom of the Island crossing from Inskip Point (just north of Rainbow Beach) to Hook Point on Fraser Island on the Manta Ray. Inskip point is about 15 mins north of Rainbow Beach (well sign posted). It is bitumen all the way to the Point, and then about 200m sand down to where the barge comes in. Just follow the tracks. It is highly advisable to let air out of your tyres, before you drive onto the sand. This short stretch of sand to the barge gets very dry, and even very experienced drivers will get bogged here if tyres remain inflated at bitumen driving levels. Check with your manufacturer for the recommended air pressure for your vehicle for driving on sand.
If you are travelling to Fraser Island from the North or west, it may be more suitable for you to catch the vehiclar ferry from River Heads, Hervey Bay, across to either Kingfisher Bay or Wanggoolba Creek. The Fraser Venture departs River Heads (20 minutes south of Hervey Bay) daily, landing at Wanggoolba Creek on the western side of Fraser Island. The ferry takes approx 30 minutes to cross the Bay. Wanggoolba Creek is directly opposite the township of Eurong on the eastern beach – a 40 minute commute. Alternatively, you can catch the Ferry to Kingfisher Bay. The commute from there to Eurong is about 1 hour 20mins depending how much traffic is on the inland roads.
Once you land on the island, turn right, following the tracks (and the other cars) going around Hook Point to 75-mile beach, which runs from that point up to Indian Head. Normal road rules apply, with maximum speed 80km an hour. This drops to 40km going past townships. The first township you will pass is Eurong (it is 34km north of the barge crossing and should take you about 35 – 40mins). Once you pass Eurong, continue north on the beach for another 20km and 25 minutes. About 10 minutes north of Eurong, you will come to Poyungan Rocks. A lot of the coffee rock on the beach is often exposed, and you may need to take the bypass road around the back of these rocks. Another 10 minutes north, and you will see a group of houses right on the beach at Yidney Rocks. At low tide you will be able to travel in front of Yidney, but at other times you will need to take the bypass road behind this small settlement. Happy Valley is only 400m north of Yidney. It is tucked up behind the dunes and is spread across two valleys. You will notice the 40km speed sign, and a big sign for Happy Valley at the base of the track into the Village. Drive up into Happy Valley, and the house is just past the Fraser Island Retreat on the left-hand side of the road. If you go too far, you will be back in the scrub on the road to Lake Garawongera.
There is a large supply of novels, books on Fraser Island and birds and fish, along with cards, board and other games for your enjoyment. Feel free to take any novels with you that you did not get around to finishing. And if there are any that you have brought with you and are finished with, we would love it if you left them on the book shelf to add to the collection. There are also buckets and spades and other sand toys to keep young family members entertained on the beach.