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First offroad trip (North Stradbroke Island)

Discussion in 'Information For Newbies' started by Jo., Jun 15, 2017.

  1. Jo.

    Jo. New Member

    Hi everyone,

    Anyone wants to help out a newbie :)?
    My girlfriend and I would like to visit North Stradbroke Island (Point Lookout) for a few days in our Ford Escape 2010 and drive over the two easy tracks that are there. We would like to go Friday June 16 till Tuesday June 20. We were thinking about visiting Moreton Island as well for a couple of days but I saw the tracks at Mooreton are rated moderate so probably it is not so smart to go there without any experience.
    We already have bought a few things: solar powered USB power bank, first aid kid, shove, tarp, rope, toilet paper, gas cookers with a few cans which makes starting a fire a lot easier ;) and of course a water tank (23 L) so we won't dry and die in a few days if we get seriously stuck. I have read a few posts about other stuff to buy, but we don't have a lot of room in our car due to other camping gear plus I wonder if this gear is a necessities for the relatively easy trip we would like to do.
    I have no experience driving on a sand road or on a beach, any help with that would be appreciated as well. Someone told me to lower the air pressure of all tires and maintain speed, about 20 km/h, in low gear. But I get a different impression from the Ford manual so I am not sure what to do.
    My questions are summed up below, hopefully anyone has some good info on it.


    So my questions are:
    1. I found that a permit is required to drive on the beaches of North Stradbroke Island but if I am correct that permit is only valid for North Stradbroke Island?
    2. There have been some showers this week so the sand roads should be easier to drive on, right?
    3. How many days would you spend on North Stradbroke Island?
    4. Would it be wise for someone without experience, like my girlfriend and me, drive on Moreton Island and how long does it take to get a permit (or would it be possible to buy one in person somewhere directly)?
    5. Any recommendations on what gear we really need for a relative easy trip on North Stradbroke Island?
    6. And last but not least, when driving over sand roads would it be best to:
      1. Let out air pressure (how much?) or not?
      2. Set it in high gear (we can choose Low, High or Drive) and keep it going in a steady pace, what speed would be recommended?
      3. Enable the 4x4 lock mode (I think so, but just to make sure)?
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2017
  2. Toddyh

    Toddyh Well-Known Member

    Answers to the above:
    1. Yes permit is for Straddie only. You will need a camping permit too.
    2. Generally yes but no guarantee.
    3. We spent about 5 and that was probably enough.
    4. Can't help you there.
    5. 2 things that will help most on sand are a tyre deflator and an air compressor. Number 3 would be Maxtrax and a snatch strap with a couple of rated shackles.
    6. We dropped to about 15psi and had no troubles on the island. Gearing will depend on conditions. The softer it is the lower your tyre pressures should be and adjust gearing to suit. Yes 4x4 Lock.

    Check out this for some ideas of what to see and do

    Also check that an Escape is even allowed on the island. They are pretty strict on a 4wd with low range now.
    Wang likes this.
  3. stevemc181

    stevemc181 Well-Known Member

  4. mikehzz

    mikehzz Well-Known Member

    That's a rubbish car manual. Avoid letting the tyres down and avoid momentum on sand??? Low tyre pressure and a bit of momentum is the only thing that will get you through some soft sand.
    Anyway, I don't think they will allow a Ford Escape onto the island's recreation areas anymore. If you are driving a less capable car then you really need to be an experienced 4wder to make up for the lack of ability in the car. Why not go for a run along the beach at Bribie Island as a learning experience?
  5. Jo.

    Jo. New Member

    Thanks guys for all the helpful links, tips and information! They indeed do not give a permit to a Ford Escape. It is indeed a good idea to learn more instead of just go for it and get bogged, or worse...
    oldlux and Bomber2012 like this.

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