First off - Fraser is an awsome place - check out our photos in this thread - viewtopic.php?f=62&t=3289
These coments are from my one and only trip - I am by no means an expert
- what is our cheapest option for rental? that looks to be the major $$ outlay for the trip!
Dont know anthing about this - except there where a LOT of hire 4wds on Fraser - I remember one mob called Kookaburra - I'll have a look around to see if i can find any brocheres. Where do you want to hire from? Brisbane, hervey bay? etc. Our next door neighbour hired from Brisbane so I can ask him how much it cost.
I saw a few of these - http://www.bay4wd.com.au/
they looked the best condition cars so maybe not budget. Only advice I would ask is what is the procedure if they brake down!
- with kids, we don't enjoy packing up camp every night and moving, has anyone stayed somewhere and done day trips around?
Thats exactly what we did - our setup is too big to keep moving around. So this will have bearing where you stay I suppose. If you like to camp and then move around to see the sites - thats what fraser is perfect for.
- any campgrounds better for young kids? (2 yrs + 4 yr old)
I think any of the campgrounds with the dingo proof fences are the ones to go for (peace of mind with the kids). You can find them on the epa site. I cant remember exactly where (have to ask the wife) but there is a private camp ground near cathedral shops I think - we asked could we have a look through but the shop lady wouldnt let us cause the manager was on a break !! so I can t comment but I heard its nice. From looking at Dundeburra it looked good as mentioned above - from what i saw it is a bit of a walk to the beach but someone who has been there may comment on this.
I liked the look of Central Station - it was very quite but.... becuase its right in the middle its really rough to get anywhere - the inland track was really rough in some sections. So say you want to go to Eli creek. You have to drive over the rough track out and in all the time. Also the cicadars are VERY loud and there may be mossies - but very comfortable rain forest settings with good facilities ... you just dont wake up to the sound of the beach
We camped behind the dunes on the open beach so no fences.
Just some tips from what I found.
Take some Bushmans insect repelant! When it was still on the beach areas there where march flies (big suckas). As sson as you put on the bushmans they wouldnt touch you - i had some aerogard as well and it was useless. As sson as the breeze picked up the marchies where gone. We only had the marchies in the first 2 days as it was TOTALLY still behind the duens! (weird for the open ocean)
Look out for washouts on beach - little gutters with water flowing from land to ocean. Just slow down and you will get used to what to look for.
To start your trip - try and go for low tide to make it as easy as possible. You will learn to judge your outings with the tides - get a tide guide.
Do a little research and aske questions about driving in sand.
Let us know how you go!!