4WD beach scene exposes common mistake visitors make: 'Every time'

It's not unusual to see several vehicles bogged at once on the access road to the Bribie Island beach, and there's a reason why.

Famous for its beautiful coastal scenery and lush camping spots, Bribie Island has tourists and locals flock there in droves. But according to local man Rick Williams, there's a common mistake most visitors make.

Williams, who owns a towing service at the popular Queensland hotspot, says he's rushed to the aid of numerous travellers attempting to drive onto the famous 4WD beach in his 14 years of service because so often their vehicles get bogged before they even get there.

It's a problem many — particularly overseas tourists — don't expect to encounter based on picturesque imagery on social media showing a flat, sandy beach. But one woman who travelled there recently exposed the "reality" of visiting Bribie Island — showing where and how tourists go wrong.

Left: A wide flat section on Bribie Island. Right: Several vehicles bogged on the access road to beach at Bribie Island.
An Aussie woman highlighted the 'reality' of visiting Bribie Island in Queensland. Source: TikTok

Warning over common mistake on soft sand

"Every time at Bribie," wrote the woman named Sophie alongside a video shared on TikTok. The footage shows the pristine flat beach with the word "expectations" written across it, before flicking to the "reality".

In the video, the 2km access road leading to the beach was at a standstill, with almost every vehicle bogged in the soft white sand. Speaking to Yahoo News Australia, Williams said it's a pretty accurate depiction of what goes on, especially on weekends, and identified the key mistake most people make.

"You've got people who are novices who don't know about four-wheel-driving, they try and drive up the beach and go through there with 40 PSI in their tyres," he explained. "They should be dropping it right down to about 18psi."

"When you drop the tyre pressure down, it flattens the bottom of the tyre so you can roll across of the sand rather than ploughing your way through it," he added. He also said many attempt the track without a 4WD vehicle.

'Common scenario' at bust 4WD beach

A common scenario often leads to the scenes shown in the video. "A person gets bogged and then someone else will come along and say, 'I can get you out'. Then bang, they'll get bogged," WIlliams explained.

"Then someone will come along and say, 'Oh, I'm not waiting on these guys' and then they try to go around and they get bogged. So unless you really know what you're doing, you're not getting through."

Cars driving on the sandy beach access road on Bribie Island.
Rick Williams, who owns a towing company, said cars are often getting bogged driving along the access road to the beach at Bribie Island. Source: Rick Williams

Vistors warned against attempting sandy track

Signs along the access road state only 4WD vehicles are accepted, and while some ignore them entirely there's another reason they fall short. Williams said many visitors to Bribie are international tourists visiting Australia who hire vehicles on arrival — including two British girls who got bogged when Google Maps took them off course earlier this year.

So often they have "no idea what they're driving" or whether it's a suitable 4WD, Williams said. "They don't know, so they think they can and they just go," he said.

Posting on the TikTok video shared by visitor Sophie, many agreed with Williams' remark about the tyres, blaming it for people finding trouble.

"Good ole Bribie and the 40 PSI club," one mocked in the comments. "Deflate yo tires and you could do it in 2WD," another suggested.

Meanwhile another agreed, "nearly every day is like this".

Two woman standing next to white van that's bogged in sand on Bribie Island, Queensland.
Rick rescued two British girls who got bogged when Google Maps took them off course earlier this year. Source: Rick Williams

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