Finding somewhere to head off to and go 4WDing in Australia is never difficult, but with so many options across this country, some find the decision of where to go somewhat overwhelming. There are plenty of bush tracks in every state, but the following 10 destinations best showcase what Australia is all about in my opinion.

Kosciuszko National Park

The high country of southern NSW attracts tourists to its lovely alpine meadows, imposing mountain range country, icy streams and historic huts. Many tracks within the national park are now walking trails only, but some remain available for 4WDers during the touring season from November until June. Major Clews Trail and Geehi Walls Trail offer a moderate challenge and great camping in the south of the park, while Blue Waterholes Trail features scenic country and camps in the north.

Fraser Island

This popular sand-driving destination features beaches, great fishing, and attractive freshwater lakes. Sometimes challenging, the powdery tracks call for a capable 4WD and some driving experience. Lower tyre pressures are essential to tour the criss-crossing inland tracks and churned up beaches. A vehicle permit is required, and camping permits are best arranged in advance, as some camps are very busy and sites are allocated via internet or phone.

Arthur Pieman National Park

Tasmania’s wild north-west corner is a great escape for dedicated fishers and self-contained travellers. Secluded camping around Arthur River Township, and coastal tracks heading to Temma and beyond. Serious rigs can tackle the water logged Balfour Track, and soft roaders are OK for the Western Explorer Road. Check with rangers for permission to drive some sandy sections along the coast, and travel with others for safety reasons.

Canning Stock Route

One of the most difficult 4WD treks in Australia and best left until you have considerable offroad experience, a capable vehicle, and can travel with others similarly experienced. Demanding terrain will test you for almost 2000 kilometres of desert travel, with just one small community to break the long journey. You need to be fully self sufficient in terms of food, fuel, camping and vehicle repairs. It’s a very rewarding journey however, that will take the best part of two weeks plus travel to and from Western Australia. Effective communications and tyre repair gear essential.

Alpine National Park

Victoria’s Alpine National Park is a mecca for 4WDers during the warmer months. Beginner offroaders can visit Talbotville, Howqua Hills or the Wellington River. Experienced 4WDers have an enormous range of driving options including Wonnangatta, Blue Rag and Davies Plains. Steep rocky climbs and slippery rutted descents are just a couple of the challenges facing those who wish to explore this impressive mountain country. Dispersed bush camps are numerous, with some popular sites a little too busy over the peak holiday period for my liking.

Kakadu

A popular destination during The Dry (April – October), with 4WD tracks that vary from easy (Gunlom access) to difficult (Twin Falls access). Wildlife is abundant and the fishing productive, but be croc-wise in this frontier country. The Aboriginal artwork and culture is fascinating, and there are numerous bushwalks into the escarpment country. Camping possibilities are plentiful, and travel weary visitors can even arrange more glamorous accommodation.

Robe

Beach driving is not the exclusive domain of northern Australia – there are plenty of options down south. In fact, the beaches around Robe are equally attractive and challenging! Full-sized 4WDs with bagged tyres are required to take on the dunes and powdery sand of this area. Watch the tidal movements when driving these beaches (low tide is best) and always travel in company as boggings are likely, and another vehicle is useful to affect a snatch strap recovery.

Simpson Desert

Perhaps Australia’s most iconic desert, the Simpson is a magnet for adventurous 4WDers. The three or four days driving between Birdsville and Mount Dare will be etched in your memory for life. Some 1100 dunes stand between the two outposts and their lurching corrugated climbs will become a daily challenge. Full sized 4WDs and some experience is required by all in your party, together with sand flags, UHF radio and all of the food, fuel and water required for the journey. Summer time travel is prohibited and wood fire restrictions apply.

Anne Beadell Highway

Stretching more than 1300 kilometres across two states, the Anne Beadell is not just happened upon, and nor is it a highway in the traditional sense. Only well prepared 4WDers at the helm of a full size 4WD and issued with the necessary permits can tackle this trek. Corrugations will give your vehicle a hammering, but the desert scenery is outstanding. Relics (mostly replicas) from Len Beadell’s road crew remain, and a welcome roadhouse at Ilkurlka provides hot showers and some supplies. Carry a satellite phone or HF radio and tyre repair equipment.

Gibb River Road

The 700 kilometres separating Derby from Kununurra is wonderful touring country for 4WDers. Rather remote, but not especially demanding, the Gibb River Road dishes out some rough sections and a notable crossing of the Pentecost River, but nothing that a well driven 4WD can’t handle. Station stays and national park bush camps feature in the main, with countless gorges, waterfalls and swimming opportunities. There are some testing 4WD tracks off the main arterial for those still not satisfied.

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