Four-wheel driving is immensely popular, no doubt due to the excitement and adventure of exploring the unknown wilderness.
Indeed, off-roading can be a fun way to see the best the country has to offer. When you head out, don’t forget to pack the necessary provisions (think fly-netting to keep the insects away and plenty of fuel) and ensure you’re careful when driving at night due to the wildlife in many areas. There are a variety of great tracks to explore in Australia, so read on for four to test out on your next adventure.
Wonnangatta Drive, VIC
Set in the Victorian High Country, this track is classified as Very Difficult by Parks Victoria and travellers should have dual range tyres on their vehicles and bring their own water for this trip.
The track takes around two to three days to cover and includes highlights such as the Alpine National Park, the Wonnangatta Station site (the scene of a still unsolved murder mystery), the 1860s goldfield towns of Talbotville and Grant, the Guys and Howitt Huts that were built by cattlemen last century, and views of Bryce Gorge.
Old Telegraph Track, QLD
Winding its way up Cape York, the Old Telegraph Track follows the original telegraph line running through the Peninsula and is completed in two stages.
Again a very challenging course, the track is only accessible during the dry season, and includes lots of creek crossing, corrugations and washouts. Travellers will enjoy exploring both Heathlands and Jardine River National Parks as well as Twin and Eliot Falls and a variety of challenging creeks. Most of the creeks along the track contain clear, spring-fed water, so visitors don’t need to bring their own. However, they will need to arrange a camping permit though and can contact the Heathlands Rangers for assistance.
Sandy Cape Track, TAS
Known for its scenic beauty, the Sandy Cape Track is a challenging Tasmanian spot that the Parks & Wildlife Service in Tasmania rates as Hard.
Best traversed in summer, the track is suited to experienced drivers that enjoy beach driving, exploring deep water holes, and seeing historical Aboriginal landscapes. Visitors will need to obtain a permit and pay camping fees either online or at the Parks office at Arthur River.
Also note that due to the level of difficulty in the area, the Arthur-Pieman Conservation Area Management Plan has made it mandatory to travel in groups of a minimum two vehicles.
SkyTrek Track, SA
The Flinders Ranges in South Australia are perfect for four-wheel drive adventures, and the SkyTrek Track out of the Willow Springs Stations is an ideal option to add to the itinerary.
Located approximately 450km north of Adelaide, the Station has been run by the Reynolds family for over 80 years and offers stunning scenery. Costs to enter the track are $55 per vehicle and camping is available for $20 per night (contact the Willow Springs Stations to pay both of these fees).
SkyTrek takes around six hours to complete so needs to be started reasonably early in the day. It has been designed for those who want to ease their way into the adventure lifestyle by four-wheel drive, and offers some of the best views available of the Flinders Rangers as well as access to the Willow Springs Waterhole.
Although it’s great fun, four-wheel driving can be dangerous and some tracks should only be attempted by confident drivers. If you’re inexperienced but would still love to try your hand at it, you can join a four-wheel drive vehicle tour.