Australia's best off-road destinations
Posted by: Cal on 3/02/2014
Australia is packed full of rugged, unique and stunning off-road destinations just waiting to be discovered by 4WD enthusiasts. All you need is a vehicle, some sturdy all terrain tyres and a sense of adventure. If you're stuck on where to go, take a look at this line up of the best off-road adventures across the country.
Victorian High Country
If versatility is your top priority when you set out for an off-road adventure, the Victorian High Country has you covered. The area features hundreds of tracks winding through the tallest mountain ranges in Australia, and are perfect to traverse in the warmer months.
For a one-day drive the whole family can enjoy, try the Mansfield State Forest track that covers spectacular scenery panning the edge of Alpine National Park. This starts out easily enough, but becomes extremely steep along the track from Fry's Hut to Wren's Flat, so make sure your 4WD tyres are equipped to handle the terrain.
Another challenge can be found on the Deddick Trail, which features some of the steepest tracks in the Victorian High Country. It climbs from the McKillops Bridge to Bonang Road, with a steep drive about six kilometres in. After a while, the slope plunges back down 700 vertical metres to the New Country Creek Valley, before climbing back up 'The Staircase' to wooded plateau country. If you've made it this far unscathed, reward yourself with a rest at the camping area at Raymond Falls.
Those near the Alice Springs region should head to the West and East MacDonnell ranges for a plethora of 4WD tracks.
One hidden gem is Roma Gorge, which doesn't feature on most maps. The hidden sign pointing to the area is only five kilometres past the Redbank Gorge turnoff, then up an 8.5km drive along a sandy and stony creek bed. Roma Gorge has some of the best rock carvings in Central Australia, so it's a must-see for anyone interested in our country's history and culture.
Try the East MacDonnells 4X4 route for an indepth look at Australia's past, with a visit to the Arltunga Crossroads where alluvial gold was discovered in 1887. The old gold mining buildings here are still in good condition, so make sure you stop and wander around to soak it all up.
Worimi National Park
New South Wales' Worimi National Park is significant for the Worimi people, with Aboriginal cultural connections to the land remaining strong today. Located near Newcastle, the area is owned by the local Worimi Aboriginal Community along with NSW National Parks.
The area is filled with bird watching, fishing and whale watching opportunities, plus plenty of places for you to test out your tyres with some beach driving. Head to the Stockton dunes for a taste of the indescribable - these are the largest dunes in the Southern Hemisphere and truly need to be seen to be believed.
While the Eyre Peninsula features many sealed roads suitable for standard cars, it's also got spectacular off-road tracks for 4WD drivers looking for a more unique experience.
Tackle the 800 km drive from Adelaide to the picturesque town of Ceduna, or cut things short with a 647 drive to Port Lincoln. This area offers sailing, kite surfing, sand dune driving and plenty of fishing, along with a range of sheltered beaches.
Oyster lovers should be sure to stop off in Cowell, which is an hour along from Whyalla, for a seafood taste sensation. Then head on to Tumby Bay for a relaxing swim in crystal blue waters.
Wherever you go, make sure you consider your tyre performance on those tough and turbulent off-road tracks to ensure you and your loved ones arrive safely.