Offroading Trails in Australia
Australians live in the midst of the most gorgeous geography in the world. Although it’s not the trackless wastes it once was, there is still plenty of wilderness experience left out there for you and your family. Is there a better way to take in Australia’s abundant natural beauty than running a good track among the trees or outback? So take that holiday time you’ve been saving up and unwind along the route of a scenic adventure.
Landcruiser Mountain Park– Jimna, Queensland
This is a private wilderness park owned by a working cattle outfit about two hours northwest of Brisbane near Jimna. The park is specifically designed to accommodate off-roaders and bush campers on its 200-kilometre trail system. There are challenges for every expert, sections for beginners to build their confidence and something for every level of driver in between. There is plenty of variety in terrain and obstacle types scattered over the gullies and hills of the park and its creeks. The best thing about this place is its wide selection of grassy spots for laid-back creek side bush camping. Not only can you camp anywhere in the park while off-roading to your heart’s delight, there are also enthusiast gatherings and competition events frequently going on. You don’t have to give up entertainment just because you gave up city streets for a bit.
Fraser Northern Forests– Fraser Island, Queensland
Fraser Island, famous for white beaches and blue seas, has even more than that to offer with its gorgeous tracks through the Northern Forest. The old logging trails make for a spectacular trip through rugged terrain among the dense foliage. The island has a rich history and fantastic scenery, including the shipwreck of the SS Maheno, beached since 1935. There is an old commando-training base on the island to visit, also. One of the most recommended tracks through the island’s Northern Forests starts at Happy Valley on the central east coast of the island. This is a track for more experienced drivers, with deep ruts and lots of mud and roots along its 36-kilometre run through deep rain forest and a couple of different options for detours past lakes. The island is home to a great deal of wildlife, including dingoes roaming at large. Vehicle permits are required for access to Fraser Island, and four-wheel drive is required anywhere you go.
Flinders Range— South Australia
The Flinders is the largest mountain range in South Australia. Quorn, north of Port Augusta from the southern coast, is recommended as the most suitable launching pad for exploration into the Flinders Range. The Austral Hotel in Quorn has access to some private properties in the Flinders that have great four wheeling through some very rugged terrain and stunning scenery. The Arden Hills sheep station, just north of Quorn, has an abundant variety of off-road trails and camping opportunities. These trails can be intimidating for some folks and require a good set of skills, with water crossings and some heavy climbs along with ridge runs, amazing mountain views and some breath taking downhills. Further north is even more exploration, as the Flinders Range stretches for some 500 kilometres. Beyond Hawker, the old mining town of Blinman offers a glimpse into the history of the region. As you move north, the forests start to thin and you move into a more arid and rugged terrain. The tracks in the area are very challenging and will require some experience to get in and out.
Mount McCall Track– Tasmania
Mount McCall Track starts at the southern end of Lake Burbury, about 20 kilometres south of Queenstown. Starting at Darwin Dam, it runs for another 20 kilometres through Franklin-Gordon Wild Rivers National Park to Mount McCall. Along the way, there is Bird River, about 5 kilometres out of the way, with a camping and picnic area along with some good hiking out to a former town site. To continue past Bird River you will need to contact Parks and Wildlife in Queenstown to get the key and a permit to continue the track on to Mount McCall. After cresting McCall, the track turns down, dropping nearly a half-kilometre in elevation, ending at a campsite above the Franklin River. This track is one of the milder ones in this list, but requires the use of low-range gearing for the final descent towards the river. Once at the campsite, your family can access the river via the hiking trail down the side of the hill.
This route is a great day trip, starting about 40 kilometres west of Canberra at Brindabella National Park and continuing for another 40 kilometres or so into Namadgi National Park. Along the way, you will top several mountain ridges for spectacular, wide-open views of the mountain terrain and beautiful forests. The road is rocky and narrow, so practice reasonable care. The difficulty level is not extreme but experience will be rewarded on such a rough and winding road. Bendora Dam offers beautiful scenery and picnic spots. Follow Mount Franklin Road to the Bimberri Wilderness and the end of the trail. Prepare to be cut short by locked gates during the winter through this section. Near the end of the trail is a somewhat challenging, rocky terrain to the top of the hill, where there is a radio site and some commanding views of the national park. Overall, this track isn’t too advanced, but it is advisable to take some tools along because of the rocks. My advice is as follows; should you decided to go on this particular track, that as a must you should install the rock sliders on your 4×4 truck.