› Off road Australia

Driving off road Australia…how much can you take?

You'll need to travel off road Australia to access many beautiful places. Sometimes, gravel roads will be your shortest route…or your only route. Four wheel drive tracks will take you even further.

It’s okay to feel nervous about traveling off road. Not everyone is a four wheel drive enthusiast. You don’t have to be. As long as you’re prepared with a 4WD (+ accessories) and some off road equipment, you’ll be able to travel most places off road without too much trouble.

Highway 1 in the Northern Territory (part of the Savannah Way)

Going off road will allow you to:

  • Access many, many more places,
  • Drive some of the most scenic routes,
  • Choose from more campgrounds to stay in (if you have an off road trailer / caravan too), and
  • Drive loop roads which include gravel, or avoid driving to places ‘the long way around’.

How to define 'off road'

Unsealed roads

These roads make up the vast majority of off road Australia. They are often well-formed and graded throughout the year. Sometimes they are pot-holed and badly corrugated. Unfortunately you can’t tell the road conditions from a map.

So, while you might have a bumpy, uncomfortable ride – these roads are usually drive-able. Before you drive any unsealed road, you should always ask other travelers or locals for information, and check road reports online.

Four wheel drive tracks

These are the roads marked as “4WD only” on your map. Usually these roads are much tougher to drive than unsealed roads. Their condition is more varied, and they are often not passable in certain weather conditions.

Check carefully with locals before you drive (or tow) down these roads. It pays to ask a few people, and ask specific questions – because everyone sees things differently. For example:

  • What makes this road 4WD only?
  • Can I tow a camper trailer / caravan down it?
  • Are there water crossings? How deep?
  • Is it rocky? …sandy? …muddy?
  • Is it narrow?…steep?
  • When was the last time you drove it? What was the condition like?

If you are not comfortable with their answers, don’t drive the road. Or consider driving it with some friends. You will gain confidence as you drive more of these roads, but never do anything unless you think it is safe.

Here are some off road Australia gems waiting for you…

These are just a few of the incredible places you'll need a 4WD to access:

In Queensland:

Boodjamulla (Lawn Hill) National Park, QldA scenic rest stop on our hike in Boodjamulla (Lawn Hill) National Park, Qld.

In the Northern Territory:

Twin falls in Kakadu is only accessible by high-clearance 4WD.You need a high-clearance four wheel drive to access Twin Falls and other great spots in Kakadu National Park.

In Western Australia:

Mt Elizabeth Station, GIbb River Road, WA.A private watering hole at Mount Elizabeth Station...paradise all to ourselves.

In South Australia:

Dunes in Coffin Bay NP, SA.Coffin Bay National Park is mostly four-wheel drive territory, with sand dunes and rough tracks.

What next?

Of course – it is possible to see many parts of our incredible country entirely on bitumen. But I really think you’ll miss some of the best bits if you decide to avoid off road Australia altogether.

So, go get your 4WD vehicle and off road equipment ready…and away you go!

› Off road Australia