If you are keen on leaving the bitumen to dirt, then these would be the most effective off-road riding tracks in Australia for you. Australia is something of a road-tripper’s fantasy. All you need to do is collect some friends, find a vehicle, make sure you have a dual battery and off you go. Along with the broad, open paved roads, Australia has some of the best off-road riding on the planet.
There are dozens and dozens of outback 4WD paths which lead you through distant deserts, rocky mountain ranges, and swaths of grassland, although not without an obstruction or two. Here’s a list of iconic Aussie off-road experiences which can leave your tyres caked in sand and possibly even some bragging rights to slip into your back pocket.
Canning Stock Route
Location: Wiluna to Halls Creek (WA)
It is famous as one of the planet’s most distant off-road paths, the Canning Stock Route features reward and challenge. After an old stock route, the trail follows a collection of wells once utilized to water livestock, and which now provides trekkers with a water resource. Do not expect to experience emergency or town service centers along the isolated route which crosses through many slopes (the Gibson Desert, Little Sandy Desert, and Great Sandy Desert) and Aboriginal traditional lands.
While solitude might become your priority, because services aren’t accessible, it is not a good idea to travel the Canning Stock Route alone. Travelling with a convoy of 2-4 vehicles is greatest, as the campsites and points of interest along this course are rather modest and are therefore easy to be overcrowded. Additionally, it is crucial to keep your eye on the weather a few weeks before you begin your trip as the northern reaches of this road can become impassable during the Wet, especially in the region surrounding the salt lakes.
Cape York Track / Old Telegraph Track
Location: Cooktown into Seisia (QLD)
The Cape York Track, also called the Old Telegraph Track, guides you through Australia’s tropical northern reaches. It used to be the area’s only line of communication, but now this trail includes numerous river crossings, like the Jardine River and Gunshot Creek, a few of which involve near-vertical exits. It is therefore critical to have all-terrain tyres and ironman suspension and be sure to assess for sturdy healing points before undertaking those crossings. You will find a number of swimming holes to enjoy, such as those at Fruit Bat Falls, Eliot Falls and Twin Falls. Several scenic stop-off points along the road include Old Laura Station, Lakefield National Park, Weipa, Thursday Island and Chili Beach. Even though the river crossings can make advancements on the Cape York Track somewhat slow occasionally, adopt the chance to get intimately familiar with Australia’s ‘Tip’.
Gibb River Road
Location: Kununurra into Derby (WA)
The Gibb River Road traces throughout the Kimberley area, rewarding you with secluded swimming holes, refreshing water gorges, quintessential outback landscapes and sprawling cattle stations. Make sure to permit time to appreciate points of interest like the drops at Mitchell Plateau and the coastal Aboriginal payoff of Kalumburu. Although this route is surely distant, its prevalence will make it a bit busy during the summit. To avoid an excess influx of travellers, you can travel from April to October, but make certain to call ahead to assess road conditions since they are sometimes closed during the rainy season that runs from December through March.
Location: Mt Dare (NT/SA border) to Timber Creek (NT)
This track is known for its diverse terrain because it courses through mountains, deserts and vast plains – make sure you have the hardiest tyres as they will need to withstand sandy slopes, soft riverbeds, jagged stone, bogs, bitumen and bulldust. The track was named after Bill Binns, a NT park ranger who served for 32 years. This trail takes you through the Simpson Desert into Alice Springs, on into the East MacDonnell Ranges and the fossicking haven of Gemtree. Soak up the historical offerings of Tennant Creek before heading into the cattle stations of Barra Country. Maintain weather conditions in mind before you travel and make sure you have a gps navigation for the car, as access through Gregory National Park is frequently limited from December through May.
Victorian High Country and Billy Goats Bluff
Location: Mansfield into Harrietville (VIC)
The Victorian High Country is a unique departure from outback driving. While hard, the area’s towering peaks feature panoramic views as you wind across mountainous ridgelines. You will see a variety of deserted mining towns to explore along the way which you are able to enjoy with an added car seat heater, an aspect of off-roading which offers a new outlook about the conveniences of a modern journey.
It gives you an appreciation for how easy life is today. When you proceed through the Victorian High Country and pass old gold towns that were bustling from the 1920s, however are abandoned now, it’s amazing simply to consider how they got their mining gear up there in the first place, as James Eling has said, an off-road enthusiast with all the 4X4 Earth Australia association. Be mindful that many sections of this area’s 4WD tracks are really steep. Billy Goats Bluff, is known as a particularly hairy track which directs vehicles 250 metres above sea level to 1480m over only 6km, over changing surface states.