If you own a 4WD, there's no shortage of terrain that you can traverse in Australia. Rainforests, beaches, and rocky cliffs make up some of the environments that you'll be able to explore with a capable 4WD at your disposal. But with all of the options available, it can be hard to narrow the must-see trips down. In this post, we've done that for you.
Presented here are the 6 trips that come up over and over again when people talk about their favourite Australian 4WD road trips. The trips are listed in order by their total distance. For each one, we'll tell you a little bit about what you can expect to see and give you a heads up on any tips that might make your drive more pleasurable.
Southwest of Melbourne, along the rocky shores, you'll find Great Ocean Road. This 250 km ride spans the entire Victorian coast. As you make your way from Torquay to Warrnambool, you'll encounter rainforests, colourful cliffs, scenic coastlines, and shipwrecks. Of course, we must not forget the famous 12 Apostles.
Although you can go the opposite direction, from Warrnambool to Torquay, starting the drive from Torquay puts your vehicle on the same side as the ocean, giving easier access to stop and see the sights or to take an off-road excursion. Because this trip hugs the coastline, be sure to plan it when the weather will allow you to enjoy some time on the beach.
Click on the image of the map to open this destination in Google Maps.
If you are looking for a trip that will be worthwhile any time of the year, then the 500 km Great Alpine Road should be high on your list. In the winter, you can experience the shimmering mountaintops of the Victorian Alps. When the weather is warmer, the lush foliage of the rainforests will provide you with excellent scenery.
Regardless of when you choose to go, Great Alpine Road will deliver on an enjoyable and adventurous drive. If you are making your way out there in the winter, however, you'll want to make sure you've brought chains for your tires. Also, be sure to start with a full petrol tank as there could be long stretches of road without a place to fill up.
This 660 km path through Kimberley is a major attraction for the area. Kimberley is known for beautiful scenery, such as colourful ranges, powerful waterfalls, and ancient gorges. Gibb River Road will take you through all of this scenery and more. While you are making your way through the area, be sure to check out the Aboriginal settlement of Kalumburu.
To get the most out of your adventure, you should plan on spending a minimum of three days on the trip and take it between May and September. Be sure to check the road conditions before heading out, especially if travelling outside of the recommended months, as the roads can sometimes be closed during the wet season. Petrol is expensive and not readily available in the area, so be sure to keep an eye on your fuel levels.
Connecting Norseman in Western Australia to Ceduna in Southern Australia, this legendary desert highway will provide you with a unique road trip experience. The 1256 km trip will take you across plans and beside sea cliffs as you gaze at the prolific and varied wildlife that make their home among its path.
This trip can take you to some very sealed-off and remote areas. Your 4WD will get a workout, so be sure to come prepared with plenty of fuel. Because of the extended amount of time that you will be spending outside of civilisation, you should also bring some food and drink for yourself.
Spanning 1420 km from Wiluna to Yulara, the Gunbarrel Highway is the option for you if you want to experience the most intense off-roading available on the list. This is not a trip you should make unless you are an experienced off-road driver. You'll be passing over wash-aways, corrugations, stone, and flood plains that are not suitable for first-time off-roaders.
With distances up to 489 km between fuel stops, you'll want to bring extra. This is another one where you'll want to bring your own food and water because you'll be in extremely isolated areas for large stretches of time. In addition, you should bring camping equipment as you'll need to make use of one of the many good sights for camping that can be found along the highway.
Since the road passes through Aboriginal land, you'll need to obtain permits from the Ngaanyatjarra Council. Be sure to note that Jackie Junction Road is on sacred land and not open to the public, regardless of permit.
At 3700 km, Savannah Way is the longest trip on our list. This sprawling adventure will take you from Cairns in North Queensland to Broome in Kimberley. Along the way, you'll be treated to every bit of terrain that Australian 4WD road trips have to offer. You'll see 15 national parks and five World Heritage sights. From plains to rainforests to beaches, you'll be presented with a large variety of sights to behold when you make your journey across Savannah way.
This trip will also put your 4WD to the test. There are alternative paths for 2WD vehicles, but on a list of 4WD trips, Savannah way surely stands out. There will be areas where petrol is hard to come by. Equally important, you will likely encounter large areas where no mobile service is available, so be sure to bring a radio to communicate with in case you have trouble.
There is a lot of technology that can make your exploratory road trips more enjoyable. You can take a video camera and document all of the trails that you travel and the sights that you see. You can bring a GPS to ensure that you are never lost. Certainly, you'll be bringing your phone so you can communicate if needed. All of these things can be made easier to access and operate with the use of high-quality mounts.
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