There’s no easier way to plan your next 4WDing trip than by utilising the power of the internet. With so many off-roading resources covering everything from destinations to gear to technical how-to’s available on the web, there’s no excuse anymore for heading out unprepared. Here are six sites that we’ve found useful when it comes to planning and preparing for an off-road escape:
Pretty much any track you can think of is sure to have a dedicated listing on this national track database. Each track has a quick description of the terrain and challenges you might encounter, a difficulty rating, an estimate of the track’s length plus the all-important coordinates. Best of all, the website allows drivers to leave notes so you can see the latest update on the track you’re planning to try.
Our industry partners at HEMA Maps take their job seriously and frequently head out bush to take notes and keep their off-road maps up to date. (Check out 4WD Action’s DVD #228 to watch the boys from HEMA in action alongside Graham Cahill.) Benefit from their experience by checking out their location guides, trip reports and technical or preparation tips.
For a thorough tale of travelling the less accessible (for non-4WDers) parts of Australia, make this website your first stop. With detailed descriptions of each destination, down to information on the local attractions, camp sites and bush walks, the stories on this site are educational entertainment at its best. A great resource for anyone planning a trip to somewhere new and unfamiliar, as it’ll give you an idea of what to expect (and pack!).
Most good 4WD tracks are located within national parks. To ensure you don’t run afoul of the law at any stage, check the relevant state’s national park website for information on permits and the expected processing time for these so you can apply well before you leave home. You’ll also be able to find information on weather seasons, park closures, points of interest like Aboriginal art sites and walking trails. Find your state national park website here.
The local 4WD club’s forum is another excellent resource for information on track conditions, equipment to bring and tech talk. There’ll usually be a contact number so you can talk to someone local to the area you would like to visit, and some clubs also put up pictures from their recent trips so you can get an idea of what to expect on the trail.
This website is a great one-stop shop if you’re still trying to figure out where to go and when. With numerous blogs and articles on destinations across the country, you’re sure to find some inspiration for your next big drive here. There’s also weather and road conditions advice plus useful travel tips and alerts for when you’re on the road or about to leave home.
Last but not least, don’t forget to ensure that the right tyres are part of your rig’s set-up; let’s face it, you wouldn’t go rock climbing in thongs or jog wearing steel-capped boots. It’s the same principal with tyres. Give us a call on 1300 COOPER for some expert advice on the right tyres for you, or request a quote.