It’s never easy deciding which trail you’re going to spend your hard-earned annual leave tackling, especially in a country like ours where you’re spoilt for choice. Maybe you’re new to 4WDing and aren’t sure which track to do first, or maybe you’ve been off-road more times than you can count and are keen to revisit some of the places that gave you amazing memories for Round 2. (After all, if Roothy’s doing it, why can’t you?) Here’s 5 off-road options to get you started.
There’s something iconic about travelling through the vast Australian outback, traversing enormous distances and leaving nothing but tyre tracks in your wake. A good way to start is by choosing a route according to your level of experience: here’s a few of our favourites in order of difficulty. Every experienced 4WDer has an outback story so why not get out there this year and create your own story to share around the campfire?
If you’re on the west side of the continent and haven’t done the Gibb River Road yet, make 2015 the year you finally travel on it. According to 4WD Action’s Graham Cahill, “It’s got everything – river crossings, endless corrugations, stunning scenery and isolated, pristine campsites.” What more could you ask for? No wonder this is one of Australia’s most iconic 4WD routes!
Off-roading isn’t always about desert heat and flooding your cab with muddy river water though. If you’re after a laidback, relaxed getaway with beautiful scenery, it’s hard to beat the Eyre Peninsula in SA. Coffin Bay National Park has great swimming, fishing and scenery for downtime outside your 4WD and some great tracks offering up rugged rocks and sand dunes along Seven Mile Beach.
Image thanks to Swiss Nomads
The iconic Blue Rag Range Track in the Victorian High Country is a must-do: not only is the steep rocky climb a real challenge to your skills, it also gives you incredible panoramic views that are well worth the hairy moments. Don’t be shy to ask your passengers to spot for you; chances are they’ll want to get out anyway to take some photos!
For something that will excite the kids after hours in the car, it’s pretty hard to beat dinosaurs. Winton is home to the Age of Dinosaurs museum with real dinosaur fossils and Lark Quarry, where you’ll see the world’s only known fossilised proof of a dinosaur stampede. You’ll be travelling through real outback Queensland and driving along the Diamantina River for a true 4X4 treat.
Wherever you decide to go, make sure you’ve got the right tyres for the trail – it’ll save you a lot of hassle and stress if you go through your trip without having a flat.
For the soft stuff, you’ll need something with a less open tread pattern for sand driving like our HT3 or AT3 so the tyres don’t dig in. If you’re tackling harsh gibber, sharp rocks or spinifex-laden plains, you’ll need something more aggressive like our S/TMAXX and STT. And if you plan to tow a caravan or trailer, make sure you get light truck construction tyres that can hold up the extra weight. (As a plus, they’ll usually have deeper treads that will give you extra mileage!)
Don’t forget the Cooper difference here, which is that our tyres’ sidewalls can handle the stress of going down to the low pressures you need for off-roading without any problems. Call 1300 COOPER or contact us if you need more information on selecting tyres to suit your lifestyle.