Queensland, with its diverse climate and vast expanses of land, is home to some of the best 4WD tracks in Australia. There is some debate amongst local adventurers though as to which types of tracks reign supreme. With 13,347 km of coastline (including the many islands belonging to this sunshine state) and 226 national parks, there’s no shortage of driving space both on and off-road. The question is, what’s better for a 4WDing adventure? Bush or Beach?
We’ve listed some of the best 4WD tracks in Queensland for both bush and beach driving to help you decide.
Queensland’s Best Beach 4WD Trails
Just 2-3 hours north of Brisbane is the gorgeous Cooloola Coast and it’s home to one of the best beach 4wd tracks in Queensland. Following the Rainbow Beach route, you’ll find yourself just south of the famed Inskip Point. Well-known to 4WDing enthusiasts for it’s potential to get you bogged.
The Cooloola Coast covers some incredible areas and sights including the Teewah Coloured Sands, 20-meter high coloured sand cliffs. The propeller once belonging to the Cherry Venture cargo ship, washed ashore at Teewah beach and a popular tourist site. Adventuring along the Cooloola Coast you’ll also get to experience a range of natural, ecological and historical sites when you need to hop out of the 4WD and stretch your legs. Travelling along one of the beachside tracks you can experience the step back in time of Rainbow Beach. Here you can check out some of the local dolphins, whales and grey nurse sharks.
One of Queensland better-known islands, and just a short hour and a half’s drive north of the city, is Bribie Island. Ocean Beach, on the north-east side of the island, allows you to pitch a tent and make a weekend of the experience at the local camping area.
Bribie is perfect for a family 4WDing adventure with plenty of areas for the kids to explore. It is also a great vantage point for whale watching between July & October as the humpbacks make their way north. For history buffs, Bribie Island is home to “Fort Bribie” erected in the second World War and is free to explore.
One of the elements that make Bribie Island such a great place to visit in the 4WD is the opportunity to pick up a bit of speed. There’s a nice long stretch of beach open to 4WDs with a speed limit of up to 50km per hour for adventurers who like to feel the wind in their hair.
The Surfside on Moreton Island is 40km of wide, sandy beach open to 4WDs. Though to be fair the entirety of Moreton Island is a 4WDing dream! With no sealed roads, the only way to get around on this island is with an off-roading vehicle.
Moreton Island is home to over 70km of coastline and is perfectly set up to plan your 4WD journey. Including yellow distance markers set every 2km, and multiple ‘discovery drives’ to help you reach the main tourist spots. Check out the Tangalooma Wrecks, Mirapool Lagoon and Mt Tempest, the tallest vegetated sand dune in the southern hemisphere.
Moreton Island is also home to the Tangalooma Resort. Famous for its wild dolphin feeding sessions, and a great escape for anyone missing the creature comforts of home.
Queensland’s Best Bush 4WD Tracks
Mt Mee Forest Drive
Nestled within the D’Aguilar National Park lies the Mt Mee Forest Drive. This particular bush track is a great starting place for a new off-roading adventurer. With less intimidating inclines and terrains than that of the other tracks within the National Park. Just over an hours’ drive from Brisbane the Mt Mee Forest Drive makes for a great day trip. It is also home to campsites should you wish to also tackle some of the more difficult D’Aguilar tracks over the weekend.
This 16km long one-way track presents plenty of sightseeing opportunities along the way. This includes the falls lookout track, Mill rainforest walk and rocky hole track’s rock pools. The quaint Dayboro bakery is located at the entry point for some pre-trip carbs.
Condamine River Track
In the Southern Downs area of Queensland and right next to the NSW border lies Killarney and the Condamine River Track. One of the best 4wd tracks in Queensland is the Condamine River Track. It boasts 14 different river crossings as you make the journey. Before you head out make sure you’re stocked up on water crossing & recovery gear and have read up on how to perform a water crossing in your 4WD.
This 20km off-road trail is rife with hidden challenged from narrow and winding tracks to free wandering livestock and cattle grids. Also, make sure to check with the local authorities before attempting this trail. Recent rains can impact the depth of the crossings and cause localised flooding.
Just down the road from the Condamine River Track is the gorgeous Queen Mary Falls. Home to some incredible bush walks for that post-drive stretch.
Bellthorpe National Park
You’ll find Bellthorpe National Park west of the Glass House Mountains, just a 90-minute drive from Brisbane. Filled with steep inclines onto the mountain ridge and passing through dense forest, the 4WD tracks here are best built for more experienced 4WDing fans. Make sure to keep your wits about you if undertaking this off-roading adventure. The park is filled with ditches, washouts and can often be lined by horse riders as an extra obstacle.
Each step of the tracks within Bellthorpe National Park is marked with a difficulty rating. Making it easier for you to decide where to turn. There’s also the Stoney Creek day-use area if you need a bit of a rest between ascents or a pre-drive strategy session. The track takes approximately 2 hours to complete. So if you head out early enough there’s time for a couple of trips within the day.
So whether you’re after the wide-open space of an off-road beach drive or the challenge of a steep bush ascent there’s plenty of options to check out as some of Queensland’s best 4WD tracks.
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