This post is brought to you in partnership with Land Rover, who specialise in on-road experiences.
Weekend warriors in search of adventure travel more often than not turn to their trusty four-wheel drive or a four-wheel drive tour for a slice of off-road action. Whether it’s a quick daytrip or a slower-paced camping sojourn, there are many exciting spots throughout Victoria where many weekend travellers exert their four-wheel prowess. Not only are travellers are rewarded with the sights of Victoria’s lush natural beauty, they also discover pristine regions that are caught in time. Here is a slice of some of those top weekend four-wheel drive spots where you can unleash your weekend escapades.
Get closer to nature and local indigenous culture in The Grampians
The Grampians National Park is one four-wheel driver spot where drivers can really act out their weekend adventure travel pursuits. Vehicles will feel at home in the the expanse of tranquil ranges, and there are outlook platforms scattered throughout the region to make any tea-break a captivating and panoramic one. Within the Grampians National Park, drive among rock formations to arrive at stunning waterfalls such as the plunging McKenzie Falls. Or, partake in a peaceful picnic grounds where a nature walk can stretch the legs. Discover the local indigenous culture by heading to Billimina Shelter where you’ll find impressive Aboriginal rock art. The nearby township of Mafeking gives weekend road warriors a history lesson into the area’s gold-rush days.
Explore the stuff of legend in Snowy River country
The Snowy River region is the stuff of legend and made famous by Banjo Paterson’s epic poem. Word definitely got around about this place and has lingered ever since. Men on horseback are now taking the journey through deep gorges via their trusty four-wheel drive. Dense forests and beautiful waterfalls also await those drivers. This is the most challenging trip on the list and it’s recommended that you take a few days, like a long weekend, to fully enjoy the journey. Watch the stars from your riverside camp site by night then discover the limestone formations of Buchan Caves Best or swim in spring-fed pools during the daylight hours. A descent into Snowy River Valley is also another highlight of the area, as the four-wheel driving adventure passes through Little River Falls and Victoria’s deepest gorge, Little River Gorge. McKillop Bridge is another stand-out spot on the journey. Vehicles can be parked along the way for a walk through Ash Saddle Walk and Tulloch Ard Gorge provides stunning views. For a lovely picnic spot, head for an 80-metre high Errinundra Shining Gum aptly named The Big Tree.
Head for the outback into the Mallee
The outback exudes all that is good about getting into a four-wheel drive and taking off in a barrel of red dust. Victoria’s outback gives many travellers a timeless landscape within which they can fulfil their four-wheel drive urges, such as in the Mallee. There are sand dunes and pink lakes to explore, not to mention meandering plains that run into Wyperfeld or Murray-Sunset national park, dry lakebeds and flood plains. For four-wheel drive enthusiasts who enjoy the nature, then birdlife, kangaroos, emus and gorgeous wildflowers await. Many who decide to stay out in the Mallee for longer and camp overnight, then a wander through native woodland or kicking back for a kaleidoscopic star-gazing opportunity are the rewards. There are also impressive lookouts to encounter, such as Mt Crozier or O’Sullivans.
A seaside adventure into The Otways
Victoria’s iconic Great Ocean Road attracts the masses, whether be interstate or overseas. The Great Ocean Road promises windswept seascapes and views of The 12 Apostles, though the real thrill for four-wheel drive enthusiasts lies more inland. A four-wheel drive along the Otways coast brings many to the various attractions within and offers an easy-going four-wheel drive trip. There are off-roads to explore from Anglesea, and take four-wheel drivers mountain ash forests and lush fern gullies that punctuate the Great Otway National Park. There is an ancient rainforest at Maits Rest, leading on to the glistening Erskine Falls. Four-wheel drivers can choose to stop a rainforest walk to Triplet Falls. On the return home, some will find Australia’s oldest mainland lighthouse at Cape Otway. Seaside villages such as Lorne and Apollo Bay give drivers ample excuse for a well-earned refuelling pit-stop.
Do you imagine yourself heading for the dunes of the Mallee or into the depths of The Otways’ rainforests but your current mode of transport is letting you down? Land Rover is now taking bookings for test drives on their website.
Remember: Before embarking on any four-wheel drive trip, research the conditions, weather and your own skill level as part of your planning, and opt to travel with other drivers or a club for support and safety.