If the ideal holiday to you involves a 4WD and an off-the-beaten track that promises spectacular scenery that would make Instagram jealous, then this one’s for you.
Queensland holds close an abundance of beauty that will take your breath away. From natural cliff-hanging landscapes that form picturesque backdrops of lush green rainforests and endless blue water horizons of the Great Barrier Reef to contrasting terrains of red earth known as the Aussie Outback, there is so much to explore especially when you aren’t constrained to the main roads.
A 4WD adventure in Queensland is one not to be missed, and these top 4WD tracks in Queensland should be at the top of your list.
The track from Weipa to Cape York
The largest town of central and northern Cape York, Weipa makes for a great point to begin an epic 4WD adventure. It’s where you want to get a good night’s rest before heading up to The Tip.
Check in at the Albatross Bay Resort in Weipa for a delightful way to begin your journey north. The secluded waterfront will give you a sense of natural beauty, offering an experience where Outback Queensland meets the ocean. Promising exquisite dining with fresh, local produce and seafood followed by luxurious comfort, a night here will help recuperate all the energy you need for your upcoming 4WD adventure to Cape York.
A full load of grocery shopping, a fuel up and a check in at Tackle World Weipa for those fishing along the way is a must before you head north.
The journey begins.
Head for the Old Telegraph Track, which cuts through the inner bushland. There are some washouts and rocky parts along the way, so be prepared for some challenges ahead. Palm Creek has a steep entry and exit point into the creek, so be aware that some effort, innovation, and determination will be necessary to overcome this obstacle.
Bertie Creek is a great place to make a stop for a picnic, take a dip in the waters, or to even set up camp for the night. It has quiet rapids and crystal clear waters, with plenty of spots to set up camp.
Your next landmark on the Old Telegraph Track heading North will be Gunshot Creek. If you are experienced in 4WDs, you can take a shot at crossing the legendary Gunshot, or to avoid the trouble, take the chicken track on your left that assures your 4WD will remain intact.
Another iconic stop along your way is Fruit Bat Falls. It’s positioned at an aesthetic vantage point where the Old Telegraph Road crosses Bamaga Road. Set up a picnic and jump in for a swim as you admire the majestic waterfall cascading over the ledge into the shallow pool beneath.
Other highlights along the 4WD track from Weipa to Cape York include Logans Creek, which is also a good spot to camp the night, Roonga Point with beautiful blue waters and good fishing, Bamaga for stocking groceries and fuel, and Eliot and Twin Falls.
Other places to stop along the way include Logans Creek where you can camp the night, Roonga Point which promises blue waters and great fishing, Bamaga for some grocery shopping and refuelling, Eliot Falls where you can camp the night, and Twin Falls.
The final destination will be Pajinka, which is The Tip of Cape York. Park your car at the bottom and make the walk to the tip. If you’re lucky, the low tide will allow you to check out the shortcut via the headland on the sand, which also offers a spectacular view.
The Moreton Island North track
An average difficult rating that may require high ground clearance, your journey begins at Tangalooma, spanning across approximately 52 kilometres long.
The draw of the Moreton Island North track is in its beautiful haven of being a self-contained off-road adventure. Moreton Island is the third largest sand island in the world, making it a 4WD paradise for those looking for a bumpy ride.
Prepare ahead by organising a ferry pass, vehicle access permit and camping fees.
The beach access points have the softest sand, which means you’ll have to prepare yourself for unfortunate recovery situations. Driving along the beach is straightforward with the advice to avoid driving two hours before or after high tide.
If you’re looking for more adventure, you will find some major 4WD tracks around the northern end of the island that stray away from the beach run. Head to the northern end of Moreton Island to see the oldest lighthouse in Queensland. Southbound will bring you to the Blue Lagoon, which is a picture haven great for relaxing and swimming.
For those looking to explore on foot, check out the walking track to Mount Tempest off Middle Road. The walk will take you on top of the highest sand dune of Moreton Island at 280 metres where you can grab panoramic views of the whole island.
Swimming and fishing are common activities throughout the island. You can easily find bush camping zones and designated camping spots around as well.
The Lawn Hill Gorge track
Lawn Hill Gorge National Park (Boodjamulla National Park) is a 4WD paradise around 540 kilometres North West of Mount Isa. With deep red sandstone walls that drop into emerald waters, the views and landscape are astonishing.
Camping permits are required, and your camping tag and booking reference must be displayed at your campsite for reference.
It is a spectacular sight to see how the red earthy terrain of Outback Queensland is a distant reality from the dense forest oasis that surrounds Lawn Hill Gorge. The Riversleigh World Heritage Site can be found inside the national park, a fossil deposit dating back 25 million years ago, that is so impressive that David Attenborough referred to it as one of the world’s most important deposits.
The journey from Mount Isa to Lawn Hill Gorge is a long one, with both sealed and unsealed roads taking up approximately 9 hours long. Your 4WD and a lot of planning will come in handy, such as spare tyres, snacks, water, and a UHF radio in case of emergency.
Check yourself in at the Redearth Boutique Hotel for a night of luxurious comfort and dine to your heart’s content at the Rodeo Bar and Grill in Mount Isa before embarking upon your 4WD journey to Lawn Hill Gorge.
Banner image credit: Queensland.com