Challenging roads, rugged terrain, getting up close and personal with some of Australia’s wildest and most fascinating wildlife and landscapes – yep, nothing beats the feeling of setting out on unsealed roads and testing out just what your 4×4 vehicle can do. Whether you tend to enjoy a leisurely drive along some of Australia’s most beautiful highways, or you prefer something a little more challenging and rough, there are plenty of different 4×4 adventures to be had all around Western Australia. Simply take your pick.
Anne Beadell Highway
A 6-day trek through the heart of WA and into SA, The Anne Beadell Highway is a great option for mid to well-skilled drivers who already have a little previous driving experience on difficult terrain. You’ll drive through breathtaking scenery, as well as a number of important and interesting landmarks such as Emu Field (the first site on mainland Australia to have atomic bombs tested on it back in the early 50’s).
Start preparing in advance for this trip, as there are a number of permits you’ll have to apply for from a few different organisations before you set off. Leave yourself at least a couple of weeks to research into these, and to apply and receive your permit. ExploreOz has heaps of info on the Anne Beadell highway, including its history, information on which organisations you’ll need to contact for permits, and the best times of the year to drive the highway.
With diverse wildlife, huge range of landscapes and plenty of rugged terrain to get your motors running, the Kimberley is one of the most well-known and popular regions for those undertaking driving treks around Western Australia.
Whatever route you plot for yourself, a few key highlights in the area include Bell Gorge, Broome and The Mitchell Falls, so don’t miss out on these.
4WD-ing and Sandboarding
Here’s something a little different – If you prefer a little bit of extreme sporting with your driving adventure, you can hit the slopes and go sandboarding down one of many sand dunes in WA. Check out this company, which runs 4WD tours and sandboarding lessons all as part of one awesome package.
A few other things to consider:
Which 4×4 is best for your trip?
You’ll also need to assess the capability of your vehicle. As well as being completely roadworthy, recently serviced, and in peak working condition, it needs to be able to handle the road that you’ll be driving along. A sporty little SUV might be fine in the city and on the country roads, but mightn’t fare so well on extremely hilly, rocky, or steep terrain (not to mention extreme weather conditions). A vehicle with the capability of a Jeep Grand Cherokee, on the other hand, is well equipped to handle all kinds of landscapes, so you may want to consider a vehicle upgrade if you’re serious about making your 4×4 trip through WA worthwhile. Speak to people in the know about which 4WD might be the best option for your driving ambitions.
What’s your driving ability?
Remember that you can choose to drive these treks on your own, or as part of a tour, but be sure to always assess your own driving skill level accurately – those with less experience driving along off-road trails (trust us – it really is different to simply driving down a sealed highway) should consider easier trails, or join an organised trek, where you’ll have continued support and guidance along the way, as well as immediate help if you break down or get lost or stuck in an emergency situation.
Once you’re prepared, pack your supplies, load up the GPS, pop on your sunnies, Slip Slop Slap and get set to explore WA the way it was meant to be explored!
What are your favourite off-road driving trails and experiences around Australia?