What is off-roading?
Among the common misconceptions about driving off-road is that you just drive anywhere you please. This is false. You can not, do not and should not do that. Outside of specially designated terrain areas and off highway vehicle places such as sand roads and paths, are where you stick too. This helps protect the delicate environment you are traveling through, where the trail is what makes it possible for the 4 wheel drive to pass.
That is not to say that driving down a marked trail will not be tough and dangerous and, because your 4×4 permits you to cover big distances with relative ease, you will quickly end up a long way from aid, possibly without the capability to communicate with the external world.
Driving off road is its own different skill set, sitting in traffic won’t prepare experience. You have to have the ability to exercise precise control of your vehicle in a range of tricky, always changing terrain. Having the knowledge and tools to recover the car if that’s trapped, rolled, or otherwise stuck.
The only way to develop the skills necessary would be to practice them. The best method to do so is to start small. Buy a cheap, old 4×4, with an ironman 4×4 bullbar and drive with it in a controlled situation in the presence of experienced drivers in 4×4 wheel driving park. Simply driving your brand new 4 wheel drive out on an off-road trail is a recipe for a frustrating and quite pricey weekend. Neighborhood 4×4 clubs are extremely good places to discover like-minded, friendly people prepared to show new members the ropes of travelling off-road with the latest 4×4 ironman products.
4×4 Wheel drives around Victoria
Victoria, a state which is known for its many charms and talents, allows you to take your adventure off road with a 4 wheel drive. Due to its small size and being tucked away in the small corner of the country, Victoria, remains one of the best untouched secrets of the country.
The Grampians Drive
If striking scenery, mountain and sea peaks are your thing, then pack up your outdoor equipment and head for the scenic views of Grampians National Park. Suitable camping grounds, walking trails, natural stone formations, famous waterfalls like MacKenzie Falls and panoramic view points create the Grampian Ranges for a nice weekend escape which is all just a couple of hours drive of Melbourne.
A great deal of well thought out 4WD trails make the Grampians a wonderful spot to get off road. The 286-kilometre trail is categorized as “Moderate” under the new recreational 4WD trail classification system and contains three major forces ranging from 30 to 136kms.
Regardless of been known as Victoria’s driest area, the Mallee area is one of Victoria’s best-kept secrets. You will find a vast range of native birds, kangaroos, emus and organic forests to satisfy nature fans. At the conclusion of a lengthy driveway, pitch a tent by the dry creek bed, bask in the warmth of a crackling fire and enormous bulk of celebrities that only show themselves if you are truly in the midst of nowhere.
The off road in the Mallee area stretches 126 – 286kms, but the drive is well worth the time.
Snowy River Drive
Set aside at least two to three days to genuinely delve into the heart of the Snowy River country and experience its deep gorges, waterfalls and magnificent scenery. Spend the nights springing up in the vast skies and breathe in the sweet mountain air via the Webasto sunroof in one of the many tranquil riverside campsites.
The drive is categorized as ‘hard’ under the Recreational Track Classification system, however if you are not up to the challenging drive don’t let this put you off. There are lots of angling and tricks to perform. If you are aware of how to handle challenging roads there are three drives to choose from, ranging from 43 to 151kms. Visit some well-known landmarks like McKillop Bridge, the 80-metre top Errindundra Shining Gum or the limestone underground grandeur of the Buchan Caves.
Discover Victoria’s high country like never before, with panoramic views of the Alpine National Park. Navigate the mountain trails and enjoy cliff-top lookouts at the perfect fusion of character and historical sites. Allow two to three times to completely discover the ‘Victorian Alps’ landscape, complete with old mining towns and cattleman huts left from the historic gold rush days.
Not for the faint hearted, the 222-kilometre loop has been categorized as ‘Very Difficult’ under the Recreational Track Classification system. For the seasoned off-roader though this usually means a lot of fun. The unsealed paths, with drops filled with water, river crossings, hills and dunes are all part of the journey while enjoying your multimedia installation providing the latest tunes for a great ride. The scenery is also some of the best Australia has to offer.