As anyone who manages to head offroad even occasionally will tell you, a decent 4WD and a will to explore are all you need to get out there and see places most people never dream of.
And if you’re a true offroad nut, then there really are few better places in the world to be based than Australia. What other country is home to landscapes as diverse as Cape York’s tropical beaches and jungles, the High Country’s frigid ridges, the Kimberley’s majestic contrasts and the stark beauty of the red centre?
It’s also worth remembering that there are mind blowing offroad destinations to be found on every continent on earth. While the logistics of going 4WDing overseas are certainly tricky, remember that nothing’s impossible if you want it enough – just look all the backpackers who make the pilgrimage to our shores each year.
Take a look at these epic offroad destinations from around the globe, and get inspired to tick a few of them off some day.
This 225km track runs from Bullhead City in Arizona to Newberry Springs in California, and was originally blazed by Mohave Native Americans. The desert track has been followed by European colonisers, Spanish explorers and generation after generation of offroad pilgrims, searching for their own truths in the desert. It’s tough, dry and dusty, and there’s plenty of wildlife to watch out for, but you’ll see a side of America you won’t find anywhere else.
Iceland’s the land of Viking mythology, the Northern Lights and the world’s most beautiful women – who knew it was also home to some epic 4WD destinations? The Golden Circle is a 300km loop from the capital of Reykyavik into central Iceland and back, visiting beautiful national parks, geothermal valleys and the famous Geysir and Strokkur geysers.
The gateway from Europe to North Africa and the Middle East, Morocco’s a meeting and melding of cultures. The Dades Valley is located 350km inland from the capital of Marrakesh, and is one of the most popular offroad destinations in the country. Plenty of tour operators offer daytrips from the capital to visit the surreal landscapes of the Dades Valley and nearby Atlas Mountains.
The UAE are one of the biggest markets for LandCruisers in the world, and for good reason as the terrain is tough out there! The Wadi spans UAE’s western plains, towards the border with Oman and is home to archaeological remains well over 100,000 years old! There is plenty of desertous dune driving to be done, so a reliable vehicle and knowledgeable guide are essential!
This 100km offroad alpine trail traverses Colorado’s San Juan Mountains and crosses two 3,600m passes. The track passes by several deserted ghost towns, and offers panoramic views reminiscent of Australia’s Victorian High Country. The trail is often closed over winter during bad weather.
WORDS BY PAT WILLIAMS