Five of the best 4WD fun parks in the land.
When you’re leaning on your shovel at the worksite or gazing out your office window fantasising about living out of the back of your fourby for weeks on end, where do you dream of?
For me, it’s usually the New South Wales far north coast. Warm water, endless beach runs and epic fishing. Plus it’s totally comfortable and acceptable to dress in nothing more than board shorts, wife beater and a pair of doable pluggers for most of the year.
I know plenty of others are fixated on the lush plains and swollen rivers of Cape York, while countless hearts belong to the outback. The problem with all of these stunning places is just how far they’re removed from most of our day-to-day realities.
The fact that we can’t just down tools and head to these places for a daytrip is how they manage to remain pristine and pure. But it’s little solace when we manage to score an RDO or half a weekend to ourselves and need to scratch the itch to get the wheels dirty.
In these situations, I really don’t think you can go past a visit to a good 4WD park. There are some absolutely first class offroad fun parks located around the country, and most of them within easy range of capital cities and major population centres.
While these spots may not be the once in a lifetime destinations you daydream about at work, they’re loads of fun, they keep your driving reflexes honed sharp and are way better than sitting around complaining that you don’t have the time to go 4WDing. Check out five of the best parks around the country and start planning a visit to your local facility on your next day off.
MANAR PARK, QLD
- One of the most popular 4WD facilities in the country, Manar Park also caters to trail bike riders and campers and is situated in the Burnett region.
- Home to approximately 230km of excellent quality graded and marked 4WD tracks, with options for everyone from the novice to expert driver.
- Download a PDF tracks guide from the Manar Park website to prepare and plan for your visit.
- Powered and unpowered sites are available at three campgrounds.
- Access fee of $45 per 4WD per day, plus camping fee of $30 per night for unpowered sites and $65 per night for powered sites applies.
LOVEDAY 4X4 PARK, SA
- Privately owned 4WD adventure park located two hours drive east of Adelaide and two hours west of Mildura.
- The park is set on 8000 acres and features 14km of Murray River front camping.
- A range of beginner friendly and more challenging tracks lace through the parks expansive Mallee scrub plains and stony hills.
- Access fees of $40 per vehicle per day apply, as well as camping fees of $60 per vehicle for the first night and $10 per vehicle for each night thereafter.
LEVUKA RAINFOREST RECREATION PARK, NSW
- Located two and a half hour’s drive from Brisbane, the park is positioned on the southwestern edge of the Scenic Rim.
- Medium level to challenging tracks crisscross the park, passing through rainforest sections and open farming country. Visitors have the opportunity to take on several creek crossings.
- A family rate of $30 per day applies, while the special weekend rate of $60 per vehicle allows camping and access to the park from Friday night through to Sunday afternoon.
THE SPRINGS 4X4 ADVENTURE PARK, QLD
- Located just south of Warwick on the New England Highway in the Granite Belt region of southeast Queensland.
- Tracks wind through 7000 acres of varied terrain.
- Camping is available in a secluded creek-side gully, equipped with modern amenities block.
- Daytrip access is available for $25 per 4WD per day, or $40 for one day’s access and one night camping.
EMU CREEK OFFROAD PARK, NSW
- This super challenging 4WD park is situated on the edge of the Clarence River valley and Tenterfield shire in northern New South Wales.
- Set on 4000 acres of land with many kilometres of 4WD tracks winding through hilly, varied terrain.
- Plenty of challenging rocky tracks and water crossings – billed as the birthplace of rock crawling in Australia!
- Fees of $10 per 4WD per day apply, as well as entry fees of $5 per person per day and camping fees of an additional $5 per person per day.
WORDS BY PAT WILLIAMS