Experience the ultimate outback adventure by road
Test your mettle on some of the most challenging and thrilling four wheel drive (4WD) tracks in the world, including the legendary Gibb River Road, and make the whole journey a memorable experience. Your off-road adventure will take you in the footsteps of pioneers to remote, untouched and iconic wilderness landscapes, passing plenty of kangaroos, emus, wedge-tailed eagles and ancient heritage sites along the way.
Epic stock routes
The Gibb River Road is one of the most famous and unique 4WD experiences in Australia, leading you 660 kilometres between Derby and Kununurra, through the heart of one of the last true wilderness areas on Earth. Accessible between May and October, your rest-stops include many of the Kimberley’s greatest treasures, from Bell Gorge and Windjana Gorge to El Questro Wilderness Park, the Cockburn Range and Home Valley Station.
The longest and most remote stock route on Earth, the Canning Stock Route is the ultimate outback test of endurance and skill for 4WD experts. Originally created in the early 1900s for Kimberley cattlemen to take their stock to the southern markets, it stretches more than 2,000 kilometres from Halls Creek in the Kimberley to Wiluna in the Goldfields.
For a cross-state adventure, hit the Gunbarrel Highway – considered to be one of Australia’s most challenging 4WD tracks. It traverses 1,400 kilometres of remote outback desert landscapes from Wiluna in the Goldfields, to Yulara in the Northern Territory.
Only experienced four wheel drivers at the helm of a reliable vehicle should tackle these drives. Extensive food, water and fuel supplies are needed, and a two-way radio transceiver is highly recommended.
Ultimate east-to-west journeys
The 3,699 kilometre Savannah Way begins in tropical North Queensland and leads you through the Northern Territory to Kununurra, the Kimberley wilderness and the exotic pearling port of Broome. The journey is peppered with world heritage-listed tropical savannahs, 15 flourishing national parks and iconic landmarks. You can travel on the sealed Great Northern Highway, taking in one of the most unique ranges on Earth, the Bungle Bungle Ranges, and Wolfe Creek Crater – the second largest meteorite crater in the world. Or for a real 4WD adventure, take the Gibb River Road through breathtaking gorge and cattle country.
Though recommended for four wheel drive vehicles, the Great Central Road is now graded to a standard suitable for two wheel drive vehicles and caravans. The track stretches more than 1,100 kilometres from Laverton in the Goldfields of WA, to Yulara in Australia’s Red Centre. Along the way you’ll encounter some great outback attractions, including the Petermann Ranges, Giles meteorological station, Giles Breakaway, Lake Throssell, Lake Yeo Nature Reserve, Beegull Waterhole and Caves, and Empress Spring.
Crossing the Nullarbor Plain on the Eyre Highway is widely regarded as one of Australia's great road journeys. Spanning the world’s largest limestone karst and featuring Australia’s longest straight road, it’s an epic 1,675-kilomtre drive from Ceduna in South Australia, to Norseman in Western Australia. Along the way, you can experience the sensation of literally standing on the edge of Australia, where the sheer cliffs of the Great Australian Bight drop hundreds of metres to the Southern Ocean.
Coastal driving adventures
To get close to nature at its most diverse and spectacular, take a 4WD adventure across untouched bushland, sweeping heathlands, huge sand dunes and sweeping beaches in Cape Le Grand National Park near Esperance, Francois Peron National Park and Dirk Hartog Island in World Heritage listed Shark Bay, or Cape Leveque north of Broome. Drive yourself, or join a four wheel drive tour from the nearest town.
The Warlu Way follows the path of the warlu, or Dreamtime sea serpent, as it traverses an ancient and sacred lands rich in natural beauty and enchanting Aboriginal stories. Beginning on the shores of the world’s largest fringing reef, Ningaloo, the Warlu Way leads you 2,480 kilometres from sapphire seas to the lush oases, soaring gorges, rugged ranges and ancient Aboriginal art of the North West region. Interpretive signage along the drive opens your eyes to the secrets of this country and its historical, cultural and natural wonders. Highlights along the way include Karijini National Park, Millstream Chichester, Burrup Peninsula, Cossack and Roebourne, Dampier Archipelago, Port Hedland, Marble Bar, Eighty Mile Beach and Broome.
Preparing for your journey
Permits may be required as some tracks pass through private properties. You can learn more about entry permits and apply for them online through the Department of Aboriginal Affairs.
Always inform someone of your travel plans before you begin your journey and make sure your vehicle is properly equipped with a comprehensive tool, puncture repair kit and first aid kit, as well as sufficient water, food and fuel. In the event of a breakdown, stay with your vehicle – it is easier to find than an individual.