10 4WD Tracks Close to Melbourne That You Must Try!

Everyone and I mean everyone, from RV enthusiasts and newbies alike have other responsibilities aside from travelling or maintaining their RVs. You may have a business of your own or have a nine-to-five job, stress will ultimately bog you down especially if you are overworked. Naturally, as an owner of an RV, the first thing that comes to mind is to take a trip away from the city. You may be tired at work but going on an adventure will surely rid you of all the stress. 

Luckily, there are many places to go when you want to escape Melbourne CBD. You can drive to Philip Island to see penguins or to Wilsons Promontory National Park. However, for those who want to go away from tourists and connect with nature, there are many 4WD tracks to choose from.

So, here are 10 of the best tracks near Melbourne…

  • Lerderderg State Park
  • Wombat State Forest
  • Bunyip State Park
  • Toolangi State Forest
  • Mount Disappointment
  • Yarra Ranges
  • The Otways
  • Grampians National Park
  • Little Desert National Park
  • Alpine National Park

So before you continue, If your new to 4WD and offroading or are not sure what equipment to take out with you on your adventures, make sure to check out the Off Road Aussies Essential 4×4 Equipment List where I have taken the time to review and recommend the equipment I use. If you kit yourself out correctly you will be able to tackle everything that your new adventures will throw at you.

Lerderderg State Park

Location: 62km northwest of Melbourne

Difficulty: Easy to Hard
Track Length: 87km
Track Time: 2-3 days
Terrain: River & Dirt

The first and nearest place that RV enthusiasts can go to is Lerderderg State Park. Just an hour away from Melbourne, this park is a popular destination for off-road campers, campers, and rock climbers. This is a park that has a total area of 201.8km2 and houses the Lerderderg River across its main section. The park also has a mix of terrains including forested areas and gorges. 

The park’s 4×4 tracks are found in the northern part bordering Wombat State Forest. However, some tracks are closed from the middle of June to October. These tracks include: 

  • Amber Lane Track;
  • Lloyd Track;
  • XL Track; and
  • West No. 5 Track.

These tracks are perfect for off-roading because they are steep, muddy, and has many water crossings. These factors can make your experience very enjoyable for newbies and enthusiasts alike. While travelling these tracks, you can also witness the majestic views that the park offers including a view of the gorge itself. However, as the park is very close to Melbourne, it can get very crowded at times (especially during weekends).

You can find more information about Lerderderg State Park here.

Wombat State Forest

Location: 68.3km northwest of Melbourne

Difficulty: Easy to Moderate
Track Length: 100km
Track Time: 24 hours
Terrain: Muddy & Rivers

Located very close to the Lerderberg State Park, the Wombat State Forest is perfect for those who want to explore more areas without driving further. As for the park’s tracks, they range from easy to ludicrous. Expect for the difficult tracks to be even harder when the rain pours. 

The tracks used to be old forest tracks formed back in the logging days while some start as a decent road that could turn into a goat track. One of the tracks that you should go to is the Blue Gum Track. Although it can be challenging to pass through, it offers the best views of the park along the ridgeline. Other tracks that are also worth taking are the O’Briens Crossing and Firth Park (suitable for camper trailers). 

You can find more information about Wombat State Forest here.

Bunyip State Park

Location: 77km southeast of Melbourne

Difficulty: Easy to Hard
Track Length: 250km
Track Time: 5-6 days
Terrain: Muddy

If you want to test your skills to evade the stickiest and deepest mud, then you should head to Bunyip. Aside from muddy tracks, it also has rock sections. Some of the park’s notable tracks include the Black Snake Creek Road, Anderson Track, Gentle Annie, Western, and Bullock Link Tracks. However, you should plan your trip ahead because the park is closed between mid-June to November. 

You can find more information about Bunyip State Park here.

Toolangi State Forest

Location: 81km northeast of Melbourne

Difficulty: Easy to Moderate
Track Length: 10.8km
Track Time: 4-5 hours
Terrain: Muddy & Rocky

This park’s tracks are notable for being surrounded by towering Mountain Ash, bog holes that can be quite a hassle when you get stuck, and steep roads. There are two tracks that we recommend which include the Melba Highway and Marginal Road. The first track is better for those who seek for the best views in the park. On the other hand, Marginal Road is worth taking because of the numerous tracks that start from there.  

You can find more information about Toolangi State Forest here.

Mount Disappointment

Location: 84km northeast of Melbourne

Difficulty: Easy to Moderate
Track Length: 40km
Track Time: 2 days
Terrain: Dirt, Muddy, Rocky and Sandy

Its name may lead you to think that the place is disappointing, but Mt. Disappointment boasts of a lot of great off-road tracks. The place is ideal for people who seek to do day trips or weekend getaways. Like other tracks in this list, Mt. Disappointment’s tracks are also seasonally closed. However, after a good amount of rain, the look of Strath Creek Falls improves considerably. 

For those who seek thrill-seeking tracks, you should take the Phone Track along with Quarry Road. 

You can find more information about Mount Disappointment here.

Yarra Ranges National Park

Location: 167km northeast of Melbourne

Difficulty: Easy to Moderate
Track Length: 21.6
Track Time: 4-6 hours
Terrain: Dirt or Muddy

The area offers great tracks; however, you should be careful because there are a lot of log trucks plying its roads. The park also hosts Poweltown, an old timber settlement where many of the tracks are found. In addition, the Ada Tree (a 300-year old Mountain Ash) can also be seen when exploring the area. 

The Mississippi Track is arguably one of the most challenging tracks in the park. It is an extremely steep track that follows Starling Gap and Big Pats Creek. It is a joy to drive in when the weather is great, but when the rain pours, it is even more challenging to drive in. 

You can find more information about Yarra Ranges here.

The Otways (Great Otway National Park, Anglesea Heath, and Otway Forest Park)

Location: 200 km southwest of Melbourne

Difficulty: Easy
Track Length: 242km
Track Time: 2-3 days
Terrain: Sandy or Muddy

If you go to this park through the Great Ocean Road, you will have one of the most scenic coastal roads in the world. The park itself doesn’t disappoint because it is also very picturesque. The park is located near the Bass Strait, the Southern Ocean to the south, and the rugged terrain in the north. Aside from the beaches and forests, the Otways also has a lot of waterfalls, lakes, and campsites (on the beaches and forests it also has camper trailer access) which also offers breathtaking views. 

Like in Lerderderg, most of the park’s tracks are closed from June to November. However, when you’re driving through them, your long drive will pay off. The tracks are relatively straightforward and are perfect for those looking for a quick trip during the spring or autumn.

You can find more information about The Otways here.

Grampians National Park

Location: 260km west of Melbourne

Difficulty: Moderate to Hard
Track Length: 286km
Track Time: 3-5 days
Terrain: Sandy, Rocky, and Rivers

The park is at the top of the list for off-roaders, rock climbers, hikers, and cyclists. The park’s main attraction is the sandstone formations along with the lakes, waterfalls, and some rock-art sites. 

It is recommended that you explore the park in sections, starting from the western part. Aside from the astonishing views, the Grampians also has 10 campgrounds with vehicle access. Taking the Northern Grampians Road and going into Boroka Lookout is one of the highlights of many visitors’ trip. From the lookout, you can see the peaks of Mount William, the Wonderland ranges, and Halls Gap. After you have immersed yourself with the view, you can also dip into Mackenzie Falls or the adjacent Broken Falls Lookout.

You can find more information about Grampians National Park here.

Little Desert National Park

Location: 340km northwest of Melbourne

Difficulty: Moderate to Hard
Track Length: 600km
Track Time: 2-6 days
Terrain: Sandy

For those looking for desert adventures, then this park located around four hours’ drive west of Melbourne, is one of the most accessible. Aside from its sandy terrain, the park is also bordered by the Wimmera River. Due to the river’s moisture, river red gums are formed which is one of the most identifiable features of the park. The Little Desert National Park also has some sections of swamps after the occasional rain. 

The park also caters for those who prefer to camp on sites accessible via roads to those who prefer more remote sites in the desert. There are also numerous 4WD tracks that you can access when exploring the park. Due to its desert terrain, the tracks here are sandy and soft. Thus, you should drive a dual-range vehicle if you plan on exploring it fully. Another benefit of going to these tracks is that you can escape the crowds and immerse yourself in the desert. 

The best tracks that you should explore are the McCabes Hut, Salt Lake, Mallee, and Dahlenburgs, Broughtons-Sambells (which leads to the Broughtons Waterhole campground), Lawloit (offers views of the Sister Hills), Mt. Moffat (leads to its peak), and Jacobs. For those who want to tread on more challenging tracks, you should explore the western sections of the park. However, these great tracks are closed due to weather conditions and seasonal closures from June to October.

You can find more information about Little Desert National Park here.

Alpine National Park

Location: 400km northeast of Melbourne

Difficulty: Easy to Hard
Track Length: 140km
Track Time: 2-3 days
Terrain: Sandy

The Alpine is one of the largest national parks in Victoria sprawling across 6474km2 of forests. The main attraction of the park, however, is the track in Wonnangatta Valley and its historical campsite. By taking the Crooked River Road, you can follow the course of the Wonnangatta River which leads you to the Billy Goat Bluff Track (one of the steepest tracks in the park). The said track hosts the Pinnacles lookout which offers views of the Gippsland Lakes and Mt. Hotham. 

For those seeking seclusion, the Cynthia Range Track is perfect for you. By taking this track, you can pass by Talbotville – a mining ghost town (probably the most secluded part of the park). On the other hand, you can also visit the Grant Historic Mining Area before returning to the hustle of the city.

You can find more information about Alpine National Park here.

Related Questions

Can You Drive on Fire Trails?

Four-wheel-drives and trail bikes are welcome in NSW State forests, but please remember to stay on formed and mapped roads and trails. By staying on formed roads and driving with care, you also help to avoid damage and erosion on our road network.

Can You Ride Motorbikes in National Parks?

Unlicensed riders are not permitted to drive in parks and forests. Riders must be licenced, and bikes must be fully registered, as conditionally registered bikes are not allowed. Signs may prohibit or regulate driving on roads and in some parts of the parks or forests. Motocross is strictly not allowed  in parks and forests.

Are Fire Trails Public Roads?

Roads may be public roads, park roads, Ministerial roads and, in some cases, management trails. NPWS is not a roads authority.

Can You Camp Anywhere in A National Park?

The short answer is no, you can’t just park up where you feel like it to camp overnight, however you will find many designated areas throughout all states and territories of Australia that do allow free or low-cost camping. Usually, you will see specific signs stating that overnight camping is not allowed.

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