10 4WD Tracks In South Australia You Must Visit

Living in South Australia is great! Mere minutes from most city centers, you can head out to the beach to surf or take a dip. If you want to see the mountains or the outback, there are also many places that you can go to.

We know that many of you are itching to escape the crowded cities (or your stressful workplace), but there are some things that you should prepare before starting your trip. Do a quick research about the permits or fees that you need to pay on the destination of your choice. If you want to go beach driving, avoid the high tide and know the tide times in the area. Most importantly, bring adequate supplies and recovery gear with you.

So here are some of the best tracks in South Australia…

  1. Flinders Ranges
  2. Ngarkat Conservation Park
  3. Canunda National Park
  4. Little Dip Conservation Park
  5. Coorong National Park
  6. Oodnadatta Track
  7. Arkaroola Wilderness Sanctuary
  8. Robe, SA
  9. Bendleby Ranges
  10. Colson Track

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.

Flinders Ranges

Location: 500 km north of Adelaide

Difficulty: Easy to Hard
Track Length: Varies
Track Time: Varies
Terrain: Mountainous, Sandy, Rocky, and Dirt

The diverse views found in the Flinders Range are described by some as unearthly. You can drive and reach the outback or take a different turn which leads to the spectacular beaches of the park. So, a 500 km trip from Adelaide will be worth it because you can explore the ranges, the outback, and the coastline. Its beauty is not its only draw for tourists, the area also hosts a lot of 4WD tracks that can satisfy even the most experienced enthusiasts. Aside from views of the varying landscapes, you will also encounter wild animals. The park has a significant population of kangaroos, emus, lizards, and eagles. 

You can have a choice between a mountain, beach, or desert driving in the park. If you chose to explore the outback, you will see waterholes, lakes, and historical sites dotted around the tracks. When you decide to explore the beaches of the Eyre Peninsula, you will find sand dunes and beaches that have the backdrop of towering cliffs. 

There are also a lot of amenities offered by the park. Some stations have self-drive tracks, bush camping, and accommodation for 4WD enthusiasts. Alpana Station even has private bathrooms, fire pits, and a hut for groups. The park has also opened a considerable amount of new tracks that you can explore.

You can find more information about Flinders Ranges on this page here.

Ngarkat Conservation Park

Location: 300 km east of Adelaide

Difficulty: Easy to Hard
Track Length:  Varies
Track Time: Varies
Terrain: Desert or Rocky

After driving for three hours, you’ll be greeted by the park’s massive sand dunes, heathlands, and mallee scrub. However, you’ll need to explore the desert only on cooler months because of the intense heat. You should plan your trip to fall from April to September to explore the park comfortably. The park has 11 campsites that offer amenities like caravan sites or 2WD access. 

As 4WD enthusiasts, the one that will pique your interest is Border Track. The track follows the border of Victoria or South Australia. The track is difficult and is connected to the Centre Track which leads you to the other tracks in the park. Border Track is perfect for those who want to explore the entirety of the park and experience true desert driving. 

Aside from driving, you can also explore Orchid Hike. By hiking through this trail, it will lead you to beautiful orchids and a pine forest. Other walking trails include Gosse Hill Hike and Mount Rescue Hike which offer amazing views of the low hills and vast spaces of the park. From Mount Rescue Hike, you can also take another track up north from Jimmys Well Track to Box Flat to camp under the stars. 

Important: Permits and other fees may be required before entry.

You can find more information about Ngarkat Conservation Park on this page here.

Canunda National Park

Location: 400 km southeast of Adelaide

Photo Credits

Difficulty: Easy to Moderate
Track Length: 65.77 km
Track Time: Varies
Terrain: Rocky and Sandy

The park might be a bit far from the city but the views of the beach and all the activities that you can do will make your trip memorable. In the park, you can drive on the beach, surf, camp, dive, bushwalk, and watch the sunset. You can also explore the nearby Little Dip Conservation Park but Canunda offers a more amazing terrain. The cliffs made of rugged limestone, massive rock stacks on the coastline, and bushland will make it a more interesting destination than the former. 

If you want to explore the sand dunes, head to the southern section of the park. You can also easily explore all the park because of its openness. The park’s campgrounds are scattered through the vast park. If you want to be alone and still have access to the beach, then you should camp at Number 2 Rocks. There is also a lagoon that can accommodate kids because the beaches have choppy waters. In addition, there are also nearby limestone headlands near the camp. You should also explore Cape Banks where a lighthouse is located.

The 4WD tracks in Canunda range from relatively easy to difficult. An important thing to do when you want to experience beach driving is to check the tide times as the tracks along beaches can be impassable. 

We recommend that you drive through Geltwood Beach as it will lead you to different sections of the park. While driving through the tracks, the view of the cliffs, sea stacks, and the waves from the ocean below can add to the excitement. The tracks can also lead you to rocky sections and soft sand hidden behind the sand dunes. If you continue, you’ll pass through mangroves and other coastal trees and clusters of coastal wattle. 

However, if you want to climb up sand dunes, the Bevilaqua Ford and Khyber Pass is the place to go. The dunes in these areas are very solid and are challenging to climb. Aside from driving, you can also try the hiking trails, spot sea birds, dolphins, seals, and whales, and dive in the coral reefs in the park.

You can find more information about Canunda National Park on this page here.

Little Dip Conservation Park

Location: 340 km southeast of Adelaide

Difficulty: Easy to Difficult
Track Length: Varies
Track Time: Varies
Terrain: Sandy and Rocky

This park is suitable for newbies to hone their driving skills and acclimate themselves with off-roading. Add that to the stunning views that you can enjoy while driving, then this can be a good weekend destination. You can explore the lagoons, throw your fishing rod at the beach, try bird spotting, or have a conversation near a bonfire. 

However, one thing to remember is to be careful when driving as the beach can get boggy and you will likely be stuck if you’re unable to avoid them. So, you should bring the appropriate gear for recovery or have another vehicle accompany you. As with other beach destinations, you should also schedule your drive to avoid high tide. 

You can find more information about Little Dip Conservation Park on this page here.

Coorong National Park

Location: 200 km southeast of Adelaide

Photo Credits

Difficulty: Easy  
Track Length: 65 km
Track Time: Varies
Terrain: Sandy 

The beaches at Coorong are for those who want to have a laid-back drive. As it is very easy to drive, newbies can practice on the park, especially the southern coastline. After you’re done, you can relax, have a picnic with your companions or fish on the beach. If luck is on your side you can even catch a salmon, mulloway, or gummy sharks.

Be mindful of the tides as driving at high tide can get tricky. Coorong also has a speed restriction that you must follow. If you want to spend the night at the park, there are numerous campsites that are marked along the tracks.

Plan your trip ahead of time because the beach is closed in the spring to protect the nests of hooded plovers. The only downside of the park, however, is it can get crowded because it is easily accessible. 

For bushwalkers, you should head to Godfreys Landing which is about 3 km long and takes one hour to finish. There are also other shorter trails that can get you to historical and natural sites in the park.

You can find more information about Coorong National Park on this page here.

Oodnadatta Track

Location: 825 km northwest of Adelaide

Difficulty: Easy to Moderate
Track Length: 620 km
Track Time: Varies
Terrain: Sandy

The tracks in this area might be easy to drive but you should be prepared because it passes through the Red Centre. Meaning, there will be no one to help you because you are in the middle of nowhere. 

Most visitors prefer to start at Maree and take the Birdsville Track. This track leads to the famous Blitz Truck. You can also stay at Maree Hotel which is a perfect spot to replenish yourself before heading into Hergott Springs.

Other sites to visit are Coward Springs, Strangways Historic Site, and Lake Eyre. Coward Springs must be your first stop because it is near a campsite. By visiting it, you can see Athel Pines that grew in a wetland. The campsites near the spring also offer amenities like toilets, showers and even camel tours. However, you will have to pay a fee. You can also engage in bushwalks or bird spotting as the area hosts various species of birds. 

If you want to take a more challenging track, then the most difficult track in the park is the one that leads to Lake Eyre. It might look beautiful and remote, but the site has a pub and a gas station where you can purchase more supplies to continue your journey.

You can find more information about Oodnadatta Track on this page here.

Arkaroola Wilderness Sanctuary

Location: 312 km north of Adelaide

Difficulty: Easy to Hard
Track Length: 43.73 km
Track Time: 2-3 hours
Terrain: Rocky and Muddy

The park is still part of the scenic Flinders Ranges and the mountains in the area are at the northern part of the range called Gammon Ranges. If you manage to stumble upon this place, you will see rolling hills along with towering mountains on all sides. Arkaroola will also make you pass through a dry riverbed. As a former waterway, large sections of the track are rocky, so you should drive carefully.

For places to stay, you have the option to rent a tent or opt for rooms with luxurious amenities like a bar and restaurant. If you want to be alone, you can camp at numerous campsites along the Arkaroola Creek. However, you should be prepared to camp out under the harsh sun as most of the camps offer little to no shade.

You can also visit the Bolla Bollana which is located near a camping ground. When you go a little further, you can also swim at the beautiful Nooldoonooldoona (that spelling though) Waterhole. Alternatively, you can also take the Ridge Top Tour which takes about 3 hours to complete. Another attraction is the Sillers Lookout which offers the best views of Arkaroola and Lake Frome. The site also offers tea and lamingtons to weary travellers that want to enjoy the view.

If you are a 4WD veteran and want the most difficult track in the park, you should head to the Echo Camp Back Track which the management describes as “extreme”. Driving through this track will take you to the rugged views of the surrounding ranges. The track will also let you see a variety of plants that come in many colors. If you want to cool down and swim, the track also passes through the Barraranna Gorge. This is a waterhole that is nestled in rock cliffs and is also located near the Paralana Hot Springs. However, you can’t swim in it because it’s radioactive! 

You can find more information about Arkaroola Wilderness Sanctuary on this page here.

Robe, SA

Location: 335 km southeast of Adelaide

Difficulty: Moderate to Hard
Track Length: 58.31
Track Time: 1-2 days
Terrain: Sandy, Gravel, Mud, Rocky, Water Crossings

The town of Robe is famous for its beaches. But its tracks are also attracting 4WD enthusiasts as it leads to many lakes and ends on the town’s shopping strip. The town’s entrance is not the best track in the area though. That honor belongs to the Limestone Coast which also has amazing natural environments. You can also explore the nearby Little Dip Conservation Park which also features beach 4WD tracks.

If you travelled with an RV, the best campsite to stay at is the Long Gully Campground. It can be accessed by camper trailers or caravans. But if you want to camp near the beach, the Old Man Lake, The Gums, and Stony Rise are your best options. The park’s campsites may be pretty, but they offer no food or water to visitors, so prepare them before coming here. There are however toilets and water tanks for plumbing. 

Driving on the beach requires you to lower your tyre pressure to 15-18 psi. It is easy to drive but being prepared does no harm. The tracks in the area are very famous for swallowing vehicles down to their chassis so you should look out for the boggy areas. To avoid being stuck, bring along recovery tools like shovels or travel with other people to help you when trouble comes.

Other activities that you can do in the area are fishing, beach walking, and swimming. Taking the Fresh Water Lake Walk will let you witness the views of the rugged coastline. Some trails lead to the Big Dip Lake or Lake Eliza where you can either swim or enjoy the view of Woakwine Range.

You can find more information about Robe, SA on this page here.

Bendleby Ranges

Location: 326 km north of Adelaide

Difficulty: Easy to Hard
Track Length: Varies
Track Time: 1-5 hours (can take days to explore all the tracks)
Terrain: Mountainous and Dirt

Still part of the scenic Flinders Ranges, the Bendleby Ranges is in the southern end of the range. The park has a variety of accommodations including cottages for groups or remote campsites dotted throughout the area. If you want to have toilets, hot showers, and a kitchen in the place you’re staying in, you should head to Gumdale. On the other hand, Casuarina Hill View and Sandalwood will let you stay away from crowds.

While driving the challenging tracks, you can see the views of Lake Frome or Wilpena Pound. You can also do other activities like bushwalking, bird spotting, and mountain biking in the park.

You can find more information about Bendleby Ranges on this page here.

Colson Track

Location: 1,344 km north of Adelaide

Difficulty: Moderate to Hard
Track Length: 336 km
Track Time: Varies (several days to complete)
Terrain: Dirt, Grass, and Sand

Colson Track is a remote route that you can take in the Simpson Desert. It is very far from civilization that travelling alone is not recommended. You can easily get stuck on a bog with no one to help you. However, the challenging climb to the tops of sand dunes is worth all of the track’s drawbacks. As the drive is difficult, you will also need a high clearance vehicle to navigate the track. Permits and entry fees must be taken care of first before making your journey across Aboriginal land.

You can find more information about Colson Trackon this page here.

Related Questions

What Beaches Can You Drive on In South Australia?

There are several beaches that you can legally drive on in South Australia. Here are the top areas to take your four-wheel drive for a cruise.

  • Silver Sands, Fleurieu Peninsula.
  • Vivonne Bay, Kangaroo Island.
  • Wanna Dunes, Eyre Peninsula.
  • Long Beach Robe, Limestone Coast.
  • Coorong National Park.

Can You Drive on Goolwa Beach?

Goolwa Beach is only an hour’s drive south of Adelaide, but driving on beach sand can be a trap for the unwary. Watch out that sand between those wheel tracks is not too high for the ground clearance of your vehicle. If so, it may pay to forge some new tracks; but you’ll need more power.

Can You Drive on Sellicks Beach?

Aldinga Beach is one of the few beaches in Adelaide you can drive on. … You can also drive on the beach at Sellicks Beach which is a continuation of Aldinga Beach to the South. You enter via the Sellicks Beach ramp and can drive North or South. If you drive South you can only drive about 500 metres.

Do You Need A 4-Wheel Drive Vehicle on Kangaroo Island?

Do I Need a 4 Wheel Drive on the Island? Quite simply you do not need a 4WD to explore what Kangaroo Island has to offer. Before hiring a vehicle on the mainland, please find out if you can take it on the ferry to Kangaroo Island as some companies have restrictions.

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