The Gold Coast is home to world-renowned surfing spots, long beaches, and various amusement parks. These things are the reason why so many people flock to the city to experience all that it has to offer. So, the city and its beaches can be crowded especially during summer. As a resident of the city, we can understand if you feel like getting away from all the crowds and wander to see new sights.
Naturally, as an owner of an RV, you might want to explore new tracks or immerse yourself with nature’s beauty. There are locations in Queensland that have 4WD tracks that cater to everyone from beginners to experts. Before you go on your trip, check if the track is closed for the season or if the weather is great. Rain may make it more difficult to drive through some tracks, so newbies should not drive through them.
So, here is our best 12 4WD tracks near the Gold Coast…
- Scenic Rim Adventure Park
- Moreton Island National Park
- Mount Barney National Park
- Border Ranges National Park
- Condamine Gorge
- Conondale National Park
- Yuraygir National Park
- Sundown National Park
- Bindarri State Conservation Area
- Cooloola Recreation Area
- Limeburners Creek National Park
- Willi Willi National Park
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.
1. Scenic Rim Adventure Park
Location: 84.1km west of Gold Coast
Difficulty: Easy to Hard
Track Length: 20km
Track Time: 4 hours
Terrain: Hilly & Muddy
This is a private facility which has more than 20km of tracks that are scattered throughout the property. Other facilities include play areas, mountain bike tracks, bushwalking trails, fire pits, and warm showers.
The park is located near Mount Barney and offers a “back to basics” approach in their campsites. So, you need to bring your own supplies. In addition, the park is great for day trips because of its proximity to Gold Coast.
You can learn more about Scenic Rim Adventure Park By Going To This Website Here
2. Moreton Island National Park
Location: 105km northeast of Gold Coast
Track Length: 52km
Track Time: 1 day
Moreton island the world’s third-largest sand island. Naturally, you’ll need to ride a ferry to reach the island. However, you will need to secure a vehicle access permit and pay camping fees first before you can reach it. It may cause some hassle but get to the island is worth it.
The island’s tracks are almost entirely devoid of bitumen, so you will be exposed to a lot of sand driving. The sandy tracks are soft which will most likely create a recovery situation. The drive along the beach, on the other hand, is very straightforward. However, you should keep an eye for high tide.
You can reach most of the island’s attraction by taking the major tracks found on the island’s northern section. For example, the oldest lighthouse in Queensland is found in the northernmost end of the island. While down south you can reach the beautiful Blue Lagoon while taking the eastern beach. In the Middle Road, you can find the starting point for the walking track that leads to Mount Tempest, the highest sand dune on the island which stands at 280m. By reaching its highest point, you will be able to see a panoramic view of the whole island. Another attraction found in the Middle Road is the track that leads to The Desert. The place is also connected with the Rous Battery Walking Track that will lead to a World War II-era fort buried amongst the dunes.
If hiking is not your thing, you can fish or swim on all beaches on the island. There are also numerous bush camping and camping grounds located throughout the island.
You can learn more about Moreton Island National Park By Going To This Website Here
3. Mount Barney National Park
Location: 127km southwest of Gold Coast
Difficulty: Easy to Moderate
Track Length: 2-12km (a combination of driving and walking)
Track Time: 8 hours
With a unique look of a mountain that seems as it was carved out of granite, Mount Barney itself is worth the trip. The mountain is the second highest peak in Queensland and the park surrounding it has numerous 4WD tracks (they are quite short). These tracks can be used to explore the forests and scrublands of the park or as starting points for hiking.
The campground is quite challenging to reach because it is situated on a steep trail that is 3.7km long. There are also no facilities in the campsite that offers water or food. If you want to sleep on a more accessible campsite, then the Mount Barney Lodge is perfect because it can also accommodate caravans. After you’ve explored the park, head to Killarney as the area has more off-roading tracks and a supermarket and petrol station.
You can learn more about Mount Barney National Park By Going To This Website Here
4. Border Ranges National Park
Location: 154km southwest of Gold Coast
Track Length: 100km
Track Time: 2 days
Terrain: Mountains and Rainforests
The Border Ranges is perfect for those who want to go off-roading but don’t want to be bothered by overly difficult tracks. So, it’s the perfect destination for the whole family. The park is located quite near the city and is just over the New South Wales border. If you’ve finished exploring the park, you should check out Lamington National Park (a UNESCO world heritage site) which is just a couple of kilometres away.
To enjoy the best views in the park, you should take the Tweed Range Scenic Drive. It is 44km long and weaves along a dense rainforest. The track is not as difficult as the other tracks in this list and the average driver can finish the track in 4-5 hours.
Aside from views of the forest, the park also hosts a large population of marsupials, birds, snakes, and frogs. So, you can also do hiking, photography, and wildlife spotting.
You can learn more about Border Ranges National Park By Going To This Website Here
5. Condamine Gorge
Location: 177km east of Gold Coast
Track Length: 20km (Condamine Gorge Road) + 108km (other tracks)
Track Time: 40-50 minutes (Condamine Gorge Road)
Terrain: Rivers, Rocky Riverbeds, and Mountains
The main attraction in this area is the Condamine Gorge Road which crosses the river of the same name 14 times. The track is also located among the rugged mountains in both the Great Dividing Range and Scenic Rim. This means that you will witness beautiful views of waterfalls and mountains.
When the weather is great, the track is not difficult to traverse. When it rains, however, the road is practically impassable. The track’s water-smoothed rocks are also good for 4WD driving and it will lead you to gullies and eucalyptus forests that you should not miss.
Along the way, you will also pass by waterfalls like the Daggs Falls and Queen Mary Falls. The latter also has walking trails which also has a café and caravan park. On your return trip, you will drive by Carr’s Lookout which will enable you to see the region’s rainforests, mountain ranges, and farms.
You can learn more about Condamine Gorge By Going To This Website Here
6. Conondale National Park
Location: 192km northeast of Gold Coast
Track Length: 78km
Track Time: 12 hours
Terrain: Mountain & Grassy
The park’s Kenilworth track is relatively easy and loops through the whole park. If that is not your cup of tea, then more difficult 4WD tracks are found in the southern section near Jimna. The park is in the Conondale Range and it is covered with thick rainforests and dotted with creeks and tracks. The track may be more difficult to cross during or after a rain, so you should take alternate routes that will take you through lush valleys with eucalyptus forests along with some climbs and descents.
If you’re tired of driving, you can also visit the Gold Mine, Strangler Caim, Artists’ Cascades, Boolumba Falls, and Peters Creek. Another attraction is the Conondale Range Great Walk which is a multi-day hiking trip for experienced hikers. The numerous creeks and waterfalls are also worth a visit because of their clear blue waters that will surely relax anybody who’ll swim through it.
The park has four camping grounds located near the tracks. They are grassy, well-shaded, and located near Boolumba Creek.
You can learn more about Conondale National Park By Going To This Website Here
7. Yuraygir National Park
Location: 257km south of Gold Coast
Difficulty: Easy to Moderate
Track Length: 150km
Track Time: 2-5 days
Terrain: Grassy & Sand
The Yuraygir National Park is perfect for those who want to avoid crowds as the park is one of the least known locations in this list. It is located about 50km from Coffs Harbour and it’s only a 3 to 4-hour drive from Gold Coast. The park also has various terrains like cliffs, wetlands, rainforests, and lagoons among others.
Yuraygir is quite large so enthusiasts and beginners alike can enjoy the bush and beach tracks that couldn’t be explored in just one day. In addition, one of the most stunning campsites in the park is Pebbly Beach which can be reached through a 4WD track of the same name. However, it can only be accessed on low tides because the final creek is impassable when the tide is high. You should also pack necessities like water because plumbing and water access are lacking. But these tradeoffs would be worth it because you can do lots of activities like bushwalks, fishing, and sightseeing.
If you’re ready to move on, you can choose from the other 60 campsites scattered across the park.
You can learn more about Yuraygir National Park By Going To This Website Here
8. Sundown National Park
Location: 320km southwest of Gold Coast
Track Length: 70km
Track Time: 2 days-1 week
Terrain: Rocky, Steep Gorges, Rivers
For enthusiasts, this should be at the top of your lists. The Sundown National Park is made up of hills covered with pines and eucalyptus. It is remote and offers almost no facilities. The challenge starts from the entrance of the park by taking Sundown Road. At first, it might be easy, but it will increasingly become more challenging the deeper you venture into the track.
While driving through the track, you will encounter the Red Rock Gorge (also a camping ground). A short walk from the camping area, you can enjoy the views of the gorge on the lookout which offers an unparalleled view.
The Severn River also snakes through the park and you can see the river flats, gorges, and waterholes that was formed by the river’s flow. Two of the camping grounds (Red Rock Gorge and Reedy Waterhole) of the park are located near the river and it has pit toilets. However, the farthest and most isolated campsite called Burrows Waterhole lacks all facilities and offers bush camping only.
Another attraction in the park is the Rat’s Castle. It is a tall land formation and the track leading to it is for advanced-level drivers only. This track is the reason why many off-roaders flocks to this park. Due to the challenging state of the track, it can damage your tyres and will surely test your skills as a four-wheel driver.
You can learn more about Sundown National Park By Going To This Website Here
9. Bindarri State Conservation Area
Location: 328km southwest of Gold Coast
Track Length: 52km
Track Time: 3 hours
Terrain: Forests and Dirt
Inside the park, you should take the Orara Escarpment that will lead you to numerous creeks, waterfalls, swimming holes, and picnic areas dotted along the way. In addition, the track also rises over 600m which leads you to the Bangalore Falls. If the grand waterfall is not enough for you, you can take a short hike to reach Urumbilum Falls (however, you should avoid it during wildfire season).
Taking the Orara Escarpment will also lead you to the eucalyptus and subtropical rainforests. Unlike other parks, Bindarri has no campsites so you should bring a tent or an RV that comes with a bed. If you run low on supplies, you can head to Coffs Harbour to restock or dine on one of the numerous restaurants in the area.
One thing you need to make sure before you decide to head to this park is to check the weather. The tracks, especially Orara Escarpment, is impassable during wet weather.
You can learn more about Bindarri State Conservation Area By Going To This Website Here
10. Cooloola Recreation Area
Location: 329km north of Gold Coast
Track Length: 54km
Track Time: 5 days
Terrain: Sandy and Rocky
The area along with the Great Sandy National Park offers magnificent views of the beach while you are driving along the track. The journey from Tewantin that leads you to Rainbow Beach involves sand driving and you will pass by beautiful beaches. However, you should secure a vehicle access permit before going to the park.
The Tewantin track follows along the coastline and it leads to the Freshwater Road that will take you to Rainbow Beach. When you take Freshwater Road, you will see the diverse flora and views of the park as it changes from mangrove forests to scribbly gum woodland. However, you can take an alternate route that will take you to Double Island Point then take Leisha Track to the west which will take you to Rainbow Beach. Another important thing to consider is the tides, especially along Mudlo Rocks, as it can drown your vehicle.
For hikers, you can take the Cooloola Great Walk to satisfy your urge to be at one with nature. On the other hand, if you want to spend the night in the park, camping is available in Teewah Beach and Freshwater Campground.
You can learn more about Cooloola Recreation Area By Going To This Website Here
11. Limeburners Creek National Park
Location: 475km south of Gold Coast
Difficulty: Easy to Moderate (after rain)
Track Length: 16km
Track Time: 1-2 hours
If you happen to visit Limeburners Creek, then you should try the Point Plomer track. The track is sandy and leads to the campground that is located on the beachfront. While traversing the track, you can pass enjoy the view of the sea and beach that are perfect for swimming or surfing. The park’s seas also have dolphins and whales and it is a popular spot for divers. However, you should keep an eye on your kids because wild animals are wandering around the campsite.
The campsite also has amenities like showers and toilets, but you should stock up on food so that you won’t get famished.
You can learn more about Limeburners Creek National Park By Going To This Website Here
12. Willi Willi National Park
Location: 485km southwest of Gold Coast
Track Length: 122km
Track Time: 3-7 days
The park along with nearby Werrikimbe National Park has a 122km touring route that passes through woodlands, gullies, and ancient rainforests. The track also climbs up to 1km which will grant you views of the Spokes Mountain. There are also numerous hiking tracks and waterfalls that are hidden in the area. Bird spotters also frequent Willi Willi because it hosts many species of birds.
The Brushy Mountain and Plateau Beech are the campsites that you should spend your nights on because you need to explore the other parts of the park. You should also take the Racecourse trail escarpment (4WD only) to reach the Mooraback campsite to spend the night among snow gums.
Although the park has basic facilities, you should store food because you can’t purchase them in the park. Other necessities for cooking and plumbing should also be prioritized. In addition, we recommend that you bring CB/UHF radios with you because the cell reception in the park can be spotty.
Important: Starting a fire inside the park is not permitted during fire season. The collection of wood is also prohibited.
You can learn more about Willi Willi National Park By Going To This Website Here
Can You Camp at Wilbinga?
Wilbinga Campground. Apparently, camping is prohibited at this location with the risk of an on the spot fine. This is a great spot for a weekend away from Perth. There are numerous opportunities for camping, from on the beach to behind the dunes.
Should I Take My Dog Camping?
Before you take your pet along with you, you should do some preparation. Make sure to check whether the camping area allows pets and familiarize yourself with the rules for pets at the site. Before going, you may also want to ask your vet whether your dog should be vaccinated for Lyme disease.
Where Does the Condamine River Run?
The Condamine River rises on the Darling Downs in the Queensland. The river flows north-west past Dalby and onward to Chinchilla. It then flows south-west to the plains, where it meets the Dogwood Creek and becomes the Balonne River, near Surat.
Do You Need A Camping Permit for Fraser Island?
You will be obligated to purchase a camping permit to camp on the island. Fraser Island permits should be put up on your tent and be visible to park rangers. It’s also advised to obtain a Fraser Island information pack which includes a Fraser Island map, as well as a vehicle permit and camping tag.