12 4WD Tracks in Tasmania That You Must Try

Tasmania has always been a great place for 4WD adventures. The terrain is so rich with great wilderness and rich frontiers. As you know, one third of Tasmania is protected by Australia National Park, so you just know that Tasmania is one of the great unexplored places perfect for 4WD tracks!

To make it easier for you to just jump in and enjoy your trekking, Offroadaussie.com has compiled the best tracks available in Tasmania. The list also provides directions, length, total time of trekking, difficulty and things to look out for. We really hope this information can make your Tasmania 4WD trekking a success and we hope to hear from you if you find our information valuable. So…

Read on to learn our Top 12 Tracks That You Should Try when 4WD visiting Tasmania!

1. Borradaile Plains Track
2. Swanston Track
3. Balfour Track
4. Mt. McCall Track
5. Ocean Beach Road
6. Wielangta Forest Drive
7. Wellington Park Fire Trails
8. Ben Lomond National Park
9. South Bruny Range 4WD Track
10. Long Marsh Dam Track
11. Fortescue Bay Track
12. Collins Cap Trail

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. Borradaile Plains Track

Length: Approximately 18 KM

Time to finish: Less than an hour*

Difficulty: Easy (Moderate-hard during the winter season)

Notables: Approachable, scenic and picturesque.

This 4WD track begins from the Lemonthyme Power Station and ends at the junction of Bare Hill Rd and Route C171. The track itself is short and should not provide much of a challenge for most off-roaders and is usually a safe place to adventure alone in a 4WD during the dry season. On the other hand, the Borradaile Plains offer a scenic drive highly praised by 4WD adventurers, so you can ease off the accelerator while you take in the view.

It should be noted that the Borradaile Plains Track is a forest reserve, so keep an eye out for the local wildlife. In addition, the track gets very muddy during the winter or after rain because of the high clay content in the soil, so bring a second 4WD or recovery gear if you decide to adventure here during wet periods.

Terrain: Forest, clay, heavy mud (during the rainy season)

How to get here:

It’s a good 4-hour drive north of Hobart (about 275 km). A good point of reference would be the Walls of Jerusalem Carpark, located east of the Mersey River. Head north on C171 until you reach a turn that reads “Bare Hill Rd”. on your extreme left (you’re practically taking a U-turn). After about 10 km, you will reach a wire gate; turn right at the T-junction.

You can learn more about Borradaile Plains Track by going to this website here.

2. Swanston Track

Length: Approximately 33 KM

Time to finish: 2-3 hours*

Difficulty: Easy-moderate (Moderate-hard in some sections and during the winter season)

Notables: Descents and full of rocky terrain.

The Swanston track starts in Runnymede and cuts through several forest reserves before ending in Little Swanport. While it does run through some forest-y areas, it does take you across some mountainous terrain, so be prepared to encounter gullies, boulders and drops. Some of the drops along the trail can be deceptively steep, so having another 4WD is recommended. Additional modifications or accessories are not necessary; stock suspension and lifts are adequate.

The terrain, mostly dirt and rock, will get slippery and muddy during the winter season or after rains, so be careful if you decide to come here during this time.

Terrain: Rocky, dirt (when dry), muddy (during the rainy season)

How to get here:

While the tracks run throughout a large portion of the east side, you can get to the Swanston Track by heading off into Woodsdale from the Tasman Highway heading north, and onto Buckland Rd. You should be able to see 4WD tracks on the left side within about 6 km.

You can learn more about Swanston Track by going to this website here.

3. Balfour Track

Length: Approximately 18 KM

Time to finish: 2-3 hours*

Difficulty: Moderate-hard

Notables: A challenging 4WD track near the Tarkine.

The Tarkine is a large area in the northwest part of Tasmania that houses the second-largest temperate rainforest in the world, and you get to 4WD in its general area! The most challenging area in the Balfour track is a stretch of water you will need to cross (elevated air intake snorkel highly recommended) to finish it. Other than the river, the track should offer a decent challenge to experienced 4WD enthusiasts with the typical mud, rock and dirt path in a forest. With this track adjacent to the Sumac Forest reserve and the Tarkine, you can also expect to witness a wide variety of flora and fauna.

A major tourist attraction is the abandoned mining town of Balfour. When not in your 4WD, check out the town remnants, mines and cemetery.

The track is located in a nature conservation area, so report in to the parks office at the Arthur River before heading to the track and request for a driver pass.

Terrain: Forest, dirt, mud, steep slopes

 

How to get there:

The best way to enjoy this track is to start from Sandy Cape Track from Temma on the way to Mount Balfour. When nearing the mountain, be prepared for steep slopes. Also, when coming across water holes along the way to Balfour, it’s best to cross and not go around them.

You can learn more about Balfour Track by going to this website here.

4. Mt. McCall Track

Length: 22 KM

Time to finish: 1-2 hours*

Difficulty: Easy-moderate

Notables: A scenic drive to the top of Mt. McCall.

While no modifications are necessarily required for a vehicle to climb this track, a 4WD off-roader is highly recommended for its high rear-end clearance and low gear options. Because this track is located in a Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area, you will need to ask for a permit and a key from the parks office in Queenstown. The key will be required to open a gate along the track, just don’t forget to return it! You can expect to run into several areas while on the track including the Bird River walking track, the abandoned township of Pillinger, and some nice view points of Kelly Basin and the Andrew River.

The remains of an old rail line are still there, heading into Pillinger, and is highly recommended for a walking trail. Wildlife is also abundant; watch out for platypus!

Terrain: Rocky, muddy, bush, steep slopes, mountain

 

How to get here:

Because you can only access the track in its entirety after you get the keys, it is recommended to head to the West Coast Field Center west of Queensland first. After acquiring your permit and key, head east on the Lyell Highway and exit onto Driffield St in Queenstown. Continue down Driffield St until it becomes Conlan St, which in turn becomes Lynchford Rd. After about 10 km, Lynchford Rd becomes Mount Jukes Rd. Follow this road south and you should be able to get onto the track within an hour.

You can learn more about Mt. McCall Track by going to this website here.

5. Ocean Beach Road

Length: Approximately 30 sq KM

Time to finish: Within an hour*

Difficulty: Moderate

Notables: Dunes, sand and sea.

The Ocean Beach Road track spans about 30 km and is located on the most western point in Tasmania. The track itself offers a dynamic take on beach 4WD’ing, as you will have crashing waves stealing much of your attention on one side while you maneuver your way through the sandy dunes. The Henty Dunes are located at the northernmost point of the track and the Henty River just a few km away from it; watch for quicksand if you decide to head near the river.

Also, this area is known for its fishing spots; you may want to head to the Henty River if you want to catch some trout. Swimming is not recommended, however, as the waves and undercurrents are very powerful. Take note that sea lions and seals use part of this beach as a rest spot, so watch out for them.

Terrain: Dunes, sand (quicksand close to the Henty River), river (if you want to cross the Henty River)

 

How to get here:

The easiest way to get here is to come in from the nearby small town of Strahan. Get onto Harvey St (C250) heading west which should become Ocean Beach Rd in about 2 km. It should end in a car park. This is considered the mid-point of the whole track.

You can learn more about Ocean Beach Road by going to this website here.

6. Wielangta Forest Drive

Length: 20 KM

Time to finish: Within an hour*

Difficulty: Easy-moderate

Notables: A scenic forest trail to train with your 4WD.

Located a reasonable distance away from Hobart, the Wielangta Forest Drive track is a good place to sharpen your 4WD offroading instincts. While the trail itself is not necessarily very challenging, there are areas along the track which are poorly maintained which will require you to step out of your vehicle to assess the terrain (and how to traverse them); be prepared to drive as slow as walking pace, in these areas. In addition, some parts of the track are not well mapped-out, which will require you to do some scouting. All in all, this track proves its worth as a training ground for any 4WD acolyte.

The track is best preserved in the northern section (just south of Orford) from Rheban Rd heading into Wielangta Rd (C320) going south. In the southern area, you should make time to walk along the Sandspit Forest Reserve to get onto the Three Thumbs Lookout. Along the track, you can expect fern-laden walking trails, lush picnic grounds and a beautiful view of Maria Island from Three Thumbs Lookout. 

Terrain: Rocky, heavy mud, gravel, some puddles

 

How to get here:

It is best to egress into the track from the Tasman Highway heading into Orford. Exit onto Rheban Rd (C320) which should become Wielangta Rd in about 15 km.

You can learn more about Wielangta Forest Drive by going to this website here.

7. Wellington Park Fire Trails

Length: Approximately 30 KM

Time to finish: 3-4 hours*

Difficulty: Hard

Notables: A challenging course for the diehard 4WD enthusiast.

The Wellington Park Fire Trails are off-road tracks that run in between the Jeffery’s Track area to the west and Montrose Road to the east. This track is shared by 4WD’s, horseback riders and hikers, so observe proper offroading etiquette and slow down if you come across any people along the track not in a 4WD. You should also make sure that you have the proper permits to adventure in this track; the park service only allows:

    • A maximum of six (6) vehicles on the track
    • Licensed and registered drivers with 4WD’s deemed “roadworthy”
    • A washed, clean vehicle
    • No pets or chainsaws
  • A one-day permit and key (no overnight stays) during dry seasons, only

It is recommended to bring recovery gear, a second vehicle and hardy, 4WD’s with high clearances if you decide to go off-road here. The track is steep, rocky and will require a driver with extensive 4WD experience to traverse.

Terrain: Dirt, gravel, rocks, bush

 

How to get here:

You need to register your vehicle(s) at the Southern Regional Office of the Parks and Recreational Service in between Glenorchy and West Moonah first, before anything. From here, head north onto Main Road from Tolosa St and take a left onto Montrose Rd. You should be on the trail within 10 minutes from turning onto Montrose Rd.

You can learn more about Wellington Park Fire Trails by going to this website here.

8. Ben Lomond National Park

Length: About 160 sq KM

Time to finish: Expect at least half a day*

Difficulty: Easy-moderate (Hard at Jacob’s Ladder)

Notables: A popular vacationing spot with an iconic track.

Most people associate Ben Lomond with the alpine ski lodge and village nestled in a plateau 1,200 meters above sea level. In the lower elevations however, one can expect a wide variety of flowers and plant species; opportunities to take in some wonderful scenery. Just remember to pay the toll fee and grab a permit if you decide to venture deep into the national park area.

More importantly, the area most 4WD enthusiasts would find interest in is Jacob’s Ladder; a twisty track drive built primarily for low gear engagements on the way up to Legges Tor. Drivers heading up are expected to give way to drivers descending, and the entire portion is a great opportunity for passengers to snap breathtaking photos of the landscape.

Possessing a seasoned 4WD experience is recommended, as it is not uncommon for weather conditions to change from sunny to snowy in a short period of time.

Terrain: Dirt, gravel, snow, mountains

How to get here:

The only way to gain access into the national park area is through Ben Lomond Rd. From the Tasman Highway, head into Launceston and exit through Blessington Rd (C401). After about 15 km, take a left at the fork to continue onto Blessington Rd, then take a right onto Ben Lomond Rd shortly after passing Camden Rd on your left (C405).

You can learn more about Ben Lomond National Park by going to this website here.

9. South Bruny Range 4WD Track

Length: Approximately 24 KM

Time to finish: 1-2 hours*

Difficulty: Easy

Notables: Forest, sand and sea.

If you wanted an easy offroad track that offers a bit of both worlds when it comes to scenery and terrain, the South Bruny Range on Bruny Island is the place to be. Outside of 4WD offroading, tourists can camp, boat, surf, walk or fish on the island. A permit is required to drive a 4WD in the trail area (on top of park entry fees) , so keep this in mind. Also, the local rangers are very keen on 4WD rules and regulations, so if you find yourself on the sandy beaches, keep your speed to a maximum of 40 KPH. In addition, 4WD vehicles are required to stay above the high-tide mark to avoid disturbing the local wildlife.

The coastline is a sight to behold and is of considerable length, so you may want to practice driving your 4WD in sand here.

Terrain: Forest, sand, dunes, dirt, rocky.

How to get here:

Adventure Bay is typically where you can access all the amenities and facilities of Bruny Island. To access the 4WD trail, head past the Captain Cook Caravan Park and turn right on Lockleys Rd. Take a right onto Staffords Rd then turn left onto Cloudy Bay Rd after 2 km to exit the forest portion of the track and head out into the beach.

You can learn more about South Bruny Range 4WD Track by going to this website here.

10. Long Marsh Dam Track

Length: 5 KM

Time to finish: About 1 hour*

Difficulty: Easy-moderate

Notables: Short and unfinished with a dark history.

Back in the mid 1800’s, the Long Marsh Dam was the site of a large “gulag”-type work camp; a place where convicts were sent to work on infrastructure projects. Because of complications with the landowner at the time, there was no way to sustain the prisoner workforce, and the infrastructure project was abandoned entirely. Today, the remnants of the area’s past can still be found; the quarry, probation station and unfinished coffer dam still stand.

In terms of 4WD’ing, this track is worth mentioning as it is short and offers a different class of terrain not typically driven in Australia or Tasmania. Because the dam was left unfinished, the last kilometer on the track remains very uneven. Think of this as a growing pain and a chance to experience more as a 4WD enthusiast!

Terrain: Mud, marshlands, some puddles.

How to get here:

You can get to the Long Marsh Dam track by turning off onto Tunbridge Tier Rd from Midland Highway heading north (it’s about a 2 ½ hour drive from Hobart). The track should be visible on the right side just past the Tunbridge Tier Conservation Area on your left. You’ve gone too far and will need to turn back if you’ve crossed the junction between Tunbridge Tier Rd and Interlaken Rd.

You can learn more about Long Marsh Dam Track by going to this website here.

11. Fortescue Bay Track

Length: Approximately 12 KM

Time to finish: Less than an hour*

Difficulty: Easy

Notables: Short, sweet and scenic.

While not particularly a 4WD track to prepare for, the Fortescue Bay Track is close to Hobart and is a great choice should you want a leisurely drive with some nice sights. The track is located within the Tasman National Park boundary, so a National Parks pass is required for entry

This area is popular in the summer, great for families and has a variety of activities to choose from outside of 4WD offroading; fishing, bush-walking and camping to name a few. Take note that camping fees may apply.

Terrain: Gravel, sand.

How to get here:

From Hobart, get onto the Tasman Highway heading east, then merge onto the Arthur Highway. After about 85 km, keep your eyes out for Joiners Link and exit onto it. Take a right onto Coronation Rd and finally take a left to get onto Fortescue Rd. The 4WD track should start at the camping grounds.

You can learn more about Fortescue Bay Track by going to this website here.

12. Collins Cap Trail

Length: Approximately 11 KM

Time to finish: Less than an hour*

Difficulty: Moderate

Notables: A 4WD track where walking is half the adventure.

This track is located northwest of Wellington Park and is flush with natural greenery. Because it is still within the vicinity of Wellington Park, a permit is required to go offroading in this area. In addition, take note that this trail can only be completed one way. The main consideration that places this track into the “moderate” difficulty is a steep section that will require you to switch into low gear.

Should you decide to explore the bush, it is recommended to start from the Myrtle Forest picnic ground so you can absorb the beauty of the park before reaching the alpine boundary of the Collins Cap. Pack appropriate clothing as things can get uncomfortably chilly near the base of the cap!

Terrain: Rocky, mud, dirt, mountain, semi-alpine, forest.

How to get here:

The Collins Cap Trail is well within an hour away from Hobart. Head north to get onto the Brooker Highway, then exit onto Glenlusk Rd (C615). Don’t exit into Glenlusk, instead continue on and turn right as Glenlusk Rd becomes Collinsvale Rd, which in turn becomes Collins Cap Rd. When the T-junction appears, take a left to get on to Suhrs Rd. This will become Collins Cap Trail.

You can learn more about Collins Cap Trail by going to this website here.

Related Question

What are some additional tracks in Tasmania?

Here are a few that are worth checking out if you make it through the list:

  • Brushy Lagoon Track
  • Eaglehawk Lookout Track
  • Siamese Water Race Track
  • Tasman Valley Road 4X4 Track
  • Mcneills Road 4WD Track

Your safety is the utmost importance when off-roading, so your safety gear is your best friend. Never forget to take your safety gear with you. If you lack the experience need to drive on these tracks, make sure you have someone who already done these tracks with you. Also try to do the easy routes first to try to steer clear of difficult tracks.

*All times to finish are approximations and may vary depending on incidents, time spent sightseeing or camping, etc.

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