Discovery is all about taking a step into the unknown. If you’re curious to see what it feels like to go off-road, but do not know where to start, this guide is for you. Renting a four wheel drive vehicle from FleetCrew makes it possible for novice four-wheel drivers to explore all that South East Queensland has to offer; an abundance of off-road adventures!
FleetCrew’s Guide to five great 4WD tracks in South East Queensland provides drives that range from easy to medium, and are in close proximity to Brisbane. If you have a day or week, there is something here for you. We have included a diversity of drives, including beach, river-crossings, and mountain drives. Although these are five of our favourite tracks, they’re just a small sample of the off-road drives in this region. South East Queensland is blessed with hundreds of spectacular drives to explore and we will create more guides to share with you.
All that remains is your motivation and desire to take the first step; deciding where the next discovery will take you, and renting a 4WD vehicle.
Here is a quick list of the top 5 4WD tracks near Brisbane:
- North Stradbroke Island
- Mount Mee D’Aguilar National Park
- Moreton Island
- Condamine River Track
- LandCruiser Mountain Park
Bonus Track. Duck Creek Road – Lamington National Park
You will find more information about our favourite and highly recommended 4WD tracks near Brisbane below.
1. North Stradbroke Island
Distance from Brisbane: 50 minute drive & 45 minute ferry ride
Skill level: Treks of varying skill levels across the Island.
This popular destination is one of the three famous sand dune islands off the coast of Queensland. North Stradbroke is a favourite Aussie destination, because it has great beach fishing, camping and four-wheel driving all set against a magnificent backdrop. From views of migrating whales on the headlands to lush forests and endless powdery beaches, North Stradbroke is a total stunner.
The island can be reached by driving your 4WD onto a Stradbroke Ferry from Cleveland. Cleveland is a quiet bay-side city that’s 50 minutes from Brisbane. Remember to purchase a Vehicle Access Permit before you do any four-wheel driving on Stradbroke.
Flinders Beach and Main Beach are the best spots for beach driving. There are good fishing spots along both beaches, which is great for anglers who wish to wet the lines and try some beach fishing. You have many camping scattered around the island. If school holidays are on, be sure to book in advance because they do sell out. If you would like to go camping on a remote beach, preparation is key. You will not have the luxury of amenities, fires, or toilets. However it’s going to be a rare opportunity to camp where it is truly remote, quiet, and peaceful and it will make it all worthwhile. Camping and permits of the Minjerrabah recreation area is managed by Straddie Camping. You can find a map of amenities, treks, and roads on North Stradbroke Island here.
Want to try 4WDing on a tropical island that looks like paradise? Read our article, “Top 10 things to do on Stradbroke Island” to learn more about everything there is to see and do on Straddie!
As beach driving is different than road driving, it is best to know a few tips before you embark on your journey. For a quick rundown on the essentials of beach driving, check out our guide on safe beach driving.
2. Mount Mee D’Aguilar National Park
Distance from Brisbane: 57 km (entering from Laceys Creek)
Trek Distance: 59.7km (Starting at Laceys Creek, heading to Somerset Lookout and ending at Archer camping area)
Skill level: Easy – if you stick to the main 4WD tracks and conditions are dry. There are smaller off road treks that are moderate to difficult
Boiling Billy’s 4WD guide, ‘4WD Treks Close to Brisbane’, says D’Aguilar National Park is “one of the best bush four-wheel drives close to Brisbane.” This trek is close enough to the city to be a day trip, but is well worth staying for the weekend. The park’s Forest Drives are easy when dry and will take you to waterfalls, pools, gorges, rainforests, historical landmarks, and spectacular views.
The park starts behind Mount-Cootha, with the closest sections of the park only 13 km from the Brisbane CBD. The park consists of two areas: South D’Aguilar and Mount Mee. Mount Mee is where the four-wheel driving treks can be found, and is an hour’s drive from Brisbane. You can access all forest drives of Mount Mee, unless signage says otherwise. Bonus: you do not need a vehicle permit for this track.
Use a map of the area and the Department of National Parks, Sports and Racing driving guide of D’Aguilar National Park to plan your route. A trek that is recommended is heading to Dayboro via (45 min from Brisbane) and entering D’Aguilar National Park through Laceys Creek Road and exiting the track through Rasmussen Road at the Archer camping area.
If there has been heavy rain, double check to see if roads are closed by looking up park alerts. This will inform you of up-to-date information about park access, closures and road conditions. For more information about the D’Aguilar Range, take a look at this Park Guide.
With fun driving tracks for all skill sets, camping, beautiful scenery, and lots of fun activities, Mount Mee D’Aguilar National Park is an ideal place to go and explore for the day or the weekend.
3. Moreton Island
Distance from Brisbane: 40 km
Trek Distance: 38 km
Skill level: Tracks of varying levels across the island
The exposed side of Moreton Island spans 38 km from North to South and is a haven of 4WD only tracks. Located approximately 40 km from Brisbane, the island is great for a wide range of day trips, family excursions or adrenaline-filled adventures.
Getting to Moreton Island with your 4WD is as simple as driving onto a ferry such as the MICAT, that is located about a 20 minute drive from Brisbane. Once aboard, many 4WD drivers find it helpful to lower their tyre pressure to suit the conditions expected on the island. Moreton is entirely made up of sand and is particularly well known for its bare sand areas. If you are keen on camping, plenty of sites are located on the beach and have water views and shade. Ranging from surf beach to calm water, there is an ideal camping spot no matter what your needs are!
Moreton Island, originally called Moorgumpin meaning the “place of sandhills,” is the Indigenous name for this island. The island itself is 95% National Park and holds a rich history of cultural heritage, beautiful scenery and a variety of wildlife. Whether you are watching the whales pass by, heading out to soak in the natural tea tree oil in the Blue Lagoon or taking a dive to look at a sunken ship, there is much to choose from when exploring this diverse area!
As this island is 4WD only, it is important to consider bringing along a few safety and vehicle supplies such as a shovel, a towrope and a tyre compressor. If you want a vehicle that comes already prepared for your 4WD getaway, check out our range of recreational 4WD hire vehicles.
4. Condamine River Track
Distance from Brisbane: 85.7 km to Boonah
Trek Distance: 85 km (approx.)
Skill level: Medium
Looking to step up your game and challenge yourself with some river crossings? Try this track! The Condamine River Track is popular amongst four-wheel drivers. b
Because it follows an old bullock wagon track that crosses the Condamine River 14 times! You will drive through rainforests and valleys and you will pass plenty of swimming holes, grassy picnic spots and waterfalls.
The most famous spot along the track is Queen Mary Falls. To see water plummeting 400 metres from a cliff is well worth the 2km long walk. Daggs Falls, Dolly on the Rock and Paddy’s Knob are all also worth a stop and gander.
The track runs from Boonah to Killarney and can be started from either end. Much of the track is bordered by private property and amenities or camping grounds are hard to find around here. Camping spots can be found at Queen Mary Falls and Koreelah Creek (a few kilometres off the track).
Directions from Boonah:
Heading south on Boonah-Rathdowney Road then:
- 3.4 km Turn Right on Mount Alford Rd
- 13.4 km turn left on Dwyers Rd
- 21.2 km Turn Right on Carneys Creek Rd
- 28.2 km Turn Right on The Head Rd
- 46.4 km Turn Right on Condamine River Rd.
Rainforest are closed on rainy days. Along with heavy rain comes the potential for rapidly rising water levels. The Condamine River can go from almost four inches of water to well over the bonnet of a 4WD.
With plenty of river crossings and spectacular scenery, the Condamine “14 Rivers Run” is most definitely worth a visit.
5. LandCruiser Mountain Park
Distance from Brisbane: 158 km
Trek Distance: 200 km total
Skill level: Easy to Difficult
Landcruiser Mountain Park (LMP) is a 10,000 acre wilderness designed for camping and 4WD off-road enthusiasts. Conveniently located near Jimna, Queensland, the park is suitable for both amateurs and professionals four-wheel drivers. LMP has over 200 km of 4WD specifically-designed trails, from water crossings to deep gullies.
The park is a working cattle property and Queensland’s first private wilderness park for those who love 4WDing and bush camping. You can camp anywhere on the property. With plenty of quiet, shaded and grassy areas to camp, it is rated one of the top ten camping areas of Southeast Queensland!
The park is privately owned and should be viewed as a wilderness area. Camping facilities are simple and basic. Whenever you go off-roading, be sure to bring along basic safety supplies, such as a first aid kit, shovel and tow rope.
Also, with the park’s rural wilderness comes an abundance of “wildlife along with freshwater fishing, swimming, bushwalking, mountain climbing, bird watching and picturesque scenery”. With exceptionally fun driving tracks and awesome camping, LandCruiser Mountain Park is an off-roader’s dream location. Find all the information you need about the LandCruiser Mountain Park here.
Bonus Track. Duck Creek Road (Lamington National Park)
- Important Note: – After extreme weather events, and extensive damage, Duck Creek Road will be closed indefinitely
For the latest updates or notifications on Duck Creek Road follow Friends of Duck Creek Road – Lamington National Park Facebook page or contact Scenic Rim Council for further information.
Distance from Brisbane: 69 km
Trek Distance: 36 km
Skill level: Easy (Heavy rainfall can be difficult to possibly impassable)
This moderately easy trek is a family-friendly day drive. The start is only an hour’s drive south of Brisbane and heads into Lamington National Park. From cascading waterfalls to tropical rainforests, as well as caves and creeks, this park has heaps to offer those with an itch to get out and explore.
Start your track by heading to Beaudesert, at the intersection of Brisbane, Telemon, and William streets. Zero your tripmeter and get any last minute supplies and petrol from town, then head out by going south on Brisbane Street. Brisbane Street turns into Kerry Road. After 20.2 km, you will see the start of Duck Creek Road on your left. Duck Creek Road is a 15.8 km off-road trek that winds through beautiful forests until ending at Lamington National Park Road.
You are now in the Green Mountains section of Lamington National Park. Take a right to head to the Lamington Campground, O’Reilly’s Rainforest Retreat and extensive walking tracks. Follow the link for a map of Section. The road that heads left from Duck Creek Road is 4 km from Kamarun Lookout and 28.5 km from the town of Canungra.
Lamington National Park has campgrounds available for overnight stays in designated areas. If staying overnight, book online before your trip. The 150km long dedicated walking tracks are great! A trip to Elabana Falls is a must if you are in the area. You will see growth forests and wonderful views.
See what’s waiting for you
In short, South East Queensland offers endless wilderness to explore, from beaches to waterfalls and mountaintop views. So rent a 4WD to see why so many Australians love the adventure of off-roading! Not sure what will be the best trip for you? Ask the staff at FleetCrew and they will be happy to advise on the best treks to match your vehicle, goals, and driving skills.
Let the adventure begin!