[Updated: July 2020]
Behind the endless sand and skyscrapers of the Gold Coast, there’s a road that’s less travelled and it’s best travelled in a 4WD! With bush, rainforest, sand and surf to explore, heading south of Brisbane is a great option to get out of the city. Shift into low-gear and enjoy all that Australia’s got to offer. Try out these 4WD tracks near Gold Coast yourself!
To help you get ready for your summer time escapades, we’ve put together a list of the top 7 4WDing destinations near the Gold Coast and beyond. Each of these destinations has been picked to make great stand-alone holidays, but you can also combine them to make one unbeatable off-roading experience!
At FleetCrew we offer unlimited kilometres, comprehensive insurance and road side assistance anywhere in Australia. You can hire your 4WD from FleetCrew’s Brisbane office or we can drop your 4×4 at your preferred destination and you’ll be ready to get off the beaten track!
Check out 7 of our highly recommended 4WD tracks near the Gold Coast.
Distance from Gold Coast: 130km
Trek Distance: 44km
Skill level: Easy
For a cruisy, off-roading holiday that’s also great for the family, consider Border Ranges National Park. Located just over the New South Wales border, adjacent to Lamington National Park, it’s a stunning world heritage area that’s perfect for a 4WD trip.
Although the tracks here aren’t as challenging as some, the Tweed Range Scenic drive offers spectacular scenery along a 44km road track. Weaving its way through a dense rainforest, this drive can be completed by a soft-roader in just 4-5 hours.
The area is also home to the highest concentration of marsupials, birds, snakes and frogs in Australia so it’s an ideal place for wildlife spotting as well as hiking and photography.
There is camping available within the park along with barbeque facilities, toilets and some drinking water. The nearest town to stock up on supplies and fuel is Kyogle (an hour south).
Distance from Gold Coast: 220km
Trek Distance: Various
Skill level: Easy to moderate
The Yuragygir National Park is a little-known park that’s about 50kms from Coffs Harbour. It’s a 4WD enthusiast’s playground with bush and beach tracks that take days to explore. With rugged cliffs, lagoons, wetlands and rainforest, it offers a serene paradise that’s perfect for wildlife spotting too.
The best place to camp is at the stunning, Pebbly Beach which can only be reached by a 8km 4WD track. Access must be made at low tide in order to cross the final creek into the camping area. There’s only one pit toilet and no drinking water so pack the 4WD with everything you’ll need during your stay. Stop to pick up free firewood at the entrance to the national park as campfires are allowed at the campground.
From here there’s lots to explore with great fishing and bushwalks with incredible coastal views.
With a huge camp ground and over 60 individual camp sites, this place gets busy at peak times and you’ll be lucky to get a spot. Make sure you ring ahead of time with the National Parks service at Grafton to find out if there’s a spot available for you.
Distance from Gold Coast: 480km
Trek Distance: 16km
Skill level: Easy to medium after rain
Point Plomer in Limeburners National Park is one of the hidden gems of the New South Wales mid-north coast! Catch a ferry across to Port Macquarie’s north shore and keep heading north on the sandy, off-road track to the beachfront campground at Point Plomer.
On the way, you’ll pass by numerous, picture-perfect beaches that are great for swimming or surfing. Keep an eye out for wallabies, kangaroos and dingoes too.
The campground has fire pits so bring your own or buy some at the camp store. You’ll also find cold water showers and toilets but little in the way of food or other supplies. Be sure to stock up in Port Macquarie before you head out so you can stay a little longer to make the most of Point Plomer’s excellent fishing, diving and hiking. Dolphins and whales are often spotted off the beach as well!
Distance from Gold Coast: 520km
Trek Distance: 122km
Skill level: Moderate
This 122km touring route rungs from Wauchope to Brushy Mountain in the Willi Willi and Werrikimbe National Park. You’ll journey through woodlands, deep gullies and ancient rainforests, climbing 1,000 meters for scenic views near Spokes Mountain. There’s plenty of walking tracks and waterfalls to discover as well as excellent birdwatching opportunities.
The track takes about 8 hours to drive but we’d suggest camping overnight at Brushy Mountain or Plateau Beech to give yourself more time to explore this incredible area. Take a side-trip up the 4WD-only Racecourse trail escarpment to the remote Mooraback campground for a night among the snow gums.
This park is remote and facilities are basic so stock up on supplies in Port Macquarie before you head out. You’ll need to bring drinking and cooking water as well as a gas stove. Fires aren’t permitted during fire season and wood cannot be collected within the park. Mobile phone reception is also limited.
Distance from Gold Coast: 340km
Trek Distance: 52km
Skill level: Medium
The Orara Escarpment in the Bindarri State Conservation Area is a perfect day trip from Coffs Harbour. Bindarri means ‘many creeks’ and you’ll find waterfalls, swimming holes and great picnic spots dotted along this track.
Starting in the Bindarri National Park, you’ll head through remote eucalypt forests and subtropical rainforests, climbing over 600m up the Orara Escarpment to the incredible Bangalore Falls. From here, continue through the rainforest, take a short walk to Urumbilum Falls and keep an eye out for wildlife!
There are no campsites within the National Park but if you’re self-sufficient and an experienced hiker, backpacking camping is available. We’d recommend heading back to Coffs Harbour where you’ll find a large range of accommodation to suit all budgets from beachside resorts to motels and holiday parks.
Make sure to check the weather before you head out! Driving the Orara Escarpment relies on dry weather.
Distance from Gold Coast: 150kms
Trek Distance: Various
Skill level: Easy to moderate
Mount Barney National Park is a hidden gem of granophyre (a granite-like rock) that was left as a remnant of the volcanic formation of the Beaudesert area. With Mount Barney, the second-highest mountain in Southeast Queensland, the park features several short 4WD tracks that you can use to explore open forests, subtropical rainforest and heath scrublands. If you enjoy hiking, there are some great walking tracks within the park too!
The national park campground can only be reached on foot via a 3.7km moderate to steep trail. There are no facilities at the campsite so all supplies including water must be brought in. If you’d prefer not to walk, the nearby Mount Barney Lodge offers cabins, caravans and tent sites.
Further west of the park towards Killarney, you’ll find more off-roading tracks as well as a small supermarket and petrol station to stock up on supplies.
Distance from Gold Coast: 90kms
Trek Distance: Various
Skill level: Easy to advanced
If you’re not 4WDed-out after that lot of tracks, make a final stop at the Scenic Rim Adventure Park.
Here you’ll have more than 20kms of tracks to explore some of which lead to individual campsites scattered throughout the property. There’s also play areas for the kids, mountain bike tracks, a maze, bushwalking trails, warm showers and fire pits for cooking.
Campsites are known for their ‘back-to-basics’ image, so bring supplies. Please don’t litter. take all your rubbish with you when you leave. Coming from Mount Barney, the last stop for supplies is Rathdowney where you’ll find a small grocery store, butcher, petrol station and a pub.
This park is also great day trip on the weekends both from Goldcoast and Brisbane. The park also hosts corporate events and has plenty of family things to do to keep kids and groups entertained. Please watch the video to know more about the Park.
(!) Please note: Duck Creek Road is closed until further notice. After extreme weather events, and extensive damage, Duck Creek Road is closed. We have added this trek as a bonus and we hope the track will be opened again soon, we will keep an eye out for you guys and keep you updated.
Distance from Gold Coast: 80kms
Trek Distance: Approx. 20kms
Skill level: Easy to medium
This ‘do-it-yourself’ dirt and clay road runs through farmland up to O’Reilly’s in the heart of the Lamington National Park. The track is often mentioned by locals as one of the best in the Gold Coast area.
Duck Creek Road meanders through gorgeous scenery, across and back across the river to showcases expansive views of the Gold Coast hinterland. There’s lots of great spots to stop for lunch as you wind up the sometimes steep road into the rainforest of the national park.
The campground at Lamington National Park is a great place to spend a night or two and hike through the rainforest. There’s a coffee shop at O’Reilly’s but no other grocery or fuel facilities so be sure to stock up before leaving Brisbane or the Gold Coast.
The track is untrafficable when wet so avoid the area after heavy rains.
Don’t just dream of off-roading adventures, make them reality by renting your own 4WD!
Our FleetCrew vehicles are designed to be taken off the beaten path. We provide excellent maintenance, comprehensive insurance and unlimited kilometres. Come and see our friendly and knowledgeable staff to answer any of your questions. We also have 24 hour RACQ Australia-wide break-down assistance to give you peace of mind when you’re on the road.
Let our experience help you to create extraordinary memories! Drop us a message or give us a call and find out what we can do for you.