10 Destinations for a 4WD Trip with the Family

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One of the BEST things about living in Brisbane is how many great, nearby place there are to go for a 4wd holiday! Just a couple of hours out of Brisbane you can find yourself riding roller-coasters at a theme park, relaxing on a desolate, white sand beach, or tackling muddy 4WD tracks in the rainforest.

Because you’re a 4WD enthusiast like us, we’ve compiled the top 10 destinations for 4WD family road trips from Brisbane. Each destination has been chosen because it’s child friendly and there’s many different things to do, INCLUDING some fun off-road tracks!

They’re all ideal for long-weekends or family holiday adventures. Let our experience make your next family road trip one everyone will enjoy.

 1. Fraser Island

Distance from Brisbane: 350km (6 hours, 25 minutes)

Track distance: Various

Skill level: Easy to challenging

Where to stay: Central Station camping area (camping); Fraser Island Beach Houses (self-catering); Eurong Beach Resort (accommodation)

Where to eat: Satinay Bar and Bistro; Seabelle Restaurant

Highlights: Swimming at Champagne Pools, 4WD along 75 Mile Beach, explore the rusty shipwreck, whale watching.

At the top of our list is the world’s largest sand island, Fraser Island. With 120kms of breath-taking beaches, over 100 lakes and an amazing rainforest, the family will have endless places to explore!

There aren’t any roads, except for in the small township so to truly explore the island, you’ll need a 4WD. Unlike some hire companies, all our recreational 4WD vehicles are allowed off-road so you won’t be restricted as to where you can go.

The ferry to Fraser Island leaves from either Rainbow Beach or Hervey Bay. Both these small towns make great stopover points for families wishing to break the drive up. Check out our Rainbow Beach and Hervey Bay 4WD guides to help you decide which route to take. We recommend going up one way and coming back the other to really make the most out of your holiday.

If camping, you’ll find small grocery stores at Eurong, Happy Valley, Cathedral Beach and Orchid Beach to stock up on fuel and supplies. Being an island, the selection is limited and prices can be high, so we recommend taking most necessities with you from the mainland.

Other things to do:

  • Hiking
  • Swimming at Eli Creek or in one of the many freshwater lakes
  • Fishing
  • Inland rainforest 4WD tracks

For more information about taking the family to Fraser Island, read our 2 part series here and here.

 2. Moreton Island

Distance from Brisbane: 70km (3 hours)

Track distance: 420kms

Skill level: Easy to moderate

Where to stay: Ben-Ewa campground (camping); Tangalooma Island Resort (accommodation)

Where to eat: Fire & Stone Beach Front Restaurant Tangalooma; Beach Café at Tangalooma Island Resort; Castaways store (groceries), Kooringal stores (groceries)

Highlights: Cruise the sand highway, explore inland 4WD tracks, hike to the second largest lighthouse in the world. Sand board down the dunes

Moreton Island is one epic family 4WD destinations for a number of reasons! It’s so close to Brisbane even though you feel world’s away. There are no sealed roads on the island so you’ll need a high-clearance 4WD to explore the hundreds of kilometres of sand and bush 4WD tracks. There’s also plenty of other fun activities to keep the family entertained.

Other things to do:

  • Fishing
  • Swimming
  • Surfing
  • Snorkelling
  • Whale watching

For more details, see our guide on the top 10 things to do on Moreton Island.

 3. Gold Coast & Hinterland

Distance from Brisbane: 80km (1 hour)

Track distance: Various

Skill level: Easy to challenging

Where to stay: Broadbeach Meriton Serviced Apartments (self-catering); Turtle Beach Resort (accommodation)

Where to eat: Food Fantasy (seafood buffet); Bam Bam Bakehouse

Highlights: Dreamworld, Wet n Wild, Seaworld, shopping, Reedy Creek 4WD area, Duck Creek Road

The Gold Coast is one of Australia’s best family friendly 4WD destinations and it’s right on Brisbane’s doorstep. Pick up your 4WD from our Brisbane office and be at your accommodation well before lunch.

If the kids are keen, take a day trip (or stay overnight on the way home) to Swan Gully 4WD Park. There’s numerous tracks through 900 acres of bush to explore with campsites dotted throughout.

Other things to do:

  • Swimming
  • Surfing
  • Live shows

4. Rainbow Beach

Distance from Brisbane: 240km (3 hours)

Track distance: Various

Skill level: Easy to challenging

Where to stay: Teewah Beach (camping); Rainbow Ocean Palms (accommodation), Debbie’s Place (accommodation)

Where to eat: Arcobaleno on the Beach; Coffee Rocks at Rainbow, IGA (groceries)

Highlights: Great Beach Drive, explore rainforest 4WD tracks, beach horse riding, skydiving

Rainbow Beach is one of Australia’s best kept secrets and it’s the perfect place to take the family to do some 4WDing. Take the kids on the famous Great Beach Drive, explore the rainforest and relax on the beach. There’s an endless number of activities to do as well as 5 must-do 4WD tracks to complete in addition to the Great Beach Drive.

Other things to do:

  • Swimming
  • Kayaking
  • Snorkelling
  • Surfing
  • Diving
  • Hiking

5. North Stradbroke Island

Distance from Brisbane: 80km (3 hours)

Track distance: Various

Skill level: Easy to moderate

Where to stay: Main Beach (camping); Allure Stradbroke Island (accommodation), Debbie’s Place (accommodation)

Where to eat: Look Beach Bar Cafe; Tillers Cafe

Highlights: Cruise down the beach at low tide, explore inland 4WD tracks

There’s never a shortage of things to do on Stradbroke Island and that’s what makes it so perfect for 4WD loving families! Trek over sand and through bush to explore lakes, the gorge and swamps.

North Stradbroke Island can be reached by an easy 45-minute ferry from Cleveland. Straddie is often called a home away from home because it’s got almost everything you need to make your stay comfortable. You’ll find gift shops, clothing stores, cafes, bakeries and groceries so your family holiday won’t require too much planning.

Other things to do:

  • Swimming
  • Fishing
  • Surfing
  • Hiking

For a full guide of what to do on North Stradbroke Island, read our guide here.

6. Coffs Harbour

Distance from Brisbane: 400km (4 hours, 30 minutes)

Track distance: Various

Skill level: Easy to difficult

Where to stay: Ibis (accommodation); Breakfree Aanuka Beach Resort (accommodation)

Where to eat: Surf Club Restaurant; Pizza Vino

Highlights: Rover Trail; Orara Escarpment; visit the Big Banana; feed dolphins

Take the family to see the big banana and explore the many, amazing dirt roads that are within a 5-minute drive from Coffs Harbour. Traverse old logging trails, sub-tropical rainforest and banana plantations while the family hang out at the beach, go shopping or take a Segway tour.

Other things to do:

  • Hiking at nearby National Parks
  • Paintballing
  • Wine tasting
  • Picnic at Dangar Falls

7. Bribie Island

Distance from Brisbane: 80kms (1 hour, 30 minutes)

Trek Distance: Approximately 30kms

Skill level: Easy to moderate

Where to stay: Poverty Creek (camping); Bribie Waterways Motel (accommodation); On The Bay (self-catering)

Where to eat: Surf Club; McDonalds; Kai Cafe

Highlights: explore WWII bunkers, see the endangered dugong, drive on the beach at low tide

For a relaxed family 4WD holiday, head to Bribie Island. It’s so close to Brisbane and you can just drive straight onto the island via a bridge, making it so easy for families with younger kids.

A high-clearance 4WD is necessary for driving throughout the National Park. There are almost no facilities so refuel and stock up on water and food at the local supermarket before heading into the park.

Other things to do:

  • Surfing
  • Swimming
  • Wildlife viewing

8. Conondale National Park

Distance from Brisbane: 140km (1 hour, 45 minutes)

Trek Distance: Various

Skill level: Easy

Where to stay: Booloumba Creek camping area (camping); Rosevale House (accommodation)

Where to eat: The Almanack (Kenilworth)

Highlights: Visit the iconic Jimna Fire Tower; mountain biking; creek crossings, muddy tracks

Conondale National Park makes for a perfect cruisy 4WD family getaway that’s also close to Brisbane. The best sites are scattered throughout the park, accessible by easy to navigate dirt roads that the kids will think are heaps of fun. To get basic groceries and fuel, you’ll need to head back out 15kms to the town of Kenilworth.

For a fun day trip, drive to the nearby Jimna State Forest. As well as the Jimna Fire Tower, you’ll find some good fire trails to navigate with steep sections and river crossings.

Other things to do:

  • Hiking
  • Swimming in boulder-strewn creeks
  • Wildlife watching

9. Yuraygir National Park

Distance from Brisbane: 360km (4 hours)

Trek Distance: Various

Skill level: Easy to moderate

Where to stay: Pebbly Beach (camping)

Where to eat: None

Highlights: Explore mangroves; bushwalking; fun 4WD trails with great views

For the family that enjoys a more remote, self-sufficient style of camping, the Yuragygir National Park is a hidden treasure. Facilities within the park are basic so bring everything you’ll need or head back into Wooli or Grafton for extra supplies.

Getting to the campsite at Pebbly Beach is almost as much fun as staying there. Access can only be made by crossing the estuary in a high-clearance 4WD at low tide. Once you’re there you can swim, fish, watch the wales and enjoy good old-fashioned family campfires.

Coffs Harbour is a 40-minute drive south if you’d like to add on some city-style holiday to your trip.

Other things to do:

  • Swimming
  • Fishing
  • Whale watching
  • Bird watching

10. Eurimbula National Park

Distance from Brisbane: 480km (6 hours)

Track distance: Various

Skill level: Easy to difficult

Where to stay: Eurimbula Creek camping area (camping)

Where to eat: None

Highlights: beach driving, inland 4WD tracks, see the site where James Cook first landed in Queensland, off-roading in Deepwater National Park

Rated as one of the top 5 camping spots in Queensland, Eurimbula National Park is a secret hideaway that’s perfect for a more relaxed and remote family 4WD holiday. Here you’ll find a stunning beaches and bays with mangrove swamps and littoral rainforest.

The campsites in the park can only be accessed by high-clearance 4WDs. Stock up on food and fuel at Bundaberg on the way.

Other things to do:

  • Fishing
  • Hiking
  • Wildlife watching

 

Take the Whole Family on a 4WD Road Trip!

4wd trip with the family

Kids love sitting in the back while you bump up and down dirt tracks so don’t leave them at home, take them on a family 4WD road trip. With so many great family-friendly holiday destinations within easy access of Brisbane, there’s plenty of great memories to be made!

Simply pick up a 4WD from our Brisbane office, swing by your home to load up the gear and the kids and head out to experience the south-east Queensland and beyond has to offer. With unlimited kilometres, comprehensive insurance and 24/7 RACQ roadside assistance all included with no hidden charges, your family holiday will be as stress free as possible.

If you’ve got any more questions about how we can get your family on the road, contact us today. We’re also happy to provide free quotes online or over the phone.

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