DESTINATIONS – TRAVEL DESTINATIONS
We love travelling in the Outback and visiting remote places in Australia. In this section we tell you about some of the amazing places we’ve visited: Cape York, Arnhem Land, The Simpson Desert, The Kimberley, The Red Centre, Len Beadell Tracks, Canning Stock Route, Kakadu, Savannah Way, The Channel Country, The High Country, Flinders Ranges, Aboriginal Art Sites….
Cape Melville is a little visited destination on the way to Cape York and the main reasons are the remoteness of the place and the difficult access tracks. However, if you don’t mind slogging through rutted bulldust and deep sand, then living with crocs, rays, sharks, stingers, dingoes, feral bulls, giant pigs and hordes of voracious sandflies you’ll just love it. Oh, the fishing’s not bad either
This footage from 1989 is of the now forbidden beach run from Ussher Point to Captain Billy Landing.
Many 4WD adventurers were forced to abandon their 4x4s after becoming hopelessly bogged in sand on incoming tides.
This trek follows a route laid out by NSW-based 4WD Off Road Driver Training and Tours. The route takes in popular and less travelled tracks across the dune field, followed by a run through the Painted Desert, to Coober Pedy.
Everyone knows about Uluru (Ayers Rock), which is one of the world’s best known tourist attractions. However, the Rock is just one of dozens of brilliant sites in Australia’s Red Centre and many 4WD visitors don’t leave themselves enough time to see them all.
As with many national parks Ben Boyd is best appreciated by setting up your camp and then driving and walking to experience the attractions. Nearly all the gravel and dirt roads in the Park are suitable for 2WD vehicles, but there are some 4WD-only tracks in the northern section.
Outback Travel Australia helped two senior archaeologists make a highly significant discovery in the Outback. We were delighted to set up this archaeological expedition and we felt privileged to be present when such an important historic find was made.
Cape York can be tackled in a variety of ways, from full-on, extreme 4WD tracks to the corrugated main road. This suggested itinerary takes in some demanding off-roading, but not hard-core tracks like the one through Gunshot Creek.
Carnarvon Gorge is one of the best known National Parks in Queensland, but not so well known is the fact that it’s only one of four major sites in what is the greater Carnarvon National Park.
The explorer Charles Sturt was the first white man to pass through the area, in 1845, on his way to find the anticipated inland sea. Australia’s inward-flowing rivers surely meant that there must be a central sea into which they flowed and so convinced of this was Sturt that he hauled a whaleboat on wheels with him.
Like many of Australia’s giant rivers the Diamantina has its source in shallow hills, spreads majestically wide when full and ends anti-climactically in an inland swamp. Also like many inland rivers the Diamantina is little more than an expanse of dusty channels, with isolated waterholes, in most years. Flooding rains change that scene.
Although the best known sites around Alice Springs are in the West MacDonnells, there are many natural and historic wonders to the east of the town that are not so well visited.
The loose gravel track climbed out of the rocky creek bed and wound its way up a steep slope. When the bonnet crested the rise the view literally stopped us in our tracks: as far as the eye could see the twisted, tortured hills of the Flinders Ranges stretched to the horizon, their folds accentuated by the fading rays of the sinking sun.
OTA joined forces with senior archaeologists from the National Museum and UNE. This expedition began with a search for elusive diprotodon fossils on the shores of Lake Callabonna.
Fraser Island is one of the jewels in Australia’s crown and is justifiably on the World Heritage List. We have a need to get to Fraser every few years and the problem is: so does everyone else, it seems.
The innocuous name doesn’t exactly capture the imagination, but Lawn Hill National Park in north-west Queensland is one of the State’s most spectacular sites.
This World Heritage Area is a must-see destination.
When we do Outback trips with our archaeological mates it never ceases to amaze us how they see things we don’t. On this excursion into the Strzelecki Desert we helped them locate what looked like a pile of old rocks, but it turned out to be something quite different…
It’s an unfortunate fact that 4WD enthusiasts are locked out of many Aboriginal lands, so it came as a refreshing change when we were invited by well-known Alice Springs based 4WD guru, Jol Fleming, to join him on a ‘recce’ for what is intended to be a regular tour through Aboriginal lands in the northern Simpson Desert.
OTA joined a combined Direct 4WD Awareness and Central Lands Council expedition into the Northern Simpson Desert. The purpose of the trip was to look for evidence of Aboriginal occupation in the remote Plenty Lakes area.
It’s often been said that the journey is half the fun and that’s certainly the case with the gravel road alternative routes to the Red Centre from the East Coast: the Sandover and Plenty Highways.
Magnificent, tall ferny blackbutt, brushbox, tallow wood and blue gum trees dominate the ridge lines and valleys, and rainforest pockets appear around virtually every corner. Almost half of Tapin Tops NP is old-growth forest and provides a habitat for threatened species, including the parma wallaby, squirrel glider and sphagnum frog.
It’s tempting for east coasters emerging from the Tanami Desert to push through the East Kimberley region and onto the Gibb River Road, but you need more time near the WA border before going west.
There are literally hundreds of tracks through Australia’s tallest mountain ranges, but we’ve selected just a few of our favourites.
Abercrombie River National Park preserves steep sections of forested tableland, amidst less rugged, cleared country that has become pine plantations and grazing land. Abercrombie offers varied 4WD driving conditions and magnificent river-side campsites.
This World Heritage listed area offers spectacular views of the Mount Warning volcanic site, along with drives and walks through dense rainforest. A tour through the Border Ranges National Park isn’t an off-road challenge by any means, but should be part of any tour of the mountainous region between Queensland and NSW.