Stuck for a 4WD spot near Brisbane to take your rig for a spin? Check out these stunning beaches for an All-Aussie-All-Wheel-Drive Adventure.
Living in South-East Queensland gives you easy access to some of the most stunning 4WD spots in Australia. The beaches, in particular, are ideal for a 4WD adventure near Brisbane. Whether you’re new to 4WDing or have a lot of experience, in each of these locations, the driving can be as simple or challenging as you make it. You can cruise down the sand and set up for a beach day or head inland for more of an adventure.
Don’t forget that you need a beach permit for all 4WD beaches near Brisbane and you should always carry recovery equipment in your vehicle. New to 4WDing? Book a sand driving course before your first trip to build your confidence.
Things to do
Bribie Island beaches have a lot to offer with great surfing, fishing, lakes/inlets for swimming and the forts where you can learn about the WWII history on the island.
Perhaps the best choice for day trips from Brisbane, Bribie Island is just over an hour from the city with access via a road bridge. Once on the island head to the North Street Car Park to get onto the beach track. The access track is fairly long and can be a bit messy, so take it easy and leave plenty of room between you and the car in front in case they get bogged. Download a map of the Bribie Island 4WD area.
There are a few campsites to choose from on Bribie Island, with toilet and shower facilities at both Ocean Beach and Poverty Point. You’re allowed fires at the campsites (remember to BYO firewood as collecting wood for fires is prohibited in all national parks) and there’s water available, although it’s not suitable for drinking. Don’t forget to book your camping and 4WD permit.
Check the tide times and information about beach conditions before driving on the beach. Stop in at Caltex on First Avenue to reinflate tyres, fill your tank and the car with snacks. On the way back to Brisbane, Kings Carwash in Ningi has an under-car wash to remove any sand and salt.
Moreton Island (Moorgumpin)
Things to do
Perhaps best known for the snorkelling at the Tangalooma Wrecks (right next to where the ferry pulls in) it’s well worth packing your snorkelling gear to check out the impressive array of fish and sunken boats. There are some inland driving tracks that aren’t too challenging and lead to freshwater lakes – perfect for an afternoon dip. The inland tracks are also the quickest way to access the surf side of the island. If you like bushwalking head up to Cape Moreton to take in the amazing ocean views and see Queensland’s oldest lighthouse, built in 1857.
The ferry from Brisbane to Moreton Island, leaves from the Port of Brisbane and takes 90 minutes.
For 4WDing newbies, Ben-Ewa is the closest campsite to the ferry and easy to access. Find it on the bay side with toilets, showers, water (not drinkable) and shady, defined campsites accessible to 4WDs, camper trailers, and caravans. Check out the map for details of the other campsites, and book your camping and 4WD permit.
Check the driving conditions and tide times to help plan your trip. Let your tyres down on the ferry as there aren’t any paved roads on Moreton Island so you’ll drive straight off the ferry onto the sand. Invest in some tyre deflators before your trip! There are air hoses on the ferry to reinflate your tyres on the way home. Fill up the car and stock up on supplies before getting on the ferry, as shops are very limited on the islands! You can also buy a day pass to the Tangalooma Resort if you want to use the facilities there.
North Stradbroke Island (Minjerribah)
Things to do
In 2011 the Quandamooka people were officially recognised as the Traditional Owners of the land. Learn about their culture and experience their traditions while on the island. There’s also surfing, fishing, bushwalking, and whale watching during the winter months.
Read More: Across the Ditch to Minjerribah
The Minjeeribah Car Ferry leaves from Cleveland on Brisbane’s Southside and takes about 50 minutes to reach the island. You’ll arrive in Dunwich where there are shops and cafes for you to stock up on any last-minute supplies.
There are plenty of campsites to choose from on North Straddie, from basic beach camping to powered campsites with all the mod-cons, and even glamping. The two 4WD spots on North Stradbroke are Main Beach and Flinders Beach — both have camping and are dog-friendly which is unusual for beach camping – only Flinders has toilet facilities. Book your camping and 4WD permit before you go!
Read the park website for driving conditions before setting off. Check out the map of the area for 4WD access points. Flinders has a short access track and is great for beginners – check the tides, as the beach is very narrow at high tide. Main Beach is a much bigger area, but the middle access point can be tricky to navigate if the sand dune builds up, so if you’re new to 4WDing enter via the northern access track. Fill up with fuel before getting on the ferry as there’s only one service station on the island. Make sure you take your own air compressor too!
Noosa North Shore
Things to do
The Noosa North Shore is a huge area for 4WDing. You can drive up the beach and over the sand dunes all the way to Rainbow Beach. Along the way stop for surfing, fishing or a walk up to the lighthouse and to take in the view.
Located north of the Sunshine Coast, this is probably the furthest 4WD spot from Brisbane, but the most well-known. If you’re travelling from the south, catch the ferry from Moorindil Street in Tewantin. Check out the map of the area.
The two camping areas on the beach are Teewah and Freshwater. Teewah is on the sand, with no set campsites and no facilities; whereas Freshwater has showers, toilets and marked campsites, set slightly back from the beach in the shade of the trees. Camping gets very, very busy on the Noosa North Shore so make sure to book in advance. Don’t forget to book your camping and 4WD permit.
There’s a great place on Beach Road (just off the ferry) where you can fill up your tyres and wash under your car after driving on the beach. There’s also a pub and a small shop here. Make sure to check the tides and park conditions for any warnings about the driving conditions before you set off.