Looking for easy 4WD tracks near Brisbane (that are still bloody awesome and fun as heck)? Well, you’ve come to the right place. Whether you’re a new 4×4 enthusiast or just looking for an easy track to do, we’ve got you sorted.
We acknowledge the Traditional Custodians of the Country on which this adventure takes place who have occupied and cared for this land for thousands of years. We pay our respects to them and recognise that sovereignty was never ceded.
There’s nothing like spending the day – or entire weekend – hopping in your fourby and heading out to the tracks. A day of 4WDing with your mates is never not fun – although there’s no denying it can be a slightly risky hobby (and expensive one when things go wrong).
Now, I don’t say that to put you off the 4WD life, but it’s more of a disclaimer. I know, putting a disclaimer on fun times – how lame of me. Nonetheless, it needs to be said if you’re a 4WD beginner, it’s important you tackle the easy tracks first before moving on to the bigger and harder stuff.
The good news is there are countless beginner and easy 4WD tracks near Brisbane for you to run amok on, and we’ve rounded them up in this neat little list. Before we get to that, please read some important info that will help prepare you for a safe drive.
4WD Beginner’s Safety Checklist
4WDing is incredibly fun, but it does come with risks if you don’t know what you’re doing. Here are some 4WD safety tips for beginners.
- Sounds obvious, but if you own an AWD, don’t attempt to access 4WD tracks. It’s only going to end badly for you. Read about the difference here.
- Also, know how to use your 4WD! Again, sounds obvious but if you’re new to 4WDing, it’s a good idea to do a course or have someone teach you how to properly drive your fourby. This is a good article to help you out.
- Always go with another 4WD. This is in case you get bogged and need to be winched out. It happens to even 4WD pros, so don’t think you’re immune because you’re doing an easy track.
- Keep a pair of Maxtrax and a winch handy in the boot. A shovel is important too, as is a snatch strap. You can never be too cautious. A UHF radio is also wise so you can easily communicate with your mate in the other 4WD, or in case you need assistance and there’s no phone reception.
- A tyre deflator/inflator is also recommended, depending on the track you’re doing. It’s a good piece of equipment to have in general if you plan to do a lot of off-roading.
- 4WD isn’t typically safe in wet weather, especially if you’re a beginner. If it’s been raining the day prior or the weatherperson says there will be rain, give it a miss
Read more: Remember to leave no trace!
Easy 4WD Tracks Near Brisbane for Beginners
1. North Stradbroke Island
Distance from Brisbane: 30km east to the ferry terminal (45 minutes) – then 1 hour on the ferry to the Island
Entry fees: Ferry fare (varies), 4WD permit (varies depending on size) and camping permit
North Stradbroke Island / Minjerribah is one of the three famous sand dune islands off the coast of Queensland and has some epic beach fishing, camping and 4WDing routes. The island – also affectionately known as Straddie – is a super popular destination for 4WD enthusiasts.
What’s great about Straddie is there are tracks suitable for all 4WD beginners and those who can conquer the harder runs. The island can be accessed by driving your 4WD onto the Stradbroke Ferry from Cleveland, and then it’s about one hour to the Island itself.
If you’re keen on a beach drive, we’d recommend Flinders Beach and Main Beach. Make sure to let down your tyres when you’re on the ferry!
2. Mount Mee (D’Aguilar National Park)
Distance from Brisbane: 71 km north-west (1 hour and 15 minutes)
Entry fees: Camping and entry fees may apply
Mount Mee in D’Aguilar National Park is one of the best easy 4WD tracks near Brisbane. It’s about one hour north of Brisbane CBD and has a variety of tracks for all skill levels. However, for beginners it’s important you stick to the main 4WD track. There are smaller off-road runs that range in difficulty from moderate to difficult, and definitely not for beginners.
At the moment, there are no permits required to access the tracks, but always keep an eye on the signs because this can change depending on the season.
D’Aguilar National Park itself is gorgeous – a huge area of woodlands, rainforest and gorges with great camping, nature hikes and other outdoor activities, so there’s plenty to do once you’re finished driving for the day.
3. Condamine River Track
Distance from Brisbane: 140 km south-west (2 hours and 15 minutes)
Entry fees: None
If you’ve never experienced the pristine beauty of the Condamine River, this 4WD track’s for you. Just 140km south-west of Brisbane you’ll find the Condamine River track, which is well-suited to 4WD beginners. The track weaves its way over the Condamine River 14 times, offering spectacular views while you traverse the hard and rocky river base.
It’s wet, it’s muddy and it’s a whole heap of fun! However, it’s vital you check the weather before you go because too much rainfall can make the river crossings inaccessible.
The trail can be accessed from either Boonah or Killarney, or you can make it a round trip. You can do the whole run in about an hour or two depending on weather and your driving skills. However, it’s a good idea to take it slowly because the road becomes very narrow at some points with a steep drop-off.
4. Moreton Island
Distance from Brisbane: 47 km north-east via ferry (1 hour and 15 minutes)
Entry fees: Ferry fee (varying) and vehicle access permit (1 month for $53.65)
Moreton Island/Moorgumpin is another great spot near Brisbane for easy 4WD tracks for beginners. This is another island that has a variety of tracks to suit all skill levels. There are also plenty of spots for swimming, fishing, and camping. What’s awesome about Moreton Island is you can almost drive around the whole island (except for a few bypass tracks near towns and camping grounds).
Moreton Island’s original Indigenous name is Moorgumpin, which means ‘place of sand hills’. There’s tonnes of history and cultural heritage attached to the island, and it’s a truly beautiful spot to explore in your fourby. The island’s sand is generally quite soft, so it’s really important you have all your recovery gear (shovel and Maxtrax) and let down your tyre pressure.
Janowen Hills 4WD Park
Distance from Brisbane: 160km south-west (2 hours)
Entry fees: $25 per day to access tracks, plus varying fees for camping
Most fourby owners will have heard of Janowen Hills 4WD Park, but if you’re new to the 4×4 world, here’s what you need to know: Janowen Hills is situated in the stunning Goomburra Valley, just two hours south-west of Brisbane. It’s a property that’s about one thousand acres consisting of hilly terrain and rocky gullies (and some nice grassed area for camping besides a flowing creek).
There are roughly eight 4WD tracks that range from easy to extreme, so take your pick! The park has a buddy system policy, meaning you need to have a 4WD mate with you to enter the park (for safety purposes). It’s a really fun spot to test your skills and the power of your fourby, so grab your mates and make a weekend of it!
Feature photo thanks to @_thelittleadventurer