By Hugh McInnes
Aside from being a region that possesses some of the world’s most stunning scenery, Australia has a reputation for offering a variety of popular four wheel drive touring routes. The many roads and off-road routes wind their way through country that includes mud and water crossings, rocks and steep climbs best travelled and most easily traversed in a 4×4.
Australia is grand in scope and what it has to offer those who want to see it, but more of Australia can be seen whilst travelling in a 4×4 vehicle than by any other means of transport. The modern 4WD vehicle has the best capabilities as the preferred off-roader, referred to as bush ability. It is the four-wheel drive mode that provides for maximum manoeuvrability in such low traction conditions as mud, dirt and gravel.
Four-wheel drive is what allows a vehicle to be manually switched from two-wheel street driving mode. The demanding terrain of the off-road trails requires the 4WD advantages of higher load capacity, more storage space, passenger comfort and the greater engine capacity to tackle soft sand surfaces for the power needed to pull trailers or tow boats. There are more modern conveniences for driver and passengers than ever before plus greater economy with the latest generation of diesel engines now available.
It is the 4×4’s ability to provide a safe journey that is comfortable while being practical that has contributed to the growing popularity of 4x4s and has made for increased interest and availability of 4×4 clubs. These tours utilise modern satellite navigation systems along with sophisticated mobile communications devices. The 4x4s available today are a far cry from the expensive and cumbersome transports that, while useful in their time, certainly did not represent the pure fun and enjoyment of today’s vehicles.
Australia is a land of natural beauty. The unique flora and fauna that can only be found in her wilderness represents a vaste expanse once off limits to the majority of Australians and visitors from overseas. Taking the land under 4×4 control is an exhilarating experience that offers many choices of how to thoroughly enjoy exploring the great unknown. Planning trips is easy and essential.
There are groups that plan to carve out a good segment of the year to make a sweeping journey of the land while others are happy to enjoy a holiday that can last up to ten days. There are many road trips to be enjoyed that provide stops along the way in various towns. Many of the tracks have been arranged as part of the management of forests for fire control. Tracks that may have been in good condition one year may not be so the following year. These journeys allow for the opportunity to get to know the locals while learning which tracks are most accessible.
There are routes that will take visitors to terrain that is covered with snow. As the seasons change and warmer weather melts the snow, spring brings flowers and grasses and more bush tracks opening that are so very popular among 4WD enthusiasts and campers who enjoy the rivers and fishing in the streams. The 4×4 road trip is ideal considering most of the roads are not sealed. Venturing into the deepest places for fun and adventure results in memories that will last a lifetime.
Hugh McInnes loves experiencing driving adventures in his 4×4 car and he says that Australia is one of the best places to make a road trip with this kind of car.
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