With destinations suited for hiking, fishing, and hitting the tracks, make the most out of your summer with these 4x4 activities and events that are set to take place all over Australia and run all the way through to autumn.
Million Dollar Barra (NT)
Another heads-up folks: there are still (at the time of writing) five barramundi kicking around Top End waterways that carry a catch-tag signalling they are worth one million dollars. This is the fourth season of Million Dollar Fish, with organisers spreading the odds by tagging five barra with the “Million Dollar Fish” tag.
The first of those five will be the winning fish. There are also 100 barra tagged with $10,000 prizes and 20 with $5000 tags. There’s never really any need for an excuse to head to the Top End, but this one should do the trick.
Please check out www.milliondollarfish.com.au for more information.
Australian Wooden Boat Festival (TAS)
For lovers of old, new and historical wooden ships of all shapes, sizes and methods of power, the biennial Australian Wooden Boat Festival, held February 8 to 11, will take place in Hobart, both on the water and ashore.
As well as the chance to see beautifully built watercraft, the festival also hosts the international Wooden Boat Symposium (at the Uni of Tassie’s Dechaineux Theatre), with a line-up of expert speakers on subjects ranging from advanced nautical design and history, to boat restoration and traditional boat-building skills australianwoodenboatfestival.com.au for more info.
Bright Adventure Travel Film Festival (VIC)
If you’re looking for inspiration for that next off-road or outdoor trip, the Victorian alpine village of Bright is hosting its annual Adventure Travel Film Festival from February 15-17. The festival is showing great films including Pan American by Postie, which follows Chantelle and Todd Powell on two postie motorbikes as they traverse 17 countries.
Another cracker is Once More – the story of VIN903847, which recounts Paul Loofs’ triple circumnavigation of the world in a VW Beetle. The Powells and Paul will be guest speakers at the festival.
For more information: adventuretravelfilmfestival.com
Silverton Sunsets Music Festival (NSW)
After the raging success of the inaugural music bash at one of Australia’s iconic outback pubs, this event is back again for its second year and will run from March 1 to 3. Reflecting that initial success, the 2019 event will be bigger and better. Troy Cassar-Daley, Tania Kernaghan, Sara Storer, Amber Lawrence, The Bushwackers and Rob Imeson are some of the artists performing.
See www.silvertonsunsetmusifestival.com for more info.
Drive 4 Life (VIC)
Drive 4 Life will be running two tours in 2019. One will journey through the Vic High Country from April 28 to May 3, on a loop starting and finishing in Harrietville. The second is set for September 8 to 15 and tours the outback NSW town of Broken Hill and SA’s Flinders Ranges. The tours raise money for the Northcott foundation, and a $1000 tax deductible donation per vehicle ensures participation.
Visit www.drive4life.com.au for more information.
Go West (WA)
The southwest of WA comes into its own in the summer. The sweeping beaches, national parks, hiking and mountain biking trails, and sublime beach and forest camping makes the summer holidays the perfect time to experience it.
Some hotspots include Leeuwin-Naturaliste NP with its awesome beaches and hinterland, Warren NP with its riverside camping and cracking paddling opportunities, and Boranup Karri Forest for a chance to check out these gigantic trees. It may seem a long way for eastern-seaboard residents, but the trip across the Nullarbor is an adventure in itself.
For info, check out: https://parks.dpaw.wa.gov.au
Head to the Hills (NSW)
Blue Mountains National Park offers a world of adventure. Whether you’re keen on tackling tracks, hiking, paddling, rock-climbing, abseiling, mountain biking, or just dossing down for a night at a secluded campsite, the ‘Blueys’ has plenty to offer. The best part is being so close to the city you don’t need to leave at the crack of dawn to beat the rush back.
For more information, see www.nationalparks.nsw.gov.au