Even as summer winds down there are plenty of events to experience around Australia from March till April.
Simpson Desert season looms
For those planning a trek across ‘the Simmo’, March 16 signals the first day the Simpson Desert Regional Reserve and Simpson Desert Conservation Park are open to visitors. This common sense approach of closing the area from December 1 to March 15 avoids the risk of a fatality from a breakdown in the incredible heat over summer.
To book a Desert Pass and check conditions, email: DesertParks@sa.gov.au or call (08) 8648 5328.
Navrun: Amazing Race 2018 (VIC)
This awesome 4x4 navigation event is being held in Victoria’s Wimmera district over the Easter long weekend. The family-friendly three-day event will be great fun, as punters navigate in a 4x4 while looking for clues and following instructions (and tackling some odd and crazy exercises) – so plenty of laughs to go with the driving.
There are no classes; your standard (registered) 4x4 will be more than enough for this affair. The event also includes kids’ activities, camping (at the one site) and the chance to spend a few days in this special location. Bring your own food, water, drinks, etc.
See www.navrun.com.au for event information.
Julia Creek Dirt n Dust Festival (QLD)
Held from April 13-15, this adventure festival is based out of Julia Creek, Queensland, with organisers encouraging visitors to tackle the Overlanders Way on the way. This famous drive takes in Townsville, Hughenden, Richmond, Julia Creek, Cloncurry and Mt Isa, with each town offering its own visitor highlight (a pie from the FJ Holden Café in Hughenden is a must).
The festival features horse races, bull rides, triathlons, bog snorkelling (yep, you read that right), nightly concerts and novelty events (including a kids’ scavenger hunt).
For further information, visit www.dirtndust.com.
The ARB ORRC Sunraysia 400 (NSW)
The ARB Australian Off Road Racing Championship heads to Mildura for the second round of the competition, with the Sunraysia 400 running from April 21-23.
The ARB ORRC is held over four rounds at four different locations this year. This event offers those looking to get into competitive off-road racing a chance to do so in a sociable environment. With eight vehicle classes ranging from production 4x4s through to buggies and everything in between, you can bet your house on the fact it will be an awesome weekend.
For more information and to find out how to take part, head to www.offroadracing.com.au. Give it a crack!
Station Stays (SA)
Since forming in 2009, this group of pastoral tourism businesses in the SA outback and the Flinders and Gawler Ranges has grown to include 26 stations and properties that accommodate visitors. Stations, such as Horseshoe Rim, include 4x4 tracks for those keen to do some exploration of their own.
Another station in this group is Willow Springs, home to the famous Skytrek, a full-day 4x4 tour of the property. Located just north of Wilpena Pound, it means you can also explore this iconic destination.
With 26 stations, this is a great choice for any and all tourers, so go to www.stationstayssa.com.au for more information. Start packing for that trip!
Easter Weekend Gem
Easter is relatively early this year, which is the perfect excuse to head to the NSW Sapphire Coast, in the Premier State’s south-east and midway between Melbourne and Sydney.
This part of NSW offers sublime surf beaches, brilliant camping (national park/state forest camping and beach-side caravan/camping parks), fishing and plenty of hiking, mountain biking, paddling. The popular towns – Tathra, Merimbula, Pambula, Eden – have awesome eateries, too.
Keep up on the latest 4x4 events on Explore
The Man From Snowy River Festival (VIC)
Any excuse to visit the High Country will do, and this one will be brilliant. Held April 5-8 at Corryong, this event showcases the lifestyle of the local cattlemen from years gone by (and for a few of them, today). There will be numerous horse-riding events, a movie night, whip-cracking demos, a rodeo, ute muster, bush poetry, kids’ party, street parade, and plenty more.
Visit bushfestival.com.au for more info.