With the spring blooms, in anticipation of the coming heat of summer, the window for hitting some of the more arid 4x4 tracks is closing. But don't put your 4x4 rig into hibernation just yet as there are still plenty to do over the coming months.
Victorian tracks open soon
It’s nearly at the end of that annual countdown to the reopening of some of Victoria’s iconic 4x4 tracks located inside national parks and reserves after the winter closures. The closures affect a majority of the popular High Country tracks.
The reopening usually means that most of the tracks are open from the Melbourne Cup long weekend, but your best bet is to check www.4wdvictoria.org.au to confirm before you head off.
Flower power in WA
From October onwards, Western Australia’s huge variety of native wildflowers start to bloom, with November a prime time to check out this colourful extravaganza.
The state’s south-west is the prime viewing spot, with a number of fantastic viewpoints in popular national parks, such as Leeuwin-Naturaliste, as well as around the Margaret River area. This region, with the heathlands abutting the coastline, and the forests farther inland from there, is perfect for them.
Tourism Australia offers an awesome digital guide online. Download their online guide and check it out.
Simpson season nearly over
It’s close to time for the Simpson Desert Regional Reserve and Conservation Park’s annual close-down for the (very) hot months over summer. The closure kicks in on December 1 so if you do still want to get out – and across – the mighty Simpson, you’ve only got a few weeks.
If you still want to squeeze a desert trip in, see www.environment.sa.gov.au for the latest info on the park and for further contact details.
Watch for whales (NSW)
November is prime whale-watching season along the NSW coast and one of the best ways to check out these marine mammals as they journey down our coastline is to download the NSW National Parks “Wild about whales” app to your smartphone.
The app is brilliant, allowing you to publish your own personal sightings in real-time, receive updates on the location of whales as they are logged by users along the coast, and you can even filter the whale sightings by timeframe and particular regions, allowing you to focus on your closest viewing region.
Check out www.wildaboutwhales.com.au for more info.
Million dollar barra
Yep, it’s on again, the fourth season of Million Dollar Fish, up in the Top End, kicking off on October 1 and running through to February.
The competition, run by Tourism NT and Tourism Top End, enables anglers the chance to snare one of 100 barramundi tagged with a $10,000 prize, and then there’s the biggie: one barra swimming around Top End waterways worth $1m.
To beat us to it, go to www.milliondollarfish.com.au
Snowy Mountains Trout Festival
It’s the 45th year for this famous angler’s festival based in the NSW Snowy Mountains. It continues to offer something for all fishing styles, whether trolling, spinning, fly and bait-based.
Held from Saturday, November 3 through to Thursday, November 8 at 6pm, with the presentations being held at Adaminiby on Friday, November 9. There will be some great prizes up for grabs, including the major lucky draw prize of a Quintrex 370 Explorer boat (complete with 15hp Yamaha motor and trailer), valued at more than $10,000, plus additional lucky draw prizes as well as fishing category prizes.
Young anglers’ tuition (NSW)
More fishing news and a cracker at that: the NSW Department of Primary Industries conducts four-hour kids’ fishing workshops (salt- or freshwater focused) for eight to 14-year-olds during school holiday periods.
It costs $40 per child and they learn about fishing rules and regs, fish habitat conservation, essential skills (think: knot tying, rigging, baiting, casting, etc.). They also receive a rod, reel, tackle box, shirt cap and more goodies.
See www.dpi.nsw.gov.au for more.