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Australian 4x4 Event Calendar

By 4x4 Australia, 07 Feb 2020 Explore

Australian Event Calendar diary

Here are the latest 4x4 events and festivals taking place around Australia.

Regardless of where you are in this big red country – refreshing with an ale in outback NSW, crossing the Nullarbor or sussing out what’s biting in the Top End – there’ll be an event taking place that should tickle your fancy. More often than not you’ll need a capable fourbie to reach the outback locations – city slickers fear not, as we’ll list suburban events, too.

So to make life easier when you’re plotting your next off-road adventure, here’s a calendar of upcoming Australian 4x4 events and activities.


February 2020

BRIGHT ADVENTURE TRAVEL FILM FESTIVAL

Date: February 14-16
Location:
 Victoria

The 2020 Adventure Travel Film Festival will feature screenings of adventure travel films from the 1920s to the present day, with the chance to hear from inspiring speakers and authors.

The line-up of films includes Broken Roads to Siberia, in which two Finnish motorcyclists tackle the Russian wilderness, Altai Mountains, Mongolian deserts and more; and The Passage, in which adventurers paddle vintage canoes from Washington to Alaska up the Inside Passage.

See www.adventuretravelfilmfestival.com for more information and a full list of films.


ILLAWARRA CARAVAN CAMPING LIFESTYLE EXPO

Date: February 14-16
Location:
 New South Wales

Those chasing a home on the road could do worse than check out all that’s on offer at the Illawarra Caravan Camping Lifestyle Expo.

Held at Kembla Grange Racecourse, the event showcases more than 100 exhibitors of caravans, campers and associated equipment. There will also be holiday park and destination exhibitors, free parking and free kids entertainment … and you can even bring your dog. The gates are open 9.30am-5pm Friday and Saturday and 9.30am-4pm Sunday.

See www.caravanexpo.com/illawarra/ for ticket prices and information.


March 2020

ARB CULTURE LIVE 

Date: March 21-22
Location:
 South Australia

The inaugural event will take place at Loveday 4x4 Adventure Park and offer product demonstrations, expert advice, workshops, live music, food trucks, a moonlight cinema, a jumping castle and more.

Tickets are $150 adult; $60 12-17yo; and $35 5-11yo, which includes park access and camping fees (there’s plenty of riverside camping). Half of all adult ticket sales will go to charities supporting the bushfire crisis.

Visit: www.arb.com.au/4x4culture-live


DLRA SPEED WEEK, LAKE GAIRDNER

Date: March 23-27
Location:
 South Australia

The 30th Annual Speed Week will take place at Lake Gairdner.

Hosted by Dry Lake Racers Australia (DLRA), this spectacular and unique event is all about straight-line speed. It’s sometimes referred to as “the big white dyno”, on which competitors simply go as fast as they can in cars, on motorcycles and in trucks dating from the turn of the century to the modern day.

For more information, on this super-fast event check out: www.dlra.org.au


NATIONAL 4X4 OUTDOORS SHOW

Date: March 27-29 
Location:
 Queensland

The expo will take place at the Brisbane Showgrounds, where more than 200 exhibitors will showcase the latest 4x4 and camping gear and provide expert advice on 4WDing, camping, fishing, boating and outdoor activities. There’ll be test drives, seminars and 4x4 training. Gates open 9am-6pm Friday and Saturday, and 9am-5pm Sunday.

See: 4x4show.com.au/Brisbane


VARIETY 4WD ADVENTURE

Date: March 28 
Location:
South Australia

The 2020 Variety SA 4WD Adventure (Between a Rock and a Hard Place) is sold out, but you can register your interest in the 2021 edition on the event’s website.

For the record, the 2020 route kicks off on March 28 at Kulgera and takes in Uluru-Kata Tjuta, Kings Canyon, Boggy Hole, Hermannsburg, Henbury Meteorites Conservation Reserve, Lambert Centre of Australia, Mount Dare, Old Dalhousie Ruins, Oodnadatta and Arckaringa Station, finishing up on April 3. The main sponsor of the event is Jarvis Toyota and funds raised go to Variety the Children’s Charity.

See: variety.org.au/sa/events/4wd-adventure-2020


ANNUAL NGARKAT CP WORKING BEE

Date: March 28-29 
Location:
 South Australia

Every year a group of volunteers from 4WDSA affiliated clubs meet at the Ngarkat Conservation Park to work on the Border Track, maintaining and/or repairing matting and fencing, cleaning up fireplaces and rubbish, trimming vegetation, and more.

This year the working bee is scheduled for March, with volunteers to meet at Ngarkat CP Pine Hut Soak campground (S35º 25’ 24.7” E140º 52’ 46.2”) at 8.30am on Saturday for a 9am start.

If you and your club are keen to help out, email Darryl McManus at ddaajmcm@bigpond.net.au or visit: www.4wdsa.asn.au/


April 2020

PARRTJIMA - A FESTIVAL IN LIGHT

Date: April 3-12
Location:
 Northern Territory

Now is the time to plan a trip to the Red Centre, and if you find yourself in Alice Springs between April 3 to 12 you’ll catch the brilliant Parrtjima Aboriginal light festival. Set against the majestic MacDonnell Ranges, this free annual festival takes over Alice Springs with 10 nights of light installations from a number of Aboriginal artists. There’s also a programme of live talks, events and music by local and national musicians.

See: www.parrtjimaaustralia.com.au


ARB ELDEE EASTER FESTIVAL

Date: April 10-12
Location:
 New South Wales

Eldee Station has announced the dates for the 2020 ARB Eldee Easter Festival. The fun 4x4 event will take place over the weekend of April 10 to 12 and, as well as four-wheel driving tests on the award-winning station’s myriad tracks, there will be plenty of activities for families including the traditional Easter Egg Hunt, a fireworks display over the Mundi Mundi Plains, a tagalong tour, a charity auction and live music. Accommodation options include rooms and powered or unpowered campsites.

Head to: www.eldeestation.com to view the full event schedule or to make a booking.


Tracks and destinations

TRACK DANGER
Location: 
Nationwide

Before Christmas we were spruiking Alpine NSW and the Vic High Country as ideal summer 4x4 destinations, but then the terrible fires hit the region, along with many other parts of the country.

Bearing this in mind, many 4x4 tracks are closed, either due to continued fire danger or because of fallen trees and other debris. And if rain falls in fire-affected areas, conditions can deteriorate quickly, with severe track erosion the result.

Before you jump in your 4x4 to head bush, check the status of any 4x4 tracks via your state fire service, state forest management or national parks, and always abide by fire bans.


HELPING FIRE-AFFECTED COMMUNITIES
Location: 
Nationwide

The recent bushfires have had a huge impact on many communities across Australia in many different ways and, as well as the loss of life and property, several regional towns have suffered from a huge loss in business as a result.

You can help these communities by simply getting out there in your four-wheel drive and spending some money at local service stations, local shops, local cafes and eateries, local pubs and local motels. Make sure you research your intended destination before departing home to ensure that the roads are open and you’ll be able to access these services.


RED CENTRE IN SEASON
Location: 
Northern Territory

There’s more to see in the ACT than Parliament House, the Museum and the Zoo; take a drive out of Canberra and check out the Namadgi National Park and Visitor Centre. Learn about the area’s Aboriginal heritage, admire the birdlife and enjoy the picnic areas and camping spots, or partake in ranger-guided walks or a self-guided walk along the Bendora Arboretum heritage track through conifer and deciduous forests.

It’s a great place to visit in summer and the Visitor Centre is open 9am-4pm weekdays and 9am-4.30pm weekends, except Christmas Day. See visitcanberra.com.au.


NAMADGI NP & VISITOR CENTRE 
Location: 
Australian Capital Territory

Central Australia in summer? The folk at Tourism NT reckon so, stating “the waterholes are full and ready to be plunged into, night-time events light up the mountains … and the warm summer nights are ready to be enjoyed”.


ALPINE SUMMER
Location: 
Victoria/New South Wales

You won’t find any snow but there’s still plenty to do in the Vic High Country and Alpine NSW in summer.

One of our favourite drives starts in the Nariel Valley and heads east to the lofty heights of Mt Pinnibar before descending to a great campsite at Dogman Hut near Tom Groggin Station on the Murray River.

Check conditions at www.parks.vic.gov.au or www.nationalparks.nsw.gov.au, and carry plenty of fuel and supplies.


SIMPSON SEASON COMING TO AN END

The Simpson Desert Regional Reserve and Conservation Park will close over the summer months, so if you want to cross the Simpson this year you’d better get out there as soon as possible. The closure takes place on December 1 due to the extreme weather conditions in this part of the country throughout summer.

For full details and the latest information on the park, head to: www.parks.sa.gov.au/know-before-you-go/closures-and-alerts

4x4 Explore: A trip through the Simpson Desert


HIGH COUNTRY OPEN FOR BUSINESS
Location: 
Victoria

Many Victorian High Country tracks subject to annual seasonal closures are scheduled to reopen soon. While many of these High Country tracks inside national parks and reserves are scheduled to reopen on October 31 (Melbourne Cup Weekend), some will remain closed until as late as November 30.

For a full list of Victorian track reopening dates, follow the links at: parkweb.vic.gov.au


HIGH COUNTRY HUTS
Location: 
Victoria

Summer is a great time to head to the Vic High Country and explore the region’s historic huts. Originally built by the cattlemen to use as shelter when driving their cattle up to the plains in summer, some still stand while others have since been destroyed by fire and rebuilt. These days the huts are popular with four-wheel drivers seeking cover when the weather turns foul.

Search for ‘Cattlemen Huts’ at: www.victoriashighcountry.com.au


VICTORIA’S ICONIC 4WD ADVENTURES 
Location: 
Victoria

So you want to check out the High Country Huts but you’re not sure how to get there? Not a problem thanks to 4WD Victoria, which has some great resources on its website under the heading Victoria’s Iconic 4WD Adventures.

As well as the High Country, there’s plenty of detail on areas including the Otways, Murray River Red Gum, Mallee Country and The Grampians. Info includes the history of each area, a general description, tips and advice, track gradings and detailed maps.

Visit: 4wdvictoria.org.au


FREE CAMPSITES AROUND AUSTRALIA
Location: Australia-wide

For many years now, the team at the ExplorOz website has offered a list of free campsites. That list has continued to grow in size and detail each year, as members add information.

For that last-minute camping adventure, head online to www.exploroz.com and check out what digs are located near the area that you’re travelling to. The website is updated with new camp spots regularly, and punters can browse by map, place and current location. A very handy tool.


DRIVER TRAINING
Organiser: 4WD Victoria

You can never know too much about off-road driving, regardless of how good you think your skills are. Hence 4WD Victoria runs a number of accredited and non-accredited courses covering everything from 4x4 basics through to vehicle recovery procedures, map reading, GPS use, sand driving, winter driving and track classification.

There’s even a course on chainsaw use; for those who venture into heavily timbered areas, this is a must. All these skills are pretty much essential knowledge for anyone considering spending even the occasional weekend off-road, exploring tracks and destinations.

More info: www.4wdvictoria.org.au

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