GET the diaries out, load up the fourbie and tell work you’ll be back in a few days as there’s a smorgasbord of 4x4 events and activities taking place across 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.
DLRA Speed Week
Date: March 4 - 8th
Location: Lake Gairdner, SA
Dry Lake Racers Australia (DLRA) is conducting the annual Speed Week at Lake Gairdner, South Australia, from March 4-8. This week is all about straight-line speed, with entrants seeing just how fast their rigs can go across the lake’s vast saltpan (the distance vehicles can drive in a straight line is roughly 18km) in the remote outback.
The event is unique, as is the amazing location. As well, you’ll see a vast mix of cars, trucks and motorcycles, ranging from modern to very old. It is a great spectator event but you’ll need to be fully self-sufficient.
The effort to get there is well worth it. See www.dlra.org.au
Condo 750 Navigational Rally
Date: April 5 - 7th
Location: Condobolin, NSW
One of Australia’s premier off-road racing events, the Condo 750 Navigational Rally, is celebrating 31 years in 2019, with the event being held at Condobolin, NSW, from April 5-7.
Event organisers have already been out mapping the track for this year’s event and they reckon it’s going to offer the best of all worlds, with fast-paced stages mixed in with the more challenging navigational stages.
Vermont Hill Hall is the main venue for those looking for lunch on either the Saturday or Sunday and to join a number of local land owners, who have continued to support the event with access to properties ensuring the Condo is a belter yet again. See www.condo750.com.au
ARB Eldee Easter Event
Date: April 19 - 22nd
Location: Eldee Station, NSW
The ARB Eldee Easter Event is three days of family-friendly 4x4 action and adventure in outback NSW over the Easter long weekend (April 19-22).
The event takes place at Eldee Station, a working sheep and cattle station east of Silverton and 56km from Broken Hill. Test your competency across a range of outback tracks, compete for prizes, or head out to watch the skilled driving displays.
Go to www.eldeestation.com for more info.
Free campsites across the country
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.
Paddle the Clarence river
Location: Clarence river, NSW
The Clarence Canoe & Kayak Trail is a 195km multi-day paddling adventure that follows the route of the Clarence River from its headwaters in Nymboi-Binderay National Park, along the Nymboida, Mann and Clarence river systems to the coastal town of Copmanhurst, on the NSW north coast.
For more info, see the Clarence Canoe & Kayak Trail kit at www.myclarencevalley.com
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. See www.4wdvictoria.org.au
Stockton Beach access changes
Location: Stockton Beach, NSW
Permits to access the dunes and tracks of Stockton Beach were changed on January 1 this year. The beach is inside Worimi Conservation Lands and is very popular with drivers looking to tackle some dune driving, or to explore this magical coastline near Newcastle, NSW. The permit allows access to more than 22km of beach and 350 hectares of dunes.
The latest permit pricing is: three-day $33; annual $88; annual pensioner $44; annual RV access $88 (applicable to conditionally registered motorcycles and quads); and replacement permit ($20). See www.worimiconservationlands.com