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Australian 4x4 Event Calendar

By 4x4 Australia, 12 Aug 2019 Explore

Australian Event Calendar diary

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

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.

September 2019

 

CARAVAN CAMPING OUTDOOR LIFESTYLE EXPO 

Date: September 20 - 22
Location: New South Wales

Don’t think the NSW off-road crowd misses out on the big show experience, with the Caravan Camping Outdoor Lifestyle Expo to be held at Sydney Showground, Sydney Olympic Park, from September 20 to 22.

On show will be the latest caravans, camper trailers, camping equipment, boating and fishing gear. There will also be new 4x4s to gawk at, plus tips and advice from experts, daily demos and free kids’ entertainment.

See www.caravanexpo.com for more info.

WINTON OUTBACK FESTIVAL

Date: September 24 - 28
Location: Queensland

The outback Qld town of Winton is holding its biennial Outback Festival from Sept 24-28. Cool things to see and do include the Outback Iron Man and Woman, the Australian Dunny Derby, and the Century Outback Cycle challenge. There’s also the Bush Poets’ Breakfast, music concerts, the Teddy Bear’s Picnic for the kids, and more.

See outbackfestival.com.au for info.

MILDURA MUSIC FESTIVAL 

Date: September 27 - Oct 6
Location: Victoria

The 2019 Mildura Country Music Festival will be held from Friday September 27 to Sunday October 6. The major difference between the other two Australian country music festivals and the annual Mildura Country Music Festival is that Mildura has Australia’s biggest showcase of independent entertainers such as Lance Birrell, Connie Kis Andersen, Owen Blundell, Rob Breese, Jeff Brown and Sharon Benjamin, among a host of others.

The 10-day event will be held at various locations around the city. For more information, check out: www.milduracountrymusic.com.au

October 2019

EDEN WHALE FESTIVAL

Date: October 1 - 3
Location: New South Wales

There’s no better place than Eden, NSW, to have a close encounter with whales. To celebrate this, the Sapphire Coast town will hold its annual whale festival from October 1-3.

In addition to shore- and charter-based whale-watching opportunities, the festival includes an art exhibition, kite flying and kite-making workshops, live shows, a street parade, markets, food stalls, seafood, local produce, cooking demos, an oyster shucking competition, kids’ activities and entertainment, and much more.

See the Eden Whale Festival Facebook page for updated info, comp details and gallery, or see edenwhalefestival.com.au

NATIONAL PERENTIE MEET 2019

Date: October 3 - 4
Location: New South Wales

The National Perentie Meet will be held in Thurgoona, Albury, on October 3-4 and hosted by Australian Frontline Machinery.

There will be a large number of Perentie Land Rovers for sale including roadworthy vehicles, new and second-hand parts, and unique military-style additions for Land Rovers, in addition to a range of non-roadworthy vehicles. Registration for the Perentie day and auction costs $25 and includes access to join the Land Rover convoy, participate in the Perentie Swap Meet and attend various functions.

More info at www.australianfrontlinemachinery.com.au 

REDARC 4WD OCTOBERFEST 

Date: October 4 - 7
Location: South Australia

The 4WD Octoberfest is a brilliant 4x4 escape, where off-roading clubs converge on the Merna Mora Station from October 4-7. The weekend comprises tagalong tours, camp-cooking competitions, Sunday night kids’ movies, a night navigation event, and a 4WDSA Big Brekky on the Monday morning aimed at raising funds for the Royal Flying Doctor Service.

Vehicle numbers are limited and the costs vary according to how many trips per vehicle/weekend you undertake (includes camping and track fees). A great event for a great cause.

For info, go to: www.mountloftyrangers.com.au

WILLOWGLEN CHALLENGE 

Date: October 5 - 7
Location: New South Wales

Hardcore off-road fans will want to get to the Willowglen Challenge, held over the October long weekend near Tarago, NSW.

Hosted by the Toyota Land Cruiser Club of Australia, the event sees teams compete in a number of stages from Friday to Saturday, with the stages designed to suit both competitors and spectators and ensure maximum enjoyment, speedy recovery of vehicles and continuous running of events. The stages include Carnage Canyon, The Waterfall, Up the Creek, All Shook Up and Tyred ’n Twisted.

See www.tlcc.com.au for more details.

5 RIVERS OUTBACK FESTIVAL 

Date: October 11 - 13
Location: New South Wales

Held in Balranald, the 5 Rivers Outback Festival celebrates all that’s wonderful about living in a rural community that’s surrounded by five iconic river systems – the Murrumbidgee, Murray, Lachlan, Edward and Wakool. Running from October 11-13, the festival will feature a 4WD Muster, markets, cooking demos, jumping castles and great musicians including Aussie band Thirsty Merc.

For info and bookings see www.5riversoutbackfestival.com.au for more info.

4x4 explore: Mungo and Mutawintji

OCTOBER 4x4 FUN DAY

Date: October 13 - onwards
Location:
 Queensland

Keen to try out your 4x4 but unsure where to go? Try the CT 4x4 Club Fun Day at Millchester Motor Sport Recreation Facility. It allows novice and experienced drivers to test their vehicles on various terrain types, like soft sand and rocky outcrops, all while having experienced Four Wheel Drive Queensland members on-hand.

Just 9km from Charters Towers, Millchester Motor Sport and Recreation Facility has everything from winch walls to mud pits, and CT 4x4 Club is family friendly catering for all 4x4 enthusiasts.

See www.queensland.com for more information.

LAKE MOONDARRA FISHING CLASSIC 

Date: October 25 - 27
Location: Queensland

Bring your fishing gear for the chance to snare a barra or cod during this event, held 17km north of Mount Isa, October 25-27. Besides the great fishing and casting comps, there will be a dragon boat regatta, a beach volleyball event and yabby races.

The lake is surrounded by plenty of shady trees, with a number of picnic/barbecue areas dotted around it, making it the ideal family event. The lake is a goldmine for birdwatchers; pelicans, cormorants and other native and introduced birds can be spotted in this area all the time.

See www.lakemoondarrafishingclassic.com.au for more info.

AUSTRALIAN 4WD AND ADVENTURE SHOW

Date: October 25 - 27
Location: South Australia

If you want to see the latest and greatest 4x4 and adventure products, get along to the Australian 4WD and Adventure Show Adelaide.

This three-day event from October 25-27, held at the Adelaide Showground, will showcase products from Australia’s leading 4WD accessory manufacturers and distributors. There’ll be special guests, an adventure stage, new vehicles, ARB 4x4 recovery demos, Isuzu Team D-Max rides, and much more.

See adelaide.4wdshow.com.au for more information.

November 2019

MANSFIELD HIGH COUNTRY FESTIVAL

Date: November 1 - 5
Location: Victoria

Running from November 1-5, the festival offers loads of entertainment with activities put on by local community groups and businesses: village fairs, food and wine events, arts and exhibitions, the Grand Parade, fireworks, a fun run, and the Torch Light Parade. The festival culminates with the Mansfield Cup race day.

See www.highcountryfestival.com.au for more information.

Tracks and destinations

DARLING RIVER RUN
Location: 
New South Wales

For those who don’t have time for the ‘big’ outback trip, it’s worth checking out a shorter option: following the Darling River south from Bourke to Wentworth. This journey packs in plenty, including sublime riverside camping and beautiful landscapes. There’s also a smattering of awesome pubs worth a stop, with the Tilpa Hotel a 4X4 Australia favourite.

See www.visitnsw.com

IMINTJI CAMPGROUND AND ART CENTRE
Location: 
Western Australia

The Gibb River Road’s Imintji Campground and Art Centre offers travellers to the Kimberley the chance to refuel (diesel only), restock with food (there are limited supplies) and grab a coffee (there’s a barista on site).

The campground is spacious and has sheltered seating, barbecue facilities, toilets and showers. Throw in the awesome art gallery nearby (open 10am to 4pm) as well as its location at the foot of the King Leopold Ranges and it’s hard not to find an excuse to stay a night or two.

Check out www.imintji.com.au for more information.

TIME FOR THE CAPE
Location: Cape York, Qld

As winter’s chill hits the southern states, it’s the ideal time for off-road tourers to look north to one of Australia’s most iconic 4x4 adventures: Cape York. The trip to the tip is not one to be rushed (we reckon at least two weeks, but ideally three to really enjoy the region) but it is well worth the time spent simply getting to the Tropical North Queensland start-point of Cooktown.

There’s loads of info out there to help with planning. Ensure your rig has had a full checkover by a 4x4 specialist, then load it up and go! Check out Hema Maps’ Atlas & Guide, written by Ian Glover and Ron Moon, for info on the best places to camp and re-fuel.

GULF ESCAPE
Location: Limmen NP, NT

Limmen NP is a hidden gem in the NT’s Gulf Country, but one well worth spending a few days at – especially if you’re a keen angler.

The big park sprawls south from Roper Bar to just north of Cape Crawford and offers some brilliant campsites: Towns River, Limmen Campground, Nathan River and Limmen River Fishing Camp. As well as fishing on the Towns and Bight Rivers, there’s the Western and Southern Lost Cities, with their tower-like rock formations.

Gulf Escape

BINNS TRACK
Location: Northern Territory

The southern states may be subject to track closures and cold weather, but for those with a few weeks to spare between June and the end of August we’d highly recommend having a crack at the mighty Binns Track.

The full Binns is 2230km and takes tourers through a variety of outback landscapes, including the sands of the northern Simpson Desert, the rocky gorges of the East Macdonnell Ranges, the savannah grasslands of the Davenport Ranges NP and then on to the tropical Gregory NP.

If you haven’t got time for the full track, it is super easy to drive different sections of it; if it was us, we’d start in the East Macs and finish in the beautiful Davenport Ranges NP, before looping back to Alice Springs – or continuing north to Darwin. However much – or little – you do, it’ll make you want to return to finish the job – the Binns Track really is that much fun.

THE NORTH-WEST IS CALLING
Location: Gibb River Road

It’s that time of year to start thinking about the Kimberley’s Gibb River Road. With the region’s jaw-dropping landscape, plentiful campsites, brilliant swimming holes, great fishing and epic side-trips (the track to Kalumburu), it’s easy to see why ‘the Gibb’ is on bucket lists.

From the start-point of Kununurra to Derby – and then on to Broome and Cable Beach – you can make it as quick or as long an adventure as you like. Accommodation options are dotted along Gibb River Road, ranging from NP campsites to the luxury of El Questro Resort.

Gibb River Road

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