With snow capped mountain ranges, heavy bushland, and more than 1,800kms of coastline, Victoria’s off-roading community is thriving. For those looking to test their torque in the Garden State, you’ll find plenty of opportunity to head out for a day (or weekend!) of off-roading. Here are some of the best off-road drives in Victoria to tackle the terrain.
Grampians National Park
Known for it’s majestic mountains and lush flora and fauna, it’s no wonder the Grampians National Park is popular with Australians and international visitors alike. And at just three hours drive from Melbourne, it’s the perfect place for an off-roading weekender.
The dramatic rock formations and plummeting waterfalls provide the perfect Aussie backdrop for your off-roading adventure as you wind through the national park. Graded as medium difficulty in normal weather conditions, you’ll get to try your hand at steep inclines and river crossings. During wet weather, previously accessible river crossings may become unsafe and impassable, so be sure to keep on top of weather reports in the lead up to your trek.
Beginning your journey a Dunkeld, and journeying up to Halls Gap, will give you some amazing views and a mix of terrain, and there’s plenty of hiking tracks along the way as well to mix things up. Pack a picnic and make a day of it. You’ll also find plenty of accomodation in the Grampians – from budget to boutique – so this really can become a luxe city escape weekend.
Learn more about visiting the Grampians National Park here
Bunyip State Park
Just over an hour south east of Melbourne, Bunyip State Park is ideal for an off-roading day trip. A rabbit warren of tracks criss cross the State Park, offering up great off-roading for drivers at every level of experience, earning Bunyip State Park the title of Victoria’s off-roading playground.
Beginners will enjoy the Little Bunyip Track, with moderate inclines and mildly rugged terrain giving drivers still gaining their confidence plenty of experience testing out their rig and their own mettle. Those looking for a more challenging terrain will enjoy Anderson’s Track. While easily passable in normal weather conditions, with even the mildest downpours it can become very difficult to tackle, but this challenge will likely thrill a confident off-roader.
Given the park’s vicinity to larger townships – Lilydale if you enter from the Yarra Valley side, and Pakenham if you enter from the Princes Highway – very little is needed as far as supplies. But, what few things you do need to pick up can be easily obtained at one of these towns. The town of Bunyip also has plenty fo supplies, despite its size.
Camping spots inn Bunyip State Park are few and far between as it’s more of a day tripper than a weekend, but you will find a few scattered around the area if you do want to rough it. Bunyip State Park is rich with traditional Aboriginal heritage and, as such, all respect and care should be taken while in the area.
If you’re thinking of heading to Bunyip State Park, check out Parks Victoria’s site before you head out.
Located in the northern foothills of Victoria’s Central Highlands, Lake Eildon is a popular off-roading region, with Mount Terrible being a favourite of those looking for a challenge. Don’t let the name fool you, Mount Terrible is anything but for keen off-roaders trying their hand on rugged hills, and taking in the breath taking scenery.
Considered easy to medium difficulty, Lake Eildon is great for beginners, though it can get pretty water logged in winter. Given the mild terrain, wet conditions don’t pose too much of an issue, and it wouldn’t be a trip to Lake Eildon without plowing through a giant puddle or trying your hand at a couple of river crossings!
In addition to the beautiful scenery and diverse wildlife, Lake Eildon is also home to a number of heritage sites as well as culturally rich sites of Aboriginal heritage. And, after a day spent taking in thee terrain, thee natural beauty, and the history, you’re just a hop, skip, and a jump away from a number of local pubs.
Thinking of heading to Lake Eildon? Check out all the necessary info here
Croajingolong National Park
Get a taste of beach life at the coastal Croajingolong National Park. Located at the eastern tip of the state, Croajingolong National Park is a heft 450km drive from Melbourne, making it great for a weekend getaway.
With over 88,000 hectares, there’s plenty of variety in the terrain you’ll face here. Think forested foothills and stunning coastlines, and you get an idea of the natural beauty that awaits you at Croajingolong. You’ll find eucalyptus forests, heathland, and plenty more, including a number of beautiful isolated spots only accessible by remote tracks to tempt you.
With tracks suitable for everyone from beginners to seasoned drivers, there’s something for everyone at every level. Miners Track is considered one of the most difficult tracks in the park and should only be attempted by very experienced drivers. Advanced recovery gear is recommended if you plan on tackling Miners. For those looking for something a little less intimidating, Cicada Trail will take you on a winding journey through the park with amazing views that cross several gullies and woodlands.
The area is also popular with hikers, as well as swimmers, bird watchers, and campers, and the variety of flora and fauna in the park will be a delight for locals and international visitors. Secluded coastal camp sites make great landing points after an adventurous day.
For more about Croajingolong National Park including seasonal closures, you’ll get the best up-to-date info at Parks Victoria’s website
If you’re looking for other great activities not too far out of Melbourne, our guide to fishing spots around Melbourne is a great place to start for more outdoor adventures.
And don’t forget, if you find yourself in need of roadside assistance, you can always holler for a Marshall on 1300 695 717.