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Rugged Four Wheel Drive Destinations in Australia

Many travellers, and even some Australians are unsure when you need a 4WD vehicle to get to certain destinations. We are here to help you find those rugged destinations where you will definitely need a four wheel drive vehicle to get there and get around. Most places in Australia do not require a four wheel drive or all-terrain vehicle. There are some destinations where four wheel drive is suggested and other places where it is required. Be sure to do your research before you travel so that you can enjoy your Australian holiday no matter where you decide to go. You don’t have to miss out on some of these out of the way, rugged and remote destinations. Instead of shying away from them, you can hire an all-terrain or four wheel drive vehicle from Budget Trucks. As a bonus, our knowledgeable and friendly staff can help you with maps, directions, local tips, and safety guidelines. When you are driving through remote territories, make sure to follow all safety precautions, carry emergency supplies, protection from the sun, plenty of water, and let someone know where you will be and when you are expected back.

Gibb River Road


Boab Tree on the Gibb River Road Photo Credit:

The Gibb River Road, isn’t just one destination, it is a remote road trip across the northern section of Western Australia. It is a 660 km drive from Kununurra to Derby across the wilderness of the remote Kimberley Region. It takes about 3 days to complete this drive, of course, you can opt to stay longer to explore more of the Kimberley. The only time to take this road trip is between May and September during the dry season when the roads are accessible. You can make the trip in April or October, but should check conditions ahead of time. During the rest of the year from December through March many of the roads are closed, even to four wheel drive vehicles, because of rains and possible wet season flooding. Some of the things to put on your “to do list” for this road trip include stops at Bell Gorge, Windjana Gorge, El-Questro Wilderness Park, Cockburn Range, Home Valley Station, Mitchell Plateau, and national parks. While in this wilderness, be sure to take time to learn about the culture, history and traditions of the traditional landowners, the Aboriginal People.

The Canning Stock Route


Canning Stock Route Photo Credit: (Wikipedia) By Peter WH (talk) – the English language Wikipedia (log), CC BY-SA 3.0,


Canning Stock Route Map Photo Credit:

The Canning Stock Route is known as the most remote and longest stock route remaining in the world. It takes you across 1,800 km in Western Australia from Halls Creek in the Kimberley Region to Wiluna in the midwest of the state. Along the way, you will drive through the Gibson Desert, Little Sandy Desert, and Great Sandy Desert as well as Aboriginal land. What you won’t find is any towns or many people along the way. The route used to be a stock route that followed a series of wells; those wells now provide road trippers with a source for water along the route, which takes at least 16 days to travel. You will need to get a permit to travel this route.

Gunbarrel Highway


Gunbarrel Highway Photo Credit: (Wikipedia) By Gazjo at English Wikipedia – Transferred from en.wikipedia to Commons by Eingangskontrolle., Public Domain,


Gunbarrel Highway Map Photo Credit: Wikipedia

The Gunbarrel Highway takes you from Wiluna (where the Canning Stock Route ends) across state to Yulara in the Northern Territory. It is widely regarded as one of the most rugged and most challenging 4WD tracks in the world. This should be reserved for experienced four wheel drivers only.  It is 1,400 km long and crosses desert landscapes and Aboriginal territory. Permits are needed to cross through these lands. The best time to travel is between April and September and minimum suggested travel time is 4 days. There are bush camps along the way and other stops you should plan on include the Yelma Stockyard ruins, Mount William Lambert, the GnamaRockholes and the Gile Weather Station.

Simpson Desert French Line

Simpson Desert - Big Red Dune

Simpson Desert – Big Red Dune

Simpson Desert Photo Credit: (Wikipedia) By Robinsoncrusoe – Own work, Public Domain,


Simpson Desert Big Red Photo Credit: (Wikipedia) By Phanly at English Wikipedia, CC BY 3.0,
The Simpson Desert French Line is a remote desert 4WD track that begins in Dalhousie Springs South Australia and ends in Birdsville Queensland. The distance for this route is 439 km and the minimum suggested travel time is 3 days. The best time to take this road trip is from May through September. Be aware that this is a challenging and rugged track with a narrow, one way road and dunes. Vehicles are advised to fly a dune flag and beep the horn when go over dunes to alert other traffic to avoid head-on collisions.Camp spots are available along the way in the flat swaths between dunes. Be sure the to take a dip in the Dalhousie hot springs.

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