4WDing and Beach Highways

Queensland is swarming with secret places. But how do you reach all those quiet hideaways, unspoiled fishing spots, prime campsites, and secluded beaches? Hint: it involves jumping in a four-wheel drive and ditching the freeway. Swap bitumen for the beach and cruise a motorway of a different kind.

  • North Stradbroke Island is undeniably one of the best places to experience the thrill of four-wheel driving on a sandy beach. Board your own vehicle onto the barge or join a tour once you arrive on the island.
  • Fraser Island is the world's largest sand island and doesn’t have bitumen roads, so it’s really a no-brainer for four-wheel drive enthusiasts.
  • Let’s talk about spectacular multi-coloured sand cliffs overlooking rolling surf and a white sandy beach. And let’s talk about you, a four-wheel drive and miles of golden sand at Rainbow Beach.
  • Four wheel drive is one of only a few ways to get yourself to Cape Moreton and to the freshwater lakes on Moreton Island, near Brisbane.
  • Advanced drivers will be in heaven with Queensland’s endless beach tracks and trails, and there’s no need for newcomers to be scared off with a range of ‘tag-along’ and guided adventures on offer.

Driving along Queensland’s beach highways is a unique way to absorb spectacular scenery and to access hidden gems, but you won’t get very far without knowing the lay of the land. Check ahead for tide times as well as required vehicle access permits. Always follow the road rules and drive with care.

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Things to see and do
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Scenic Rim Adventure Park

Tamrookum Creek, Scenic Rim Area
From AU$35 - 45
Scenic Rim Adventure Park is a four-wheel-drive and camping experience on a 680 acre property located in the picturesque Scenic Rim region. The park offers guests the opportunity to get back to nature enjoying and exploring the outdoors.

Maheno Shipwreck

Fraser Island, Fraser Coast Area
Free Entry
The Maheno, the most famous of the Fraser Island wrecks, was driven ashore just north of Happy Valley during a cyclone in 1935. Once a well-known trans-Tasman liner, the Maheno was bound for a Japanese wrecking yard when she met her stormy end.

Cape Palmerston National Park

Ilbilbie, Isaac Area
Free Entry
Cape Palmerston National Park features sandy dunes, unspoilt beaches and rocky headlands, with Mount Funnel towering to 344 metres. The park's beaches and inland roads are accessible only by four-wheel-drive vehicles.

Fraser Island, Great Sandy National Park

Fraser Island, Fraser Coast Area
Free Entry
More than a million years in the making, World Heritage-listed K'gari (Fraser Island), in the Great Sandy National Park, is a place of incredible natural beauty. Drive and walk through fragrant open woodlands, lush towering rainforests and colourful wallum banksia heathlands.

Princess Hills, Girringun National Park

Minnamoolka,
Free Entry
Princess Hills, Girringun National Park boasts spectacular scenery and an array of plant and animal life. The impressive Herbert River Gorge featuring towering cliffs and dry, rugged ridges, begins at the base of the Herbert River falls.

Moreton Island National Park

Moreton Island, Brisbane Area
Free Entry
Just a short ferry ride from Brisbane, Moreton Island lies a world away from the hustle and bustle of the city. Discover crystal-clear creeks and lagoons, coastal heath, rocky headlands, stunning wildflowers and miles of sandy beaches at Moreton Island National Park and Recreation Area.

Hell Hole Gorge National Park

Adavale, Quilpie Area
Free Entry
Hell Hole Gorge National Park is a remote park in the arid mulga lands of south-western Queensland. The park features Hell Hole Waterhole, the largest of several rock pools and seasonal waterholes that provide welcome relief in a harsh, arid landscape.

Big Red

Birdsville, Diamantina Area
Free Entry
Standing at 40 metres in height, and situated just 35 kilometre from Birdsville; the famous Big Red Sand Dune provides a challenge for any four wheel drive enthusiast. The first of 1,140 parallel dunes in the Simpson Desert, the spectacular sunsets from the top of Big Red are an experience not to be missed.

Mt Slowcombe Lookout

Yaraka, Longreach Area
Free Entry
Mount Slowcombe Lookout is located close to the small town of Yaraka. The panoramic view takes in the nearby Yang Yang ranges and plains and grazing lands of the surrounding country side. This is an ideal place to enjoy the stunning outback sunset or the glorious colours of a sunrise.

The Serenity Coast

Sarina, Mackay Area
Free Entry
Take an opportunity to explore a relatively unspoiled area that has retained much of its original historic charm while having developed into a thriving business area. Collectively known as the Serenity Coast, the townships that stretch from Hay Point to St Lawrence enjoy a selection of beautiful beaches and prime fishing locations.
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