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Hit the road: 3 off-road adventures in The Murray you need to know about

River Road, Barmah National Park

30 Jun. 2021

Yet to book in your next four-wheel driving all Aussie adventure? Not to worry, we’ve got you covered when you hit the road for an all-terrain, off-road, 4WD escapade along the banks of the Murray River.

Convoy through national parks for a week-long trek, curb a sneaky mid-weeker, or day trip into the bushlands for an adventurous weekend escape.

If you’ve got a boat or a couple of dirt bikes in tow, you’re in luck with a few secluded spots to launch in the river and get extra mileage on two wheels through our remote outback territory.

Buckle up with this guide to the best off-road adventures in The Murray.

1. For 4WD day-trippers: Base yourself in Albury Wodonga and head into Woomaragma National Park

If you’re looking for somewhere to day trip with your 4WD convoy, head into Woomargama National Park and find yourself completely off-grid.

Basing yourself near The Murray in Albury Wodonga, it’s a quick 40-minute drive across the NSW border and into the National Park, the largest protected forest area of the Great Dividing Range.

There’s a couple of dirt tracks you can use to enter the National Park, veering off Tunnel Road. Once in, wind your way across over 100 kilometres of unsealed trails that’ll put your 4x4 driving skills to the test.

Make your way up the rough and rocky roads to North Lookout and you’ll be rewarded with panoramic views of the layered mountain tops.

Feeling a bit peckish? The Samual Bollard and Tin Mines campground have all the basic necessities you’ll need to cook up lunch - sheltered picnic and fire areas, a water tank and a couple of drop toilets.

2. For a mid-week adventure: 4WD across the River Red Gum Drive

Keen for any excuse to take a mid-week break? The River Red Gum Drive is a two to three-day tour along the banks of The Murray, well worth booking a few days annual leave to undertake.

The 4WD trail is graded as an ‘easy difficulty’ cruising across 354 kilometres of the world's largest River Red Gum forests. The River Track starts in Torrumbarry Weir, just south of Cohuna through the Murray River Reserve, and into the Gunbower National Park and State Forest.

Base yourself here for the night, and you’ll be spoilt for campsite choice among the red gums, close by the river. Make the most of your time and be sure to head off on the walking trails along the creek.

Reset the next morning and make your way into the Koondrook State Forest, home to the protected timber forest along Murray River Road and into the Perricoota State Forest.

If you’ve got a kayak or a tinny with you, set up camp near Moama Five Mile and launch off the boat ramp for a spot of fishing.

If work doesn’t beckon you back to the big smoke and you’ve got time to spare, spend the night in the Perricoota State Forest or jump back on the road toward Murray Valley Regional and National Parks.

Camp out overnight by the river at one of the regional or national park’s campgrounds and explore the wetlands. If you’re after a good stretch of the legs, take the Gulpa Creek trail frequented by local wildlife, or the Reed Beds Bird Hide, if you’re an eager bird spotter.

For your final leg of the tour, follow the Sand Ridge Track to River Road and you’ll find yourself in Barmah National Park. Perch yourself somewhere between the river, forest and wetlands and set up for one final stop before heading home.

3. For a weeklong escape: 4WD tour the Mallee Drive

If you’ve been itching for a week-long 4WD escape, load up your rig, and hit the road. Your destination? The Mallee Drive.

You’ll need a kitted up convoy and at least a couple of 4WD companions for this voyage through 625 kilometres of Victoria’s driest region into the Murray Valley Sunset and Wyperfeld National Park.

Classed as a ‘medium difficulty’ this touring route will have you testing the capability of your rig and off-road driving techniques.

Kick off the first leg of the trip from the entrance of Wyperfeld National Park, 40 kilometres west of Hopetoun. From there take the 15 kilometres circuit loop to the Eastern Lookout over Mallee country and back past the dry beds of Lake Agnes and white sand dunes.

Trade your four wheels for a pair of walking shoes and explore the woodland and dunes by foot, before heading back uphill to O’Sullivan’s Lookout.

There’s a few options to pitch your tent on your way through the National Park for a night or two. The Snow Drift Picnic Area, Casuarina Campground and the Wonga Campground are all within the National Park and provide basic campground facilities.

For the next leg of your weeklong trip, take the Mallee Highway to Pink Lakes Road and into the Murray-Sunset National Park.

Set up a base camp at Lake Crosbie and Lake Becking campgrounds, just a short walk from the photogenic Pink Lakes, which burst into life at sunrise and sunset each day.

There’s plenty of walking trails around the lakes, with many of the local kangaroos, wallabies, echidnas and emus, making an entrance.

If you’re eager to keep exploring the terrain, a little further north is Mt Crozier Campground. Feeling adventurous? Hike up the summit of Mt Crozier for a rewarding view of sprawling desert and dunes below

Next up, Shearers Quarters Campground is where you’ll find the old shearers quarters. If you’ve got bikes with you, it’s a great spot to set up a base camp and explore the smaller dirt tracks.

If you’re keen to keep moving, take a 77-kilometre detour to Red Bluff Camping Area along the South Australian border before making your way back to where you began at the Wyperfeld National Park.