Last week, we started part one of presenting 4WD Adventures in Australia to you with destinations like Stockton Beach, the Gibb River Road, and the Simpson Desert French Line. Today, we are out to find more adventures in Australia where you will need a 4WD to get there. Come with us as we explore the remote regions of the outback through its road trips: Canning Stock Route, the Gunbarrel Highway, the Birdsville Track and the Hay River Track.
The Canning Stock Route
Canning Stock Route Photo Credit: (Wikipedia) By Peter WH (talk) – the English language Wikipedia (log), CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=3332801
Canning Stock Route Map Photo Credit: CanningStockRoute.net.au
Canning Stock Route Map Photo Credit: Wikipedia
The Canning Stock Route is a remote road trip through the Kimberley region of Western Australia. It is an 1800 km trip from Halls Creek southwest to Wiluna. The road trip takes you through three deserts, all of which are also 4WD only destinations: the Gibson Desert, Little Sandy Desert, and the Great Sandy Desert. Since much of the route is Aboriginal lands, you will need a permit to make this trip. You will also need to make special preparations and bring your own emergency supplies, petrol, and spare tyres because you won’t find many people along the way. Since this is an old stock route, there are a series of wells along the way that provide a water source. Suggested travel time for the Canning Stock Route is 16 days.
Hiring a Car in the Kimberley
Canning Stock Route Map Photo Credit: Google Maps
Truck Rental Locations near Kimberley Region, WA Photo Credit: BudgetTrucks.com.au
When travelling through the Kimberley, there are two main cities that have car hire locations: Broome, in the southwest corner of the region and Kununurra, in the northeast area of the region. You can hire a car at the Broome Airport, or rent a car and the Broome Downtown location. There are two car rental locations in Kununurra, one in the city and you can also hire a car at the Kununurra Airport. Most of the areas of the Kimberley region can only be accessed with a four wheel drive vehicle, so be sure to have the proper vehicle and emergency supplies when driving through this area. Keep in mind that since this is remote and rugged terrain, safety guidelines must be taken very seriously. Check with your car rental agent to get important guidelines, safety information, and driving maps. Here are some other adventurous ideas near the Kimberley region from our sister blog over at Budget Australia Car Rental:
Gunbarrel Highway Photo Credit: (Wikipedia) By Gazjo at English Wikipedia – Transferred from en.wikipedia to Commons by Eingangskontrolle., Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=5806429
Gunbarrel Highway Map Photo Credit: Wikipedia
The Gunbarrel Highway is considered one of the most challenging, rugged 4WD tracks in the world. It runs 1400 km from Wiluna, Western Australia to Yulara, Northern Territory. Like the Canning Stock Route, it crosses deserts and Aboriginal lands, so you will need a permit and emergency supplies. The suggested travel time is at least four days and you should plan to travel between April and September. Unlike the Canning Stock Route, there are several attractions and places to stop along the way like Gnama Rockholes, Gile Weather Station, Mount William Lambert, and the Yelma Stockyard ruins.
Hiring a 4WD for the Gunbarrel Highway
Gunbarrel Highway Photo Credit: Google Maps
Newman Truck Hire Map Photo Credit: BudgetTrucks.com.au
The Gunbarrel Highway starts in Wiluna where the Canning Stock Route we just told you about ends. The closest truck rental location is in Newman where you can hire a 4WD at the Newman Airport, or rent a truck in Newman City. The Gunbarrel Highway ends in the Northern Territory, so here are some things to do in the most remote place in Australia from our travel blog at Budget.com.au:
Birdsville Track sign at northern end Photo Credit: (Wikipedia) By Summerdrought – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=46891159
Birdsville Track Map Photo Credit: (Wikipedia) By Summerdrought – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=46908169
Birdsville Track Photo Credit: Queensland.com
Birdsville Track Photo Credit: Queensland.com
The Birdsville Track takes you across the northern deserts of South Australia and into the Queensland Outback. The track is 534 km long and gives you a chance to see three deserts and follow the historic cattle herding trail that was used by pioneers before the turn of the century to get cattle from Queensland and the Northern Territory to South Australia. You will likely see plenty of livestock and wildlife during the drive including emus and kangaroos. Along the route, look for the few roadhouses to stop and rest. The best time for the track is April through October and you should allow 2 days for travel.
Hiring a Truck for the Birdsville Track
The Birdsville Track Map Photo Credit: Google Maps
Birdsville Truck Hire Map Photo Credit: BudgetTrucks.com.au
The closest Budget Truck Hire location to Birdsville is in Ballera. If you are coming from eastern Queensland to traverse the rugged terrain of the outback, you can hire a 4WD truck in Ballera. The route usually begins in Marree South Australia, so chances are you will be looking for a 4WD truck for hire there. The closest truck hire locations in South Australia are located in Coober Pedy and Moomba. You can rent a 4WD or truck in two different location in Coober Pedy at the airport or at the Coober Pedy city location. While in South Australia, here are some other travel ideas from our sister site’s travel tips blog:
Hay River Track
Hay River Photo Credit: (Wikipedia) By Keelencore – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=18210321
The Hay River Track takes off where the Birdsville Track leaves off in Birdsville Queensland and heads through very remote terrain into the Northern Territory. The track ends in Gemtree, NT near Alice Springs. Much of the track is remote and it runs through Aboriginal lands, so you will need a permit to make the road trip. This region is some of the most isolated territory in Australia. The estimated time for this trek is 9 days and the distance is 928 km. Try to time your trip to coincide with the Birdsville annual horse racing carnival.
Hiring a Truck for the Hay River Track
Alice Springs Car Rental Map Photo Credit: Budget.com.au
You would hire a vehicle in Alice Springs to get to either the Larapinta Trail, Mt Giles Explorer Trek, Kings Canyon, or Uluru Kata Tjuta National Park. Click through the link for the best rate on car rentals in the Northern Territory. You can hire a car in Alice Springs, or rent a vehicle right at the Alice Springs Airport. The closest Budget Truck Hire location to Birdsville is in Ballera. If you are coming from eastern Queensland to traverse the rugged terrain of the outback, you can hire a 4WD truck in Ballera. Looking for other destinations to visit with exploring the Northern Territory? Check out these other blog posts from our sister blog over at Budget.com.au:
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