We're counting down the top 100 off-road tracks and destinations in Australia for 2017, voted on by you, the adventure travel community! Read part two of the countdown to discover which locations and journeys took out places 75 to 51.
75 - Karlamilyi (Rudall River) National Park, WA
Western Australia’s largest and most remote national park is Outback Australia at its best: corrugated and rocky tracks, red sandstone escarpments and quiet bush camps (and it’s right in the middle of the Great Sandy Desert and the Little Sandy Desert). The size of a small country, Karlamilyi requires travellers to be self-sufficient and come armed with their sense of adventure upon entry.
74 - Lorella Springs, NT
Lorella delivers almost everything the Top End is famous for in a 1-million acre, family-owned wilderness park. Featuring a communal area complete with its own bar, Lorella Springs is home to hot springs, immensely challenging 4WD tracks, numerous fishing spots and space to roam.
73 - Border Ranges National Park, NSW
Border Ranges’ lack of true four-wheel driving is forgiven and forgotten as soon as travellers delve into this special region’s ancient rainforest. Moss-covered boulders, lush undergrowth and babbling brooks are the norm in this place of rare natural beauty that resides on the border of Queensland and New South Wales.
72 - Wolfe Creek Crater, WA
A preserved meteorite impact crater in the middle of the Outback, Wolfe Creek Crater is a rare kind of natural attraction which appeals to all kinds of travellers. Almost a kilometre in diameter and sixty metres deep, the site is thought to be 300,000 years-old, and unsurprisingly is of great significance to local tribes, most prominently the Djaru people.
71 - Deua National Park, NSW
An idyllic weekend escape within reach of Sydney and Canberra, Deua National Park has pastoral heritage, grassy campsites and a raft of steep climbs for serious four-wheel drivers to tackle. Camping at the bottom Bendethera Valley is an experience all on its own, while the drive in and out is generally slow-going, allowing travellers to take in the natural surrounds of the region.
70 - Kroombit Tops National Park
Kroombit Tops is a unique area. It’s the only place to find the endangered Kroombit tinker frog, while a missing WWII B-24D Liberator bomber was found - and still remains – in the park back in 1994, 50 years after it crashed. Drive on Razorback Track and Loop Road for a 4WD-only tour of the park, which is dominated by the 800-metre plateau that rises above the surrounding hinterland.
69 - Halls Creek, WA
Halls Creek could be the beginning of any number of full-throttle Outback adventures: overlooking the Kimberley’s wild frontier from the east, northern end of the 1,850km-long Canning Stock (and the Tanami Road), and the ideal launching point for visitors to the show-stopping Bungle Bungles. Essentially a town which lets you choose your own adventure, Halls Creek represents the beginning or end of an epic journey in the minds of countless explorers.
68 – The Outback Way, WA NT QLD
Australia’s longest shortcut requires travellers to embark on a 2,800km journey between Laverton in Western Australia and Winton in Queensland, traversing seven interconnected roads and highways over rugged terrain and through Australia’s central deserts while you’re at it. With more of the route to be sealed in coming years, this is one epic adventure that may not be so remote forever.
67 – Gibson Desert, WA
A largely untouched region of Outback Australia that stretches from the centre of Western Australia to its eastern reaches, the Gibson Desert plays a part-hand in some of the West’s most iconic tracks: the Gunbarrel Highway, Canning Stock Route, Gary Highway and Talawana Track. Explore any of these tracks to get a front-row seat to the Gibson’s rolling dunefields and gibber plains.
66 - Old Ghan Railway Trail, NT SA
The journey corresponding to this central Australia railway is unavoidably historic, with plenty of the country’s past imbued upon the tracks which run from Port Augusta to Alice Springs (the new line’s final link to Darwin was completed in 2001). Exploring the northern and southern sections are two entirely different trips, but both are sought-after adventures by Outback travellers.
65 – Connie Sue Highway, WA
Part of an extensive number of roads and places named by the famous surveyor Len Beadell – Connie Sue being the name of his daughter – this incredibly remote track takes travellers through harsh and oft-changing desert country, while providing a useful link to some of Australia’s most sought-after Outback tracks.
64 – Kalbarri National Park, WA
Situated on the coast of Mid-West Western Australia is Kalbarri National Park, the jewel of which is the Murchison River gorge. Snaking its way through red and white striped sandstone for 80km in a slow and inevitable procession, the Murchison flows through this vibrant landscape before spilling forth into the Indian Ocean, which in turn smashes against the high coastal cliffs that preside over this remote and pristine landscape.
63 – Byfield National Park, QLD
North of Rockhampton is the coastal wonderland that is Byfield, which has within it four blissfully secluded beaches, gargantuan sand dunes and oasis-like pockets of rainforest overlooked by rugged mountains. Even better, with plenty of 4WD tracks and stunning campgrounds to aid in your exploration, Byfield is both pristine and accessible for those who want to explore it.
62 – Shark Bay, WA
Shark Bay is teeming with life of all forms, from ancient stromatolites to friendly dolphins and peaceful dugongs, which for the most part is underpinned by endless fields of underwater seagrass in this vibrant section of Western Australia coast. This complex harmony makes Shark Bay significant for a variety of reasons, with travellers able to enjoy the area by way of the tracks that lie inland.
61 - Channel Country, QLD
Right in the beating heart of Outback Queensland and bleeding into its adjoining states, Channel Country is an arid expanse that is riddled with ancient floodplains from another time. While most are simply reminders of the area's receding history, heavy rains can still transform the region with relative ease in any given season.
60 - Kangaroo Island, SA
An island escape with plenty to see, Kangaroo Island is one of the most unique destinations in South Australia. Australia’s third-largest island was named for its endemic subspecies of the western grey kangaroo, but nowadays there’s much more to the island than simply the kangaroos: visit old lighthouses, eat fresh seafood, seek out penguins and other birdlife, explore caves, sand toboggan Little Sahara and much more.
59 - Mitchell Plateau, WA
Accessed from the iconic Gibb River Road, the Mitchell Plateau is made up of layered sandstone that is slowly being eroded by the flow of the Mitchell River, evidence of which are the region’s falls: tiered Mitchell Falls, Merten Falls and Little Merten Falls. The area is remote and the trip is difficult, so be prepared to earn your awe if you want to reach it by 4WD.
58 – Carnarvon National Park, QLD
Situated amongst rolling ranges in the middle of Queensland’s central highlands is Carnarvon National Park, a sandstone oasis that’s enticingly out of step with the surrounding region. Discover deep valleys dotted with cycads and fan palms both by foot and by 4WD, with the popular trip to Mt Moffatt requiring high ground clearance to access the views on offer.
57 – Googs Track, SA
Googs Track cuts through outback South Australia from Ceduna to Glendambo, giving travellers an off-road shortcut for the trip from Australia’s south coast to the Red Centre. With over 300 dunes to cross from start to finish, Googs Track is often equated to the Simpson Desert – high praise indeed.
56 – Mungo National Park, NSW
Encapsulating Australia’s second-largest ancient lake, the site of the country’s oldest human remains, as well as stunning fossilised dunes called the Walls of China, Mungo National Park is certainly a special place in Outback New South Wales. However, even without these significant locations, Mungo is a treat for adventurous types, with remote camping accessed by lonesome 4WD tracks allowing travellers to truly experience this outback gem.
55 – Bourke, NSW
Back o’ Bourke. A town so representative of the Outback that its name is part of a simile for Middle of Nowhere, Bourke manages to live up to its mythical status. Thriving next to the iconic Darling River, Bourke is the jumping-off point for off-road sojourns down the Darling, to all of White Cliffs, Kinchega and Mungo national parks, as well as further afield in Bourke’s backyard: the Australian Outback.
54 – Margaret River, WA
Famous for its wineries, natural attractions and quaint vibe that resonates throughout the region, the Margaret River competes on all fronts as a travel destination. Enjoy white silica beaches in Leeuwin-Naturaliste National Park, surf epic breaks, wander through tall Karri forest, explore deep caves and camp in idyllic surrounds in a region which has its culture and scenery working in perfect harmony.
53 – Binns Track, NT
Extending from Mt Dare to Timber Creek via Alice Springs, Binns Track offers a perfect cross-section of Outback Australia to those who are prepared to traverse this 2194km trek. Journey through expansive deserts, outback townships, undulating ranges, cultural and historical locations and much more along this challenging route from the outback to the Top End.
52 – Woods Point, VIC
Amongst the rolling ranges of High Country Victoria lies Woods Point, a sleepy town that is the gateway to many an adventure. Campers, four-wheel drivers, hikers, mountain bikers and nature-lovers exploring the region inevitably find themselves using Woods Point as the beginning or end of their journey, and after spending some time in the hills surrounding the town, it’s easy to see why.
51 - Arkaroola, SA
Endless expanses of timeless terrain define Arkaroola, which sits among the buckled and folded mountains of the Northern Flinders Ranges in the South Australian Outback. Sillers Lookout has a strong claim to being the best lookout in Australia, while the many tracks and unique scenes within Arkaroola Wilderness Sanctuary keeps travellers engaged for the duration of their adventure.
Discover Australia's best adventure destinations for 2017 with our full list of the off-road top 100: