Before you go, you should do the following things. These will help make the trip safer, protect the environment and ensure that you avoid the disappointment of starting only to find that the track is closed. Remember that you must hold a current drivers licence and your vehicle must be registered and display registration plates unless you are on private land.
- Obtain a current map of the area you are about to visit. In 2003 Tasmania started changing the co-ordinate system used for all maps from AGD 66 to GDA 94. All new and revised maps will be issued in the new format. Users should note that all co-ordinates given in this brochure are in the old AGD 66 format. To convert from AGD 66 to GDA 94 add 112m to the easting and add 183m to the northing coordinate.
- Check with the local land manager for the latest information on the area or track you propose to use. Ask about authorities (permits) for reserves managed by the Parks and Wildlife Service, Phytophthora (root rot fungus), track conditions and fire restrictions.
- Roads, tracks and beaches can be closed on a temporary or permanent basis for a number of reasons including a bridge that’s down, adverse seasonal conditions, extreme fire danger or logging operations. Notices will be placed in the regional daily newspapers and signs will be erected at appropriate places when tracks are to be closed.
- Steep slopes and water are responsible for much of the erosion evident on tracks. Minimise damage by avoiding steep tracks (especially greater than 30 degrees) on erodible soils in winter and during wet weather.
- Leave trip details with someone trustworthy so that they can contact Police Search and Rescue if your party is overdue. Make sure you notify this person when you return!
This is a fungus, which travels in soil, and can attack the root systems of plants and wipe out susceptible species. The transfer of soil on vehicles, footwear, tent pegs, etc spreads it.
To reduce the chance of spreading Phytophthora always start your trip with clean gear and a clean vehicle. Remove all dirt from the vehicle, including the undercarriage and mudguards. Where possible undertake trips when conditions are dry.
See our web pages on Phytophthora for further details.
Most coastal and dune areas contain evidence of Aboriginal use and occupation for at least the last few thousand years. These include campsites where stone tools have been made and used (stone artefact scatters) and where shellfish have been collected and eaten (shell middens). All these sites are important to the present day Aboriginal community, as they are an important link with their ancestors and their way of life. All Aboriginal heritage is protected under the Aboriginal Relics Act 1975, and we’re all responsible for helping to protect these places.
These sites are vulnerable to erosion, and once they’re gone, they’re gone. So treat these sites with care, and follow the guidelines for beach driving.
Dunes and Beaches
Dunes and beaches are especially fragile. These points will help you enjoy your driving without ‘bruisin’ the beach’.
- Drive on and off beaches at designated points only.
- Drive on dunes only in designated vehicle recreation areas and do not drive on vegetated dunes and shore facing dune fronts. Vehicles can easily remove dune vegetation, which in turn can lead to severe erosion.
- Drive on damp firm sand below the high tide mark. Above this mark, birds such as Oystercatchers and Plovers lay eggs in small scrapes on the soft sand. These are almost impossible to see while driving. Chicks tend to hide in the cast seaweed and they are also extremely difficult to see. So, especially between October and March, keep to the hard, clean wet sand.
Private landholders are not obliged to let you cross their land. If they do allow access, please don't abuse their trust. Future use depends on you and how you behave:
- Always obtain permission to cross private land.
- Leave all gates as you found them and avoid disturbing stock.
- Thank the property owner for allowing access.
On the Right Track
Minimising track degradation is not just the job of land managers. Everyone who uses tracks can help by observing the following guidelines:
- Stick to existing tracks.
- Use existing entry and exit points when crossing streams and creeks where bridges and culverts are not provided.
- Obey track closures and regulatory signs.
- Where possible, winch between vehicles, but if you have to winch from a tree, use tree protecting padding or webbing.
- Use wheel chains only as a last resort.
The key here is to leave the camping area as you would want to find it. Some tips are :
- Camp at established campsites, avoid creating new sites.
- Use a modern tent so that you do not need to cut tent poles.
- Wash at least 50 m away from creeks. Use of soaps and detergents should be minimised as they can affect water quality. Spread your dirty water rather than tipping it in one spot.
- Use toilets where provided, otherwise dispose of faecal waste at least 100 m from campsites and watercourses. Faecal waste and toilet paper should be buried in a hole at least 15 cm deep.
- Respect the rights of others particularly at campsites.
- Take your rubbish out with you. Do the bush a favour by taking out other people's rubbish as well as your own. Dispose of rubbish and litter at home or at authorised waste disposal sites.
By following the advice set out below, you can minimise the fire danger to both your party and the environment.
- Use fuel stoves for cooking. They don’t damage the local environment and they greatly reduce the risk of a fire escaping and becoming a bushfire.
- If you do have a fire, use constructed fireplaces. Under no circumstances leave a campfire unattended. Light fires only on sites where there is no flammable material within a radius of three metres of the fire. Use only fallen wood as dead standing trees can provide homes for wildlife and thousands of insects. Keep cooking fires small and make sure they are fully extinguished before you leave.
- On days of total fire ban any naked flame, even a gas stove, is illegal.
- The lighting of fires on peat soil (dark brown organic soils found over much of western Tasmania) is illegal. The fires are extremely hard to put out (they can burn underground for weeks).
- Forestry Tasmania may prohibit access to areas of State forest on days of extreme fire danger.
Many tracks are used not only by other recreational vehicle users but also by walkers, cyclists and horse riders. Please be courteous when you come across these people. Slow down, or even stop, say G’day, wait until they are well past you and then drive on as normal.
P.O. Box 662 Glenorchy 7010 Website: www.4wdtasmania.org
4WD Tracks in Tasmania
The following tracks are described in detail in our 4WD Guide. For further details on the locations of these tracks, see the guide.
1. Jefferys Track - Medium
2. Wellington Park Fire Trails - Medium/Hard
3. Arve Rd to Hartz Mtns National Park and Tahune Forest Reserve - Easy
4. Bruny Island - Easy
5. Fortescue Bay - Easy
6. Tasman Peninsula - Easy
7. Wielangta Forest Drive - Easy
8. East Coast Forest Roads - Easy
9. Peron Dunes (St Helens Pt Road) - Hard
10. Mt William National Park - Easy
11. Waterhouse and other roads - Easy
12. Old Port Road - Easy
13. Cascade Dam Road - Easy
14. Mt Paris Dam Road - Easy
15. Mt Victoria Link Road
16. St Albans Bay - Hard
17. Patons Rd - Medium
18. Arthur River to Sandy Cape - Hard
19. Balfour Track - Hard
20. South Arthur Forest Drive - Easy
21. Montezuma Falls via Melba Flats - Medium
22. Ocean Beach- Medium
23. Mt Huxley - Hard
24. Bird River Track - Easy
25. Mt McCall Track - Medium