Four-wheel drive with care
4WD with care
From cool, shady forest trails to dusty outback adventures, enjoy 4WDing in Queensland’s national parks. Taking care of yourself and your environment will ensure your exploration into some of Queensland’s most remote and beautiful natural places is safe and enjoyable.
Read stay safe and visit with care for important information about staying safe, caring for parks and essentials to bring when you visit Queensland’s national parks.
- Check whether the park allows off-road 4WDing before you set out. Be aware that recreation areas require a vehicle access permit to be displayed on your windscreen.
- All Queensland road rules apply, even on beaches.
- As a general rule, park visitors' vehicles are required to be fully road registered. There are limited exceptions for conditionally registered vehicles but written authorisation is required in each case.
- Drivers must be licensed.
- Stay on established roads and trails.
- If the road is blocked by an obstruction, don’t drive off the road or into roadside drains. Remove the obstruction where possible.
- Ensure you are proficient in 4WDing, have the right recovery gear and supplies, and drive according to the conditions.
- Always let someone know where you are going and when you expect to return.
- Take care of yourself and the roads by not attempting to drive during and after heavy rain. Avoid taking risks at flooded crossings— if it’s flooded, forget it.
- Help protect our parks by ensuring you don’t carry pests in footwear, clothing, boats, vehicles and gear.
- Avoid using trees for winching. If you have no choice, use tree protectors.
- Stay with your vehicle if you break down or become stranded.
Driving on sand
- Driving on sand requires driving skills and care in addition to those listed above.
- Protect the dune environment by using well-established tracks to reach the beach; make use of passing bays.
- Park well away from traffic areas and park at an angle to the water so approaching beach traffic can see that you have stopped.
- Watch out for people and animals on the beach; be aware that the sound of the surf and wind may block out the sound of your vehicle.
- Stay away from nesting seabirds. If disturbed, adult birds can abandon their nests leaving eggs and chicks vulnerable to heat, cold and predation.
- Plan your trip thoroughly. Calculate driving distances, plan your refuelling points and allow plenty of travelling time.
- Ensure you are experienced with the conditions of the region you are travelling to.
- Take reliable communication equipment such as a satellite phone or UHF radio, and a list of local UHF radio channels and/or emergency contacts. Personal Locator Beacons (PLBs) are recommended. PLBs help rescuers locate your position and should only be used when you are threatened with grave and imminent danger.
- Bring detailed maps, GPS or other navigational device.