By Melissa Keogh
A little bit of mud never hurt anybody.
Whether it’s navigating the dry and dusty red dirt roads of the Far North or taking in the stunning coastlines along the Eyre Peninsula, South Australia offers a whole bunch of landscapes to explore on four wheels.
We’ve done our research and declare these six spots as the best 4WDing playgrounds in the state.
Some of them are dedicated 4WD parks, meaning you’re supporting local family businesses when you visit!
1. JAKEM Farm
Where: Eclair Mine Road, St Ives.
This 4WD park south of Callington in the Adelaide Hills will keep the most passionate 4WDer occupied for hours (or days!)
Just 45 minutes from Adelaide up the South Eastern Freeway, JAKEM Farm features 16 tracks of mostly steep and rugged terrain and overlooking acres of rolling hills.
A number of campsites are also available, and visitors might be lucky to spot kangaroos, wedge-tailed eagles, ducks, turtles and other wildlife along the Mt Barker Creek.
Mostly importantly, JAKEM Farm offers a place for 4WDers to play hard away from national parks or public roads.
2. Saunders Gorge Sanctuary
Where: Three Chain Road, Sanderston.
This spot not far from the town of Mt Pleasant is a good one for weekend trips, as it’s only 90 minutes from Adelaide.
It’s a private conservation area with a dedicated three-hour Eagle View 4WD Track.
There are a handful of campsites (with drop dunnies!) if you’d like to explore the area over a couple of nights.
The walking trails are a birdwatcher’s delight.
3. Coffin Bay National Park
Where: 60km west of Port Lincoln, Eyre Peninsula.
The Coffin Bay National Park is one for beach drivers, offering a variety of conditions such as soft sand and narrow, winding tracks.
Much of the park can only be accessed by 4WD. Popular spots include Black Springs, Sensation Beach and Point Sir Isaac.
Follow the route markers, be alert of wildlife (such as wandering emus!) and oncoming traffic.
There are also many walks and hikes through vegetated dunes, up to lookouts, and overlooking offshore reefs.
As for camping, there are four designated campgrounds, with permits to be purchased online or at the Port Lincoln Visitor Information Centre.
4. Loveday 4×4 Adventure Park
Where: Caddy Road, Barmera.
Loveday 4×4 Adventure Park in the Riverland is an 8000-acre property that includes a 14km stretch of the mighty Murray River.
The landscape features clay flats, creek beds, sand hills, steep and stony hills, and sandy mallee scrub.
The Loveday park has a bit of everything – from quiet, serene spots along the Murray, to tracks just waiting to be tackled by hardcore 4WDers.
Camp sites are accessible with 2WDs and caravans.
5. Little Dip Conservation Park
Where: Nora Creina Road, Robe.
Located on the outskirts of Robe on the Limestone Coast is the Little Dip Conservation Park.
The many tracks are sure to give your vehicle a good workout.
Aside from the stunning coastline views, 4WDers can also travel to lagoons and inland lakes throughout the park.
The beach is also popular for fishing.
Get out of the way! Long-legged feathered friends en-route to the Flinders Ranges in South Australia. #flindersranges #southaustralia #emu #oldmanemu #4wdtraining #isuzugoyourownway #isuzudmax #getouttamyway #getalonglittledoggie #natureaddict #naturelovers #natureisawesome #runforestrun #whackybird #orroroo #bendlebyranges #adventure4wdau
6. Flinders Ranges
The stunning Flinders Ranges is arguably one of the best camping and 4WDing destinations in SA.
The many tracks and terrains of the region are suited to 4WDers with the right gear and who know what they’re doing.
The region offers many tour operator and self-drive experiences, including Alpana Station (5km from Blinman) which features two self-drive 4WD tracks.
The Mt Samuel 4WD track is a four-hour journey through sheep grazing country, with challenging mountain ridges and steep descents.
REMEMBER: Stick to the tracks, admire plants and wildlife from afar, take your rubbish with you, leave your pets at home and respect the heritage of the places you visit.
Visit I Choose SA to find out how you can support our state by choosing South Australian businesses, products and services.