Sightseeing on boat journeys is simply spectacular. Road trips on 4WD tracks promise fun and excitement. In Australia, you can have the best of both worlds. With its natural wonders, the country is home to many destinations that offer impressive boat tours along with thrilling 4WD adventures. That list includes the following spots.
Walpole Wilderness (Western Australia)
One of Western Australia’s gems, the Walpole Wilderness and its secluded inlets, rugged coastlines, and forests of tall tingle and karri trees are perfect for a day or two of exploration.
Boat tours in the area go way back to 1910. Today’s trips usually cruise across the Walpole and Nornalup inlets, and along quiet beaches and the very pristine Deep River.
At certain stops, you can climb out of the boat and step foot on rugged but stunning beaches. You’ll also pass by all kinds of protected areas teeming with plants and birds. In fact, Walpole Wilderness is the only globally recognized biodiversity hotspot in Australia.
Some isolated but visit-worthy sites are accessible primarily via 4WD. Among these is the Walpole Coast where you’ll find gorgeous beaches, hiking trails, camping grounds, and incredible fishing spots.
Pieman River (Tasmania)
It may not be as popular as the Gordon River, but the pristine and placid Pieman River also draws in tourists to Tasmania. Before you can cruise along its waters, though, you need to reach the tiny and remote settlement of Corinna first.
Your 4WD options are to take the road from Arthur River in the north or approach from the south side via Zeehan (in case it’s raining hard). Do note, however, that there is no petrol station at Corinna. You won’t be able to access the Internet or find mobile phone coverage either.
You probably won’t mind all these after you experience the Pieman River Cruise. For one, you’ll be riding a Huon pine masterpiece crafted in 1939 and superbly maintained up to now: the historic Arcadia. Second, the trip itself is relaxing and fascinating.
From Corinna, the boat will make its way through perfectly calm waters and along enchanting forests. Before the river flows into the Southern Ocean, there’s a small jetty where you can get off to check out some quirky fishing shacks and take a stroll on the beach.
The Tarkine wilderness, one of the regions the Pieman river runs through, also makes for an exciting 4WD adventure.
If the Great Barrier Reef is on your travel bucket list, you can begin your journey at Cairns in Queensland. There are cruises in nearby Upolu Bay that let you marvel at the reef’s exotic fish species and coral gardens from a glass-bottom boat.
If you can afford more than just a day trip, though, do try a live-aboard diving tour. This is your chance to snorkel at different spots and dive at nighttime. The dive sites in Queensland are one of the best in the world, and if you have a chance to dive there, grab it.
From Cairns, you can start a 4WD trip along the Cape York Peninsula Development Road to the tip of Australia. Accessible only during the dry season (ideally from April to October), this 710-kilometer-long track may be challenging but it is also one of the most popular in the country.
Route highlights include lush rainforests, waterfalls, and the Torres Strait. The river and creek crossings, however, can be tricky so be extra careful when you drive through such areas.
Opportunities for boat and 4WD trips in Australia are diverse, so you definitely won’t run out of wonderful choices for your next voyage. Choose an itinerary now and see how beautiful Australia is by land and sea.