4WD safety in parks
Victoria has some of the best four-wheel driving in Australia, with access to an extensive track network ranging from alpine, desert, coastal and lush wilderness. Many of these routes offer an adventurous driving experience; but, it's essential to be aware of the risks and responsibilities of 4WDing.
You are more likely to risk serious injury or even death if unprepared. We want you to return home with happy memories that you’ll enjoy for years to come, so we’re asking people to drive responsibly and show consideration to others in Victoria’s parks.
Due to recent storms, tracks may be muddy, slippery and, at times, inaccessible. Environments and cultural heritage can be severely damaged by four-wheel drive activity, even more so when it is wet. When you take a vehicle off-road, you’re jeopardising your safety and the safety of others hiking and bushwalking through the landscape. You must stay on the formed roads and tracks to protect the environment we all value.
If you are planning a drive, follow these safety precautions to ensure your visit is safe and enjoyable.
Top tips to stay safe when 4WDing:
- Never drive in flood waters – many rivers are higher than usual and impassable by vehicles
- Stick to formed tracks and roads
- Travel in a group
- Expect rough and challenging terrain
- Inspect wet roads before driving and reconsider if you need to go there
- Tell someone where you’re going
- There is limited phone reception in some areas – consider bringing a high frequency radio
Find out what conditions are like before you go - check for park closures on the flood and storm affected parks page. Visit the Vic Emergency website for the latest warnings and check State forest and road closures.
Things to consider:
- Riding and driving off-road is detrimental to the environment - it causes soil erosion and damages native vegetation. This damage also causes and extends road closures.
- Parks are fragile, and taking vehicles through native vegetation or closed roads can destroy wildlife habitat and create soil erosion.
- Vehicles must stay on formed roads and tracks in forests, parks and reserves. It’s illegal to drive off road or on informal single tracks, due to the environmental and cultural heritage damage it causes.
- All vehicles and motorcycles must be registered when travelling on forest and park roads.
- Alongside the Conservation Regulator, we regularly undertake operations to target illegal off-road vehicles.
- Destroying and removing native vegetation from Crown land is illegal. It harms our environment, damages our cultural heritage, and takes away habitat for plants and animals.
- Consider joining a registered 4WD club to enjoy the benefits of comprehensive insurance.
- We welcome the community’s help to protect our parks and anyone who witnesses illegal vehicle use on public land is encouraged to report it on 13 1963.
Due to recent weather events, several parks and sites are closed due to storm and flood damage. Some roads that are closed seasonally remain closed for public safety. Check individual park pages before heading out.
For closures in state forests, please visit: www.ffm.vic.gov.au/visiting-state-forests/forest-and-road-closures.