Brisbane Ranges 4WD tracks; an easy, scenic day trip

There’s a heap of 4WD tracks near Melbourne, and we’re starting to tick them off as we travel around on our Lap of Australia. After an eventful day where we lost 3 annexe poles, we rolled into Fridays Campground in the Brisbane Ranges, just in time for it to start raining.

The next day though, we woke to the sun shining, and had a fairly relaxing morning before jumping in the car, to do some Brisbane Ranges 4WD tracks.

We’d read that these tracks were mild, and decided to tow our Reconn R2 along for the ride, with the intention of camping somewhere in the Lerderderg National Park that night.

Brisbane Ranges 4WD tracks in our Dmax and Reconn R2
Exploring the Brisbane Ranges 4WD tracks with our camper in tow

Where are the Brisbane 4WD tracks?

We started on Sawpit Gully Road, before heading south along Geelong – Ballan Road, and turning onto Switch Road.

This is where it starts to get picturesque, as you meander your way up and down the ranges, and past some pretty awesome rock formations. From there, you turn onto Mcleans Highway, then Thompsons Road, and Reids Road.

Cruising around the Brisbane Ranges
There’s a lot of tracks that go through the Brisbane Ranges

How difficult are the 4WD tracks?

None of these tracks are difficult, and at most there are a couple of small steps and ruts to navigate, but you’d comfortably do them in any type of 4WD. We had no issues towing our Reconn R2 through, even with a couple of steep slopes that were gravel.

These tracks are very well maintained and despite being steep with lots of hairpin bends, there’s no real 4WD difficulty involved. Use your engine braking well when going down the hills, and avoid the brakes as much as possible and you’ll be fine.

Steep tracks in our Reconn R2
There’s some steep descents and ascents, with switchbacks, but nothing overly difficult

That said, if you poke around the Brisbane Ranges you might find some more challenging 4WD tracks; we didn’t look that hard as we were towing and were heading to Lerderderg. 

Do you need a 4WD?

You’d be fine with any AWD vehicle that has a bit of clearance. I wouldn’t take a 2WD vehicle here, nor an AWD with limited clearance, but its fairly tame, and easy all round.

Picnic area at the Brisbane Ranges
At Little River Picnic area, which was a nice stop

Is it worth doing?

I’ll be honest and say that we wouldn’t rave about Fridays Campground in the Brisbane Ranges, and that set the tone for the rest of the Brisbane Ranges. The campground is nice enough, and certainly not bad, just there’s better options out there.

Fridays Campground in the Brisbane Ranges
Fridays Campground was decent, but nothing amazing, but the rest of the park is a big improvement

However, once we started on Switch Road, the scenery improves ten fold, with big hills, beautiful trees and a couple of nice creeks. The rock formations are pretty stunning, and we certainly thought it was worth the drive.

If you wanted an easy day out doing some Melbourne 4WD tracks you wouldn’t go too wrong in the Brisbane Ranges.

Scenery in the Brisbane Ranges
The scenery in the Brisbane Ranges makes it worthy of a drive

Tyre pressures

Initially I didn’t let our tyres down, but in the interest of keeping our Dmax in one piece for the rest of our Lap of Australia (however that might be), I decided it was worth doing.

I dropped all 6 tyres down by about 30%, and I was glad I did as the last third of the track gets quite a bit rockier, and rougher. You could certainly do it at full tyre pressures, but it would be a bit rough on your vehicle, and your chance of a puncture would be increased.

One bay to pull over on Glenelg River Road
We’re only a small way around Australia, and I don’t want our Dmax falling apart; lower your tyres for a better ride

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