The Lerderderg State Park was a destination of choice for us, to explore some of the great 4WD tracks in the area, and it doesn’t lack options! After deciding against camping at Lederderg Campground and heading to Amblers Crossing instead, we set up and had a pretty cruisy afternoon.
The next morning though, we hit the tracks, and I’d seen a rock step near camp that we had to do, and wondered what the tracks would be like. We’d actually already done some of the Amblers Lane 4WD track having come into camp, but headed north towards Wombat State Forest, in search of some fun, but not crazy 4WD tracks.
Amblers Lane was a fun drive; difficult, but nothing extreme, and the scenery is great. It’s got a number of puddles and ruts with water in them, and that was in late march, so it obviously hangs around.
Pushing out of Amblers Lane, we wanted to cut across towards Blackwood, but found the road closed and had to take the long way around.
The Blackwood region has a huge number of 4WD tracks, but we started off on Easter Monday track, which was a bit of a challenge to find. Exploroz eventually came to the rescue, but it took a little bit of poking around to get onto the track.
This track is really narrow, and if you met another vehicle coming the other way you’d be in for a whole lot of fun fun. It’s often right on the edge of sharp hills, and there’s a heap of logs and trees to dodge.
We were surprised at how many trees were down, and near the track, as we pushed through. This was not overly difficult, but had amazing scenery, and we soon popped out on New Sultan Mine Road, before hanging a left onto German Track.
This had a lot more water laying around, and I got out a few times to poke the holes with sticks. Thankfully none were overly deep or sloppy, and we went through without too much issue.
From German Track, we turned onto Paradise Road, and then Paradise Track, which is much the same. Turning right onto Nolan Creek Road, you follow a picturesque part of the world, before turning onto Mount View Track, which was supposed to be the more difficult part of the drive. This looked fairly overgrown, and it was only a matter of seconds before I could feel the underbody protection taking a bit of a beating.
We avoided a couple of holes, but the track was fairly slippery and we found ourselves in the ruts more than we wanted to. This track winds its way along, and was less difficult than I expected. From there, you turn onto Camp Road, and then right onto Pines Track, which we thought would be a walk in the park.
It all wasn’t too bad, but there was lots of track damage and some careful wheel placement was needed, along with dodging a few very sketchy looking water crossings.
From there, we headed out towards Ballan for a stop at the bakery, before heading back into Lerderderg State Park, and back to Amblers Lane and Crossing.
There are more 4WD tracks in Lerderderg, Wombat State Forest and around the Blackwood area than you could explore in several days driving. Some of it is mild, and some of it is a bit more extreme, and we had a great time looking around.
If you are looking for 4WD tracks close to Melbourne, this is not a bad place to start at all. Go with another vehicle if you can, and a while after its rained, or some of the tracks would be very difficult (and possibly closed)
In terms of tyres, I ran about 24 in the front and 28 PSI in the rear, which seemed to do the trick. There is a lot of timber around, and it would be possible to get a stake pretty easily. We did end up with a stick wedged under the vehicle near the fuel tank, and the tracks are certainly rough and slippery enough that you’d be mad not to let some air out.
I reckon this comfortably meets the difficult criteria. It’s nothing extreme, but a bog stock 4WD with average tyres would not make it through without damage. You need a bit of clearance, some quality all terrain or mud terrain tyres, and underbody protection if possible.
It certainly isn’t as difficult as the tracks at Cobaw State Forest that we did a few days later, but its more than enough for a moderately capable vehicle and driver to have plenty of fun.
There’s a heap of other 4WD tracks in the Lerderderg State Forest, Wombat State Forest and around Blackwood that we didn’t get around to, with some being closed, and us running out of time to do everything. It’s certainly a beautiful part of the world, and if you have a 4WD you can see a huge amount of it.