Driving Tassie Tracks with Lyndon Kettle
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There's never been a better time to pack up the rig and set off to Tasmania. With no chance of overseas travel on the horizon, a trip across the Bass Strait is about as close as you can get. And with the Spirit of Tasmania offering travellers the chance to bring their car for free, there's not much holding you back.
(Image: Tassie's beautiful west.)
At this time of year, you'll have your pick of the tracks in Tassie, many of which are inaccessible most of the time. The whole of Tasmania is in good form during the summer months, however many 4WDers will want to make the most of the good weather by heading straight for the rugged West Coast.
As is often the case, nobody knows the finer points of Tasmania's tracks better than the locals, so we asked our mate Lyndon Kettle, president of the Devonport 4WD Club, to give us a few must-do drives for anyone heading over to the island state. Here are his recommendations:
Climies Track on the West Coast, for its challenging terrain, spectacular scenery.
Skyline Track on the East Coast, which offers panoramic views of the blue water and orange rocks of The Bay of Fires.
Sandy Cape Track on the West Coast, a great destination with stunning views along the way and ever-changing beach conditions that can be very challenging.
Bridport to Bellingham Traverse, provides fun sand driving, beach and dunes.
Mount McCall Track, which takes you into the South West Wilderness World Heritage Area and the sight of the famous Franklin River blockade of the early 80s.
(Image: Sandy terrain in West Tasmania)
He adds “visit the Parks & Wildlife Service website for information on tracks.”
At first glance, it might seem like a busy itinerary, from West to East Coast, and beaches to mountaintops. But as Lyndon explains, “Tasmania's small size means that a variety of terrain can be encountered on a single trip, you can be driving on the beach and dunes, in rocky technical tracks, muddy challenging tracks and alpine areas all on the one day.”
This variety, however, can catch visiting drivers off guard. Even when conditions are good, it's possible to find yourself in a sticky situation. “We have had numerous occasions where visitors to the state have become stuck and have needed the assistance of emergency services to help them,” Lyndon says and advises tourists never to head onto difficult tracks alone.
(Image: East Coast Tasmania.)
For more info on planning your Tassie trip, you can connect with local 4WD Clubs through the www.4wdtasmania.org website, and possibly even tag along on a trip. And of course, when you get there, always respect tracks and cultural heritage, take your rubbish with you and stick to the formed tracks.