If you’re planning an off-road 4x4 adventure in South Australia, it’s easy to think that you need to drive far in order to find any 4WD tracks worth visiting. After all, we expect off-roading to be a rugged experience, so it’s natural to think you need to leave the city far behind. Well, we have some good news for you - some of the best 4x4 tracks in South Australia are less than a day’s drive from Adelaide.

When it comes to 4WD tracks Adelaide has a lot of range on offer, with coastline and beaches on one side, and bushland ready to explore on the other. Read on to find our top 10 4WD tracks near Adelaide and start planning your next long weekend.

Preparing for 4x4 off-road tracks

Before you head out, it’s important to properly prepare. Always check weather and track conditions before you set out, and make sure you’re confident with the route ahead of time. On top of that, packing your car properly for your 4WD adventure is key. The last thing you want is a loose bag flying into the windscreen when you’re handling a difficult descent. Lastly, make sure you have all the essentials you need for a road trip, as well as specific gear for your 4WD track. This could include items such as a traction aid if you’re driving on sand, or a two-way radio if you’re going outside of mobile reception.

Top four-wheel drive tracks near Adelaide

Tracks in the Flinders Ranges

It’s impossible to talk about top 4WD tracks nearby to Adelaide without featuring the Flinders Ranges. Just 5-hours north of Adelaide, the Flinders Ranges is home to an awe inspiring 95,000 hectares of dramatic landscapes and scenic trails. Along with a 4WD off-roading area, the Flinders Ranges is also an amazing place for camping, hiking, mountain biking and birdwatching. Entry is $13 per vehicle, though some trails have an extra cost, and most campsites in the area are $25 per night. Here are some of our favourite 4x4 tracks in the Flinders Ranges.


1. Mount Jacob Backtrack

Located in the stunning Arkaroola region of the Range, Mount Jacob is an intermediate to advanced track that winds through red rock and multiple lookouts. It features steep climbs with technical driving, but you’ll be well rewarded with amazing mountain views.

Start from Arkaroola Road, around 12km south of Arkaroola Village.


2. Bolla Bollana Springs self-drive tour

For a more relaxed track in the Arkaoola area, this 4 hour self-drive tour features easy to intermediate driving through the Pinnacles, Bolla Bollana Springs, and Nooldoonooldoona Waterhole. Stop at the Springs for some shade and a lovely picnic spot. For this track there is an extra daily entrance fee to Mt Freeling Station.

Find Bolla Bollana Springs.


3. Arden Hills 4WD Track

Taking around half a day to complete, this challenging 4WD track rewards drivers with panoramic views of Lake Torrens, Mount Remarkable, the Willochra Plain and Wilpena Pound. The track is located around the foothills of the Flinders and features frequent changes in elevation along the ridgeline. It can be unforgiving, so proceed with caution.

Start 20km north of Quorn.


4. Nuccaleena Ruins Drive

The Nuccaleena Ruins Drive offers the striking rock face of Parachilna Gorge, as well as a unique slice of 1850s history. An intermediate route, it takes about 6 hours to explore. You’ll pass the historic Nuccaleena Mine, which was open for less than a decade in the 19th century. Bring plenty of water, especially if you plan to camp.

Start near Moolooloo.


5. Horseshoe Range

For those looking for a quieter alternative in the Flinders, a visit to the Horseshoe Range, described as a miniature Wilpena Pound, may be in order. While this area does cost $50 per vehicle, it features a range of tracks from intermediate to advanced, as well as mountain biking options. You can follow the Horseshoe Rim through the north of the range, or head into saltbrush country to take in the views.

Visit the Horseshoe Top End.

Other top 4x4 off-road tracks

6. Coorong National Park

If you’re still working on your 4WD skills or don’t have as much time to get away, Coorong National Park is a great choice.  Less than 200km from Adelaide, Coorong offers 65km of pristine beach and its smooth sand makes for a fairly level drive. There’s also a family friendly walk to the lighthouse and great camping. Remember to check the tide times before you go so you don’t get stuck, and avoid this one in spring when the beach is closed.

Access from Tailem Bend, off Princes Highway.


7. Ngarkat Conservation Park

Drive east of Adelaide for 300km and you’ll find Ngarkat’s Conservation Park, with routes through dune and bushland to suit all abilities. The Centre Track will give you an easier run, while those looking for a challenge can drive the legendary Border Track that follows 50km of fence line along the boundary between Victoria and South Australia. Entry is $13 per vehicle, and there’s dedicated campsites from $21 per night.

Access from Ngarkat Highway.


8. Canuda National Park

Head 400km southeast of Adelaide along the Limestone Coast and you’ll reach Canuda National Park, a perfect spot for an incredible coastal holiday. Canuda is not only a wonderful location for beach driving, but you’ll also find oceanside cliff tracks, camping spots, and even fishing and diving. The 4x4 tracks are at a range of different difficulties, from straightforward dirt tracks to soft sand dunes and undulating terrain.

Find Canuda National Park.


9. Little Dip Conservation Park

Canuda’s neighbour on the Limestone Coast, Little Dip Conservation Park surprisingly offers a different scenic experience, with dramatic rocky cliffs and sweeping beaches. At 335km south of Adelaide, it’s a little closer too. The sand driving here gets challenging fast – it’s soft and coarse and offers little support to a 4WD. Learn how to drive on sand before you go. Along with amazing 4x4 tracks, there’s also great surfing and kayaking here.

Visit Little Dip Conservation Park.


10. Adelaide Hills 4WD Park

What do you do when you only have one day to get away? You head to Adelaide Hills 4WD Park, just an hour drive from Adelaide. The park offers curated tracks of every difficulty, and even 4WD training programs so you can level up your skills.  A day pass is a bit more costly at $60, but gives you access to the whole park from 9am to 4:30pm.

Visit Adelaide Hills 4WD Park.

Looking for your next 4WD? Book a test drive today to see what vehicle could be right for your next off-road adventure.