En­joy­ing Le­vuka 4x4 Park’s muddy play­grounds!

Le­vuka’s muddy off-road tracks cater for all 4x4ers, from sea­soned pros to first-timers.

4 x 4 Australia - - Contents - WORDS AND PHO­TOS LUCY EA­TON

THE SCENIC Rim area of south-east Queens­land is known for its amaz­ing views over val­leys and moun­tain ranges, and Le­vuka 4WD Park is ide­ally sit­u­ated on the south-western edge, of­fer­ing some spec­tac­u­lar scenery. Not only that, the park has an abun­dance of 4x4 tracks, rang­ing from easy to ex­treme, which pass through rocky gul­lies, sticky mud holes, hill climbs and ruts.

The park is ac­ces­si­ble to 2WD and 4WD ve­hi­cles, which makes it easy for fam­i­lies look­ing for a nice scenic spot to go camp­ing for a few nights. You can also bring the bikes for the kids, as they will have a ball just rid­ing around the camp­sites. The four-legged chil­dren can also come with you as the park is dog-friendly, but as this is a work­ing cat­tle farm it’s ad­vised to have tick pro­tec­tion for your dogs be­fore and after you visit.

A cen­tral lo­ca­tion within the park is The Play­ground, where ev­ery­one can have a go at try­ing its dif­fer­ent tracks and, like ev­ery­where else, once a bit of rain falls it’s much more fun. There is a fair bit of space to park and watch, or you could be the one rolling in the mud hav­ing all the on­look­ers cheer­ing you on.

Upon ar­rival at the park you are given a wel­come pack, which con­tains a map of all the tracks. You have the choice of en­joy­ing

mud holes, rain­for­est tracks, rocky tracks or hill climbs. Each track is rated, and it’s stip­u­lated that all the rat­ings on the tracks will change dra­mat­i­cally once there’s been a bit of rain.

Most of the tracks are one-way, which is handy as you don’t have to worry about on­com­ing traf­fic – there is usu­ally no room to pull over in any case. If you like ex­plor­ing, there is a small wa­ter­fall within the rain­for­est where you can pull over to the side of the track. It’s not that far and you can clearly see a trod­den path you can fol­low to get a nice scenic photo with the wa­ter­fall.

Se­ri­ous off-road­ers can at­tempt the Rock ’n’ Roll Gully, which can do some se­ri­ous dam­age to your ve­hi­cle. It’s best if some­one jumps out to guide you through, as you don’t want to be chang­ing a CV along this lit­tle track. It’s an ex­cit­ing track, with a very tight left-hand turn that re­quires an (al­most) eight-point turn to get the ve­hi­cles be­tween the two trees ei­ther side of the track. Fol­low­ing that, you’ve then got a mon­ster hill to climb!

If you’re after an­other chal­lenge, Havoc’s Cross­ing is a doozy, es­pe­cially after rain. It doesn’t look like much at

first, but the steep de­cline to a tight left-hand turn that then leads to an equally steep as­cent is dif­fi­cult. Hav­ing no space for a run-up at the bot­tom throws a span­ner in the works, but if you have a winch and a locker you’ll get up no prob­lem.

Once the day of driv­ing is done, head back to Le­vuka’s well­main­tained camp­site and in­dulge in a hot shower. Choose your time wisely, though, as you may end up lin­ing up with ev­ery­one else. It’s th­ese small lux­u­ries that make a camp­ing trip just that lit­tle bit more en­joy­able.

Le­vuka is one of the smaller 4WD parks we’ve been to and we com­pleted the map quicker than we an­tic­i­pated, but it still has a lot to of­fer for be­gin­ners and ex­pe­ri­enced driv­ers alike.

Dur­ing the school hol­i­days – es­pe­cially Easter – he­li­copter flights are avail­able, and on the last night of the Easter long week­end there’s a spec­tac­u­lar fire­works dis­play. We set up camp right at the en­trance of the park and had front-row seats of the fire­works – it was the best way to top off a great week­end.

Le­vuka’s tracks are mostly one-way; there’s rarely enough space for two-way traf­fic.

A short break from of­froad thrills to ex­plore the wa­ter­fall area. Fun in the mud on the chal­leng­ing Havoc’s Cross­ing.

Tak­ing in the views at the look­out. There are plenty of ex­cel­lent camp­sites at Le­vuka.

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