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Top Five 4WD Tracks in Tasmania

Tasmania is a mecca for adventurers, particularly 4WD enthusiasts.

The new second edition of Hema’s Tasmania Atlas & Guide features 15 of Hema’s favourite 4WD tracks that stretch from the spectacular vistas of Hells Gates on the western coast to the colourful granite-rock beaches of the Freycinet Peninsula. The atlas includes distinctive and informative maps, all of which have been field checked by Hema’s Map Patrol to ensure the best possible accuracy with the latest mapping data.

Editor Matt Brogan said the Tasmania Atlas & Guide will help adventure-seekers discover Tassie’s many sites and attractions. 

“It suggests possible itineraries, things to see and do, places to stay and learn, and offers detailed maps to help you navigate your way around,” Matt said. “Our only suggestion is to take your time here, experience as much as you can, and challenge yourself to discover something new. This is a special place and one that continues to reward those who take the time to get to know it.”

Here are the five top 4WD tracks featured in the guide:

Pyengana Track

The Pyengana Jeep Track winds through the temperate rainforests of Tasmania’s north-east and can be extremely difficult when wet or after rains. 

The bog holes of the Pyengana Jeep Track have been known to drown the occasional 4WD, and if the mud doesn’t get you, the ruts will. This track is rated Difficult for a reason — it is. It’s best tackled in a lifted 4WD fitted with differential lockers and mud tyres and should only be attempted by experienced four-wheel drivers with the right recovery gear.

Winding uphill from the Saint Columba Falls car park, this slippery track presents several rutted climbs and step-ups before reaching the summit. Once there, the mud holes continue across an elevated section of track which rarely sees sunlight beneath the towering forest canopy. It’s recommended the track is tackled in Tasmania’s drier months and that the condition of the track is clarified with locals before heading in. Access to the track is shared with timber trucks which have right of way on unsealed roads.

Track Details

Grade: Very difficult

Time: 1–2 hours

Distance: 8km

Best Time of Year: October to March

Permits and Fees: Not required

Contact Details: Arthur River Parks and Wildlife Service, Ph 03 6457 1225

Highlights: Saint Columba Falls, The Pub in the Paddock, a challenging 4WD experience

Getting There: From Pyengana, take the C428 (St Columba Falls Rd) to the St Columba Falls car park, or from Mathinna, take the C423 (Mathinna Plains Rd) then Mt Albert Rd to the Pyengana Jeep Track intersection. Fuel is available in nearby Ringarooma (to the north-west) or further south in Fingal.

Climies Track

Climies Track should only be attempted by vehicles with high ground clearance, dual range 4WD, Mud Terrain tyres and a full complement of recovery equipment. It follows a hilly coastal route through Mount Heemskirk Regional Reserve between Trial Harbour and Granville Harbour and provides stunning views over the Indian Ocean. 

Because of the low, scrubby vegetation, there are no trees to winch from so this track is best tackled as a group. Picturesque waterfalls, clifftops and mountain views are encountered along the route. Hill climbs, bog holes, rocky river crossings and rutted sections punctuate this hilly coastal trail. 

Climies Track, Tasmania, Hema Maps

Travellers must be self-sufficient, and you must carry your own firewood if intending to camp.

As with any 4WD track, Climies Track needs to be preserved for future travellers. Stick to the designated track and avoid making new tracks around difficult sections. Always cross creeks and rivers at designated crossing points only. Due to the sensitive nature of some vegetation, it is crucial that your vehicle and equipment are cleaned prior to beginning Climies Track to prevent the spread of plant and animal disease in the area. 

Track Details

Grade: Very difficult

Time: 5–6 hours

Distance: 19km

Best Time of Year: October to March

Permits and Fees: Not required

Highlights: Carn Brae Mine (disused), Cornwall Mine, Indian Ocean and Wheel Bay views

Getting There: Climies Track is best accessed via the C248 (Trial Harbour Rd) which extends from the C249 (Heemskirk Rd) just north of Zeehan. Although limited supplies may be available at Trial Harbour, the most reliable source of fuel is from Zeehan to the track’s south-east.

Sandy Cape Track

Located within the Arthur-Pieman Conservation Area, the Sandy Cape Track provides outstanding coastal scenery and beautiful camping spots. As the area is quite remote, it’s recommended you fill up at Corinna, if entering from the south, or Marrawah if entering from the north.

From Temma to Greenes Creek, approximately 12km, the track is rated as an Easy 4WD track. However, it can become slippery and more difficult after heavy rain with deep water sections. The later beach section of the drive, from Greenes Creek to Sandy Cape, is rated as Difficult. The track comprises a mix of sandy and rocky sections, as well as several water crossings.

Sandy Cape Tasmania, Hema Maps

Travelling in the company of other vehicles is essential along Sandy Cape Beach owing to the area’s soft sands. Vehicles have been known to become irretrievably trapped in sections of the beach and caution is advised. Always check the conditions before driving on the beach as large swells can impact the quality of the track. The same is true after heavy winter rains.

Track Details

Grade: Difficult

Time: 2–3 hours

Distance: 26.5km

Best Time of Year: Any

Permits and Fees: Arthur-Pieman Recreational Driver’s Pass

Contact Details: Arthur River Field Centre, 1490 Arthur River Rd, Arthur River TAS 7330. Ph 03 6457 1225 or visit Tasmania Parks and Wildlife Services.

Highlights: Aboriginal sites, coastal views, Bartel’s monument

Getting There: The Sandy Cape Track is accessed by first following the C214 (Rebecca Rd) west from Kanunnah Bridge or south from Arthur River. Head south at the intersection of Temma Rd near Couta Rocks and follow the road until it intersects with the Sandy Cape Track. Fuel is available at Zeehan or Smithton.

Montezuma Falls Track

This challenging central Tasmanian 4WD track is sign-posted as the North-East Dundas Tramway as it was once the route of an ore tramway which shuttled mined rock from the Williamsford Mine to Zeehan. 

Rated Difficult with a capital ‘D’, the Montezuma Falls Track is a challenging route for even the most experienced four-wheel driver. The 15km one-way route can take between three and six hours, depending on weather and the condition of the track, but is worth the drive for the many tramway cuttings the track passes through and the mining relics encountered along the way.

Montezuma Falls Tasmania Hema Maps

Set in picturesque rainforest dense with leatherwood, myrtle, and sassafras, the track provides access to the highest waterfall (104m) in Tasmania. The falls may be accessed via a short walk from the track’s end, crossing a suspension bridge en route. Just before reaching the falls, look for an old mining adit driven into the rockface to your left. 

Track Details

Grade: Difficult

Time: 3–6 hours

Distance: 15km

Best Time of Year: Any

Permits and Fees: Not required

Contact Details: West Coast Visitor Information Centre, The Esplanade, Strahan TAS 7468. Ph 03 6472 6800.

Highlights: Montezuma Falls and nearby suspension bridge, Williamsford mining ruins

Getting There: Also known as the North-East Dundas Tramway, the track is accessed from the point where it intersects the A10 (Murchison Hwy) near the location of Melba. The nearest fuel is available at Rosebery to the north and Zeehan to the south-west.

Pieman Heads Track

(At the time of publication, some tracks in the Arthur-Pieman area were facing closure owing to Aboriginal heritage values. Please obey all signage and do not drive on closed tracks.)

The Pieman Heads can be accessed via two tracks: the more common Coastal Track and the difficult Inland Track which are part of the more extensive Arthur-Pieman recreational vehicle track network. 

Beginning at the fishing village of Granville Harbour, the Pieman Heads Coastal Track heads north along the rugged coastline of the Indian Ocean to the quaint beach shacks at Pieman Heads. 

There is no defined track along Four Mile Beach, and you’ll need a keen eye to spot the exit at the beach’s northern end before continuing to Pieman Heads. Be sure to check tide times before traversing the beach and only cross at low tide. Beware of strong sea surges and swells in poor weather.

The Pieman Heads track offers breathtaking coastal scenery and a look at some of the area’s more interesting backcountry, including as many as 35 sites of Aboriginal significance. This heritage, combined with the natural beauty of the area, makes the Pieman Heads Track one of the best 4WD experiences in the state.

Pieman Heads Track Tasmania Hema Maps

The region is largely uninhabited, so you must carry your own supplies, including drinking water. You’ll also need to make sure you have plenty of fuel. 

The alternate and more difficult route to Pieman Heads is via the Inland Track. This 7km trail takes over two hours to complete and should only be attempted in groups of two or more vehicles. It is quite boggy and wet in sections. Always carry recovery gear.

Track Details

Grade: Difficult

Time: 2–3 hours

Distance: 27km

Best Time of Year: Any

Permits and Fees: Recreational Driver’s Permit

Contact Details: Arthur River Field Centre, 1490 Arthur River Rd, Arthur River TAS 7330. Ph 03 6457 1225 or visit Tasmania Parks and Wildlife Services.

Highlights: Aboriginal heritage sites, Indian Ocean views, Pieman Heads fishing shacks

Getting There:

1. Pieman Heads via Coastal Route. From Zeehan, head north on C249 (Heemskirk Rd) and take the Granville Harbour Rd to enter the Pieman Heads Track from its southern end (via Top Farm Track). The nearest 24/7 fuel is available at Zeehan.

2. Pieman Heads via Inland Route. From the C252 (Heemskirk Rd) take the C249 (Corinna Rd) north-west before heading due west on Wilson Rd. Take a turn south to access Pieman Heads Rd shortly after the intersection with Top Farm Rd. The nearest 24/7 fuel is available at Zeehan.

The Tasmania Atlas & Guide is available at leading outdoor retailers or on our website.

Next steps

At Hema Maps, we strive to provide the most comprehensive and accurate maps and guides for outdoor enthusiasts looking to explore Australia's natural wonders.

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1 comment

  • Norm Bracken: May 17, 2023

    Your information states fuel is available at Corinna, there is limited supply available for emergencies only. Nearest fuel at present is Waratah and Zehan.
    Travel safe

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