For most Jeep owners and off road enthusiasts, a chance to explore legendary spots like Moab, Glamis Dunes, or Johnson Valley or even Baja are the ultimate bucket list adventures. However, there's a whole other world waiting for those who seek the ultimate adventure. Off roading and Overlanding in Australia is an entirely different experience. This includes the terrain, animals, regulations, and yes ... some awesome off road vehicles that we just simply don't have access to here in the United States.
Australia Is Wide Open On A Scale Most Americans Can't Imagine
With a few exceptions such as the Mojave Road in California, most trails in the United States are measured in hours. There is so much open land in Australia though that off road trails are often measured in days of travel. Additionally, the diversity of terrain here is unlike anything you'll find in the United States. No matter would you are looking for, you can find it in Australia. Not all trails are multi-day adventures though, there are certainly shorter routes for more casual fun and exploration.
For those seeking the ultimate off road adventure ... Australia is a giant country full of terrain waiting to be explored.
Unique Trucks and Off Road Vehicles
While some trucks such as Toyota Tacoma, Ford F-150 Raptor, and Jeep Wrangler are nearly-universal off road rigs that you'll find cruising through the outback as well as climbing mountains in Utah, Australia has some vehicles you might not be familiar with. For instance, Land Rover's are much more common due to the country's British commonwealth heritage. Similarly, you'll also find Toyota's rugged Hilux as a popular off road truck here. Not only are these visually unique but the Australians are fond of touting how much more rugged their needs are for off roading than their cousins in America. One example is Ozzy Tyres, a stockist (Australian for tire retailer) who lists their 4x4 mag wheels as, being, "engineered for the Australian market made by Australians."
They have a point, you don't want to slap wheels made for an American truck on a Hilux or Navara and hope it works!
Unexpected Danger From Animals And Weather
When traveling off-road in the United States the worst danger you may encounter is a trail that exceeds your ability to plan or navigate. While we have bears, snakes, and scorpions - these are nothing compared to what you might encounter traveling far from cities in Australia. While they have crocodiles and we have alligators, for the most part, the alligator populated land here in the US isn't used frequently for off roading beyond small trips on private property. Ranches and public lands in Australia are a completely different experience though.
In addition to crocodiles, Australia is also home to huge spiders, lizards, and even the Australian scrub python that can grow up to 7 meters (about 24 feet!).
Regulations and Customs
It should be obvious that each country, territory, or state is going to have different regulations. That's generally true in the United States as well. For instance, rules are different on BLM land than they are on state or national parkland for instance. Australia is no different and there are some specific off road regulations that you need to check out before heading down under.
In addition to safety requirements and rules govering access to land, you will also want to pay special attention to the process of bringing your firearms or carrying weapons in Australia. While having a gun to help defend yourself against bears or criminals in teh United States is generally expected among overlanders and off road enthusiasts, rules are quite different in Australia.