Sydney is one of the busiest cities in Australia. It has a population of more than 5 million people and is one of those destinations that can get the best of you. Problems with public transportation, rush hour traffic and housing prices are some of the things that can get on your nerves.
But these are nothing compared to what you can experience just a few hours drive away from the city. In this article, we’ll talk about the three close-to-Sydney off-road hotspots that you should visit with your Toyota Land Cruiser.
1. Yengo National Park
Most of the appeal in visiting Yengo National Park is the fact that you can get there coming from Sydney in just two hours tops. The park approximately 130 kilometres northwest of the city’s central business district and can be found in the Lower Hunter region.
The Yengo is a part of the Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage Area and is around 150,000 hectares of bushland that is sprinkled with gorges and wide grassy areas. The multi-terrain monitor (MTM) of the 2019 Land Cruiser can assist you here as it lets you check your immediate surroundings to avoid surprises.
The location brings about a mixture of Aboriginal culture that is ideal for 4WD tours, bushwalking, mountain biking, horse riding and even to watch birds fly into the sunset. There are a lot of places to visit if you’re looking for adventure. One of the nice things about Yengo is that you can take your time here for whatever activity you wish to pursue.
One can go to the national park from the east located near Bucketty, although there are several points to access it. From there you can go straight to the Big Yango where you’ll be winding along gravel roads to the beginning of your adventure which is the Big Yango Loop Trail. Keep in mind that you will need to pay for a permit to access this area.
You should expect plenty of dirt tracks and gravel roads if you’re planning to take an AWD – which can be less enjoyable too. This shouldn’t be a problem if you’re on a Toyota Land Cruiser, especially when you’re going through the 22km long Loop. Along the way, you’d encounter Mount Yengo which is a highly regarded area in the park by the Awabakal, Wonnarua, Darkinjung and Worimi aborigines.
Remember that the track will have to be driven in an anti-clockwise manner and is only for 4WDs. There are lots of rocky and steep places with washouts and ruts to keep you on your toes. Aside from that, there are slippery slopes, switchbacks and downhill runs that can be quite tricky for inexperienced drivers.
What makes the 2019 Land Cruiser an ideal choice to bring here is because of its Kinetic Dynamic Suspension System or KDSS which is useful in maintaining optimal traction at all times. Upon activation, the KDSS will have the sway bar disconnected and the suspension system adjusted automatically to give the best wheel articulation.
2. Stockton Beach
For those of you who are looking to visit a sandy place for off-roading then Stockton Beach should be your next stop. This paradise can be found approximately 170 kilometres north of Sydney. Although some of its parts have been closed due to rehabilitation purposes, there’s still a lot of room for fun in its recreational vehicle areas.
4WDs are required here as it can have a lot of dunes (and sand) to tackle. The 2019 Land Cruiser’s Crawl Control can help drivers get out of tough terrain especially in the beach. Its CRAWL feature automatically regulates settings for tighter turns and better off-road navigation overall.
You’re permitted to drive along its beachfront starting from Lavis Lane access point all the way to the Gan Gan Road to the north so there’s plenty of amazing views here as well. You can blast your way along the beach at legal speeds of 40km/h or 20km/h when you’re near people or other vehicles. It’s one of those places city dwellers like to visit to blow off some steam.
When visiting Stockton Beach, it’s important to secure the Beach Vehicle Permit, take only the WCL-designated access points and keep to the proper routes. This is to ensure that you and your loved ones are safe throughout your trip.
3. Wombeyan Caves
The distance this has from Sydney is the farthest of the three we’ve listed in this post. It’s about 180 kilometres from the city or approximately a two-hour drive from there.
Visiting Wombeyan Caves is a journey for those looking to balance out an exciting but relaxing adventure at the same time. People can choose to camp by the river, go off-roading and enjoy the marvellous 200 plus caverns that can be found here.
The Wombeyan Caves Road located in the Southern Highlands is one of the most common access points for tourists. This is about 120 kilometres southwest of Sydney and the road can be narrow with several blind corners along the way. Using the off-road turn assist provided by the Toyota Land Cruiser can make your travel here a lot easier as it allows for a tighter turning radius when needed.
The path is normally in good condition, but a little bit of traffic should be expected since there are astounding views in the Burragorang Valley which you’ll pass along the route. There’s also the Bullio Tunnel which is another site that you should check out.
The Wombeyan Karst Conservation Reserve is a great place to camp and it is also permitted to do so there. You’ll have to pay a fee of course or choose one of the cabins they have to offer.
Five caves can be found in this destination namely Fig Tree, Junction, Wollondilly, Mulwaree and Kooringa. Tours are available for each of them with the exception of Fig Tree which is self-guided.
When you’re going on an adventure in one of these top off-road destinations near Sydney, it’s best to head out with the right vehicle. The Toyota Land Cruiser has the power, durability and functionality to make your outdoor trips as comfortable and enjoyable as possible.