Australia, you may have noticed, has an impressive coastline: 59,736 kilometres, to be precise – and there’s no better way to travel it than by car.
In Victoria, publicly accessible coastal tracks aren’t as easy to come by as they are in other parts of the country, but if you’ve ever dreamed of testing your mettle against an impressive sand mountain and can’t make it up to New South Wales or Queensland, then go no further than the Portland Dunes.
Located in the Discovery Bay Coastal Park, 140 kilometres to the west of Warrnambool along the Victorian coastline, the Portland Dunes comprise 1800 hectares of epic sand dunes that are ready for exploration by experienced off-roaders.
The park offers visitors the chance to get away from the crowds while testing their driving skills at the same time. Membership of the Portland Dune Buggy Club is required to drive on the dunes, but if you’re visiting Victoria from further away and don’t want to buy a long-term membership, members of external four-wheel driving clubs can purchase a four-day pass, which includes camping fees.
The park will test not only your driving skills, but also your strategic skills, with shifting boggy conditions, sharp descents and minimal track markings to guide drivers. While there, visitors can also explore nearby forest tracks or go fishing on the beach while exchanging tips with other four-wheel drivers.
All in all, the Portland Dunes is definitely an experience not to be missed, no less for the thrills than for the fun of being the first to tell your friends about this jealously guarded secret.