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The Road Chose Me with Dan Grec: Crooked River Track & Beach Dunes

/Consumer News, Team Yokohama
Crooked River Track & Beach Dunes

S 37°20'42.5"
E 147°04'45.7"
S 37°23'58.4"
E 139°55’24.5"

The Crooked River Track

While exploring the globe in my overland vehicles there has always been one element missing I desperately wanted to add - my family.

I chose to explore Australia so I can include my dad, brother, uncles and nephews while exploring our homeland that we have seen so little of.

After a few last minute additions to the Jeep including new suspension, a sand flag and more storage, Dad and I set out sights on one particular trail in the mountains of the Victorian High Country. The Crooked River Track is known far and wide for having over thirty mandatory river crossings in just a single day, which grantees an exciting introduction to world of four wheel drive overland adventure for my Dad.

Dad has always been a car guy, which is no doubt where I get it from, though he has never owned or even driven a big 4x4, which obviously needs to change.

After airing the GEOLANDAR X-AT tires down I literally throw Dad in the deep end and have him drive the first crossing while I document it all on film. Once he gets a feel for the big Jeep he is smiling from ear to ear, and I think he secretly loves when I ask him to drive back and do it again.

As the day rolls on we find some crossings are short and steep while others see us virtually driving upstream in the river as the old mining track continues more or less straight up the valley while the river snakes from side to side. Crossings are often only a hundred yards apart, and over the course of the day we have a blast as we navigate across each in turn. I dart around with my cameras while Dad is the designated stunt driver, and he does an excellent job, never putting a tire wrong. Setting up camp and cooking a delicious meal in the wild soon has Dad hooked on the outdoor adventure lifestyle.

The Robe Beach Run

South of Adelaide on the stunning coast of South Australia lies the picturesque town of Robe, a favourite hangout for four wheel drive and dirt bike fans thanks to the impressive dunes and wide open beaches that extend to the south.

After dropping tire pressures all the way down and mounting a shiny new sand flag on the roof of the Jeep we set out to drive the multi day track south to the fishing outpost of Beachport.

In just a few hours we drive through small coastal dunes, along deserted beaches and through overgrown tracks with dense vegetation. I find the beach sand to be extremely soft, and the heavy Jeep quickly sinks when I don’t carry enough momentum or drop elevation on the sloping sand. Traction boards make a world of difference and the big Jeep quickly climbs up and continues forward with a minimum of fuss. On a few occasions I get a little nervous trying to race the incoming tide, though we get through all the beach sections without a drop of salt water on the tires.

A short detour inland finds us in a series of enormous dunes where I have to carefully pick my line while avoiding the softest and steepest faces, which are much too steep for my house-on-wheels Jeep to have any hope of climbing. The endless expanse of sand is equal parts impressive and intimidating, and with no tress for a mile in any direction I’m careful not to get the heavy Jeep seriously stuck.

Exploring such diverse terrain asks a lot of the tires, and again the X-AT tires continue to impress. The GEOLANDARs have again performed flawlessly on the loose and wet rock, gravel, mud and extremely soft beach sand. 

Now putting these stunning beaches in my rearview mirror I have set my sights on the mighty deserts in the interior of the Australian continent.

-Dan Grec
CategoriesConsumer NewsTeam Yokohama

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