Outback Challenge
4x4|March 2017
 Outback Challenge

Jeep Grand Cherokee

Bob Cooke

They call it the Outback, not because it resembles the wilds of Australia, but because you need a serious off-road vehicle to go out there if you expect to be able to come back. It’s one of the tougher, muddier areas of the Slindon off-road site, an area that few people have seen simply because only the most hard-core enthusiasts dare tackle the demanding conditions. There is, however, a recently carved new route that cuts through the Outback.

It has two purposes, the first to allow enthusiasts to access some of the obstacles from a different direction, the other to allow people with less competent vehicles to visit the area so that they can see some of the hard-core action going on. Naturally I had to see the new trail for myself, starting off by heading the Grand Cherokee up the steep bank on the northern side of the main open area and following the muddy trail winding among the trees. The turn off to the Outback Trail is clear to see, thanks to a sign nailed to a tree. The going was firm enough for the first couple of hundred metres, and the route obvious, but then suddenly got a lot boggier as it opened out into a clearing. Recent wet and wintry weather had turned the soft ground into a morass, enough to have the Jeep sliding waywardly in spite of its usually very grippy BFGs, and certainly worth a warning that you don’t want to try this route in a car running on road tyres.

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March 2017