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Hire a 4wd for use on unsealed roads in the ACT

By 28 January 2013 15

Hi all,

I’d like to hire a 4wd to drive to certain spots such as Blue Waterholes and across the Brindabellas from Tumut. 

I intend to stay on the formed roads and drive very carefully.  I know that some car hire companies in some other states will allow their vehicles to be taken on to unsealed roads – but have yet to find a company in Canberra that will do so. 

Do any of the Rioters know of a hire car company in the ACT that will be able to help me out?

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15 Responses to Hire a 4wd for use on unsealed roads in the ACT
#1
m_ratt10:31 am, 28 Jan 13

Hertz will allow you to use their 4wd vehicles on unsealed roads.

“Where you can/ cannot drive the vehicle
Please check with rental location for all local driving restrictions.
Driving Restrictions
Full Responsibility Uses
You are fully responsible and liable for Damages under clause 6 where the vehicle is used on any road or other surface which is not sealed other than a road under repair, short access roads to National or State Parks, tourist attraction or holiday accomodation, or a road notified to You by Hertz, unless the vehicle is a four wheel drive.*

Please refer to Rental Restrictions for more information on Driving Restrictions.
Cars may not be placed on any trains.
Please check with rental location for all local driving restrictions.
* See exceptions below”
(No exceptions listed for NSW/ACT)

#2
dungfungus12:41 pm, 28 Jan 13

You don’t need a 4WD to go to Blue Waterholes or drive across the Brindabellas to Tumut.
I drove down to the former in my Australian made 11 year old Camry 3 weeks ago – the last section needs some care but a 4WD would have to slow down as well. The road to Tumut needs care because of wildlife but perfectly safe in a 2WD with good ground clearance.

#3
Whitepointer5:40 pm, 28 Jan 13

dungfungus said :

You don’t need a 4WD to go to Blue Waterholes or drive across the Brindabellas to Tumut.
I drove down to the former in my Australian made 11 year old Camry 3 weeks ago – the last section needs some care but a 4WD would have to slow down as well. The road to Tumut needs care because of wildlife but perfectly safe in a 2WD with good ground clearance.

+1
But, if you intend to cut across from Brindabella Rd to Blue Water Holes in the wet differant story. We have pulled out many many 2WD’s over the years on these roads.

#4
milkman8:24 pm, 28 Jan 13

Whitepointer said :

dungfungus said :

You don’t need a 4WD to go to Blue Waterholes or drive across the Brindabellas to Tumut.
I drove down to the former in my Australian made 11 year old Camry 3 weeks ago – the last section needs some care but a 4WD would have to slow down as well. The road to Tumut needs care because of wildlife but perfectly safe in a 2WD with good ground clearance.

+1
But, if you intend to cut across from Brindabella Rd to Blue Water Holes in the wet differant story. We have pulled out many many 2WD’s over the years on these roads.

If you think you need a 4WD for this, you probably shouldn’t be driving one anyway.

#5
Punter8:36 pm, 28 Jan 13

Folks, I have a recently acquired 4wd which I intend to use to see the wonders of the Brindies, but unfortunately I have no knowledge of what is worthwhile to visit. Google searching is cool, but I’d like some advice from those I can be assured have been ‘on the ground’. My young ‘un has an interest in fishing and possibly some camping. Can anyone make suggestions for such destinations and any other interesting places of interest?

#6
m_ratt10:16 pm, 28 Jan 13

dungfungus said :

You don’t need a 4WD to go to Blue Waterholes or drive across the Brindabellas to Tumut.

True (I’ve done the length of Brindabella Road in winter in a Yaris) however most hire car companies won’t permit 2wd on unsealed roads.

As I quoted, Hertz will only allow their 4wd vehicles on unsealed roads (2wd on unsealed road entirely at your own risk — not a risk I’d take); Thrifty will only allow 4wd vehicles from certain locations (not ACT) to be driven on unsealed roads (no 2wds); Budget will allow all vehicles on properly formed and constructed as sealed, metalled or gravel roads – 4wd can go ‘off-road’.

#7
LSWCHP10:48 pm, 02 Feb 13

dungfungus said :

You don’t need a 4WD to go to Blue Waterholes or drive across the Brindabellas to Tumut.
I drove down to the former in my Australian made 11 year old Camry 3 weeks ago – the last section needs some care but a 4WD would have to slow down as well. The road to Tumut needs care because of wildlife but perfectly safe in a 2WD with good ground clearance.

Hey that’s great to know. I went out to Blue Waterholes about 18 months ago with some mates in 3 Cruisers, and it was mostly an easy drive, but at that time I wouldn’t have wanted to do it in my Camry. The rains had washed big gullies in some sections of the road that would’ve swallowed a conventional 2WD.

#8
460cixy10:03 am, 03 Feb 13

Yes you can get in there in a 2wd. Would it be responsible to do so? Not really conditions change very quickly there and may leave you stranded I camped at long plain not long before Xmas and it went from sunny to two days of heavy rain to one of the worst frosts I have seen and snow is not un common out of the blue at any time

#9
dungfungus10:15 am, 03 Feb 13

LSWCHP said :

dungfungus said :

You don’t need a 4WD to go to Blue Waterholes or drive across the Brindabellas to Tumut.
I drove down to the former in my Australian made 11 year old Camry 3 weeks ago – the last section needs some care but a 4WD would have to slow down as well. The road to Tumut needs care because of wildlife but perfectly safe in a 2WD with good ground clearance.

Hey that’s great to know. I went out to Blue Waterholes about 18 months ago with some mates in 3 Cruisers, and it was mostly an easy drive, but at that time I wouldn’t have wanted to do it in my Camry. The rains had washed big gullies in some sections of the road that would’ve swallowed a conventional 2WD.

As I said, I went 4 weeks ago. The road would have been repaired in the past 18 months. I also contacted the NPWS at Tumut first to check on the road conditions and I would have done the same 18 months ago. I have owned two 4WDs in the past 20 years. They are very expensive to maintain and most locations I need to access these days can be done with a 2WD provided care and caution are taken. Even car rental companies realise this.

#10
patrick_keogh1:05 pm, 03 Feb 13

I hope that you pay better attention to the road and traffic than this muppet out at Wallaroo Road this morning.
http://youtu.be/VWLo7-Yxrho

#11
wildturkeycanoe6:46 am, 04 Feb 13

I agree with the Rioters here that the Brindie road doesn’tt require 4WD as my parents came through there only just on Australia day and said the roads were brilliantly smooth for a change. However, after those storms, it there was as much rain as we got here, could be a different story. Even in the rough conditions, I’ve had almost every car I’ve ever owned through there, it isn’t as bad as you think, just keep left and slow around the tight corners because other people have a tendency to race through there like it’s a highway.

Punter – The Brindabellas is fantastic for camping. There are some great spots if you know how to find them, but there is the problem, they aren’t on maps or the internet.
A good spot I can guide you to easily is this. Heads toward Tumut on the Brindie Road, past Goodradigbee River, continue toward Tumut up and around past the farms, Mt Valley Rd. turnoff and enter the State Forest. Keep going along the main road another roughly 11km till you get to a left turn into Barnetts Road. Follow Barnetts another 5km, you will go through a T intersection, keep going straight. Then 2km further on is a small creek flowing under the road with some clearings on the left. I think the place is called Emu Flat Creek. It may look beautiful, but can also be used for serious 4WDing and or motorbike rallying if it’s been wet. Immediately before the creek on the left used to be a good camping spot, but if you do go off road into the open plains beyond the creek crossing, beware, as I have heard many a story of 4x4s ending up past their axels in mud, with nobody around to pull them out. I’d recommend a 2nd vehicle for recovery if you get that keen.
These forestry roads in the dry are usually quite trenched and full of potholes and there is a reason. As soon as you get a half decent rain, the red clay turns to a slimy mush that the best knobby tyres can’t get grip in. Even dirt bikes struggle in it so keep a weather eye on the horizon.

#12
beh197212:50 pm, 14 Feb 13

Any idea how long it would take to get out to Blue Waterholes via Brindabella from Canberra?

#13
wildturkeycanoe1:25 pm, 14 Feb 13

beh1972 said :

Any idea how long it would take to get out to Blue Waterholes via Brindabella from Canberra?

I would go through the Brindabella Valley [Goodradidgbee River valley] along Long Plain Road. Does it matter how long it takes? Take a whole day and you will have time to stop along the way to see interesting things like huts rocks, trees and lizards. No point put putting a time frame on these kinds of outings, you need all the time you can get away from the suburbs. Give it a day and you won’t be dissapointed, get up at 6 and start off with a strong cuppa. Nothing more exciting than the bush!

#14
beh19729:50 pm, 14 Feb 13

wildturkeycanoe said :

beh1972 said :

Any idea how long it would take to get out to Blue Waterholes via Brindabella from Canberra?

I would go through the Brindabella Valley [Goodradidgbee River valley] along Long Plain Road. Does it matter how long it takes? Take a whole day and you will have time to stop along the way to see interesting things like huts rocks, trees and lizards. No point put putting a time frame on these kinds of outings, you need all the time you can get away from the suburbs. Give it a day and you won’t be dissapointed, get up at 6 and start off with a strong cuppa. Nothing more exciting than the bush!

I’m going out on Friday after work so I want to get the tent up before it gets too dark. I’ve been flipping the coin between the roads I know (via Adamidaby) and this one. I’m taking the better half with me, so I don’t want her head bouncing off the Forester’s roof (again)

Decided I’ll take the long (sealed) way in, and take the senic route home later in the weekend.

#15
wildturkeycanoe10:34 pm, 14 Feb 13

beh1972 said :

wildturkeycanoe said :

beh1972 said :

Any idea how long it would take to get out to Blue Waterholes via Brindabella from Canberra?

I would go through the Brindabella Valley [Goodradidgbee River valley] along Long Plain Road. Does it matter how long it takes? Take a whole day and you will have time to stop along the way to see interesting things like huts rocks, trees and lizards. No point put putting a time frame on these kinds of outings, you need all the time you can get away from the suburbs. Give it a day and you won’t be dissapointed, get up at 6 and start off with a strong cuppa. Nothing more exciting than the bush!

I’m going out on Friday after work so I want to get the tent up before it gets too dark. I’ve been flipping the coin between the roads I know (via Adamidaby) and this one. I’m taking the better half with me, so I don’t want her head bouncing off the Forester’s roof (again)

Decided I’ll take the long (sealed) way in, and take the senic route home later in the weekend.

Good call if you don’t know the roads, the highway provides treats on the way that don’t consist of carcass remains. Just make sure you plan the trip with good maps or accurate instructions as you can get lost quite easily, though I never seemed to have that problem when I was younger even though I didn’t have the aid of GPS and the like. Beware the last couple of dips into Blue Waterholes, I punctured the sump in me ol’ WB panel van on top of those “Wooahs” [spoon drains], spent the night there, caved [ in the actual caves - beautiful ] a little bit in the arvo and prayed for divine intervention. Thankfully it came in the form of spiritual intellect, guiding my hand at the axe to form a wedge out of a eucalypt branch, big as my thumb and enough to fill the hole. With the aid of a plastic bag, some fencing twine and a litre and half of engine oil in the back I was able to patch the hole enough to drive out of there, on top of changing the flat left rear tyre. To be absolutely honest, it was a lot of prayer that got me and my friend home, considering that as soon as we arrived at my father’s place back in Tumut the timber plug fell out and so did the remaining oil. Whew!!!

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