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Ben gets ready to get dirty.
Ben gets ready to get dirty.
Okay, now we're getting into it.

4x4 Dirty Weekends

Thursday, May 24, 2001
Ben does what he does best — he gets dirty and grimy while hitting the road in a fast car!

Motorama 4x4xMore is Australia's largest 4WD dealership. It has test tracks, a cinema, gym, restaurant and 200 new and used Toyota 4WDs. As well as original Aboriginal artworks, there are sculptures made from old car parts.

Gary Benchley is the dealer principal and after reading Brad McCarthy's book, Dirty Weekends, he thought they could form a partnership. They did, and it has worked a treat.

Brad's book came about because, with 12 years' experience in exploring south-east Queensland in a 4WD, he was forever giving people advice and directions and drawing mud maps. A friend suggested the book and out came the self-published Dirty Weekends in South East Queensland. An edition for Central Queensland followed, and next will be Tropical and Outback Queensland editions.

The facilities are designed to make the selection and purchasing of a 4WD enjoyable and exciting. The on-site track tests both driver and vehicle, and Motorama's staff are fully trained 4WD professionals.

Gary and Brad have created several trips and you can hire a 4WD and camping gear, or take your own and join 10 or so other vehicles and a guide vehicle which is equipped with first aid and recovery kits and various mobile communications.

One of their weekend Tag Along trips is the Main Range and Condamine Gorge Tour, starting at Motorama and heading south-west along the freeway to Boonah. After half an hour, you will reach a dirt road which climbs from 200m to 800m through Teviot Gap on the Great Dividing Range and along the arc of mountain called "Scenic Rim".

From Teviot Gap you drive between Mount Superbus and Wilsons Peak, with a national park on one side and grazing land on the other. Then you drive into Main Range National Park where you can take the 200m walk to Queen Mary, Dagg's and Brown's Falls. Along the way you will see rosellas, rainbow lorikeets and superb king parrots.

From there you drop into the valley of Condamine Gorge, and cross the Condamine River (which eventually joins the Murray) about a dozen times. Your overnight accommodation is in Adjinbilly, right in the middle of the gorge. If you aren't one for outdoor camping, this place is ideal. It has five self-contained cabins with hot water, a stove and basic facilities.

On the second day, you will head further south along dirt tracks, bitumen roads and through private properties, and over the two days you will have covered 350km.

As well as local weekend camping tours, Gary and Brad have the 14-day Classic Queensland Pubs Tour which finishes at the Birdsville Races, as well as a 14-day Beach, Reef, Bush and Gorge Tour to the town of 1770.

Location

Salisbury, 15 minutes from Brisbane.

Cost

Motorama 4x4xMore Two-day Tag Along tours with your own 4WD start at $295 a couple, including accommodation, guiding and entry fees to private property. Children are welcome at half price. 4WD hire starts at $180 per day. They operate year-round.
You can hire 4WDs from Motorama from $150 per day.
Please note prices are valid at time of transmission and to the best of our knowledge are inclusive of GST.

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