_WITH _the long Christmas holiday break behind us, it's time to look to the year ahead and start planning your off-road adventures.
Here are a few ideas that might get you behind the wheel.
- March - Tour the High Country *
Beyond Hotham is fast becoming a sell-out favourite on the four-wheel-drive calendar.
Sponsored by Nissan, this well- organised event is the best way to get up close and personal with the spectacular Victorian High Country.
Stay in an alpine lodge or take your camper and enjoy day trips and overnighters exploring some challenging and beautiful tracks, all led by knowledgeable guides with plenty of off-road experience and tips to share.
Kick back at the lodge at day's end and swap stories with other trekkers, from newbies tackling their first slopes through to old hands who just can't get enough of this fascinating location.
It's on from March 14 to 24 - details at beyondhotham.com.au.
- April - Toughen Up *
Head to Milbrodale in New South Wales for some gobsmacking, eye- watering action at the annual Tough Dog Tuff Truck Challenge.
Held on private grounds in the gorgeous Hunter Valley, the TTC involves three days of hard-core competition for mega-rigs.
There's no rut too deep, no boulder too big, no mud too sloppy and no slope too steep for these trucks. While it takes big bucks to build up a competitive rig and even bigger commitment to throw it at the TTC, it's non-stop thrills so sit back and enjoy.
Keep an eye out for local boy Sam Chapman from Slinky Sam Customs as he flies the WA flag.
Go to tufftruck.com.au for details about the event which is on from April 12 to 14.
- May - Have Fun While Helping the Variety Kids *
Join the Variety Club of WA in Glenelg, South Australia, on May 3 and enjoy seven nights of fine dining while camping under the stars as you cruise back across the Nullarbor to Kalgoorlie.
The emphasis is on good tracks, fabulous scenery, exceptional food prepared by Brad Leahy (Bluewater Grill executive chef), delicious Ferngrove wines plus plenty of fun and entertainment.
The feel-good bonus is raising essential funds for WA's special needs children.
Visit variety.org.Au/WA/ Events/4WD-challenge/.
- October/November - Dash North *
Keep an eye on gasdash.com for details of the next Kickstarters Gascoyne Dash. After winning gold at the 2012 Tourism Awards, WA's fast-paced desert race is a proven crowd pleaser.
Compete in a production 4WD or go all-out in a competition racer.
Or just enjoy the race and party atmosphere, with days of fast-paced action and nights of fun and entertainment.
- All Year - Join a Club and Start Tripping *
For regular adventures, most 4WD clubs include plenty of social events and trips away. You can find a list of off-road groups at wa4wda.com.au/clubs.htm.
The Toyota LandCruiser Club has trips to Walpole and Hatters Hill planned for next month, plus there's the annual support duties escorting the bike riders from Perth to Busselton in the Life Cycle for Canteen on March 9.
The Mitsubishi Club is heading north to Shark Bay in March and south to Bridgetown for Easter.
They also have a trip to the Goldfields planned for the April school holidays.
The Four Wheel Drive Club of WA has a day trip to Wedge this month and some challenging driving in the Collie hills next month, or a Bremer Bay coastal drive in April.