Last weekend we headed off to the Tuff Truck Challenge. We hadn’t been for a few years and decided to go back this time, just for the day.
The Tuff Truck Challenge started as a relatively small event back in 2001, but it’s now grown into one of the biggest, and probably the most extreme, Australian 4WD events on the calendar.
It’s now known as The Tough Dog Tuff Truck Challenge and has something for everyone. The event is marketed as a ‘family’ event and it certainly is, there are plenty of activities for the kids and it really is a great weekend out. The event is held over 3 days on a private property at Milbrodale, in the NSW Hunter Valley.
As for event itself, this is for those serious hard-core 4WD competitors and their trucks. The event is a gruelling test for competitors and navigators as they push themselves and their vehicles to the limit over 12 stages that consist of courses full of rocks, boulders, ruts and mud, a Show n Shine, Travel Ramp and verification & engineering …… all based on a point scoring system. The terrain is pretty full on and certainly not for your average 4WD. Some people think what we do is full on ….. well that has nothing on what these trucks are capable of!
There is always something happening, with numerous stages running at the same time, the merchandise and exhibitors stands, as well as numerous food stalls. Also, if you are camping there for the weekend, everything is relatively close to each other so it’s an easy walk back to camp if you want to relax.
From a spectators point of view, the excitement not only comes when a driver successfully navigates an obstacle, but when he/she doesn’t! When you hear the sound of metal crunching, drivetrain breaking or see a truck rolling, that’s what everyone loves!
One of the favourite events for spectators is the night mud run called ‘Mudrat’s Revenge’. After the mud stage on the Saturday night, there is a band and party. If you are camping there, as we did the first year we went, this is when you realise how hard some people party!
Camping areas are available on site and are split into two groups, general camping and family camping. We’ve only camped there once and I’d say if going with young kids, definitely opt for the ‘family camping’ area! Going by our first experience camping there, things can get a little full on and there certainly isn’t too much peace and quiet for sleeping! In saying that, we absolutely love the event and if you like 4WDing you’ll probably love it too!
Although alcohol limits are pretty strict and monitored, including vehicle and bag searches as you enter the event, you can imagine that by nightfall things can at times get a little feral, and if you aren’t used to this type of event it could be a real eye-opener! In saying that, there is security and police patrolling the whole event so you are always safe and secure and nothing can get out of hand, it really is a great atmosphere for all.
Welsh’s Road, Milbrodale NSW 2330
Day Tickets available, as well as 3 day event + camping.