really depends what you want to achieve, you can create a Facebook group and call yourself a club, if the objective is to just get a group of people together. If you want to charge fees, take out insurance, incorporated association is probably the easiest way to do it.
Most clubs I know of, go down the incorporated association route - the process in Victoria is pretty straight forward and not overly onerous, and you don't have to register for GST or get an ABN if the club takes in less than $50k (I think). That link will give you some guidance on what's relevant in your state. Once you're associated, you can register a .org.au domain.
Most states also have a 4wd association (e.g. four wheel drive victoria), that your club can affiliate with to get insurances through a group policy which is loads cheaper and they can also help you through the incorporated association process. I expect other states to be similar, but 4wd Vic also lobbies and acts on behalf of all of the clubs in the state, works with land owners of national parks / forests, a portion of your membership fee goes to the affiliate association (with 4wdvic, it's $50 / member / year), this gives your members access to benefits provided by that organisation - the main one being insurance, because it is generally cheaper than finding your own policy.
Clubs become incorporated so that they are a legal entity. Then they can own things, take out insurance, have a bank account etc. Otherwise it has to be put in one of the members name. To become incorporated I think you need to draw up a constitution detailing the rules and laws of the club.
As members of a club I think you share liabilities as well
I know a fellow who is president of a club that is embroiled in litigation and they can be held personally accountable, the club needs to insure itself appropriately to protect its members
Yes, members are protected from liability, but there are some circumstances where board members / office bearers have liability. Usually the incorporated association includes directors / officers liability under their insurance policy to protect directors from being sued for decisions they make in good faith. Regardless of the insurance, directors can still be personally liable for gross negligence. Another benefit of affiliating with the 4wd association in your state. here's an example of the 4wd vic insurance - http://4wdvictoria.org.au/images/do...V_Insurance_Overview_20150724_2015_201601.pdf
Yep, here in the ACT my Club has been incorporated since inception. Liability insurance protects the "board" as well as members on Club trips from actions that they do, or don't, take. eg if I in good faith suggest you follow me down a particular track, you bomb it, end up on your roof and decide to sue me, then in theory the Club liability insurance would cover any loss I would otherwise suffer because of your claim. I cross my fingers that this is indeed the case!