While 4WDs in Perth maybe have a bit of reputation of just clogging up Western Suburbs car parks, we know there are plenty of owners out there with an adventurous itch to scratch. WA is filled rugged landscapes, long winding beaches and flora- and fauna-filled national parks just begging to be discovered, a lot of them no more than an hour out of town.
Below is a list of some of the most popular 4WDing tracks close to Perth, and as always make sure you do some research (and call ahead to the area Ranger) before hitting the road so you know what you’re getting yourself into and what preparations you’ll need to make!
Mundaring Power Line
Arguably Perth’s most popular and well-known 4WD track, it’s also one of the toughest. Located in Sawyers Valley about 45 minutes east of Perth, it’ll take you about 5 hours (on a good day). Less experienced drivers would be advised to wait til the dryer months, as it gets pretty damn tricky when the mud puddles start to form. That all said, if you’re up a serious test of your 4WD skills it’s one of the best. Go with a mate just to be safe, although it’s fair to say you’ll probably make a few new ones no doubt happy to help should you get into strife while you’re out there.
There are a few beaches just south of Perth that make for a great day of coastal 4WDing, and along with Preston and White Hill, Tim’s Thicket is the most popular. Awesome for a day trip, there’s fantastic beach fishing, a bit of surfing and crystal clear waters for a swim in the summer. If you head there during low tide you can navigate around some gnarly limestone outcrops – just make sure you let those tyres down before you begin.
Julimar State Forest
About a 100kms north east of Perth, the Julimar State Forest is a scenic track just out of Chittering. Slightly less challenging than Mundaring, it’ll still take around 4 hours and plenty of concentration through the narrow tracks, especially when it’s wet. There’s a whole bunch of hills with varying degrees of difficulty, so it doesn’t hurt to jump out and have a little walk along them before you tackle them to make sure you’re confident.
Just over 70km north of Perth, Wilbinga is a nice mixed track that’s also one of the closest beaches to Perth where you can hit the sand. Again, it’s probably wise to head there with friends in another 4WD, as it’s not as populated as some other spots, and the beach can get tricky. That said, once you pull up to your own secluded little area of WA beach, it can make for a pretty special day
Captain Fawcett track kicks off at Lane Poole Reserve near Dwellingup, about an hour and-a-half from Perth, before winding up at 105km later the Quindanning Hotel. So yeah, it’s a big day but absolutely worth it as you traverse giant jarrah forests, heritage farmhouses, trestle bridges, wildflowers and more. There’s plenty of signage and maps courtesy of the rangers in the area, and while it’s medium-to-difficult, the picnic lunch along the Murray River makes it all worthwhile.
Another coastal track that starts at the small fishing town of Seabird, just north of Moore River, about an hour-and-a-half from Perth. It’s only about 10km long, but will take a few hours especially when you factor in the spectacular beach views. There’s a few offshoots that’ll find you your own little slice of paradise, and as long as you’re comfortable on the sand the going is pretty easy – just avoid the narrow sections of beach in case the tide comes in!