Let's gear up your 4WD
If you’re a 4WD enthusiast living in WA then you know that when it comes to off-road adventures, there is never a shortage of options, with some of the longest and most challenging remote routes in the world.
As if you needed another reason to go 4WDing, here are 11 4WD tracks to tackle in WA.
1. Gibb River Road
Gibb River Road is everything an iconic Australian outback adventure should be. The track begins in Derby and stretches across 660-700 km of dirt, gravel, mud and river crossings until you end up in the town of Kununurra. The tracks difficulty is moderate with a few hazards to lookout for on the way including salt and freshwater crocs that inhabit rivers at Durack, Pentecost, Manning and Barnett. The best time to visit this track is May to October, making sure we avoid December to March due to floods.
2. Kingsford Smith Mail Run, Carnarvon to Meekatharra
Kingsford Smith Mail Run is a historic trail that starts in Carnarvon and ends in Meekatharra.
The whole trail can take 3 – 6 days to complete with an easy difficulty level that is mainly gravel but can get muddy during the wet season. The best times to visit this trail is April to October.
3. Mount Nameless, Tom Price
Tackle one of the highest 4WD tracks Western Australia has to offer at Mount Nameless. The gravel track is relatively easy, taking around an hour to complete and has an easy difficulty rating. Pay attention to the speed limit as there are a lot of vehicles coming in and out of the mine site nearby. The best time to visit this track is from May to November.
4. The West Kimberley Crossing
For those with more time on their hands, the West Kimberley Crossing track is for you. Stretching across a total of 1135 kms, the track can be broken up into 4 legs:
- Leg 1: Broome to Derby 222 km
- Leg 2: Derby to Fitzroy Crossing 295 km
- Leg 3: Fitzroy Crossing to Geikie Gorge 40 km
- Leg 4: Fitzroy Crossing to Broome 396 km
Visit some hidden gems located at each track including Windjana Gorge, Tunnel Creek and Geikie Gorge. The trail can take 4 to 5 days to complete with moderate difficulty and consists of gravel, dirt, and mud. The best times to complete this track is from May to September.
5. Wildflower Drive, Kondil Park, Nannup
Famously known for an array of rainbow coloured wild flowers during Spring, Wildflower Drive provides a picturesque walk on the wild side. The track is only 2.5 km long and can be completed within 1 – 3 hours by 4WD and 2WD, although 4WD is recommended.
During Spring the bushland comes alive with wildflowers lining both sides of the track. There are also 2 hiking trails to experience so get out and stretch your legs. The best time to visit this trail is during Spring from September to November.
6. Yeagarup Dunes to Warren Beach Track, Pemberton
This track is a gateway to the sand dunes that stretch along our beautiful coastline. It is roughly 6 kms long and takes you along a gravel road until you reach the pristine white beaches along the coast.
With the terrain changing from gravel to sand, this track is not recommended for the inexperienced and you should have at least 2 4WD’s in case you get stuck.
It is recommended that your 4WD has a good winch so you know have a way out if you need recovery. Some important things to note, you can drive around the mouth of the Warren River if it’s blocked, and proceed with extreme caution if it is flowing into the ocean.
The best time to visit this track is from September to April, and don’t forget to mount your sandflag!
7. Lake Jasper, D’Entrecasteaux National Park
Lake Jasper is the largest freshwater lake in WA and can be accessed via a 4WD track just outside of Pemberton and is about 30 minutes long upon reaching Black Point.
The track can become dry and sandy in the hotter months but is usually quite easy to navigate. During the wetter months you can expect mud and water crossings.
We recommend walking through first as there have been a few deeper crossings.
Best times to go vary, winter is perfect for lushes green vegetation and no flies, and summer is great for taking a dip in the lake.
If you made it all the way to the coast, you might as drive to the beach tracks that have 4WD access.
8. John Holland Track, Goldfields
The John Holland Track is 680 kms in total and can be broken up into 3 days.
- Day 1: Broomehill to Newdegate, 200 kms, 2.5 hours to complete. Mostly sealed roads and takes you through the countryside with some scenic views, nature reserves, and Lake Grace.
- Day 2: Newdegate to Sandalwood Camp, 280 kms, 5 -6 hours to complete. This is where you will experience the Holland 4WD track from Hyden to Coolgardie. Expect gravel, and mud with a few water-filled washaways. Moderate difficulty. Visit a bit of history as you cross over the Rabbit-Proof Fence here
- Day 3: Sandalwood Camp to Coolgardie, 200 kms, 4 – 5 hours to complete. The track is moderate difficulty consisting of gravel, mud holes and water-filled washaways.
This track can be quite difficult once the rain hits as it becomes riddled with mud holes and is not for the inexperienced. We recommend travelling with at least 2 4WD’s incase you get stuck. There are chicken tracks available.
9. Fisheries Road, Esperance
Fisheries road is not for the faint-hearted and is quite an advanced track riddled with bog holes, deep ruts, salt lakes, and clay, although there are sandy patches to pick up speed.
The track is about 65 kms long and can take around 2 hours to complete depending how wet the track is.
We recommend when crossing salt lakes to stick to the main track or you risk potentially sinking and getting extremely bogged.
The 4WD section is managed by DPAW and is usually closed after heavy rainfall to avoid any unnecessary wear and to prevent people from getting bogged.
If you’re feeling adventurous, make sure you travel with another 4WD who can bail you out.
10. WA’s Newest 4WD Track, The MundAl
Map credit: Exploroz.com
Thanks to the WA 4WD Association, the completion of a 3500km extension from Albany to Kalgoorlie-Boulder, on to Mingenew and Mount Magnet, and back to Mundaring will be available for all daring 4×4 adventurers to tackle.
The start of the track will begin from Perth to Albany, giving it a total track length of 4200km and will take you through the Goldfields, Mid West, Wheatbelt and Great Southern.
All will be unveiled at this years Perth 4WD and Adventure Show in November, with further waypoints to be added along the way.
The track is mostly made up of unsealed roads, bitumen, station tracks and existing drives including the John Holland track, and will take up to 6 weeks to complete.
11. Brunswick 4×4 Challenge, Brunswick Junction
The Brunswick 4×4 Challenge is not for the faint-hearted.
Total track length is 21kms and is situated about 154km out from Perth in Brunswick Junction. This tricky track consists of 3 river/creek crossings, contains 2 massive hills — one labelled ‘Big Hill’, and more mud than a mud wrestling match at your local pub.
Before entering the track we recommend letting some air out of your tyres, approximately 16-25 PSi. Overall track difficulty is listed as HARD, especially with all the mud in winter and we strongly advise travelling accompanied by an experienced 4×4 driver.
Recovery gear is A MUST! And it would be wise to have a clearance of a 2inch lift kit just to be safe.
Recommended time to tackle the Brunswick 4×4 Challenge is in winter, although summer is great too, as it is a little easier when the tracks are hardened.
Tips: Take your time and exercise a little care when crossing creeks or rivers, wheel placement, approach and departure angles are the keys to beating this track.