Let's gear up your 4WD
WA’s Top 13 Beach Accessible 4WD Tracks
Recently we explored the local 4WD off road tracks ranging from Mundaring Powerlines to as far as Wellington National Park exposing some of the muddiest, wettest and diverse range of terrain Western Australia has to offer.
In this article we take it to the sands and explore some of the most stunning 4WD accessible beaches along the coast of WA.
1. Tim’s Thicket
Approximately 70kms south of the Perth CBD and roughly 15kms south of Mandurah is Tim’s Thicket which is a small secluded beach just passed the dunes as well as a connecting 4WD track.
Before entering the track you will have to lower your tyres pressure to prevent getting bogged in the sand. The track stretches for about 2kms south until you hit a small limestone reef which is only passable during low tide so if the tide has come in we recommend turning back.
Passing the reef in low tide will eventually link back to Yalgorup National Park and back to where you started. Keep in mind that 4WDing is prohibited in the dunes and is only permitted on the beach and that no other vehicles are allowed including dirt bikes, 4 wheelers or buggies.
2. Preston Beach
Further south of Tim’s Thicket and approximately 60kms south of Mandurah lies Preston Beach which eventually also connects to Tim’s Thicket to the north creating a nice little scenic route.
As the track is on sand it is recommended to deflate your tyres to prevent getting bogged. If you are taking the route south you will eventually hit Myalup, Binningup and eventually exiting at Buffalo Road.
Same laws and regulations as Tim’s Thicket apply at Preston Beach.
3. Margaret River – Hamelin Bay Beach
If you are heading down south with the family these school holidays or just a getaway over a long weekend then Margaret River has some great scenic 4WD beach accessible tracks to visit while you’re there.
One of the more popular 4WD tracks is Hamelin Bay Beach, famously known for stingrays coming up close and personal but be wary that the sand is extremely soft so deflating your tyres is a must.
There are some easier firm sandy tracks available which include Joey Nose, 3 Bears Track which takes you from Cape Naturalist to Sugarloaf Rock in Yallingup, and North Point which is accessible off Caves Road.
Heading into the opposite direction and approximately 70kms north of Perth in between Two Rocks and Guilderton is Wilbinga just north of Yanchep.
It is currently the only 4WD accessible beach track in this area as Two Rocks and Yanchep are now off limits due to council regulations and new housing developments.
The entrance to Wilbinga is a sandy track opposite Military Road located half way between Guilderton and Two Rocks. The track can range from firm to soft, and flat to hilly so make sure you are well equipped for each terrain and it would be wise to travel with a buddy – you do not want to get bogged out here.
5. Lancelin Sand Dunes
As we head further north, approximately 127km north of Perth we eventually arrive at the famous sand dunes of Lancelin. There are signs of conditions of entry so make sure to read them before entering and note that the dunes are open for 4WDing between 8am to 7am.
The dunes are constantly changing depending on which way the wind blows, so it is always different just be weary that the terrain is quite soft so you will need to deflate your tyres.
If you follow the track north you will eventually hit the beautiful beaches of Wedge Island, you can also access this beach through the entrance off Indian Ocean Drive
6. Ledge Point
Located approximately 120kms north of Perth and just south of Lancelin lies a hidden gem off the beaten track. To get to Ledge Point you will need to travel down Wanneroo Road on state route 60 for about 80kms and turn left onto Ledge Point Road.
If you see a Lancelin sign you’ve gone too far. The main part of town can get quite busy with tourists so let the air out of your tyres and start exploring the beaches.
The sand can be quite soft (10-15 PSI) and boggy with a medium to hard difficulty in some parts, so we recommend travelling with another 4WD in case you get stuck.
If you’re planning on tackling the beach in your forbie for the first time, make sure that you’re beach ready to ensure your safety and to give yourself the best possible chance of not getting bogged.
7. Wedge Island
With new roads shaving off 30 minutes of travel time, getting to Wedge Island has never been easier and is the perfect day trip that’s just 167kms north of Perth. Travel down state route 60 on Indian Ocean Drive for about 46kms until you reach a new bitumen road that will take you straight into the Wedge Island settlement.
You can get to Wedge Island via the beach on a low tide from Lancelin but this is not for the inexperienced as there is little to no room to turn around and you run the risk of the tide coming up. The beaches track difficulty range from medium to hard with the sand being quite soft and plenty of dunes with big drop offs, make sure to scout ahead first and don’t just send it.
We recommend decreasing your tyre pressure (10-15 PSI) and traveling with a companion who can bail you out if you get stuck. Make sure to bring recovery gear including a X-Jack, and a UHF radio as there is no help for at least 45kms. Wedge Island is perfect all year round although we don’t recommend going when its raining.
8. Belvidere Beach
Belvidere beach is approximately 2 hours south of Perth and is located 20kms north of Bunbury near Leschenault Inlet. Travel down Forrest Highway and turn right at Buffalo road, from here you can head south and you will eventually reach Belvidere.
From here you can also travel along the coastline and connect up to Buffalo beach, then onto Binningup beach and if the ride is low you can stretch it to Myalup and Preston beach. Belvidere is great for fishing, camping, boating, kayaking, and has a few 4WD tracks in the area.
9. Sandy Cape
Is located approximately 237kms north of Perth and 14kms north of Jurien Bay. You can reach Sandy Cape on state route 60 Indian Ocean Drive just north of Jurien Bay. You should some signage that will take you to the Sandy Cape recreational area where there is an information board on the nature reserve and marine park.
Up until this point, you can tackle the gravel roads with a 2WD but from the information board onwards you’ll need a 4WD. The tracks difficulty is easy to medium with gravel, sand, limestone steps and dunes. The best time to go is during September to April, you can give it a go during May to August providing it’s not raining. Recommend PSI is 16-20 for the gravel tracks and 12-13 PSI for the beach.
10. Yeagarup Dunes and Beach
Located 20kms out from Pemberton and 330kms south of Perth is Yeagarup dunes and beach.
To get to Yeagarup beach and dunes, travel down old vasse highway until you reach the turn off at Ritter Road. Follow this down until you reach Yeagarup Lake which is where your 4WD adventure will begin.
The dunes are constantly changing with the winds shaping new tracks each day but you should be able to follow them till you reach the beach. The sand can be quite soft at times so you will need to let out some air from your tyres (12PSI or lower).
General track difficulty is easy to medium with tracks ranging from soft sand to gravel however, it can quickly change from easy to extreme once you come across Warren River crossing. We recommend traveling with another 4WD in case someone gets bogged.
DO NOT attempt to cross Warren River if you are inexperienced as this can be a costly and dangerous mistake. If you are feeling confident, ensure you walk the crossing first before driving through.
11. Calcup Hill
The 800m long hill is one of the largest sand dunes in Australia and has claimed many victims in the past with its steep and treacherous climb. Calcup Hill is located 24kms from Pemberton and can be used as an entry point to Yeagarup Dunes at the end of Ritter Road.
The tracks difficulty ranges from medium to extreme (when approaching Warren River crossing) but otherwise, it’s just soft sand you have to worry about. We recommend letting some air out of the tyres (10-15 PSI) before you attempt Calcup Hill or the Yeagarup Dunes. Best time to go is in February to April where the weather is perfect and no gale winds.
12. Lucky Bay, Kalbarri
Located 533km from Perth, somewhere between Port Gregory and Kalbarri, sits Lucky Bay. You’ll be able to find the entrance to the track approximately 10k North of Port Gregory, follow the track until you see Lucky Bay Shacks (you can’t miss it), this continues to Lucky Bay.
Lucky Bay is the perfect family destination for fishing, sand boarding, quad biking, and of course tackling some of the biggest sand dunes you’ll ever see. We recommend dropping tyre pressure to around 15PSI, some areas may require you to go lower, as the sand is quite soft. The dunes are often flooded in winter, so make sure you check the depth before crossing, and always use a sand flag when in the dunes!
13. Steep Point, Shark Bay
If you’re looking for the ultimate beach camping and fishing experience there’s no other destination that does both better than Steep Point in Shark Bay World Heritage Area. It’s known as one of the best land based fishing locations in the entire world and offers up some of WA’s most breathtaking coastline. From massive drop off cliffs and beautiful beaches, it’s an incredible place you and the family to disconnect from the outside world and enjoy some wholesome family-time.
Steep Point is located 900km north of Perth just south east of Denham and is 4WD accessible by turning onto Useless Loop Road. The road is typically in good condition, however do expect some rough corrugations, about 15kms to be exact (from information bay to first sand dune) as the road goes from bitumen to gravel. We recommend dropping your tyres down to at least 20 PSI, and 12-15 PSI if it’s rough.
Note: Useless Loop Road is typically closed after any rain and you will get stranded out there if you’re caught in some bad weather.
Be ready for the challenge
Before heading out to any of the tracks mentioned above it’s a good idea to make sure your 4×4 is beach ready and that you freshen up on techiques to drive on sand. If you’re planning on camping by the beach, here is a good checklist to go through.
Double check your suspension and make sure you have all the right 4wd equipment ready to go.
Do some research on the tracks your planning to tackle as beach conditions are constantly changing due to soft sands and high winds.
If you’re unsure of what you might need or simply after some friendly advice on 4wd accessories advice, contact Total 4×4 today.