Here in WA, we’re lucky to have access to endless picturesque locations and off-roading adventures. With our stunning coastline, green hills and striking red landscape, there’s always somewhere new to explore.
The vehicle you drive may impact where you can go off-road around Western Australia. There are easy off-road drives within a short distance of Perth, suitable for those in family SUVs out on weekend trips. For the more seasoned explorer, there are countless harder-to-reach locations that you’ll need a four wheel drive in order to reach.
Here’s a list with some of the best spots for off-roading near Perth, including the easily accessible and the ones best left to the eager 4×4 explorer.
About an hour and a half south of Perth CBD is Waroona Dam – otherwise known as Lake Navarino. There are tracks of various difficulties around the dam, so this spot can be a good starting point for novice off-road drivers.
The difficulty of the tracks can vary throughout the year – to keep things simple, visit when it’s dry. If you’re eager for a challenge, visit when the water levels are high or after rain for bog holes, mud runs and difficult hill climbs.
For the easier tracks, a SUV such as the Mazda CX-5 will suffice – just make sure you’re a confident off-road driver, or bring along an experienced off-roader for tips on which pits and ruts to avoid. If you want to tackle the more challenging tracks or visit following rain, a four wheel drive will probably be your safest bet.
Wilbinga Sand Tracks
Perhaps one of Perth’s most popular four wheel drive tracks, Wilbinga is situated in the Shire of Gingin. There’s a mix of bush, sand and beach driving. Some of the dune areas are easier and smaller than others. If you’re a confident four wheel driver, there are some extremely steep dunes you can try out.
If you’re planning on tackling Wilbinga or another beach/sand track that requires you to let your tyres down, make sure you remember to bring a deflator, air compressor and recovery gear. Have a sand flag attached to your vehicle so other drivers know you’re approaching – it can get busy!
About an hour and a half from Perth CBD, Lancelin boasts one of the region’s most favoured attractions – the Lancelin sand dunes. While it’s great fun to go sandboarding down the dunes, you can’t beat getting out and four wheel driving in this incredible location.
Some of the dunes are really only accessible to people with a four wheel drive. The dunes can be very soft, making it easy to get bogged. If you want to venture out to the Lancelin sand dunes, make sure you have a four-wheel drive (the Mazda BT-50 would be perfect), and some basic understanding of how to recover your vehicle if you do become bogged.
White Hills Beach
Just south of Mandurah, White Hills Beach is the southern-siders’ version of Wilbinga. The sand is very soft at White Hills Beach, so make sure you let your tyres down to avoid getting bogged or damaging the track.
As always, make sure you have appropriate recovery equipment and know how to avoid getting bogged. It can be worthwhile to travel with multiple four wheel drives just in case one of you does get stuck.
The Perth Hills offer great opportunities for 4×4 tracks. The Mundaring Weir boasts picturesque surrounds, with opportunities for off-roading on sand, gravel and rocks with easy hill climbs and declines. If you’re after a relatively easy track, don’t get the Mundaring Weir mixed up with the Mundaring Powerline Trail!
Mundaring Powerline Trail
This is a very challenging track – attempt only if you’re an experienced off-roader with a four wheel drive. It’s a good idea to go with two vehicles, as vehicles often have to be recovered. It’s definitely a lot of fun, taking around 5 to 6 hours to complete the whole thing (with a few early exit points along the way). The terrain can be unforgiving, making it all the more satisfying when you complete it!
There are so many great places to explore in WA without having to stray far from Perth CBD. Make sure you’re prepared with a car that can handle the terrain, and recovery equipment if you’re tackling one of the harsher tracks.
To kick off your next off-roading adventure, check out a local Perth Mazda dealership who can help you find a vehicle equipped for everything you throw at it.