The only thing better than the thrill of the open road is the thrill of driving where there aren’t any roads, and here in Western Australia, there are plenty of opportunities for that. Whether you prefer driving in the bush or through forests, hitting dunes and the beach or powering up hill climbs and through river crossings, there are plenty of four-wheel-drive (4WD) tracks around Perth to suit everyone from rookie to pro.
The Mundaring Power Lines, the closest 4WD track to Perth, can be pretty challenging, especially in winter or after heavy rainfall. Although not for the faint-hearted, the track is a lot of fun, and the views are very rewarding. About a 45-minute drive east of the CBD, the Mundaring Power Line track starts in Sawyer’s Valley and runs parallel to the Great Eastern Highway up to The Lakes.
Located about 80km (50mi) northeast of Perth, Julimar State Forest is bush 4WDing at its very best. An enjoyable spot to visit in spring and summer, the winter rains turn the woodland track into a muddy 4WDers’ paradise. Head north on Tonkin Highway, then join the Great Southern until Chittering and head east on Julimar Road before turning left onto Heine Road or Western Boundary Road.
There are several 4WD tracks that traverse the Jarrah and Marri forests of Lane Poole Reserve, including the popular Captain Fawcett track. This relatively easy 105km (65mi) trail passes by historic farmhouses and bridges, before crossing the Murray River. To get to Lane Poole, take Kwinana Freeway to Pinjarra, then the Southwestern Highway onto Nanga Road. The track starts at Dawn Creek Road and ends at the Quindanning Hotel.
One of the closest spots to Perth where you can drive along the beach, Wilbinga makes for a good sandy off-road adventure. A relatively challenging spot, Wilbinga has great views over the ocean and the reef, and some big dunes to drive over. The 4WD track is about 70km (44mi) north of the CBD. To get there, head north on Wanneroo Road between Two Rocks and Guilderton and turn left onto Wilbinga Road.
Although Perth is mostly known for its wild and rugged off-roading, we’d be remiss not to include Lancelin’s dunes on the list. About 90-minutes drive north of Perth on Wanneroo Road, Lancelin is home to some of the biggest dunes in WA, which are perfect for 4WDing and sandboarding. From there, you can also continue north from Lancelin and head 30km (19mi) along the sand tracks up to Wedge Island and Grey.
A couple hours’ drive southeast of Perth, Collie has plenty of opportunities for off-roading, including the Lennard Track in Wellington National Park and the fire break track alongside the Collie River. Make a day of it with a stop at Harvey Dam or Brunswick to check out the 4WD tracks there, or spend a night camping at Honeymoon Pool, one of our favourite campsites in WA.