Spinning your wheels with the lack of outdoor activities this winter? Why not get some traction, with a 4WD adventure? We’ve rounded up the top routes, with some helpful hints to get you bush-bashing like a pro.
Mundaring Powerline East of Perth is a track for the more daring 4WD-ers. It’s made up of mainly clay and rock that is rutted and steep, and starts near Sawyers Tavern in Sawyer Valley. It’s an actual powerline track, managed by Western Power and completely open to the 4WD community, and takes a good five to six hours to complete, making it perfect for a day trip. 40km from Perth along Great Eastern Highway.
Jeep Kraft Trail This trail in the Mundaring State Forest starts from the blacktop at a fire break trail next to a farm, but if you’re meeting up with pals then start off at the Lakes Road House. In winter, the track’s difficulty rating shifts from easy to medium, so be wary of slippery terrain and fallen trees. 90km from Perth, Mundaring State Forest.
Julimar State Forest Winding, whirling, muddy dirt tracks are a 4WD-er’s best friend, and Julimar’s trail won’t disappoint. Two main hills, rutted tight bends and short steep sections keep you entertained as you conquer the terrain. Rated medium to difficult, parts of the narrow track aren’t suitable for a 6x4WD. Note: the track takes about four hours. 90km from Perth, Julimar State Forest.
Wilbinga Wilbinga is the closest area to Perth where you can go beach driving. Three big sand dunes, smaller sand dunes and levelled beach terrain lead to a scenic, comfortable and less intimidating drive. With somewhere to park and go swimming, fishing or snorkelling, the terrain is perfect for beginners, or anyone wanting to try 4WD in sand. The best part? There’s rarely anyone else in sight. 70km from Perth, in between Two Rocks and Guilderton.
Get a grip Steering a 4WD requires a bit more concentration than usual driving. Hold the steering wheel at ten-to-two, with fingers on the outside of the wheel in a loose yet sturdy grip so the tyres can find the ruts and gaps in the ground. Remember, with all the twists and turns the steering column is likely to be wrenched away at any moment, so be alert.
This takes some beating… It goes without saying, but we’re gonna say it anyway. You want a car that can withstand punishment, like an all-terrain 4WD that you don’t mind getting dirty, bumpy and a bit battered.
Be prepared Always have a spare tyre, towing ropes in case you get bogged, walkie-talkies to chat to friends, and a tool kit.