Escape the crowds with a 4WD adventure You can explore the colossal dunes in Lancelin, manoeuvre along powerline tracks through the hills, or find a deserted beach where you can camp beneath the stars.
Using the town of Gingin, 25km inland, as a starting point, trek along the edge of the Moore River National Park for forgotten stock tracks, bush terrain and dune formations. Beachside 4WDing begins at the vast sand dunes on the edge of Lancelin – ideal for recreational fun. The adventure continues north along beaches and dunes to locations such as Dide Bay, and Wedge and Grey islands before re-joining the Indian Ocean Drive to Cervantes and the Pinnacles. Regulations, no-go zones and seasonal and environmental restrictions apply. Contact DEC Moora (9652 1911) for info.
Whitehills Beach, just 15 minutes from Mandurah, is the closest place south of Perth to 4WD along the beach. Keep driving south to see the thrombolites, living fossils easily viewable from a purpose-built boardwalk: these babies are among the earliest known life forms on earth! If you’re headed to Preston Beach there are miles of beach-driving options leading north to Tim’s Thicket. This stretch of coastline has terrific fishing and beach 4WD tracks. Camp at Martins Tank, within the Yalgorup National Park, amid the peppermint woodland and tuart forest. Dune preservation is important, so check with the City of Mandurah ranger for access and condition reports. There are various inland forest tracks around Dwellingup, Waroona and Lane Poole, perfect for 4WDing. The Nanga Heritage Circuit winds through jarrah forest and the river valley by timber tramways, steam train tracks and trestle bridges. The Captain Fawcett Commemorative 4x4 Track is an easy to medium-grade track starting in the Lane Poole Reserve and showcasing more than 100km of jarrah forests, historic farmhouses and early settlers’ bridges, plus mountain-bike and bridle trails.
The beauty of 4WDing in the Perth Hills is that you get some great, rocky terrain (it’s a nice change from sand and beaches!). There are a fair few rocky outcrops that can be reached with a 4WD, along tracks that aren’t too daunting (check the coordinates on a 4WDing website). If you’ve got some guts about you (and some experience) try the Mundaring Power Line Track (entry is near Sawyers Valley Tavern), which is ideal at the times of year when there are fewer showers and the track is drier and less slippery.
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