4 unmissable 4WD tracks in Western Australia

June 24, 2024
4 unmissable 4WD tracks in Western Australia - A247 Gear
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Western Australia is our biggest state and despite being dominated by desert, it offers many varied terrains and environments which makes it one of our most popular 4WD road trip destinations.

Here are our top four tracks for testing your four-wheel driving skills and seeing some awesome parts of the great state of WA.

Karlamilyi National Park (formerly Rudall River)

Deep in the Pilbara and a 19.5-hour drive northeast from Perth, Karlamilyi National Park — formerly Rudall River — is the largest national park in WA covering 1.2 million hectares. The park is dominated by red sand dunes, stony hills, salt lakes and vast spinifex plains. Starting at Newman, the drive heads northeast towards the Queen Desert Baths, a series of picturesque rockpools within a gorge and a great place to camp, and through challenging track conditions of varying terrain all the way to Marble Bar. The park is only accessible by high clearance 4WD over rough and unmaintained roads and there are no facilities, so all visitors need to be completely self-sufficient. This track is for experienced drivers only.

Best time to visit: July and August — weather conditions in summer are dangerously hot and winter nights can be cold.

Points of interest: Newman, Marble Bar, Queen Desert Baths, Watrara Pool, Great and Little Sandy Deserts, Rudall River and Running Waters Waterhole.

Warnings: Take your own water — there is a manual water pump near the northern access point to the park, but it cannot be relied upon. This is a remote desert area, so be totally self-sufficient and carry a UHF radio or satellite phone for emergencies.

Boranup Forest

About 3.5 hours southwest of Perth by car, the impressively tall Boranup Forest is a great place from which to start a 4WD adventure. The track starts in Margaret River, heads west towards Prevelly and ends at the beach. The track to the beach is rocky in parts but then is sandy towards the end. You can drive straight onto the beach which is a better option in summer when the beach is wider and not eroded by storms. In wintery weather, watch out for sharp drop-offs that will swallow up the unwary. Reducing tyre pressures is an absolute must and preferably go with another vehicle.

Best time to visit: Anytime, although spring is best for wildflowers and winters can be wet.

Points of interest: Boranup Forest, Boranup Scenic Drive, Limestone caves (including Jewel, Mammoth and Lake), Hamelin Bay and Boranup Beach.

Warnings: Parts of these tracks are along the Cape to Cape Track, so beware of walkers with heavy backpacks. Tracks are narrow so be aware of cars coming the other way too.

Cape Le Grand National Park

Cape Le Grand National Park is well worth the eight-hour car journey southeast from Perth. Located right on the edge of the Great Australian Bight, the track starts in Esperance, heads east towards Wharton and ends at (and goes through) the beautiful Cape Le Grand National Park. The park comprises ancient and massive granite headlands that dominate the coastline as they plunge into water that is impossibly blue. Away from the dramatic coastline, the park is made up of sandplains that support many species of plants, birds and mammals, not to mention the impressive peaks rising out of the plains, including Frenchman Peak.

Best time to visit: Anytime, although spring is best for wildflowers. 

Points of interest: Esperance, Lucky Bay, Frenchman Peak and Cape Le Grand Beach.

Warnings: If beach driving, ensure you wait for low tide and have recovery gear on board and experience driving these conditions.

Lake Jasper

Located within the lushest and greenest part of WA, Lake Jasper is a short drive just 3.5 hours south from Perth by car. Lake Jasper is the largest permanent freshwater lake in the state and the natural beauty in this scenic location is varied and spectacular with wild rocky coastline, deserted white beaches, freshwater lakes and karri forest. From Alexandra Bridge, the drive heads east towards the coast, finishing up between Lake Jasper and Black Point (black-basalt cliffs that plunge into the sea in brick-like formations). This is a great spot for families however summer and school holidays get very busy.

Best time to visit: Anytime, although spring is best for wildflowers. Winters can be wet and windy.

Points of interest: Jasper Beach, Pemberton, Karridale, D’Entrecasteaux National Park, Black Point and Mandalay Beach.

Warnings: The coastline is very susceptible to king waves, making rock fishing dangerous. Some sections require lowered tyre pressures.

Want more information?

For more information about each of the above tracks and other great WA 4WD offroad adventures, check out the newly released 4th Edition of the Hema Maps Western Australia Road & 4WD Track Atlas. You can pick up your copy here.

Key features include:

  • Top 50 4WD trips
  • Top 25 WA national parks
  • Detailed mapping throughout the state (1:250,000)
  • Caravan parks and dump points
  • Camping and rest areas
  • Truck parking
  • Visitor centres
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