A 4WD or adventure motorcycle won't, in itself, give you access to every experience in our parks, but will open up lots of places to you, and not only in the most remote parks.
There are many thousands of kilometres of dirt, sand, gravel and rocky roads and tracks in our parks that cannot be ridden or driven with regular road vehicles. Except in designated off-road vehicle areas (see below), you must stick to these roads and tracks. Walking and cycling tracks are, obviously, off-limits. All of Western Australia's road and traffic laws apply, the vehicle and the driver or rider must be licensed and the vehicle must be roadworthy. Details are available from the Department of Transport.
You can also find more detailed information on motorbike and 4WD trails, including those managed by Parks and Wildlife, at the TrailsWA website.
Like any adventure activity, a range of equipment and experiences are available. We are working with a number of representative associations on a classification system to assist drivers and riders to understand what type of vehicle and auxiliary equipment is required, what level of experience is necessary and what conditions you are likely to encounter in each area. Similar information is currently available in a number of specialist road atlases. You should always carry a current edition of one of these, but be aware that we are not responsible for their content.
In a variation to the general advice for all adventure activities, always travel in groups of at least three vehicles. In addition to all the other information throughout this website and the driving, riding and navigation skills required for these roads and tracks, you need to be equipped for and capable of vehicle recovery and repair, and for bush and outback survival. These are all specialist skills that require specialist training - don't think you can just drive out of the sales room or hire yard and head off to the places featured here. For more useful information see 'Safety in parks and reserves' and 'Travelling in the remote'.
Sustainable driving and riding
One of the biggest environmental issues in the parks of the forested south-west corner of the state is dieback (Phytophthora cinnamomi), the 'biological bulldozer' that is destroying native plants and threatening species with extinction. Vehicles can carry the pathogen and spread the disease. To avoid contributing to this devastation, always thoroughly clean your vehicle, especially the tyres, wheels and underside, before entering and after leaving parks. For the same reason it is sometimes necessary to close park roads and tracks to vehicles, either permanently or temporarily. Always follow the seven principles of Leave No Trace to minimise your impact on the natural and cultural heritage of the areas you are visiting.
There are, of course, other environmental and safety reasons why park roads may be closed (including Department of Water and Environment Regulation restrictions for the protection of public drinking water supplies). Temporary closures for dieback, most often associated with the rain that accelerates its spread, are posted on our alerts. Some maps, particularly older editions, may show permanently closed tracks without indicating closures. Closed tracks and roads will be signed.
Clubs, associations and commercial tours
There are many clubs offering the benefits of the skill and knowledge of experienced members, club equipment, social events and group tours as well as the opportunity to contribute to track classification and maintenance. The peak 4WD bodies are Four Wheel Drive Western Australia and Track Care WA. Their websites include links to various training providers. For adventure motorcycling go to the Recreational Trailbike Riders Association of WA.
Commercial tours, for those with their own vehicle and with vehicles provided, are available in a number of parks.
Off-road vehicle areas
The only places in our parks where unlicensed riders may ride, and unlicensed motorcycles and quad bikes are permitted, are designated off-road vehicle areas. Any unlicensed vehicle in these areas must be registered with the Department of Transport.
We are continuing to work with the Recreational Trailbike Riders Association of WA on these areas. See their website for more details and for other similar facilities throughout the state.
There are no areas in our parks where unlicensed drivers or other unlicensed vehicles are permitted.