The four wheel driving at Harvey is great fun in the dry, and much more challenging in the wet. It is very similar to the Mundaring Powerlines Tracks and Dwellingup with many steep hill climbs and lots of mud in winter! The four wheel driving starts just out of Brunswick Junction. Much of the 4x4 can be done by a fairly stock car, with the harder bits and pieces being optional. In fact, if you wanted to camp in the area you could probably do it in a two wheel drive car (in the summer only!). There are some amazing places to stop and take photos, as well as a number of secluded camp sites for those who want a cheap weekend away with a bit of peace and quiet!
Where are the 4wd tracks in Brunswick Junction?
The main tracks that people refer to at Harvey actually start near Brunswick Junction. They go around in a big loop near Harvey. To get to Brunswick Junction from Perth, you simply head south on the Kwinana Freeway. With the new Forrest Highway, which extends the Kwinana Freeway right down to Bunbury the trip is much shorter. We made it down to Brunswick Junction in about an hour and a half, and the highway is smooth and fairly straight. You turn off left at Clifton Road off Forrest Highway which takes you into the middle of Brunswick Junction.
Beela Road is the next road that you need to find, which is located in the middle of town heading east, and there is a plastic cow which makes it quite obvious. Cross over the railway line, and head along the road, then take your second left after the gravel starts (Flynn road) which crosses over the railway tracks. Flynn road is signposted, and the railway tracks should be very obvious as. You follow Flynn Road over a bridge, and turn on the first right, which is where you should let your tyres down. 500 metres down the road there is a mud puddle on the right and then a few hill climbs on the left. There are a number of mud holes on top of the hill climbs, and bobs hill is marked with several tyres at the bottom
The whole area is packed with a large number of hill climbs, river crossings and camping locations. You can drive around the area fairly quickly, and the water crossings are not very deep in summer. In winter, this is another story! The tracks are very obvious, and there are more than enough to enjoy. If you are going in winter, you really need a good set of Mud Terrain Tyres. If you don't have these, its dangerous to attempt the hill climbs or even descents as the mud is deceptively slippery! I use a set of Maxxis Bighorn and have been very happy with them.
Bob’s hill is incredibly difficult, and only those with a fair amount of experience and a number of 4x4 Accessories should attempt it. There are massive rocks which will do a lot of damage to your panels if you are not sure of what to do. We had several vehicles with 35 inch tyres and big lifts trying the hill, without much luck. Of course being more conservative we tried not to damage any panels (and still managed to dent a door and rear bumper in!), and none of us had Rock Sliders. To make it up without any damage to your car you really need large tyres, full bar work and a difflock or two.
Brunwick 4x4; What to take
To get back to Brunswick Junction is not much more than a 20 minute drive, assuming nothing is broken on the car. In saying this, it’s best to take everything that you need plus spares so that you don’t have to break the day up. This includes water, tools, oils, coolant, silicon spray, tarps, food, maps or GPS, camping gear (if camping), a camera, plenty of high quality recovery gear and your usual spare parts. We found having screenshots of Google Earth in the area were very handy as well. Silicon spray and a tarp are only really needed in the wet if you choose to cross any of the rivers. You can also take a Gazebo, but there are plenty of trees in nice locations near the rivers where you can stop to cook lunch so this is not so important.
If you are doing any serious four wheel driving, I can’t stress the importance of bringing spare parts and plenty of tools. It’s not unlikely that something will break, and it pays to be prepared. We had overheating issues, alternator issues, wheel stud issues and radiator issues, but together with a lot of tools and parts we managed to get home safely and have a great time.
Fuel and Compressors at Brunswick Junction
Brunswick Junction has one petrol station that has a paid compressor. It has diesel and unleaded, but no gas. The prices are only about 15 cents more a litre than Perth, which is good. The nearest gas is either at Harvey (20 kilometres north) or along the Perth to Bunbury Highway (which tends to be cheaper). The tracks around Brunswick won’t use up a huge amount of fuel, but filling up in Perth before leaving is a smart idea. The average four wheel drive would probably use 50 – 80 litres of fuel driving from Perth to Brunswick, spending all day driving and then getting back to Perth. This makes for a fairly cheap day, which is fun for all!
Camping at Brunswick Junction
We saw a few people camping at Brunswick Junction in various places, and the camping is free too. There are a number of great places to stay which are protected and close to a good water supply. There are more than enough trees to provide shade when it gets very hot in summer. Supplies are easy enough to get if you run out of anything, and there are not many people that go to Brunswick Junction, which makes it peaceful too! Whilst there may not be much to do, its still a relaxing weekend away. There is plenty of 4x4 in Brunswick to keep you occupied!
Motorbike riding at Brunswick Junction
We did see a few people there on motorbikes, and a number of Campers had them as well. I am unsure as to whether or not you are allowed motorbikes in the region, but you can find out by ringing the local ranger. Four wheel driving in the area is permitted as far as I am aware, but check with your bikes before you have to pay any money to the rangers!
Having a swim in the river
The river (or creek in summer) is great for swimming in. We saw a number of little fish and marron, and managed to find an area just over a metre deep, where you could get fully soaked. Of course in winter the level would be much higher. Quite a few of the bridges have good camping areas and great places to swim. On a hot summers day there is nothing better than jumping in the water to cool off!
We had a great time at Brunswick Junction, and being so close to Perth it’s easily accessible for just a day trip. It was awesome in summer and I bet even more fun in winter, as long as you are prepared. In terms of your options for Four Wheel Driving in Perth, Brunswick Junction is probably the top of the list for me. I would highly recommend it for a day trip or even a few days away.