Captain Fawcett Track; a great 4WD track near Dwellingup

The Captain Fawcett Track is one of many 4WD tracks in Dwellingup which run through pristine bush, near the river. It’s a brilliant day trip, weekender or couple of hours if you are prepared to turn around.

Mud puddle in Dwellingup
Idling through the first puddle

Where is the Captain Fawcett Track?

The track starts just out of Nanga Mill, on the corner of Nanga Road and Dawn Road. It runs right through to Quindanning, totaling 105km. You can get off the track in several places though. The start point is here.

Butterfly in Dwellingup
This Butterfly sat there for hours

Finding your way along the Captain Fawcett Track

You can do the 4WD section of this track without a map. Just take a GPS with you. A lot of information centres have the pamphlet showing more information on the Captain Fawcett Track; we picked ours up in Mandurah.

If you reset your trip meter at the start of the track, it’s very easy to navigate your way along it. If you are looking for a bit of adventure, take a few of the side tracks and see where they lead!

Captain Fawcett Trail bikes
Bikes enjoying the track

How long does the track take?

The track takes around 4 hours, with the first 35km taking majority of the time. A large portion of the track is well maintained gravel and even partly bitumen.

Blue Wrens at Dwellingup
Plenty of bird life

Camping along the Captain Fawcett Track

Update – there are a number of side tracks which peel off the Captain Fawcett Track, and lead to great day use areas. None of these are permitted for camping anymore, sadly. camp sites near the river. You’ll have to head into Lane Poole Reserve.

Obey the fire regulations for the specific season, take your rubbish with you and leave the campsite in better condition than when you arrived, so it stays open for everyone to enjoy in the years to come.

Camping along the Captain Fawcett Track
One of the old, permitted camp sites that was magic. You can no longer do this.

4WD difficulty level

Typically, this track is done often by soft four wheel drives, and all wheel drive vehicles. However, you really have to pick the right time of year to visit. In between May to September the track has a substantial amount of water on it, and a vehicle with low clearance would struggle severely to get through all of the puddles.

Too much speed in Dwellingup
Don’t do this!

I drove through it in the wet with standard tyres and no lift kit in my 80 Series Land Cruiser, but the rear tow bar did get dragged a couple of times. I also found that in a couple of puddles water would come near the top of the bonnet, but only when the front of the car dropped more suddenly than expected.

This track is regularly closed over the middle of winter, and for good reason. Vehicles with 35 inch tyres and 5″ lifts were having to winch their way through the big mud holes; proceed with caution, and don’t go through water without a snorkel!

What’s there to see on Captain Fawcett Track?

If you like Dwellingup in general, the Captain Fawcett Track is well worth doing. A large majority of it follows the river, and goes through pristine bush. A number of old trestle bridges are passed, as well as vineyards, Quindanning Inn, farms and plenty of water in winter. There is plenty of wildlife and places to stop for a bite.

Captain Fawcett History

The track was created by Captain Theo Fawcett.

He had a good relationship with the Aboriginals, who suggested that the land would be good for farming. Upon realising the farmland he owned in Pinjarra wouldn’t be big enough, he cut the track which is today known as the Captain Fawcett Track to get back to civilization.

Kayaking in Dwellingup
Enjoying the kayak

Overall summary

I had a great time doing the first part of the Captain Fawcett Track. I was surprised at the number of people doing it in lower vehicles with no recovery gear or experience (like the Vitara who ploughed through a puddle at a million miles an hour, only to have his engine die at the end).

It is truly a great part of the country, and the isolated campsites make it significantly more attractive. I’d highly recommend you check it out!

Enjoying the camp fire
Great place!

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4 Comments

  1. Hey Hamid,

    I haven’t heard of it being closed in Summer, but there you go. In winter it often gets closed to prevent excessive damage to the track.

    All the best
    Aaron

  2. I went there in February, it was closed,rangers told me they closed it during summer to end of March for preventing Bush fire,went there again in May,camping not allowed but track was good and seems maintained before opening,if you want to return the way that you had in the morning highly recommended to return in the afternoon to prevent blocking the way,track is so narrow

  3. Hey Monique,

    Thanks a lot for the update. Not overly fair, but there you go.

    Take care
    Aaron

  4. Heya, just confirming you can not camp along this track. Rangers sent us packing yesterday. (2/5/2020)

    Thanks