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Mundaring Powerlines Track

The Mundaring Powerlines Track is a four wheel drive track found east of Perth. It is one of the few tracks that is well known about, close to Perth and that has not been closed off. Mundaring is a short drive (34km) east of Perth, and the track starts only a few kilometres from there. It is regularly used by tour operators who are training people to drive a car off-road. It was originally a service track for Western Power’s power poles, and still gets used by them today!

Mundaring Powerlines Track

Mundaring Powerlines Track

There is a lot of gravel, sand, rocks, hills, descents and a heap of mud in winter.  If you haven’t done much four wheel driving before, then Mundaring is a great place to start. The trick is to that you take it slow, and preferably go with someone who is a little more experienced. In many ways, it is like Dwellingup in terms of the tracks available. The whole track can be done in about 3 hours, but its a good idea to leave the bulk of a day to do it, because its likely to take longer if things don’t go to plan.

Driving on a beach like Lancelin is good fun, but there is something about doing tracks that go through the bush with hard surfaces, big rocks and mud that makes Mundaring so appealing. On a long weekend, it’s not uncommon to see a few hundred cars on the track in a single day. Everyone is friendly and usually willing to pull you out if you get stuck!

Making a splash

Making a splash

The track can be extremely challenging in some places, so just choose what you are comfortable with. There are ‘chicken’ tracks which go around most of the difficult parts. Camping is permitted, but find out where before you go there!

How do I get to Mundaring?

To get to Mundaring, you just need to follow the Great Eastern Highway. We normally go along Roe Highway onto the Great Eastern Hwy, but it really depends on where you are coming from. There are quite a few hills to go up and down, but eventually you will end up at a set of lights with Hungry Jacks on the right and KFC on the left.

A modified four wheel drive

A modified four wheel drive

Where does the track start?

There are a large number of entrances onto the Mundaring Powerlines Track, but the normal starting point is just south east of Mundaring. When you see the fast foods, turn right onto Hodgson Street, Mundaring. Follow that, and turn right at the end, onto Mundaring Weir Road. On the left, just after Mcallum road, the track starts. You can follow that, and then turn left along the water pipes. Alternatively you can drive further out of Mundaring and drive the other way on the track, but it’s not as much fun!

Competition Trucks Training

Competition Trucks Training

Can you do the Powerlines track backwards?

Of course, and many people choose to do this. There are even gravel roads which run through the middle of the track, which is why so many people start the track in the middle. Flynn road is one those. Many people come across the Mundaring 4×4 track by accident, but there are a huge number of people who know it exists and use it regularly. Doing the track backwards is easier in my opinion, just because of the hill climbs and the way it has formed over the last few years.

In a bit of trouble

In a bit of trouble

How hard is the Mundaring 4×4 track?

About 3 years ago now was the first time I went on this track. It was challenging, but doable by most four wheel drives. I have been many times since, and every time I go it has changed in some way or another, and quite often dramatically. If it’s wet and muddy, even those in highly modified cars with years of experience find it difficult in some places.

Mundaring Powerlines 4WD Track

There’s lot of different difficulty levels

The tracks get chopped up badly, and the hill climbs become very difficult. Even the chicken tracks get washed out, rutted and difficult to drive along. The difficulty level really depends on the car you are driving, time of year and how much four wheel driving you have done before. I would suggest to novices with stock cars that winter is usually not a good time to learn. Some water crossings that you have no choice but to drive through can be over the bonnet.

In summer however, the track is much easier. Although it is dusty, it’s more solid to get grip on. I have seen brand new Suzuki’s with almost no clearance drive the whole track, but it comes down to how you do it. Normal cheap four wheel drive tyres (not chunky ones) seem to handle acceptably in summer, but a more aggressive tyre will make it so much easier. I have been very glad of the set of Maxxis Bighorn tyres on My Hilux!

Does Mundaring get muddy?

If you are looking for mud, wait until winter when it has poured for a week straight, and then go to the Mundaring 4×4 track. There is more mud than you would believe, especially at the end. The mud here tends to be very high clay content making it stick to your tyres like glue.

Broken Panhard Rod

Broken Panhard Rod

Often excessive wheel spinning is needed to clear your tyres of the mud. In some parts, the mud can be well over the knees, which makes it difficult to see big rocks and other obstacles underneath. To top it off, the hill climbs are very slippery when wet. This means your car will often slide around, and usually it goes where you don’t want it to! If you have access to 4×4 Winches then you might find they get used when its slippery as recoveries using snatch straps are often too difficult.

The trick with mud is to keep up your momentum. Choose the right gear and stay in it, and if it gets boggy just lay into it or stop and get pulled out. Of course, if there are big rocks under the car that’s not a good idea! You would be surprised how driving a different line makes it so much easier. Often the most driven line is three times as hard to drive as any other next to it. If you go when it’s muddy, be prepared to get filthy and to have to use the snatch strap several times. Usually even in summer there will still be a bit of mud lying around in the water crossings or mud runs at the end. Maxtrax are well worth taking if its muddy; they make recoveries much more simple.

When is the best time to go on the Mundaring 4×4 track?

This really depends on personal opinion. The track is fun in both summer and winter, and although easier in summer, there are still some tricky parts to attempt if you want. I find that in summer it is too dusty, and I prefer the mud anyway; I go more in winter. For beginners, summer is a great time to learn.

Having a swim

Having a swim

Of course, going in winter usually means you have a few hours cleaning to do when you get home, as the mud sticks to your car like you wouldn’t believe. I suppose a good compromise is to go in spring, when it is still a bit wet, but the mud doesn’t get washed off much then!

Can I ride my motorbike there?

Licensed Motorbikes are allowed to ride on this track. There are parts that you are allowed to ride unlicensed motorbikes on, but much of it is closed to unlicensed motorbikes. Although you regularly see them riding the whole track, it’s not worth the risk of a fine. To top it off, some of the locals have started taking extreme measures against the bike riders. The main reason local’s don’t like the motorbike riders is because of the excessive noise. I would suggest you find out from DPAW the exact spots you can ride, and you shouldn’t have any problems.

Driving over some rocks

Driving over some rocks

What should I take with me?

Again, this depends on the car that you have, your experience and what you are going to try. Regardless of this, everyone should take plenty of water, a snatch strap and relevant recovery points, some tools to fix anything that breaks, at least one spare tyre, first aid kit and a phone. You can get some phone reception at different points, but it depends on what phone company you are with.

Summer can be very dusty and slippery

Summer can be very dusty and slippery

Other things that come in handy are a winch, high lift jack, drag chains, silicon spray, snorkel, more aggressive tyres, a tyre gauge and compressor, shovel and a set of Max Tracks. If you go when it is wet and are a little adventurous, I can almost guarantee that you will get stuck in at least one spot. It’s all part of the fun, but it can be a real pain if you can’t get out.

What pressure should I run my tyres at?

I normally run my tyre pressure in between 15 and 20 pounds for this track, but then my car is very light and it is run at 30 PSI on the road! You need to let your tyres down at least a bit, and usually 20 – 25 PSI will do fine. If you don’t let your tyres down then you risk damaging them on rocks or puncturing them. It’s much easier on the car if you have deflated tyres.

Close to rolling

Close to rolling

I would suggest a getting Tire Deflators too; they are well worth the money. The drive back from the end of this track to a service station is about 12 kilometres; you need to take a Car Air Compressor with you.

Water Crossings

Another little part of the Mundaring 4×4 track is the water crossings. There are a few that you can’t drive around, and lots more that you can choose to go through if you wish. During summer there is normally none that you have to do, but every time I have been there water still sits in some of the holes. A snorkel is a good modification that you can’t go wrong with. It usually improves fuel economy and helps with water crossings. Petrol cars tend to struggle more through water, so make sure you are prepared.

Mud and water can get in the engine bay

Mud and water can get in the engine bay

With diesel or petrol, it’s a good idea to get some silicon spray and spray your electrics under the bonnet. Water can easily cause problems for these, and the last thing you want is to be sitting in your car with water draining in! I have seen numerous cars drowned at Mundaring in the water crossings, and usually simply because they didn’t check the depth before entering.

Some of the crossings can be over the roof height of a normal car in winter, so make sure you check the depth first. Even if the water is freezing, it’s worth the effort. I have seen new cars drowned in water, and it’s not pretty. Anything over your headlights in a car that doesn’t have a snorkel should be avoided.

What sort of modifications do I need to do this track?

You can do this track without any 4×4 Accessories but for most cars, a 2 inch lift with some slightly bigger all terrain tyres or mud terrain tyres will do the trick.  I highly recommend the Maxxis Bighorn tyres; they are cheap and great on and off-road.  Tyres are probably the most helpful modification that you can do to your car, especially for in the wet. Having properly rated recovery points is helpful as well, for when you get stuck or when you have to pull out a friend. Rock Sliders and a good Bull Bar can come in handy but as a minimum a recovery point on the front and rear of the vehicle is vital.

Lots of wheel spin

Lots of wheel spin

Helpful tips

– I often see many people tackling this track with their trailer hitches in. As they hang so far back and down, they often get caught on rocks and damaged. It’s not hard to pull them out, but well worth it!

– Doing what you are comfortable with and no more is a good rule to go with. There are parts that are dangerous if you aren’t very confident, and you can easily tip a brand new car if you aren’t careful.

– Take your time when considering recoveries. Unless your car is sinking in water over the bonnet, you have time to consider your options. Too many people rush into recoveries, and end up doing damage to their cars or people watching on. Take the time and think about the safest and easiest way to recover the car.

– Check the depth of the water crossings before you go through them; so many people don’t do this and you really pay for it when your stereo, seats and upholstery is covered in smelly water.

– Go with another vehicle; they can help tow you out if you get stuck and provide assistance if you need it.

The Mundaring Powerlines Track is a favourite track for us, and we regularly spend a day out there.

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51 comments… add one
  • allan August 15, 2010, 9:11 PM

    HI guys very interesting this site . i just bougth a suzuki vitara 2dr sotfttop {unmodified} and am actually looking for some places to bring her bush driving and was wondering if anybody could help me as i am a little bit scared to go by myself as i dont have much off road driving experience and dont want to get stuck alone .

    Thanks

  • Aaron August 16, 2010, 3:15 PM

    They are quite a good car. Have a look at perth4x4.net and the 4×4 action site, on the forums. Guys go out regularly and you would be more than welcome to tag along. There are also a few clubs in perth that like going out too; just google them.

    Aaron

  • darren October 12, 2010, 7:22 PM

    done the track on the weekend in a standard pajero with misses and kids lots of fun no troubles getting thru

  • Aaron October 12, 2010, 7:29 PM

    Yeah, its a great track. What sort of Pajero? If you want a challenge go there after a bit of rain!

    Aaron

  • darren October 20, 2010, 10:57 AM

    hi Aaron just a 1990 ng pagero v6 cant wait for some rain and do it again did some camping out there as we just bought a arb roof top tent do you no of any other good tracks close to perth

  • Aaron October 20, 2010, 3:41 PM

    Sure, there are a few around depending on what you want. Brunswick 4×4 is always a lot of fun, as is Wedge Island and Lancelin Sand Dunes, Wilbinga, Dwellingup and the Pine Plantation north of the river.

    Dwellingup is great for doing almost anything that you want to. Brunswick has plenty of space for camping and it is free. There are tracks which make competition trucks shiver there too!

    Have fun
    Aaron

  • Brad February 27, 2011, 9:14 PM

    It would be nice if ALL of you guys and gals could take your rubbish away with you……..its sad the amount of knuckle dragging bogan 4WD owners drive up from there little suburban rat race houses to the lovely bushlands leave there rubbish!!!

  • Aaron February 27, 2011, 9:38 PM

    It is sad how much rubbish is dumped around the place. It is a piggish habit and gives the majority of four wheel drive owners who do clean their rubbish up a bad reputation. Take your rubbish with you!

    Aaron

  • Tim May 29, 2011, 3:20 PM

    Licensed motorcycles are aloud on the powerline track they are aloud to be anywhere a licensed 4WD’s are.Vehicles have been band from every other part of the forest around mundaring weir because of 4WD’s with 35″ mud terrains destroying trails making them inaccessible to rangers and fire trucks its only a matter of time before this track is closed to the public for the same reason not because of noisy bike riders .

  • Aaron May 29, 2011, 3:26 PM

    G’day Tim,

    Thanks for clearing that up – I didn’t think to write anything in there about licensed bikes because you rarely see them there. I have modified the post for you :). People need to take responsibility for where they are allowed to go. If you are caught driving in an area that you shouldn’t be then you make everyone in four wheel drives look like they do the wrong thing.

    Cheers
    Aaron

  • Luke pearson July 13, 2011, 11:16 PM

    Hi guys just looking for a bit of advice, got a hilux surf pretty standard apart from tyres, auto, been all through lanceling and beach driving never had problems, but do you think it wont be up to the task of mumdaring track?? cheers luke

  • Aaron July 14, 2011, 3:47 PM

    Hi Luke,

    You should be fine, providing you take it easy and know when to give up (its usually the ‘I will give it one more go’ moment when things break!)! At the moment the tracks will be very difficult because of the rain, but you should still be able to do most of the track without a worry. My only advice is to watch the rocks – if you try to drive up some of the hard parts you will do panel damage. The chicken tracks will be fun enough! What tyres have you got on it? Are you going with anyone else? Make sure you let your tyres down to at least 18 PSI, but most of all have fun!

    Aaron

  • Will August 15, 2011, 5:25 PM

    I have just bought an old range rover classic 84 with 2inch lift carring a bit of weight with long distance fuel tanks will that handle the track alright.

  • Aaron August 15, 2011, 6:13 PM

    Hi Will,

    You will have no issues, providing you take it easy. If it is wet and muddy some parts of the track may be too difficult, but it depends on your tyres and four wheel driving experience. When it dries up a bit the track should be a lot easier

    Aaron

  • Niko December 29, 2011, 11:12 PM

    I bought a stock 2002 Subaru Forester.. Obviously clearance is the major concern for me…. Do you see many Subarus on the track? I would rather flat gravel tracks than ruts, coz Subarus are more rally cars with all-wheel drive traction. Although the Forester is a bit higher, it still has clearance issues… Perhaps the chicken runs would suit me fine? What do you think?

  • Aaron December 30, 2011, 4:59 PM

    G’day Niko,

    These days, the Mundaring Powerlines track has become considerably harder. The chicken tracks are even more difficult now, and often require plenty of clearance. I have never seen a Forester there, but I have seen a few stock standard Suzuki Vitara’s (which were rubbing underneath the vehicle several times). If you value your vehicle, I’d say its not worth it. It hurts to see damage done to a car you take pride in!

    Best of luck
    Aaron

  • Stefan Darazs January 1, 2012, 10:02 AM

    Hi, it is bad how much rubbish is out there, every time I go out there I pick up about 3 bags, I’m planning to take a trailer out there and fill it right to the top. People are just destroying such a beautiful place.

  • Aaron January 1, 2012, 12:22 PM

    Hi Stefan,

    Unfortunately it is a trend that is not only happening at Mundaring, but so many of the awesome places we enjoy. I don’t understand how people can be such pigs. Good on you for picking the litter up mate; great job.

    Aaron

  • Jordan January 1, 2012, 8:28 PM

    Hi, just wanted to say what a great job you have done on this site. (-: Thanks! we will try it on wednesday! cheers Jordan

  • Aaron January 1, 2012, 9:09 PM

    Thanks Jordan,

    Have fun out there – it’s a great track

    Aaron

  • callum January 19, 2012, 3:57 AM

    This looks like a perfect track for when I gain more experience, have never been 4×4 in my life only as passenger :p look Foward to driving it one day 🙂 getting a zook soon. Very informative site cheers mate

  • Aaron January 19, 2012, 4:39 PM

    Hi Callum,

    It is an awesome track. What zook are you getting?

    Aaron

  • callum January 22, 2012, 2:57 AM

    Coily 96 .leaf is bettter but cant complain about the price 🙂

  • Aaron January 22, 2012, 1:05 PM

    G’day Callum,

    Coils are usually much more comfortable and easier to get flex out of than leaf springs. I guess its a Jimny then?

    Aaron

  • callum January 23, 2012, 9:13 PM

    Nah juat the standard zook don’t know to much bout them going to be awesome but cheers for all the advice man be a nice old school lil cruiser

  • Carl February 26, 2012, 6:15 PM

    Hi Aaron, got a stock 08 Prado and after looking at your site want to go to Mundaring in a fortnight. Any problems finding the chicken tracks as I have not driven a 4wd off road but pulled road trains through plenty of muddy access roads.

  • Aaron February 26, 2012, 9:02 PM

    G’day Carl,

    It probably won’t be too muddy out there now (asides from the holes of water). Are you going with another vehicle? If not, I would say don’t go; wait until you have another vehicle with you. You want to go with someone who has a bit of four wheel driving experience too. Take it slow, and if you aren’t confident doing certain sections just leave them. Your main issue will be clearance, but as long as you take it slow and think about wheel placement you should be ok. The chicken tracks are easy to find, but it pays to get out and walk them before you attempt to drive them. Some are not as easy as they look!

    Have an awesome trip!
    Aaron

  • Paul August 21, 2012, 6:39 PM

    the powerline track has now been grated and posses no real challenge at all.. however there are some bits they have left behind… im a kalamunda boy and ive done that track thousands of times… oh and the video where your mate fell in (hilarious) that used to be an awesome part but its gone now… ive done it in my 76 range rover and my 04 gu patrol… its a good day trip but i like going down south better….

  • Aaron August 21, 2012, 8:52 PM

    G’day Paul,

    I’ve yet to visit the Powerlines after they graded it. I’ve heard there are still some interesting sections? I have no doubt within a few years it will be ripped up again! That hill you mention was certainly difficult in the wet – I saw many vehicles get damaged on various occasions. I must say I prefer Brunswick anyway!

    Cheers for stopping by
    Aaron

  • Andrew September 10, 2012, 7:40 PM

    Hi, How do you think a new Vitara would go with 2 inch lift and bash plates ?, been pretty keen to try out mundaring for a while, ive only been to wedge so far.

  • Aaron September 10, 2012, 7:51 PM

    G’day Andrew,

    The track has been graded recently, so you won’t have any issues. Just pick your lines, and avoid any big rocks and you will be fine!

    Aaron

  • Aaron October 2, 2012, 6:57 PM

    I’ve just bought a 2009 D22 Navara, fairly stock was just wondering if I would have any troubles on the Mundaring track. Its only additions are a bull bar and dual battery sys. I am new to the 4WDing game but really excited to get out and have a crack.

    Cheers Aaron

  • Ollie October 2, 2012, 9:25 PM

    Hi, how much clearance do you need now that it has been graded? I’ve got an ’03 X-trail with locks on the back but the couple of times I’ve been through here I have borrowed my old man’s cruiser (’05 stock). Been pretty keen to take my one through some rocks and mud, only taken up to lancelin a few times.

  • Aaron October 3, 2012, 4:55 PM

    Hi Aaron,

    The Mundaring Powerlines Track has only recently been graded – you won’t have any issues. Don’t take your vehicle anywhere you aren’t comfortable with, and avoid the big rocks and you will be fine. If there are puddles, anything deeper than about wheel height is asking for expensive repairs! Have fun.

    Aaron

  • Aaron October 3, 2012, 4:56 PM

    Hi Ollie,

    You are running a diff lock in the rear? I’ve not been to Mundaring since the grading was done, but I have heard it is very flat. They left a lot of the harder tracks to the side though. You could go for a visit, do what you are happy with and skip anything that’s likely to cause damage. How do you find the X-trail on the beach and in the dunes?

    Aaron

  • Paul October 4, 2012, 10:34 AM

    To anyone thinking of “attempting the power line track”

    Don’t do it alone.. Bring mates with 4wds or join a club.. There’s hundreds to choose from.. Or even 4wd forums and meet like minded people..

    Get out there but do it safely…

  • Aaron October 4, 2012, 6:52 PM

    Totally agree with you Paul.

    Aaron

  • Josh October 19, 2012, 8:31 PM

    Hi Aaron

    I have just picked up my brand new triton on wednesday just gone
    i have fitted bullbar, scrub bars side steps rear diff lock, snorkle, winch and a 2inch lift but have no recovery kit just want somewhere to take her out for a spin im pretty
    confident 4wder do you think the powerlines would be right for me to tackle??

    Thanks Josh

  • Aaron October 20, 2012, 1:37 PM

    Hi Josh,

    Get yourself some basic recovery gear and then you are good to go. A snatch strap, shovel, set of Maxtrax, some shackles and recovery points won’t cost very much (compared to what you have spent) and you will be set for many years to come
    Have fun.

    Aaron

  • steve November 11, 2012, 8:16 AM

    hey just got a jeep cheerokee 1996 4×4 never done any 4×4 driving b4 will tis track be good for me and my car ???.. oohh and great website .

  • Aaron November 11, 2012, 10:13 AM

    Hi Steve,

    You will have a blast. Go with another four wheel drive though, and don’t try anything that you aren’t comfortable with!

    Have an awesome trip

    Aaron

  • daniel April 14, 2013, 11:02 AM

    we need more tracks for beginners,ive been invited a cpl times by people who have large lifts n muddies n in my stock car i just cant see it being much fun
    but always worth a look i guess

  • Aaron April 14, 2013, 2:12 PM

    Hi Daniel,

    I have seen plenty of stock four wheel drives make it through the whole track without any damage. You don’t need a massive lift, big muddies and lockers to have fun. What vehicle do you own?

    Aaron

  • Baloshi June 6, 2013, 12:25 AM

    Hi Daniel,

    I did this track just recently with a pretty much stock Navara, and not just by taking the easy routes. I did bump the car a bit here and there but all in all we came out pretty much the same as we went in. Don’t be afraid too much, just go and try some of the easy bits, this will put things in proportion and will build the appetite into trying more “extreme” stuff. This track is definitely doable even if you don’t have a massive lift.

    Cheers

  • Aaron June 7, 2013, 6:41 PM

    Cheers for the perspective mate

    Aaron

  • Aaren September 17, 2013, 12:16 PM

    I have done this track twice. Once in 2010 in a stock Pajero vrx (rear diff locker) in the summer time. it was a scorcher of a day but made it with ease.
    Recently travelled it again going backwards in a mild modified Patrol – No lift and no mud tyres. again travelled it with ease, although I did find myself using the winch on 3 occasions.
    However do be careful when going through areas with water, I travelled through one area that had several puddles, only to be undone with the last one that had a bog hole in the middle of it. even with a snorkel fitted the car stopped instantly, and massive water damage through the whole car. the rest of the puddles were approx 0.3 to 0.4m deep. bog hole was approx 0.8-0.9m deep and undetectable

  • Aaron September 17, 2013, 6:15 PM

    Hi Aaren,

    The water up there is completely unpredictable. People may laugh every time you get out to check the depth, but its well worth doing. I saw a mates 100 series Land Cruiser running a 6 inch lift and 36″ tyres float away in one of the puddles! Shame about the water damage. Is the engine ok?

    Aaron

  • prinz September 17, 2013, 9:08 PM

    Hi Guys, Just got the invite to join powerlines this Sunday with few mates. Have a Ranger PX .. Nothing done after taking out of showroom few weeks back. Still running factory tyres. Just wondering if it will make it through the track.. Do i have an option of staying clear/bypass big ruts and rocks.. Sure will make few laugh..Dont have a towbar either.. My first 4wheel drive attempt.

  • Aaron September 18, 2013, 4:45 PM

    G’day Prinz,

    If you are going with a few more experienced mates, and you let your tyres down properly and take care you won’t have any issues. It is very wet up there at the moment, but with the right tyre pressures you will be fine. I’ve seen stock Suzuki Vitara’s do it; just watch out for any areas that could damage the underbody!

    Have fun
    Aaron

  • Mark November 19, 2013, 2:33 PM

    I did this yesterday in a stock standard 2008 kia sorento and scared myself a few times but took it slow and got through I would advise going with someone else.I nearly bogged it once and suggest going with another 4wd just in case.

  • Aaron November 19, 2013, 5:38 PM

    G’day Mark,

    It’s easy to get into trouble at Mundaring if your not careful. Great work on getting through unscathed! It is one fun track! I too recommend going with another vehicle, and having someone to spot you in some of the sections is valuable. How do you find the Kia?

    Enjoy mate
    Aaron

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