Mundaring Powerlines Track

The Mundaring Powerlines Track is a brilliant 4WD 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!

If you are looking for more, check this out – 4WD tracks in WA.

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

Some extra housekeeping

People live nearby

There are a lot of people who live near the Mundaring Powerlines Track, and this is their backyard, and livelyhood. Please be respectful of them.

That means not using their driveways, being considerate about where you air up and down, and keeping noise levels down where possible.

Total fire bans and vehicle movement bans

A number of times each year (usually when its really hot) total fire bans are declared, and that also means vehicle movement bans, which means you cannot use the Mundaring Powerlines Track.

The vehicle movement bans are in place to stop additional chances of fires occurring, which can be catastrophic to the area, and to those who live there.

If its warm, please take 5 seconds to check out to see if there is a fire ban, and change your 4WD destination to somewhere else outside of the vehicle movement ban.

How hard is the Mundaring 4WD track?

About 12 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 4WD 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 you ride your 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 you take?

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 you run your 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 you 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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  1. Hey Jess,

    Nice work! Sometimes learning in a vehicle with limited clearance can be helpful to hone your driving skills in, and it certainly makes a difference when its dry.

    Sounds like you had a great time out there!

    All the best

  2. I actually completed it with my stock Mitsubishi outlander, which does have 4wd mode. There were some tricky spots, but it was my first time driving, so my dad and some mates helped guide me on the chicken tracks, but it was definitely capable. I had actually tried to google if my car would make it, but going when it’s a bit dryer is also easier.

  3. Hi John,

    That was a long time ago mate. Not sure if anything is still being done these days

    All the best

  4. what measures have the locals taken to prevent motorbikes?

  5. Hi Paige,

    Thanks for commenting, and you’ve raised some valid points. I’ll make some additions to the article

    All the best

  6. Hello Aaron
    As a local it would be considerate if you could post comments about showing respect to people’s driveways especially where signage is present. Also pointing out access roads like Flynn and McCallum road would be creating considerable unwanted traffic on these roads. I’m sure you would realise that there are a percentage of people using this track which are not family oriented or law abiding citizens. Exposure to these sort of people in often isolated areas is always a worry to the families that live close to the power line.
    It is also extremely important that you advertise that track is closed in times of a total fire ban and that substantial fines exist. Also the consequences if a fire is started and property or worse lives are lost.

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. 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?


  12. 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

  13. Cheers for the perspective mate


  14. 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.


  15. 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?


  16. 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

  17. 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