The Powerline trek follows the service track for the powerlines between the valleys from Mundaring to York. This is a popular trek with local driver training
operators as it contains numerous obstacles of varying degree of difficulty and is not in a National Park area, hence no permits are required. If you're looking for a secluded bush drive, this one might not be for you. Of course, this is also a great trek to undertake on your own to test out your skill and vehicle setup.
The route has a series of steep valleys and the views at the top of each crest are simply amazing. The flora changes considerably from the winter season, when things are wet, slippery, muddy and very boggy, to the summer season when things are bone dry and rutted due to serious erosion caused from the previous winter. The vegetation includes tall eucalypts, cycads and various heath scrubs and the soils vary from sands to clay with the colours changing from white to red. Local wallabies are often sited, particularly during cool and overcast days.
Each year, and throughout the year, this trek changes considerably due to the effects of weather
and the fact that the council actually put a fair bit of maintenance work into this track. None of this actually affects the trek as such, but affects the degree of difficulty, or ease, that you will experience in completing the trip.
Interactive Route Map
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Powerline Trek From:
This trek supports moving map, to take a virtual tour click on the Play button.
No permits are needed for the Powerline Trek.
Things to See & Do
Bushland, mud driving.
There are several extreme slopes to tackle and much of the trip includes steep, deeply rutted tracks and access roads making this trip suitable for experienced 4WDers only. The area is greatly affected by wet weather
and during winter can be an extremely boggy location, whilst in summer is slightly less challenging.
Preparation for this route should be as for any other relatively remote 4WD track, including carrying sufficient fuel, water, food, supplies, communications gear, safety equipment and first aid
, along with emergency backup supplies.
There are numerous tracks in the area and some may be unnamed or not shown on maps. A wise precaution is to get hold of some updated and detailed mud maps of the area. Be well prepared with a GPS, HF radio
or Satellite phone
as you may not see another vehicle. We advise that you refer to the latest information and advice about outback communications
in the Communications Topic.
There may be risks with getting punctures, so please make sure you have adequate recovery gear and puncture repair kits. Travellers should read the 4WDriving Topic for related articles and checklists for vehicle setup and driver awareness.
Camp Sites & Accommodation
Sawyers Valley and Mundaring lie in the transitional zone between the Darling Range and the wheat belt and really are the "heart of the hills". The predominant tree species are Wandoo (E. wandoo, a large white barked eucalypt), Jarrah (E. marginata) and Marri (E. calophylla), both of which are large, dark barked eucalypts. Large under storey thickets also occur frequently.
Scattered rocks in the terrain are mostly granite, but laterite cap rock occurs along some ridges, slopes and hill
In summary the terrain is quite variable, mostly undulating, with deeply incised gully systems on the slopes, few tracks, some complex rock sections with the flatter areas being relatively featureless.
The Powerline Track follows an active powerline carrying electricity from Muja power station. Collie supplies much of the South of Western Australia
with electricity via Muja Power Station, which came on line 1969 and the newer Collie Power Station that commenced operations in May 1999.
Mundaring - from the Aboriginal word 'Mindah-lung', is the site of one of Australia
's greatest engineering feats - the Mundaring Weir
and the Golden Pipeline, which carries water all the way to Kalgoorlie
The first European into the Mundaring area was Ensign Robert Dale who, in 1829, traced the Helena River upstream to a point near the present site of the Mundaring Weir
. The nearby town of Sawyers Valley began as a pit sawyers' settlement in the 1860's. Today, many of the original sawpits can still be seen. The first freehold land in the area wasn't granted until 1882 and it wasn't until 1889 that a sawmill opened in the area and timber cutters moved in to exploit the extensive stands of jarrah and karri. The timber trade was the mainstay of the place for many years.